Track Tested Video | 2020 Husqvarna FC450
Our initial ride on the 2020 Husqvarna FC 450 came on Wednesday at Milestone MX Park, the one day of the week when both the main and vet tracks are combined, and the dirt is ripped extra deep so that the track will develop good ruts for the pros who need practice.
Immediately, it was apparent that the vented airbox produced better throttle response, as the bike has a much quicker “snap” right off idle. As expected, the FC 450 produced a ton of broad, usable power in map 1 that was more effective when ridden in the meat of the powerband at lower rpm. Overrevving the FC produces violent results that will wear you out in a hurry, so it’s best to keep shifting and chugging along. The new map 2 setting was not as drastically different feeling as we expected it to be, although it was more manageable than it has been in the past. Last year, some testers felt that the aggressive map was too punchy. The new setting rolls on smoothly and has a freer feeling than map 1, and pulls further up top. As for the traction control, we’ve always had testers who love it and testers who hate it…it’s there is that’s your cup of tea.
The FC 450 corners as amazingly well as it always has, as it enjoys a well-balanced weight distribution that allows it to claw for traction with both wheels. While the Husky does have a big feel at times thanks to its power characteristic, it never feels large when tipping into corners as it leans over with ease and changes directions as directed by the rider. The one shortcoming of the Husky today was the overly soft feel of the fork and shock. Our pro tester Pat Foster is 6’1″ and 180 pounds, and he found himself longing for a significantly firmer setting both front and rear. After going in up to seven clicks on the shock compression adjusters and six clicks on the rebound, we also added air to the fork and adjusted the clickers similarly. This yielded a slightly improved rider, but the bottom line is that for a rider of Foster’s ability and size, the bike is simply too soft. Foster did notice that at a non-race pace, the bike exhibited a much more comfortable ride in small bumps…
As for the rest of the bike, it delivered the typical superb performance that we’ve come to expect from the Austrian machines: the brakes are strong with great feel, the hydraulic clutch is flawless, and the Pro Taper bars and ODI Lock-On Grips offer an unbeatable control panel.