Husqvarna came under KTM ownership in 2013 and its 2015 FS 450 supermoto was unveiled as an alternative take on the KTM 450 SMR. These two models were practically twins with different costumes, but as it turns out this was just an intermediate step. KTM has retained only the 690 SMC R in its supermoto range, so racing duties in the 450 class have been handed over to Husqvarna with an extensively upgraded FS 450.
The new Husky supermoto features a new frame, engine and gearbox, practically making for a new motorcycle.
The drivetrain is based on the motocross KTM 450 SX-F that's undergone a strenuous redesign resulting in a 1.8 kg (4 lb) lighter and more compact engine unit. It is mated to brand new five-speed gearbox, smaller and lighter than its predecessor, which is equipped with the APΤC (Adler Power Torque Clutch) slipper clutch to eliminate rear end hopping when braking and downshifting into a corner entrance.
The single-cylinder engine is controlled by the latest evolution of Keihin’s Engine Management System, the same electronic unit used by KTM. In the case of the 2016 FS 450, a new launch control function regulates torque output during the first two seconds after a standing start, helping to maximize traction.
The motorcycle is built around a new chromium molybdenum tubular steel frame with a new aluminum swingarm. The plastic subframe introduced in the 2014 FS 450 is has now been replaced by a smaller and lighter carbon-composite part.
The 2016 FS 450 is endowed with the typical gear that KTM uses, such as the fully adjustable WP suspension and Brembo brakes, plus a lightweight pair of black Alpina spoke wheels to complete the package.
After all the weight-saving and power-enhancing development work that went into the new FS 450, the output of 63 hp (47 kW) marks the most powerful engine ever used in a 450 cc Husqvarna supermoto. This much grunt in a motorcycle that weighs in at just 105 kg (231.5 lb) sounds like an explosive combination – exactly what it takes to compete in the S1 World Supermoto Championship. For reference, the 2014 FS 450 produced 60 hp (44.7 kW) for a mass of 110 kg (242.5 lb).
The 2016 FS 450 is expected to hit Husqvarna’s dealers by the end of September at an as yet undisclosed price.