Malcolm Stewart’s Factory Husqvarna FC450

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 -

At the end of 2021, riders were changing bikes and teams across the entire industry. Malcolm Stewart has finally made his way on to a traditional FACTORY style effort in 2022 with Husqvarna on their all new 2022 Husqvarna FC450 Rockstar Edition. Malcolm had a lot of success on the Smart Top Honda and other rides so it was only a matter of time he got his chance to be up the big semi tents of one of the factories. We met up with his mechanic Chris Loredo to go over some of the secrets on the FC450 and what they do to tailor the bike to Malcolm.


Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - front tire

Starting at the front of the motorcycle we find a Dunlop 778A factory front tire. This is based on Malcolm’s request. He likes the stiffness of the carcass as well as the grip it gives from hard packed to medium terrain dirt.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - front suspension

Up front you will find the 52mm WP SKF Xact Pro front forks on Malcolm’s bike. He runs his WP front forks extremely stiff in comparison to other riders on the team.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - front wheel

Hahn hubs with an Excel A60 rip are used on the Factory Husqvarna. You can see that every spoke is wire tied in this photo. Chris Loredo adds these wire ties to the wheel in the event of one of them breaking. If a spoke breaks the team doesn’t want the spoke flinging around the wheel and potentially getting caught in the front brake or other areas. The spoke will hopefully stay in place and the rider can continue on without worry.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - front forks

You can see in this photo on the 52mm front forks that the holeshot button is integrated into the seal head. This is nice for the mechanics and rider to already have it built in versus hard mounted like on other teams. One less piece to bolt on and reduces weight.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - start button

Something unique to Malcolm’s bike is the front fork start button setup. Malcolm is a large rider and runs the button extremely deep in the stroke. The team has an issue with keeping the system from ripping off the front fork guards. This extra carbon piece is added to the fork guards to beef up the area and prevent the ultra stiff forks and tension from ripping off the fork guards during the start. A titanium front axle is used on Malcolm’s bike with an aluminum nut and 3/8ths drive. It’s not your standard 27mm nut that you would find on the OEM model. This helps with emergencies and removing the front wheel quickly. Mechanics will typically have a small impact that will help them remove the wheels quickly.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - front brake

A  28mm factory Brembo front caliper is added to Stewart’s bike. Stock on the FC450 is 24mm pistons. On top is a factory 10mm Brembo pump. Down low, the team is utilizing a 260mm Galfer front brake rotor with factory carbon fiber disk cover.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - clutch

On top of the handlebars you can see the factory Brembo clutch master cylinder. This is a factory Brembo 10mm piston which is same as stock but has larger volume for fluid.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - clamps

Malcolm Stewart’s FC450 uses 22mm offset clamps. He is not on the split clamp as of now but things could change. Chris Loredo explained to us that in a Supercross setting that he prefers to have these instead. It is very possible the team goes to a split design for outdoors.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - bar mounts

The factory bar mounts are solid mounted and 35mm in height. The bars are a Suzuki race team bar bend made by Pro Taper. The team also cuts the bars on both ends by 5mm. Even though he is a larger rider, Malcolm prefers to have the bars cut slightly to decrease the size.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - throttle

On the 2022 Husqvarna FC450 Rockstar Edition that was just announced you will find the map suite has been changed. The team is actually excited about the change and uses the stock suite shown above. It cleans up the handlebars and simplifies the start/kill/map switches that you would find on the 2019-2021 models. Chris explained to Dirt Bike that the less buttons/wires that are exposed the less risky it can be during racing. Between debris and riders hitting each other, the bikes can take a lot of damage to the handlebar area. You can also see the factory billet throttle housing in this photo. The throttle tube is also billet and specially made for Malcolm.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - radiators

On the all-new 2022 Husqvarna FC450 Rockstar Edition you will find a new design to the radiator cap that is rated at 1.8 kPa . Malcolm’s bike has a 2.0 factory radiator cap that is ordered for the race bikes. The radiators are exactly what the average customer will get on their FC450. They are just polished up by C-Lo a bit for the Supercross look.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - fuel tank

The tank capacity is stock but the cap itself has external threads as opposed to internal. You can also see the fuel tank hose is fastened with wire so it doesn’t pull off during racing. Factory KTM is running the same fuel tank and cap. This comes from Europe and the MXGP side. The team is running ETS fuels in their bike.


Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - engine

The engine is done in house at Factory Husqvarna in Southern California. Malcolm likes a really strong mid range on the engine. He’s not a real peak-power rider and likes to be right in the middle. As you can see in the photo above FMF has also made a header that compliments the power requests of Stewart. It is longer in design than what Dean Wilson is running. It broadens the mid range for Malcolm’s riding style.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - exhaust

Another look at Malcolm Stewart’s FMF exhaust header that is customized for his engine. The outer cases have a “hard coat” added to them.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - clutch

The team and Malcolm have an array of options for the clutch. They can go stiffer or softer if needed on the engagement. Its obviously not an auto clutch but they have plenty of options and its fine tuned to Malcolm’s request.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - site glass

You can see where the sight glass normally sits that the team adds a cover to it for protection. Rocks and/or debris can get jammed in this area very easily. The slit allows the mechanic to look at the oil level without the risk of a large glass window exposed.

Rear End

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - footpegs

We actually learned a lot about these footpegs from Jade Dungey (Aaron Plessinger’s Mechanic) from our review on his bike. These pegs are 3D printed and made by Pankl. Pankl actually makes the top and bottom end on the OEM KTMs as well as Husqvarna and GasGas. These are titanium and extremely sharp. The pegs are 5mm lower than stock and create a slightly larger cockpit for Malcolm. The pins are  Mettech titanium items. Those are available to the public.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - rear master cylinder

The rear master cylinder is a factory part. You can see that the sight window has been removed to reduce the risk of rear brake failure if a rock hits it. You can also see in this photo that Malcolm is running the stock frame guards on his bike. This year they have the little studs or grip molded into them. In years past the team would put grip tape on this area or add the Acerbis guards that anyone can buy at their local dealer.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - rear shock

A WP Xact Pro Shock is added to the factory Husqvarna. The team has a ton of dimensions and lengths to use as far as linkage goes. Chris said he couldn’t tell us exactly what Malcolm is on but they definitely have options.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - swingarm

Malcolm’s swingarm is stock but Chris Loredo does put some elbow grease into it. It has a really cool polished look that stands out amongst the factory bikes of Supercross. He probably has 8-10 hours of using different materials to scrub it out and make it shine.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - side panels

The team tested extensively on where Malcolm was actually making contact on the motorcycle. That is how they came up with the grip tape design for 2022. You can see that it doesn’t go very far up the airbox cover. They have just the amount they need without adding weight to the bike for no reason. Malcolm actually hooks his boots in to where the subframe and frame connect. This locks him in on the whoop sections.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - rear brake system

The rear brake system on Malcolm’s bikehas a factory Brembo rear caliper. It has a 26mm titanium piston in it made through Husqvarna. The line is stock and a titanium banjo bolt.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - rear tire

A Dunlop 120 rear tire is added to the bike. This is a 783B rear tire that only factory riders can obtain. Most of the factory riders are on this tire in exception of a few like Eli Tomac. Again, a Hahn hub and Excel A60 rim are used out back, laced with stock spokes and nipples.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - seat

A GUTS seat is used on Malcolm’s bike. Standard foam. He likes his bump about 12 inches from the back and that gives him just the right amount of pocket for him to use for seat bouncing. This is one of the more picky areas for Malcolm. He doesn’t like it really soft but also doesn’t like it too stiff, either. It has to be ridden in at least once at the practice track before it shows up to the races. GUTS pre-makes the bumps for Chris Loredo. Back in the day they would cut a bar pad, but that’s no longer the case.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - sprocket

Pro Taper sprockets are used on the FC450 with a new RK chain that is called the Z5. Chris said that it has a good free feeling and wears really well in comparison to other systems they’ve tried. The chain is press linked. It does not have a master link. That goes for the entire Factory Husqvarna squad. The chain guide is not longer but it is carbon. On the inside it has a replaceable rubber piece the team can change in and out. You can also see the titanium sprocket bolts on Malcolm’s race bike. Chris Loredo explained to us that he would almost refuse to use aluminum sprocket bolts. They do not have a secure enough feel to them and they seem to not seat as well as the titanium bolts do.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - slave cylinder

In this photo you can see the Kite slave cylinder. This has the same dimensions as stock but it is hard anodized. It is just a nice piece and more durable than stock.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - engine hangars

The engine hangars are stock. They are just polished up by C-Lo to give the factory feel to the motorcycle. The team does have options but right now they are sticking with the OEM style. It could change as testing and time goes on with this new bike.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - bolts

The screen bolt and drain bolts are titanium. If the team wanted to they could wire tie these too. You can also see that at the factory level both drain bolts are labeled. The skid plate is carbon fiber. Chris told us that the carbon fiber is rubber mounted to the frame and does not affect the feel or stiffness.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - bike

Chris told us about the Covid-19 issues around getting parts for an all new motorcycle. He explained to us that early on he was a little stressed. The time frame from getting the equipment to testing to going racing is in fast forward. He told us that some parts would transfer from practice bike to race bike and back because of a limited run. He said that the panic feeling that might have been there in October was put to rest by December. As a mechanic in the pits for multiple riders and years now, Chris knows that if the bike is at 80% or higher they will be fine for the opening round of Supercross. He said the cut off is Christmas time.

Malcolm Stewarts Factory Husqvarna FC450 - bike

Chris Loredo worked on the team last year with the old model FC450. He told us that the new one is no doubt better than the old one. The old one had a lot of great qualities to it and the new one kept those. It kept the good qualities and even upgraded in others to create an even better package for 2022.


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