TESTING THE 2023 HUSQVARNA FX450: THE WRAP

We just spent our first day riding our brand new 2023 Husqvarna FX450. It’s a beast! The FX is billed as a closed-course competition off-road bike, which is code for GP and desert racer. About 90 percent of the bike is the same as the FC450 motocrosser, with a few concessions to make it appeal to off-road guys.

  • Softer suspension settings
  • Larger fuel tank (2.2 gallon instead of 1.9)
  • Kickstand
  • 18-inch rear wheel
  • Handguards
  • Dunlop AT81 tires
  • O-ring chain
2023 Husqvarna FX450

The 5-speed gearbox, exhaust, mapping and state of tune are all the same as the motocross model’s. Likewise, the suspension travel is the same as that of the standard motocrosser, but shorter compared to the Rockstar Edition and KTM’s competition bikes. Part of the plan to separate the Husqvarna brand from KTM is to give all their standard models a lower seat height. Otherwise, the Husky FX450 is very similar to the KTM 450SX-F. The FX 450 is built on the new platform which was introduced with the Rockstar Editor at the end of last year. The frame, rear suspension, swingarm and bodywork were completely redesigned at that time. The engine, wheels and fork were changed to a lesser extent.

Nic Garvin on the FX450.

If you’re intimately familiar with the personality of the 2022 Husqvarna FX450, you will notice all the changes. First of all, it’s more powerful, particularly in the aggressive map. That’s the one with the green light, whereas the white light signifies the standard map. You’ll also notice that the frame is more rigid feeling and it squats less under acceleration. In truth, those traits aren’t as profound as you might think. So much has already been written about the new chassis that you would think it’s a night and day difference. The Husky still feels like a Husky, which means it’s powerful, it turns well and it feels light. We did put the bike on our scale and as expected, it’s about 6 pounds heavier than last year’s version. It’s 233 pounds without fuel. That’s still lighter than comparable Japanese 450s.

The FX is billed as an off-road bike, but it’s a lot of motorcycle for tight trails.

This year Husky has another off-road 450 in the mix. It’s the FE450, which is also billed as a closed-course competition bike. This is a trail bike that uses many of the parts from the FE450S dual-sport bike. The most significant of those is the 6-speed gearbox. We anticipate that the FE might be the basis for many desert racers. Last year a popular modification for the FX450 was to install the dual-sport gearbox. We’ll be testing the FX450 for several weeks before it goes into the November 2022 print edition of Dirt Bike.

NIC GARVIN JOINS DIRT BIKE

Nic Garvin joins Team DB. Photo, Kato

Nic Garvin has just joined the Dirt Bike team. Nic is a familiar name in AMA District 37, SCORE and Best in the Desert. He’s a past winner of the Six Hours of Glen Helen, as well as a number of D37 races. Nic also earned a silver medal at the 2019 ISDE and has an almost tragic number of second places in high profile races like the Baja 1000, Baja 500, Vegas to Reno and the 24 Hours of Glen Helen. Welcome aboard Nic!

TESTING, TESTING…

Sean Foos on the 2023 KTM 250SX-F

There are a lot of bikes already lined up for Nic and our usual band to test. We have just started on the KTM 250SX, The KTM250XC and the GasGasEX350, there’s a lot to look forward to!

WORLD SUPERMOTOCROSS

After this week’s announcement of the Supermotocross World Championship we had a lot of questions. This is an alliance between Feld (Supercross promoters) and MX Sports (promoters of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series) to make a new series with a $10 million purse. We called Roger DeCoster to explain what it meant. He explained that this isn’t a reaction (as we assumed) to the SX Global series that was announced earlier in the year. Evidently, the planning for SuperMotocross goes back to 2020. That year, MX Sports and Feld had to cooperate to deal with the Covid crisis. In those meetings, they realized that they would be stronger if they worked together going forward to secure sponsorship and television deals. The new series will start off as a three-event series. It looks like both Feld and MX Sports will shorten their respective schedules by one race apiece, so the net increase in the overall season will be only one race. All the manufacturers are on board for this. One of the races will be held at the L.A. Coliseum and others might be at super speedways like Atlanta. Roger isn’t a big fan of the SX Global series at this time. Even though it will start this year in the off-season with a short series, conjecture is that the SX Global series will grow to compete with the U.S. outdoor championship for top U.S. riders. Funding for that series is from Mubadala Capital, an investment company from Abu Dhabi. The SuperMotocross funding is from sponsors that are more traditionally involved with Supercross and motocross.

KAWASAKI CONFIRMS SUPERMOTOCROSS PARTICIPATION

Kawasaki already released a statement confirming that Adam Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson will participate in the 2023 SuperMotocross series. “We are confident with our team roster for 2023,” said Kawasaki Racing Senior Manager, Dan Fahie. “The success we shared with Jason in both supercross and motocross is promising as we look to the upcoming unified SuperMotocross World Championship. We’re also very optimistic about Adam’s return to the starting gate as he’s proven to be a top contender at the premier level. We are in a great place with the development of our KX450SR and look forward to continued success through this next evolution of professional motocross.” In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki will also continue withJo Shimoda, Austin Forkner, Cameron McAdoo, and Seth Hammaker in addition to nine-time AMA Amateur National Champion Jett Reynolds and upcoming Kawasaki Team Green rider Ryder DiFrancesco.

See you next week!

–Ron Lawson

 

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