FIRST PLACE: HUSQVARNA FX450: It wins because
it has the best power delivery at low rpm, and that’s overwhelmingly important when you’re dealing with so much
horsepower. What’s most surprising is that the motor is
unchanged from the MX version. Husky technicians report
that there’s no remapping, no extra flywheel and no change
in engine tuning. The MX version would have won this
shootout as well. Having said that, we still believe that it’s
too much motorcycle for most trails and most trail riders.
As good as the FX450 is, just about any 300cc two-stroke
will be quicker and easier to manage off-road.
450 OFF-ROAD SHOOTOUT:
ON THE TRAIL
Here’s where we expected the results to turn
upside down. None of these bikes was initially
designed for off-road. Repurposed motocrossers
can only be expected to perform so well on the trail,
where assets can turn into liabilities. That’s why the
final result surprised us in a big way.
■ YAMAHA ■ KTM ■ HUSQVARNA
GEAR RATIOS COMPARED
TOP SPEED IN EACH GEAR
43 43 43
57 56 56 53
69 67 67 65
81 79 79 87
94 94 94
1st GEAR 2nd GEAR 3rd GEAR 4th GEAR 5th GEAR
Each bike’s spped was measured on the FMF
dyno, gear for gear, at the motor’s rev limiter.