2021 Husqvarna FC 350 | First Test!
The 2020 Husqvarna FC 350 was easily one of our favorite bikes to ride this year as it handles amazingly well and has just the right amount of power. For 2021, all of the Husky motocross bikes got some suspension refinements that allow the bike to corner even better.
CLICK HERE to watch and read about all of the updates for 2021.
We met Husqvarna’s Andy Jefferson and Anthony daGraca at Glen Helen Raceway last week, anxious to throw a leg over the new FC 350 for the first time.SML test riders Rene Garcia and Connor Ericsson. Because the engine is unchanged for 2021 we had a good idea of what to expect from the FC powerplant, and we were not disappointed. The FC 350 produces a surprising amount of power for a mid-sized bike, and it allows the rider to charge much harder than would be possible on a full-sized 450. Is it a big 250 or a small 450? Though some testers like Buttery felt that the bike was like a super-fast 250, most agree that the 350 has a personality all its own that inspires trust, confidence, and aggression thanks to its easy to ride powerband and broad spread throughout the rpm range. The bike has plenty of low-end power, but because it is 100cc smaller than a 450, it is not the yank-your-arms-out-of-their-sockets style; instead, it rolls on strong and is easy to control even when the throttle is hammered open. From there, power builds steadily in the middle of the rpm range, and power continues to build into the upper echelons without flattening out. Believe it or not, the 350 can be ridden around most tracks solely in third gear as it has enough low end to pull the bike and rider through all but the tightest corners, and enough top end to rev out on straights.
The big news for 2021 is the new WP suspension that has been lowered for better handling and cornering characteristics, thanks to the lower center of gravity it yields. In addition to being updated internally to produce the 10mm shorter results, both ends have been firmed up in comparison to last year’s “comfort” settings. Suspension action is much improved over 2020, and both testers agreed that the bike has a firmer, more controlled feel. Small bump compliance remains acceptable in spite of the firmer settings, but the fork has much more mid-stroke control before reaching the excellent end-of-stroke bottoming resistance. We thought that last year’s FC 350 cornered well, but the 2021 model will out-perform it every time.
Though the scales don’t show a massive difference between the FC 350 and its bigger brother the FC 450, the bike feels much lighter on the track thanks to the engine character. Conversely, the added weight of the 350 also gives it a more planted, calm feel in the rough stuff than the FC 250. Last year, we built an FC 350 project bike that included Factory Services motor work, WP spring forks, and just about every Husqvarna accessory part in the catalog. The result was our most-loved and ridden bike in the SML garage. Should we build this one up in a similar fashion? With an even better starting point, we must admit that our mouthes are watering!