The 2023 Husqvarna Rockstar Edition is in the Dirt Bike shop now. Of all the new KTMs and Husqvarnas that hit the dealers for the 2023 model year, this is one of the most interesting. Like virtually all the competition models, it has the new chassis. In fact, last year’s Rockstar Edition was our first look at the new frame, motor and bodywork. Now that we have a year with the new platform, we know much more about it.
First off all, this is a special edition, and that means it comes with a long list of special items.
A black anodized split triple clamp
An FMF exhaust
A WP holeshot device
A GUTS textured seat cover
Silver anodized billet hubs
An anodized sprocket
A Rekluse clutch cover
Carbon reinforced front brake disc guard
Carbon reinforced skid plate
It does not have the shortened suspension like the standard version of the FC450. Right now, we feel that this is the best 450 in the extended Husqvarna/KTM/GasGas family. It has all the things that we love about the KTM starting with the motor. It’s insanely fast. The Husqvarna 450 usually has a smoother power delivery than the KTM 450, and that’s even true of the Factory Edition versus the Rockstar Edition. Both are more powerful than their standard counterparts, but the Husky has a slightly gentler hit.
On top of that, it seems just a little more compliant. If you’ve been paying attention, you know we have been critical of the new frame because it feels so much more rigid than the one it replaced. That was the main story when we were first exposed to the new bike. After a year, we’ve learned how to deal with it. First of all, we now know that the frame gets better with time. It “breaks-in” more than usual, and gets better after about 15 hours of riding time. Earlier in the year, we figured that we were going to eventually find the perfect suspension set up. That didn’t happen, but we did learn that motor mounts and triple clamps make a big difference. FCP makes some mounts that really are noticeably better. And, the one item on the list of Rockstar upgrades that usually goes unnoticed is the split triple clamp. It goes a long way toward making the bike less harsh, especially if you pay attention to torque settings. And finally there’s the Pro Taper handlebar, which has a better feel than the Neken bar that comes on the KTM.
We still feel that the bike could benefit from good suspension work. By now, many shops have cracked the code with the WP Xact air fork. We know that the 2024 Husky will have the same frame, so there’s no point in waiting if you think something better is coming along in a few months. In 2025, there is supposed to be another frame change.
For years, the Kawasaki KX250 has had a second injector in the intake boot. For some reason, no one else is doing that despite the fact that it clearly works. Jamie at Twisted Development got tired of waiting for Yamaha to add that to the YZ250, so he did it himself. Our 2023 test bike was a guinea pig for that modification. It works!. You will be able to read about it in the June, 2023 print edition of Dirt Bike.
KILMARTIN OFFERS SIX-HOUR IRONMAN PURSE
In conjunction with 3 Bros, Kilmartin Racing is coming on board as a sponsor for the 6-Hr Endurance race this weekend. Likewise, Kilmartin Racing has announced that they are sponsoring a $500 Ironman Purse. Winner Takes All. We will be there. Gary Jones and I have been working on the course, which was blessed by nature’s water truck. No dust!
WORLD SUPERCROSS SCHEDULE
PRESS RELEASE: SX Global, the Australian sports and entertainment company spearheading the FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX), announced today that tickets are on sale for the opening round of the 2023 FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX) at Birmingham’s famous Villa Park on Saturday, July 1, 2023. More than 6,500 tons of dirt will transform the home of Aston Villa Football Club as it prepares for its first-ever British Grand Prix, where Britain’s supercross stars Dean Wilson of Scotland and Max Anstie of England will take on some of the world’s best riders.Wilson and Anstie will be using the support of their home crowd to fuel their World Title campaigns and their attempt to claim a share of the $250,000 in prize money, the biggest purse in World Supercross Championship history.
SX Global CEO, Adam Bailey, said, “the Championship’s return to Britain will build on the success of last year’s pilot season and opening round that was held in Cardiff. We had 35,000 fans turnout at Principality Stadium last year for our first Grand Prix, which showed just how passionate the British fans are about the sport and the appetite they have for World Supercross Championship racing on their home soil,” explained Bailey. “Now it’s Birmingham’s turn to host the WSX season opener. It will be the only opportunity to witness the Championship in the UK and watch elite supercross athletes compete for the title of World Champion.” Bailey continued by saying, “WSX is building on its mission to transform supercross into a global sport with the calendar expanding to six rounds on four continents in 2023, and we’re thrilled to be heading back to Britain to kick off the season again. Tickets for the British GP are on sale today, but with Dean and Max headlining the British rider contingent, you’ll need to get in quick, so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to see them race at home.” Competing in the WSX (450cc) class, Wilson hopes to write himself into the WSX history books in Birmingham.
“I’m really excited for the World Supercross Championships in Birmingham,” said Wilson. “I came to Cardiff last year and had a rough weekend racing with an illness and under-performed. It was very disappointing considering the massive crowd I had on my side, so I’m coming into Birmingham guns blazing, looking for redemption and fully prepared to battle for the win.”
Returning for his second year competing in the SX2 (250cc) class, Anstie is hungry for a World Championship title after finishing runner-up in 2022.
“I’m really excited to be kicking off the WSX championship in front of my home fans,” said Anstie. “It’s going to be bigger and better than ever. I’m ready to battle for the top step of the podium and put on a show. Make sure you come and watch on July 1 in Birmingham for another epic British GP.”
Tickets for the FIM World Supercross British GP are on sale now. Visit: wsxchampionship.com
2023 World Supercross Championship Calendar
British GP Villa Park, Birmingham July 1
French GP Groupama Stadium Lyon-Décines, July 22
Asian GP Southeast Asia September 30
German GP Merkur Spiel Arena, Dusseldorf October 14
Canadian GP BC Place, Vancouver October 28
Australian GP Marvel Stadium, Melbourne November 24-25
See you next week!
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