INSIDE THE FX350
The engine is based around the 250 powerplant (all
new last year), but with a larger piston and a longer rod
( 88.0 x 57.5mm versus 78.0 x 52.3mm). The crankshaft
has been moved up, and the overall length of the engine
is 20mm shorter, making the engine 2 pounds lighter. It
has revised combustion-chamber geometry in the cylinder
head, two overhead camshafts, new finger-followers with
a harder DLC coating and high-flow ports. There are new
valve springs and retainers for the four titanium valves,
and the overall power numbers are 13,400 rpm and 58
The Husky has a new-style 44mm Keihin throttle body
with an enhanced ECU system. There are two switchable
ignition modes on the front-brake perch—stock and
aggressive—plus it has launch control (traction control)
for starts, which is unique for a closed-course off-roader.
When the traction control is turned on, the EMS analyzes
throttle input from the rider and the rate of increase for
engine rpm and alters power accordingly to prevent
excessive wheelspin. Perhaps the most off-road facet
of the FX350 is the transmission. It’s a six-speed, semiclosed gearbox, whereas the SX is a five-speeder. The
machine has a Magura hydraulic clutch and electric
starting, which has been improved with the addition of
a lithium-ion battery to save weight. The three-piece
composite subframe is 30 percent carbon fiber and is very
light. The air filter is tool-less and uses a Twin Air filter.
Husky ditched the WP 4CS spring fork in 2016 and
replaced it with the WP AER 48 air unit that strokes out
12. 2 inches of travel. The AER 48 features an insulated
air-spring chamber in the left leg and a pressurized oil
chamber for damping in the right leg. Tuning and setup
are a simple affair, as it only features one air valve located
at the top of the left fork leg to fill the left chamber. The
compression adjuster is located at the top of the right fork
leg, and the rebound clicker is located at the bottom of
the same leg. Husqvarna claims that with its air-chamber
design, the fork will not collapse if a fork seal blows out.
The AER 48 is 3. 7 pounds lighter than the coil-sprung
4CS. In the tail section, the FX350 uses a rising-rate
linkage system and a WP damper. CNC-machined triple
clamps with a 22mm offset are fit with a rubber damping
system that reduces vibration. The triple clamps offer three
handlebar positions for good ergonomic adjustability.
New for 2018 are Magura hydraulic brakes that work
with rotors made by GSK. Husky claims improved
sensitivity and progression (more on that later). Husky
also fits its machines with a Pro Taper handlebar and ODI
lock-on grips. The bar is a fatty and doesn’t use a crossbar. Finally, the footpegs and shifter have been tagged
“no dirt,” since the design wards off any invasion of dirt or
mud into the joint or clevis.
TO THE COURSE, OR THE TRACK,
OR THE FIELD!
There are quite a few facets of the new Husky that we
love. The button? Can’t live without it. The AER fork?
Stunningly adept and easy to setup. The ergos, the bars
and the seat cover are all superb. The handling? Light and
flickable. The power? Very 250-ish down low but with a
wallop on top!
OFF-ROAD TEST: HUSQVARNA FX350
Closed-course-legal means no spark arrestor and no lights,
but it does cover an 18-inch rear wheel, a sidestand and a
larger tank. Engine-wise, it gets the full-boost 350 powerplant
equipped with a six-speed gearbox (rather than a five-speed).