Husqvarna Unveil the 2016 FS 450 Supermoto

Husqvarna is really starting to differentiate itself from sister company KTM and the release of the updated 2016 FS 450 Supermoto certainly contributes to that. While Husqvarna is busy hyping up the forthcoming release of their 701 Supermoto, the FS 450 Supermoto is actually a bike that doesn’t have an equivalent in KTM’s lineup.

That to us is far more interesting than the 701 Supermoto which is as far as we can tell just a rebadged KTM 690 SMC R. The new FS 450 Supermoto is derived from the heavily revised FE 450 Enduro which was announced just a few months ago and that means it gets a whole lot of great features that the previous years model did not.

That includes a new subframe which is made of a composite material that is 30% carbon fibre and features a three-piece construction, which is 1 kg lighter than its equivalent in the previous model. The new cast aluminium swingarm has been redesigned, is stiffer and lighter than before as well.

Like its enduro cousin, the FS 450’s motor gets a serious overhaul as well. The new engine is 23 mm shorter, 23 mm narrower and 9 mm lower than before. Total weight reduction for the engine is a very impressive 1.8kg. Even the cylinder head gets some work to reduce weight.

The 5-speed gearbox comes standard with a slipper clutch and the clutch lever is hydraulic. The gearbox gets some tweaks to make it more compact and lighter too. The FS 450 also features a standard handlebar map switch which also activates launch control, a function that limits the amount of power to the rear wheel for approximately two seconds. This results in improved traction and the prevention of loss of control under hard acceleration.

If upon looking at the pictures below of the bike you were wondering why the exhaust headers looked suspicously like something from a 2-stroke, you’re not imagining things. The resonance chamber is integrated into the header pipe to resemble a 2-stroke expansion chamber which not only helps with weight distribution, but also reduces noise.

The proprietary WP rear shock has been specifically designed for Supermoto and features 266 mm of rear travel. It features fully adjustable rebound and high/low speed compression while up front you get 48 mm WP closed cartridge forks with 280 mm of suspension travel and is also fully adjustable.

The brand new 2016 Husqvarna FS 450 Supermoto will heat dealer showrooms in Europe this month and will hopefully find it’s way internationally soon thereafter.

Husqvarna Announces 2016 MX Range

While Husqvarna is beginning to focus on road bikes with the upcoming release of the 701 Supermoto and future release of the 401 concepts, they’re still ensuring that their off road range remains at the peak of the curve. After earlier announcing their 2016 enduro range, Husqvarna has also confirmed its MX range for 2016 and there’s some impressive improvements.

Husqvarna has announced all new versions of the FC 450, FC 350 and FC 250 4-stroke bikes, plus an all new TC 125 2-stroke. These aren’t mildly updated machines with a few new stickers – Husqvarna has rebuilt them from the ground up. The newly released bikes are lighter, faster and more durable.

While you might often think of dirt bikes as low tech, Husqvarna is bringing some new thinking to their range. The frame is laser-cut and robot welded and made of chromium molybdenum steel (I don’t know what that means either, but it sounds impressive) and the three piece subframe is made of carbon fibre which saves 1 kilogram from the previous model. The rear shock is also half a kilo lighter and it’s mated to a new rear link geometry, which improves both damping and balance.

Across all 4-stroke models a new Keihin engine management system processes data faster while a 44 mm throttle body – compact and 100 grams lighter – provides immediate throttle response thanks to the elimination of a throttle linkage. New for MY16 is launch control, integrated into the standard handlebar map switch. With the ability to alter engine characteristics, the launch control feature seeks out maximum traction to deliver consistently perfect starts as standard. Overall weight savings have been significant. The FC 450 is now 5.2 kg lighter than the previous model, while the FC 350 is 4.7 kg less than the 2015 machine. The FC 250 has been lightened by 4.0 kg. That’s mighty impressive for what are already light machines.

And that’s not all. There’s new GSK brake discs, Pro Taper handlebars, ODI lock-on grips, new WP radiators, new 7-litre polythene fuel tanks, a new airbox design with tool-less air filter access, as well as black DID alloy rims and CNC machined hubs.

The new Husqvarna MY16 motocross range will be available from all authorised European Husqvarna dealers from September. No word yet on Australian or US release dates or prices.


Husqvarna 701 Supermoto Specifications Begin to be Revealed

Husqvarna has updated the microsite for their upcoming 701 Supermoto showing off many of the technologies the bike will incorporate upon its release later this year. Unfortunately for those hoping for a surprise, it appears that there’s no new features compared to the KTM 690 SMC R which the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is based on.

In fact, the more we see the more it would appear the 701 Supermoto will be a direct copy of the KTM with different plastics and stickers. That’s not a bad thing as the 690 SMC R is regarded as a great bike. It’s just that 690 SMC R is over two years old now and for Husqvarna to make its ‘road bike’ come back a carbon copy of an existing bike is a little underwhelming – hopefully it surprises us with the price.

According to Husqvarna, the 701 Supermoto will benefit from a ride-by-wire throttle system allowing for precise and consistent throttle control as well as three engine-modes allowing you to fine-tune the 701’s power delivery for a wide range of possible riding surfaces and weather conditions.

Also included is a slipper clutch, 48 mm upside-down forks by WP Performance Systems with 215 mm of travel and separate damping circuits in each fork tube allowing for compression to be damped via the left tube and rebound via the right. The rear shock is pivot-arm articulated and features both high and low speed compression adjustments.

ABS is standard but disappointingly just like the KTM 690 SMC R, you have to pay extra for an optional dongle unlocks supermoto ABS, allowing the rear wheel to lock with full ABS function upfront. We thought it was poor form to not have this standard when the 690 SMS R was first released – it’s possibly even worse now considering we’re two years down the track and looking at what’s supposed to be a more value orientated brand.

The Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is expected to be released by November this year.