Full of top shelf bits the Husqvarna FC 450 is as near to a factory bike as you can get off the shop floor.
2022 Husqvarna FC 450: A factory bike for a punter price?
The Husqvarna FC 450 is a bike that shares the same engine and chassis now with the KTM and GASGAS but a few subtle differences make it rather easy to tell it apart. Visually the all-white plastics are the first thing you’ll notice but upon looking closer you’ll notice a carbon composite sub-frame and Pro Taper handlebars. The one thing you may not pick up on is the fact that the FC450 is actually 10mm lower. I’m sure you’ve heard it, heck you might have even said it but the FC450 is not just a white KTM.
While it’s true that it does share major componentry with the KTM and GASGAS these subtle differences give a drastically different riding experience out on the track. For 2022 the list of updates is very small on the FC 450. This is most likely got to do with the fact that we can see an all-new 2023 model coming which is currently already being raced overseas in the USA and Europe.
Husqvarna stuck with small changes to the graphics and plastics and switched from the Magura hydraulic clutch components to the Brembo components that we have already seen on the KTM’s. This was not at all a shocking change as we have been seeing all the Factory Husqvarna race teams around the world switching the Magura components for Brembo for some time now. It is also rumoured that they were shortening the ride height of the Husqvarna FC 450 before the same modification was put into production in 2021.
It has not been well communicated but also new for 2022 was a revised air/oil separator in the cam shaft that prevents oil from making its way into the engine breather hose. This revision brings the FC air/oil separator into line with the enduro models and prevents the FC from dropping any oil in harsh conditions.
We got to start our testing with the Husqvarna FC 450 on the dyno to see how the power looked on paper. Interestingly the FC450 revved to 11,200 RPM before hitting the rev limiter but a peak horsepower of 51.4HP was made at 9,500 RPM. The power curve was very smooth and linear with absolutely no dips or holes anywhere in the rev range. The FC produces over 80 Nm of torque at 8,000 RPM but between 10,000 and 11,200 RPM it actually drops 5HP meaning there is absolutely no need to be over revving your FC450.
The air/oil separator in the cam shaft that stops oil from leaking out of the engine breather hose has been updated to be the same as the enduro models to prevent any oil loss from the engine breather hose.
Plastics and Colours
The grey has been removed from the bottom half of the side number plates and it has been replaced with white. The yellow forks guards are gone and have been replaced with blue and the largely yellow dominant livery has been drastically reduced to just a small splash of yellow on the radiator shroud and front number plate.
Husqvarna have dropped the Magura clutch components and have replaced them with Brembo components just the same as the KTM and GASGAS.
WHAT DID WE LIKE?
The WP Exact suspension on the FC 450 was lowered 10mm for 2021 which drastically helped the handling of the bike. The rear WP Exact shock is very difficult to fault and for air forks the front suspension is about as good as it gets. The suspension is smooth and plush in the initial stroke but still firm enough to soak up any big hits. The suspension is smooth and easy on the rider which is not something we usually get to say about air forks.
The power on the FC 450 is very smooth and linear while still having loads of horsepower up top. The air box design on the FC 450 is more restrictive than on the KTM and GASGAS which smooths out the power and makes it more manageable for the rider, especially in slippery conditions.
In the spares kit you receive a vented air box cover and quick turn throttle cams. I’m not a big fan of the quick turn throttle cams on a 450 as the bike becomes harder to manage but the vented air box cover really livens up the mid-range power of the FC 450.
I much prefer the feeling of the Bembo clutch over the Magura. I find the friction point on the Brembo clutch to be much more precise and easier to feel than the Magura clutch.
Lock-on grips are a must these days. Playing with glue and lock wire is a painful game. The lock-on ODI grips on the FC are soft but extremely tacky making gripping them no problem.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE?
This one is a double edged sword. Since Husqvarna has dropped the height of the FC 10mm the bike has felt really small to me as I’m 6 foot tall. Dropping the FC 10mm also increased the handling and keeps the bike much more planted to the ground so I’m stuck feeling enormous on a small bike that handles really well.
The air forks on the Husqvarna FC 450 are the best I’ve used in a production bike but they require more maintenance than a spring fork. The air forks are more than a kilo lighter per fork but they also require you to be regularly checking the air pressure to make sure they are always performing at their best.
Air Box Cover
I prefer the vented air box cover that comes in the spares kit but changing this thing requires you to cross your fingers and toes and hold your tongue to one side of your mouth in a north direction or it just doesn’t fit into place easily.
WHERE DOES IT SIT?
The smoothness of the power and suspension makes the Husqvarna FC 450 an easy bike to handle for beginner to intermediate riders. With the addition of the map switch and the open air box cover you can liven the power right up so that it will even impress an experienced rider. The FC is a really easy bike to steer around a motocross track for all levels.
Lowering the bike 10mm has made the Husky more planted to the ground and easier to find traction while the chassis is still forgiving. The suspension is tuned more to a mid-level rider as an experienced motocross rider will want something a little firmer but for the majority of people who are going to buy this bike I believe Husky has got everything tuned just right.
The FC 450 is a very smooth and easy 450 to ride. It’s got loads of power waiting to get out but it’s smooth and precise handling means its power that is easy to use. The suspension is tuned to be plush in the initial part of the stroke but still be smooth enough to handle jumping and any fast hits. The FC 450 is about as close as you can get to a factory bike without spending upwards of $50K.
In standard trim you get WP suspension, Brembo brakes, DID rims, Delwest valves, Pankl crankshaft and gearbox, Pro Taper handlebars and ODI grips. They are not just slapping together a package on the cheap to try and make some money. They are genuinely sourcing top shelf parts to make top shelf dirt bikes.
The FC450 has two different maps pre-set that can be selected from a switch on the handlebar. Also there is a traction control map and launch map for starting meaning you can switch between maps for different track conditions or rider preference. The spares kit even comes with different throttle cams and air box covers so you can further customise the power to your liking.
2022 Husqvarna FC 450
Type: Single cylinder, four stroke
Bore & Stroke: 95mm x 63.4mm
Cooling: Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio: 12.75:1
Fuel Metering: Keihin fuel injection
Tank Capacity: 7 Litres
Transmission: Five speed
Clutch: Brembo hydraulic
Seat Height: 940mm
Ground Clearance: 370mm
Claimed Weight: 101kg
Front: WP Xact 48mm adjustable air fork
Rear: WP Xact Shock
Front: Brembo twin piston caliper, 260mm disc
Rear: Brembo single piston caliper, 220mm disc
Handlebar: Pro Taper
Front Tyre: Dunlop Geomax MX33
Rear Tyre: Dunlop Geomax MX33
PRICE & CONTACTS
Warranty: Six months