2021 Husqvarna FC 350

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Bike Test: 2021 Husqvarna FC 350

Minor changes further refine Husqvarna's middle-weight motocross machine.

Every time I ride a 350, I’m transported back to my philosophy class at CSUF learning about Aristotle. Hang with me, I’ll make it quick. One of Aristotle’s main principles is the Golden Mean, which, in short, taking the two extremes of any situation and following the path right between them. With modern four-stroke motocross bikes that can be illustrated by the 250 on one end and the 450 on the other. What is the best course of action? For the average rider, I could easily argue that would be the 350. 

For 2021, the Husqvarna FC 350 got the common ‘trickle down’ treatment with all of the changes we saw to the suspension on the FC 450 Rockstar Edition earlier this year making their way to the FC 350. There were a bunch of internal fork and shock parts that were reshaped and reformed and redesigned to make the suspension work better. 

But what is unique to the standard 2021 Husqvarna FC bikes is the fork has been shortened by 10 mm and the shock linkage was redesigned to match. Normally, changing the linkage on a shock is to get a different ride feel, but since the front is lower, they designed the linkage to retain the same exact ride feel as the previous model, just with slightly less travel. The point? Husky says that they are looking for the FC models to have better stability mid-corner. That is, to stay planted when at the apex and not ‘stand up’ when hard on the gas. 

Other than that, the FC 350 gets engine mapping changes that are still adjustable on-the-fly via handlebar switch. Map 1 has been clearly designated as the standard/smooth/linear power map where Map 2 is supposed to be harder hitting on bottom, mid, and on top as the all-around aggressive map. 

On The Track

When Husqvarna changed its frame a couple years ago, it actually took the handling down a little bit for me. Prior to this change, I think it KTM/Husqvarnas really catered to more of a vet rider with a more flexible, comfortable, plush frame that, at average guy speed, worked better. With the current frame, which is stiffer, I think fast guys and pros (with pros even making their factory bikes’ frames even stiffer) can ride the bike more precisely. Not that I couldn’t, but I preferred the older style frame.

Now, with a slightly lower bike overall, I can turn the bike easier and have a more confidant, planted feel in the corners. I feel like the 2021 FC 350 helps me arc smoothly through the corner rather than turning a corner into three corners. It is a subtle change but it helped me at least. 

Powerwise, I preferred Map 2 and the vented air box cover that still comes with the bike. Cahuilla is soft and sandy and at elevation so Map 2 and extra air gave the FC 350 the most snap on bottom and the most pull up top. 

Overall

Riding the 2021 FC 350 makes me wish there were more 350 four-stroke motocross machines out there. They are so much fun to ride and they have their own distinct power characteristics that is more like a small 450 than a big-bore 250. Lastly, we’ve grown accustomed to the great fit and finish of Husqvarnas that we don’t always mention how great the clutch is, the brakes are, the slim feel, the lightweight feel, and how agile these bikes are on the track. But they are and the FC 350 is on my wish list for a long term loaner bike this year. 

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Specifications

Product Husqvarna FC 350
Model Year 2021
Engine Size 350cc
Engine Type Four-Stroke
Engine Displacement
Bore x Stroke
Compression Ratio
Fuel System
Ignition
Transmission
Final Drive
Suspension Front
Suspension Rear
Brakes Front
Brakes Rear
Tires Front
Tires Rear
Overall Length
Overall Width
Overall Height
Seat Height
Wheelbase
Ground Clearance
Rake/Trail
Fuel Capacity
Curb Weight
Features
Miscellaneous
Price $10,099
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