Husaberg FX 450
BY: Damien Ashenhurst, PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Barry Ashenhurst & H Mitterbauer
Take the best of enduro, add a pinch of motocross, sprinkle into a Husaberg wrapper and what have you got? The FX 450.
- No registration required on this closed course bike
- Close ratio gear box
- Robust motocross suspension from KTM
- Enduro engine
You may have noticed that Husaberg is missing something in its line-up. It has the enduro market well served with the 390, 450 and 570, but where are the motocross bikes?
Husaberg has attempted to solve this problem and new for 2010 is the FX450 "closed course" bike.
A 'closed course' bike is a bike that can only be ridden on a closed course such as a motocross track, or a track that doesn't touch gazetted roads and therefore has no registration requirement.
Husqvarna has been down this road before with the TXC range and the response was lukewarm. For some reason this concept doesn't fire the imagination. It should though because in principle it's a great idea.
Basically the folks at Husaberg ripped the speedo, headlight, tail light and blinkers off an FE 450, then snuck over to the KTM factory and made away with a bunch of suspension parts, stolen from the SX.
What they now had was an FE 450, free of the registration junk and sprung by the more robust boingers of the KTM motocross machines.
The FX 450 can be ridden on a motocross track without looking completely out of place and the performance improvement gained by loosing the enduro suspension means you'll probably look like less of a complete knob doing it. It still has the FE's enduro engine so it's not exactly a motocross bike, but it does pack a close ratio gear box.
Here, offroad races are held on closed courses and often incorporate a motocross section therein. This means the FX is racing on a track that has its name written all over it. And as the bike already has the better suspension as stock, the set-up costs aren't as high.
The real story here is that SX suspension. If you want to ride faster, the first place you should look to improve your bike is not a dyno chart, instead it should be the performance of your suspension.
The SX forks are closed cartridge units that are different to the FE's in that the oil that dampens is contained in a separate cartridge to the oil that lubricates and resists bottoming. This makes the action more precise and able to provide a controlled reaction to the much bigger hits that are found on the motocross track. The concession to the enduro mob is that the valving is set to suit off-road and therefore the FX's ride is plusher than a straight-up MX bike.
The shock is also SX specked and again has greater bottoming resistance than the standard kit.
The FX's engine is a blast and the close ratio gearbox made it all the more fun. I tested it on a natural terrain motocross track in shite-full condition and found the bike to be a fair bit easier to ride over the really rough gear than most we've had on that track.
The Husaberg 450 (FX and FE) does have an "active" front-end and is kind of similar to a two-stroke. It can be disconcerting at times but it's all for show because the 'Berg's front end is solid even in limited traction.
The FX isn't an enduro bike and its not quite a motocross bike, so who the hell would buy one?
The first in line should be the occasional motocross rider. The guy that gets out to the track maybe five or six times a year. The 'Berg won't overpower him but it won't let him suffer for lack of grunt either. The second bloke in line would be the sprint racer who wants the most complete machine straight off the showroom for that application.
If you ride on a private property then the FX is an easy choice. Ditch the rego gear and go up a peg on the suspension so you can ride your motocross track or your enduro loop without having to own two bikes.
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Engine type Single cylinder, four-stroke
Compression ratio 11.8:1
Starter/Battery Electric starter/12V 7Ah
Transmission Six gears
Fuel system Keihin EFI
Control 4V/OHC with rocker levers
Lubrication Pressure lubrication with 2 oil pumps
Engine oil Motorex, SAE 10W-50
Primary ratio 33:76
Secondary drive 13 : 52
Cooling Liquid cooling
Clutch Wet multi-disc clutch, hydraulically operated
Engine management system Keihin
Frame Double cradle perimeter design
Subframe Cross-linked Polyethylene
Handlebar Renthal, Aluminium Ø 28/22mm
Front suspension WP-USD Ø 48mm
Rear suspension WP-PDS shock absorber
Suspension travel front/rear 300/335mm
Front/rear brakes Disc brake Ø 260mm/Disc brake Ø 220mm
Front/rear rims 1.60 x 21" DID/2.15 x 19" DID
Front/rear tyres 80/100-21"/110/90-19"
Chain 5/8 x ¼"
Steering head angle 63.5°
Wheel base 1475 ± 10mm
Ground clearance 390mm
Seat height 985mm
Tank capacity Approx. 8.5L
Weight (Ready to race) Approx. 112.8kg