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2022 450 SHOOTOUT

450 SML Shootout In-Depth | 2022 Husqvarna FC 450



Presented by
Maxxis Tires
805 Beer

Temecula Motorsports



Rider Scores: 3-4-5-4-3-4

The white Austrian machine received consistent rankings that mostly placed it in between the KTM and GASGAS. Husqvarna’s R&D team has taken a conscious departure from the KTM in the suspension category over the past three model years, and it makes the bikes feel and perform much differently than ever before. The travel of the FC 450’s WP suspension components is reduced internally by 10mm for a lower center of gravity and better cornering characteristics in comparison to the KTM and GASGAS. And you know what? It does exactly what it was supposed to do. The Husky corners very well, whether in ruts, sweepers, or flat corners. Is the shorter suspension travel noticeable? No, but the bike does feel connected to the ground with excellent traction and exceptional front-to-rear weight bias

The Husqvarna has an excellent engine with smooth power delivery that starts down low and pulls linearly into the upper rpm range. The two map settings are distinctively different: Map 1 is broad and easy to manage, while Map Two hits much harder off the bottom and flattens out earlier. Changing the map settings while riding is possible as it only takes a quick push of the button to do so. It’s also possible to turn the traction control feature on and off while in motion. Nice.

Ergonomically, the Husqvarna has a different feel than its orange brother, as the radiator shrouds are smoother and lack the bulge that the KTM’s has right at the edge. The biggest difference in the feel of the Husky is its ProTaper handlebars, which do a superior job of dampening engine vibration and track feedback than the KTM and GASGAS’ Neken bars.


“The Husky engine is very well rounded with its mapping modes and traction control. It doesn’t hit the hardest right off the bottom, but it is very fast and manageable.” – Connor Ericsson

Tester Connor Ericsson

“The bike handles extremely well because it sits a little lower in the rear, and this gives the bike a nice feel in the corners. The composite subframe is a little more rigid than aluminum, which gives the bike a very precise feel.” – Connor Ericsson

“The Husky is smooth and a little lazy off the bottom. Map 1 is very smooth and suits a lower-level rider perfectly. Map 2 was better for me but still soft down low, with fun and manageable mid and top.” – Kordel Caro

Tester Kordel Caro

“The bike feels low, stable, and predictable. The weakness would be that it is a little harsh up front in the choppy bumps. Finding the happy medium between hold up on high-speed jump faces and comfort in chatter bumps is a struggle” – Kordel Caro

“The engine is solid and I prefer Map 2 for its more aggressive personality. In comparison to the other Euro bikes I’d say it is right in between the KTM powerhouse and mellow delivery of the GASGAS.” – Rene Garcia

Tester Rene Garcia

“The Husky handles well. It feels good in high-speed sections and still corners well. I enjoy the 10mm lower travel as I feel it gives the bike a planted feel. I like the ProTaper bars, and I feel the switch to Brembo components was good.” – Rene Garcia

“The Husky is noticeably stronger than the GASGAS and Map 2 is fantastic. I really enjoyed the Husqvarna powerband as it is more exciting than the GASGAS yet easier to control and ride aggressively than the KTM.” – Donn Maeda

Tester Donn Maeda

“I don’t feel any downside to the lower suspension components as they allow the bike to corner the best of the Euro bikes. I went with 106mm of sag which is a little bit more than standard. The ProTaper bars give the bike a smooth feel up front.” – Donn Maeda

“Map 1 is kind of soft. It makes the bike easy to ride but I prefer Map 2 as it has a smooth, fast revving feel. It could use more bottom end, but the engine has great mid-range and lots of top-end overrev.” – Kyle Puerner

Tester Kyle Puerner

“The Husky handles very well. It is well balanced and it corners great, which is the bike’s strong point. The forks has a harsh spike mid-stroke. Slap-down landings are no fun on this bike.” – Kyle Puerner

“Map 2 is great and I liked it best because it was exciting, but Map 1 would be good for when I am beat tired or the track is dry and slippery. The engine is strong and the power always seems to be right where I need it.” – Brian Smith

Tester Brian Smith

“I liked the bike’s handling and the suspension was nice too. I could flat-land jumps and the bike stayed stable and in control. The ergonomics are different…I am only 5’6” and the seat was set too low for me.” – Brian Smith


Chase Curtis

Chase Curtis is an avid motocross and MTB rider, and he is the SML Video Editor. Completely self-taught, Chase is one of the best video editors in the sport and one of our biggest assets.

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