First Look: 2016 Husqvarna Motocross Four-Strokes

Husqvarna completely redesigns its 2016 four-stroke motocross models.

Husqvarna completely redesigns its 2016 four-stroke motocross models.

Husqvarna's 2016 motocrossers are all-new, boasting new engines and new chassis in an effort to contend for top honors in their respective classes.
Husqvarna’s 2016 motocrossers are all-new, boasting new engines and new chassis in an effort to contend for top honors in their respective classes.

Diehard Husqvarna fans have had plenty of reason to cheer in 2015.

The iconic off-road motorcycle brand has not only earned number-one plates in off-road competition since its return to fruition through its alliance with KTM, it has also been prolific in supercross and motocross, starting with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team rider Jason Anderson’s runner-up finish at the very first round of the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. Anderson has gone on to score podium finishes in the Lucas Oil 450cc Pro Motocross Championship since then, as has Zach Osborne in the 250cc class. And now, with Husqvarna releasing information on its 2016 line of motocross models, the brand stands a very good chance at further improving its status in the motocross world.


The four-strokes all boast engines that are new right down to the engine cases (see specific models on page 2 for engine details), but all 2016 Husqvarna models get a new chassis package that is 7.7 lbs. lighter than the previous version. Husqvarna started by designing an all-new chrome-moly frame, carbon fiber subframe and a new cast aluminum swingarm that together are said to be lighter and more torsonially rigid than their predecessors. The hydro-formed, laser-cut and robot-welded frame features 6 mm wider and 2 mm lower steel tubes for a 20% increase in torsional rigidity and 30% less longitudinal stiffness compared to the previous frame to give the chassis what Husqvarna calls “improved handling precision” with better bump-absorption qualities. The new chassis also shaves about .8 lbs. from the overall package.

Even greater weight savings are gleaned from a new three-piece carbon-fiber subframe, which is 2.2 lbs. lighter than the subrfame it replaces. Husqvarna engineers made the subframe more more compact in an effort to improve ergonomics. There’s also a new cast aluminium swingarm that has been redesigned for optimum stiffness to improve traction and also work in concert with the frame and subframe to improve overall chassis feel.The new swingarm is a little over .5 lbs. lighter than the previous swingarm.

MX16_MCP7200Husqvarna also made an important change to its four-stroke-powered motocross models by incorporating a new Keihin engine management system that processes data faster than old system, along with a new 44mm throttle body that is 100 grams lighter and more compact. Husqvarna has also added a launch control function into the ECU. With the engine at idle, launch control is engaged by switching once between the selected map and the alternative map, and then back again. When the fuel injection LED flashes, the launch control is engaged to limit the amount of power to the rear wheel for approximately 2 seconds to help minimize wheel spin during hard acceleration.

The four-stroke also receive a new exhaust system has been redesigned in an effort to improve mass-centralization and also reduce noise. The new header pipes feature resonance chambers that are claimed to improve performance and on the 450 SOHC engine, the resonance chamber is integrated into the header pipe in such a way that it resembles a two-stroke expansion chamber. The quieter system allows for a much shorter silencer than the 2015 motocross four-strokes; 40mm shorter on the FC 250 and as much as 80mm shorter on the FC 350 and FC 450. In conjunction with the new mounting points, the mass is moved approximately 60mm closer to the center of gravity of the bikes, much improving handling and maneuverability. All Husqvarna motocross exhaust systems meet FIM noise limit requirements.

A new electric starting system and a new Samsung Lithium-Ion battery (that has been repositioned) are standard equipment on all the 2016 four-stroke motocross models. The new starter is claimed to be more efficient and 150 grams lighter in weight. When combined with the new, more compact Samsung battery, the system shaves over just over 2 lbs. in overall weight. The wiring harness has been optimized so that the rear subframe can be removed without having to remove any wiring.

A revised cooling system features new WP radiators that maintain the chassis-integrated coolant routing system as in previous model years. The liquid is routed into the frame, which is said to dissipate heat more effectively. The radiators have been designed to offer a 10% increase in cooling while maintaining the same capacity and surface area as the previous radiators. They are also made of a new aluminum alloy that is claimed to be stronger and features a new filler cap and neck for easier filling.

MX16_Fork_4CSTo go along with the chassis changes, the Husqvarna models all receive revised specs in their WP 4CS front forks, which boast easy adjustment via the dials on the top of the fork tubes. The red dial on the right alters rebound damping, while the white dial on the left is for compression damping. The forks are held fast by a new CNC-machined, black anodized triple clamp that feature a new top clamp with a rubber damping system that reduces vibration to help reduce rider fatigue. The top clamp also facilitates handlebar adjustment fore and aft to help tailor the ergonomics to rider preference.

Out back, the 2016 Husqvarnas receive a new, 12mm shorter, 500-gram lighter WP piggyback reservoir shock that is designed to be even more consistent during long motos by incorporating a larger gas chamber a new piston and a new shock shaft that allows the rider more setup options. While the shock is 12mm shorter, thanks mostly to a new clevis design, and its actual stroke has increased by 3mm. As usual, the WP shock features adjusters for high- and low-speed compression damping as well as rebound damping, and threaded collars to adjust spring preload. The shock linkage has been completely redesigned to match the new rear shock. Husqvarna changed the pull rod length by adding 3.2mm to the pull rods, which now measure 148.2mm, and redesigned the bell crank to maintain a similar progressive rate to that of the 2015 models. Rear wheel travel is 11.8 inches

MX16_Rear_Link_ShockThe frame also gets new footpeg mounts designed to prevent mud and dirt buildup and allow the footpeg to spring back into position easier. The footpegs themselves are also larger for better rider grip and stability.

Other wholesale changes to the 2016 Husvarna motocross line include a new Magura hydraulic clutch system (except for the TC 250 which still uses a Brembo hydraulic system) that is claimed to guarantee more even clutch wear and almost maintenance-free operation while offering perfect modulation in any conditions, hot or cold. Brembo still supplies the brake calipers, but the brake discs are new, sourced from GSK.

The 2016 motocross models are fitted with a new 1.85-gallon polythene fuel tanks that have a redesigned threaded filler cap and an integrated fuel pump on the four-strokes, and a new airbox design that features a new inlet duct that is designed to hold its shape better and thus ensure consistent airflow and air filter protection. Accessing the new Twin Air filter can be easily done without tools by removing the left side panel. Easy maintenance is guaranteed by the new


All 2016 Husqvarna motocross models receive black alloy rims made by DID and matched to CNC-machined hubs and new lightweight spokes with silver anodized aluminium nipples. The 2016s ride also ride on Dunlop’s excellent MX52 Motocross tires, which feature Dunlop’s treademar; “block-within-a-block” knob design.

Lastly, the 2016 Husqvarnas receive completely redesigned bodywork that Husqvarna calls “distinctive and futuristic.” Colors include pearl blue and electric yellow graphics to prvide a stark contrast to the Spartan white plastic of the Husqvarnas. The new graphics blend in with a new, low-profile seat design with revised padding and a new high-grip cover. For increased rider comfort, the 2016 Husqvarna motocrossers also get a new Pro Taper handlebar and oversized bar pad, a new throttle assembly that offers easy adjustment of the throttle progression, and new ODI lock-on grips.