Inside the 2021 Husqvarna FC 450
As is the case with most motocross bike manufacturers in 2021, refinement is the buzz word for the 2021 Husqvarna motocross bikes. Aside from the Bold New Graphics and new more-forgiving seat cover that gives the new Husky a nice, new look, the rest of the bike remains unchanged as far as the engine, chassis, and componentry go. What has been updated is are the WP suspension components. Last year, Husqvarna took a departure from its sister brank KTM and equipped its motocross bikes with proprietary suspension settings. With overall comfort and the average rider in mind, Husky set up its WP shock and Xact 48 air fork with much softer settings than the KTM. While the ride was indeed comfortable and plush, most of our test riders felt that the settings gave the Husqvarnas a soft, wallowy feel on the track.
For 2021, Husky firmed up both the fork and shock but threw a giant twist into the suspension equation. The fork is 10mm shorter, but internally the components have also been adjusted to maintain the same amount of overlap between the inner and outer tubes. This is critical for maintaining the same overall feel of the front end, as the rigidity of the fork has not been altered. Simply shortening the tubes without adjusting the internal cartridges would alter the feel of the front end on the track, as it would reduce the overall flex character of the front end.
Out back, the shock, too, has been shortened to match the fork. In addition to the firmer valving, the shock also received new low-friction SKF seals for better suspension feel and response. So why did Husqvarna shorten both the fork and shock, you ask? While 10mm may not seem like much, the change is intended to yield a lower center of gravity and help improve the bike’s overall handling, but especially cornering abilities.
As for the rest of the 2021 Husqvarna FC450, the same great components that make the Austrian bike so appealing still come standard: hydraulic clutch, electric start, Pro Taper handlebars, ODI Lock-On grips, Brembo brakes, and more.