So as expected, the 2021 Husqvarna FC motocross range was unveiled just a couple of days after KTM.
So we know the Husqvarna is built off the KTM platform, and over recent generations, the Husky’s have started to become more and more their own bike, aside from the obvious visual things such as the bodywork.
Now on most occasions, the Husqvarna FC range gets the same updates as the KTM SX-F range, and for 2021 that is the case for the most part, but the Husqvarna doesn’t get everything that the KTM does.
Before I get stuck into the differences of the 2021 updates, I’ll glance over the minor upgrades on the new FC fleet before getting into the key upgrades and how they differ from the KTM.
So the first minor update is the graphics, and for the upcoming year model, Husqvarna has added in significantly more yellow, which is pretty cool, but it’s nothing mind blowing.
The other minor change for Husqvarna’s four-stroke motocross bikes is the seat has a new textured cover, so again, it’s nothing major and you're probably going to put your own seat cover on it anyway.
If you watched my video on the 2021 KTM motocross bikes that I posted earlier this week, then you would know the key updates to the SX-F range are in the suspension, the engine on the 450, and of course, the ability to tune the bike on your phone via the myKTM app.
Now the Husqvarna has some of the updates, but in some cases they slightly differ.
So I’ll start with the suspension package, and for 2021, it’s once again fitted with the WP XACT fork and shock, and it’s been updated just like the KTM with some new internal components and updates settings.
According to the media kit, the 48 mm split air fork features a capsuled air spring and pressurised oil chamber for progressive and consistent damping. It has extended oil and air bypasses to reduce pressure peaks and new 10mm shorter cartridges and outer tubes provide refined rigidity.
Now the key difference there is the 10mm shorter cartridges and outer tubes - that is something KTM hasn’t stated as a change. I’ve gone through their media kit so many times double checking this and also on their website, and it appears this a change exclusively to the Husqvarna.
These bikes essentially share the same chassis, so it will be really interesting to see how this changes the handling between them, and it’s just another aspect that differentiates the Husqvarna from the KTM.
The shock seems to have the same internal updates as the KTM, but obviously tuned to cater for the difference in the front end.
Now the next key update on the KTM us a bunch of internal components to the 450 SX-F engine - it was the only four-stroke bike in the range to get these updates, and they were designed to give the bike added reliability.
What’s interesting here is that FC 450 didn’t get these updates to the engine - it’s still essentially the same as the 2020 model, and I’m actually quite surprised it didn’t get these engine upgrades, especially considering there were a number of new components, and in particular, they were designed for increased relibility.
The difference isn’t going to make any impact on performance between both bikes - they both state to produce a staggering 63 horsepower, so if you’re looking at the Husqvarna over the KTM, then you don’t need to worry about it lacking on power.
Now the final key update on the KTM was the ability to tune the bike through your phone, and as anticipated, the Husqvarna has this option as well.
The Husky app is called the Husqvarna Motorcycles app, and it works in the same way as the KTM one, where you’ll need to buy the connectivity unit as an extra to hook the bike up via bluetooth.
It’s the same situation as the KTM - the connectivity unit will only work with the 2021 Husqvarna FC models and the 2020 FC 450 factory edition, so you won’t be able to use it on any other models.
Husqvarna actually didn’t release too many details about this - it seems as though they want this particular feature to be spearheaded by KTM, but I’ll run through the details of how it works with the information KTM provided.
So the app connects to the bike via Bluetooth and allows you to completely tune the engine with your mobile phone - you can use presets or there’s a more advanced section where you can make more detail adjustments to your bike’s power delivery.
So if you want more or less torque or responsiveness in certain parts of the power delivery, you can adjust between motos with your phone.
The myKTM app also helps you set up your suspension, and I’d say the Husqvarna app will have this as well - it’s pretty basic in that respect, but you simply put in your height and weight, and it will calculate your sag and things like that.
So overall, the updates between ranges are very similar, and the differences are very minor. Either way you go, I think you’re going to get a really good package as both the Husqvarna and KTM are amazing dirt bikes in my opinion.
If you had the choice between the Husqvarna or the KTM, which one would you choose?