We've felt for a while that the idea of Factory Edition bikes might be one of the smartest things that a racing-focused manufacturer can do. For example, the limited edition runs allows them to bring their latest designs to market sooner, and give their riders an edge. This year, Husqvarna joins the fray, bringing their own limited edition, the FC 450 Rockstar Edition.
The cylinder and exhaust system are more compact than before, helping to centralize the weight of the bike. Trimming 15mm and a full pound off the SOHC powerplant is a plus, as is the better intake and exhaust flow that it allows. It's fed by a 44mm Keihin throttle body. On the exhaust side, it has a very unique-looking resonance chamber, and you've got a much shorter and more compact silencer that maintains the same sound level. Mechanics will appreciate that it can be removed without having to remove the shock.
It mates up with a new five-speed Pankl Racing Systems transmission. The DDS (Dampened Diaphragm Steel) clutch uses a single diaphragm steel pressure plate instead of traditional coil springs. The clutch basket is a single-piece CNC-machined steel component, and it's all controlled by a Magura hydraulic clutch lever.
Claimed stock horsepower? 63 ponies.
You'll also find all the modern electronic goodies like a map switch and launch control, as well as traction control.
There was a lot of work done on the WP Performance Systems-produced steel frame to increase the longitudinal rigidity, and that was matched with the stiffer CNC-machined upper triple clamp. The 70% polyamide/30% carbon fiber construction subframe also got an update, and has also been simplified into a two-piece unit. It's also a claimed half-pound lighter than before, and provides a different flex feel to match the frame.
We often see the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna team running the rear wheel well back into the swingarm slots, and they've added an additional 5mm of adjustment range to the back of the hollow, cast aluminum swingarm.
For suspension, the Husky continues on with the WP AER 48 fork, and uses a WP DCC rear shock with a new piston and updated setting.
Want a batch of other team-inspired goodies? Here goes...
- There's the carbon fiber reinforced skid plate, a billet Rekluse clutch cover and a two-position holeshot device.
- There's now a triple clamp protector integrated into the front number plate.
- There are still Brembo brakes on both ends, and up front there's a 260 mm floating front disc with standard front disc protector.
- You'll find a ProTaper handlebar with new bend, and handguards are standard.
- The e-start features a new generation Li-Ion 2.0 Ah battery
- The updated cooling system featuring new center tube, and radiators that were lowered 12mm.
- The fuel line moved inward for improved flow and added protection.
- You'll find an ODI Lock On grip on the left side (and a thermowelded one on the right). Throttle progression is adjustable, and the assembly has easy free-play adjustment.
That's the quick and dirty on the bike. Check the specs below, and then we'll move on to the '18 Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna team members.
2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition Specs
Engine type: Single cylinder, 4-stroke
Displacement: 449.9 ccm
Bore/stroke: 95/63.4 mm
Compression ratio: 12.75:1
Starter/battery: Electric starter / Lithium Ion 12V 2.0Ah
Fuel system: Keihin EFI, 44 mm throttle body
Control: 4 V / SOHC with rocker levers
Lubrication: Pressure lubrication with two oil pumps
Gear ratios: 16:32 18:30 20:28 22:26 24:24 -
Primary ratio: 31:76
Final drive: 13:48
Cooling: Liquid cooling
Clutch: Wet multi-disc DDS-clutch, Magura hydraulics
Ignition / Engine Management: Keihin EMS
Frame: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4 steel
Subframe: Carbon fiber reinforced polyamide
Handlebar: Pro Taper, Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm
Front suspension: WP USD, AER 48
Rear suspension: WP Monoshock with linkage
Suspension travel front/rear: 310/300 mm
Front/rear brakes: Disc brake Ø 260/220 mm
Front/rear rims: D.I.D 1.60 x 21"; 2.15 x 19"
Front/rear tires: Dunlop MX3S 80/100-21"; 120/90-19"
Chain: 5/8 x 1/4"
Steering head angle: 26.1°
Triple clamp offset: 22 mm
Wheel base: 1,485 ± 10 mm / 58.5 ± 0.4 in
Ground clearance: 370 mm / 14.6 in
Seat height: 960 mm / 37.8 in
Tank capacity, approx.: 7 l / 1.85 gal
Weight, without fuel, approx.: 100.5 kg / 221.6 lb
The team lineup has been locked in for a while, but it was cool to see all the riders on hand and fired up for the new season.
All team photos by Simon Cudby.