Starting with the power, our 250F guys couldn’t coax
a snivel from the 350’s power curve. Our 450 riders felt
the lack of grunt and were short-shifting too soon. They
had trouble keeping the machine in the proper bubble of
power. For these guys, going up two teeth on the rear
(from a 50 to a 52) helped immensely. On tighter tracks
that were hardpacked it was less of an issue, but when the
going got deep and hilly, the 52 helped. Switching mapping modes is pretty dramatic, though it only helped from
the mid-to-top power. On moto-style circuits that were
loamy, the aggressive mode was the best choice. Once
the track deteriorated, the stock map worked perfectly.
Going to the traction control mode worked when it got
slippery, but on a faster track, it wouldn’t allow riders to
clutch it to regain revs if they blew a section and fell out
of the meat of the powerband. The bottom line is that this
350 makes big things happen once it hits the rage zone in
the upper middle portion of the powerband.
We loved the six-speed gearbox. First is a granny gear,
but the remaining cogs are well spaced and add to the
versatile appeal of the machine. The Magura clutch is a
little stiff, but has excellent engagement and feel. For tight
enduro work, second gear works well. It allows you to
hang in the meat of the powerband and not have to rev it
hard. Again, bigger pilots or 450 dudes will want to add
one to two teeth out back.
As far as the handling and suspension went, our testers were more than pleased with the AER fork. During
our GP track testing, we upped the fork pressure from
142 psi to 152 psi and added two clicks of compression. Stock, it was riding too low in the travel on speedy
circuits. In about three minutes we effectively changed
the spring rate and dialed in the compression to handle
the track conditions. We also tested on several motocross tracks, and it did not come away scarred. It’s a bit
under-damped to handle high-speed whoops and will
fall through the travel under a monster G-load, but the
in-between ride is super plush and controlled. Our testers
came away impressed with the fork.
We fiddled a bit more with the shock. We started with
a rear sag of 104mm, and for technical off-road, this was
a good number. The shock was relaxed. It tracked well
and ate up a good amount of the carnage we covered.
On the GP track, the rear end felt a bit wallowy, so we
went to 102mm of sag and added a 1/4 turn of high-speed compression damping. This helped keep the rear
end up and working much better, though we did leave
a good rubber scar on the underside of the fender on a
particularly nasty downhill with huge braking bumps.
The ergonomics were comfortable, with a slim feel at
the seat/tank junction. Nothing snagged or got caught.
The seat cover had good grip, and the foam had a good
OFF-ROAD TEST: HUSQVARNA FX350
Slim and feathery, the FX350 is an attack
machine. The WP AER fork is excellent, and the
ability to change spring rates via the air is a boon.
Power-wise, it’s more 250F than 450, and while
the flow of adrenaline is crisp and substantial, it
does vibrate a bit more than we like.