For 2022 Husqvarna’s Special Editions are truly special. That’s not always the case. Most years, Special Editions like the Rockstar Huskys and the KTM Factory Editions are set apart by graphics and accessories that you could buy for yourself. In this case the FC250 and FC450 Rockstar Editions are completely different from the standard models. Everything is new; the frame, motor, bodywork, even the suspension. It’s impossible to make one for yourself. On top of that, a 250 Rockstar Edition has never been offered before. Both the 450 and 250 will be the platform for the standard editions for 2023 going forward. They arrived early for two reasons: first to give Husqvarna’s factory Supercross racers the latest hardware, and second as a test bed for the full run of production bikes to come. Plus, of course, it gives dealers something to sell at a premium. The MSRP for the 250 Rockstar is $10,699 and the FC450 Rockstar is $11,799 ($800 and $1000 more than the standard models, respectively).


For both bikes, the overall frame geometry is the same as that of the standard model. That includes the steering head angle and wheelbase. The biggest changes are in structure and rigidity. As far as the motors go, the 250 is all new and the 450 has an extensive number of changes, including new cases (mostly to fit the same frame as the 250). Both motors have more rearward tilt than their predecessors in order to lower the countershaft sprocket. The shocks are new for both bikes and even though the forks are still WP XACT air forks, they have more travel than the standard models. Remember, the standard Husqvarnas have reduced travel compared to their KTM counterparts. Obviously, the bodywork is quite different. Interestingly enough, these bikes don’t get the usual trappings of a Rockstar Edition. They don’t have FMF exhaust systems or Rekluse clutch covers. They do get a few of the more subtle upgrades like a split triple clamp, a WP holeshot device on the fork guard, a skid plate and a disc guard.

Jared Hicks on the 2022 Husqvarna FC250 Rockstar Edition.


Husky was happy with the horsepower produced by the previous 250 motor. It was as fast as anything in the class, but it didn’t always feel that way. The Yamaha had more instant throttle response and the Honda had more torque. Now it has more seat-of-the pants thrill factor. You can get more done with less throttle. In absolute acceleration, we ran it against a standard model again and again and came away without learning much. At full throttle, they’re nearly equal.

2022 Husqvarna Rockstar FC250

All Special Editions are heavier than the standard models–universal truth. On our scale, the 2022 Husky FC250 Rockstar Edition weighs 228 without fuel. The standard model is 219 pounds. Some of that can be attributed to the clamps, skid plate, holeshot device and disc guard, but most of it is in the new frame. Most riders said they could feel the extra weight. That’s not surprising. Put on 9 pounds and you’ll feel different, too. More importantly, the bike feels larger and taller than the standard version. In the pits, the new bike sits just about a half-inch taller in the middle of the seat. On the track, it seems like much more than that because of the way the bike behaves under power. The rearward tilt of the motor results in more anti-squat tendencies coming out of corners, making you feel like you’re perched higher on top of the bike. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Neither, it’s just different. On the entrance to any given corner, the bike handles pretty much like a Husky, which is good. It takes very little effort to initiate the turn and it tracks well without anything surprising. On the corner exit, the feel is different, but not alarming or uncomfortable.

Sean Foos on the 2022 Husqvarna FC450 Rockstar Edition.


All of the same riding observations are true of the 450, as far as ride height and handling manners. The bike is taller and squats less under acceleration. It’s still one of the best handling bikes in the class, but those who know their KTM manners inside-out will have to get used to a new set of characteristics. As far as the 450’s weight goes, it, too, gained a few pounds. The FC450 Rockstar Edition is 231 pounds without fuel (8 pounds heavier than the standard edition). In this case the weight isn’t a factor. The bike still feels light. It is, in fact, lighter than any of the Japanese 450s.

2022 Husqvarna Rockstar FC450

There’s a more significant power boost for the 450. The bike has a new handlebar mounted switch with two map buttons, traction control, Quickshift and Launch Assist. The top map button is supposed to be the standard one, but it clearly has the most low-end hit. The lower button has more rev and peak power. Both seem to have more power than the standard FC450. Some riders like traction control as a means of modifying the power delivery. You can’t really call either of the maps a “mild” one, but traction control does calm things down a little. Quickshift does exactly what it’s supposed to do: it makes full-throttle upshifts a little smoother without the clutch. As it turns out, there aren’t that many opportunities where you want to make full-power upshifts on a 450 motocrosser. Some riders report that Quickshift can result in an unwanted hiccup in the motor; others didn’t notice anything. You can turn it off, but we did notice that you can occasionally turn it back on with your leg. We still have a lot of testing to do, so look for more coverage of the Rockstar Editions in the June, 2022 print edition of Dirt Bike.



Click on the image above for a Travis Fant/Mark Tilley video creation featuring the Husky FC450 Rockstar Edition.

Click on the image above for a Travis Fant/Mark Tilley video featuring the 2022 Husqvarna FC250 Rockstar Edition.


Click on the image above for an in-depth look at the Rockstar Edition ridden by Malcolm Stewart in the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross season.

That’s all this week!

–Ron Lawson


Comments are closed.