First Look: 2023 Husqvarna MX & XC Models

First Look At 2023 Husqvarna Motocross & Cross Country Models

2023 FC350

The 2023 Husqvarna Motocross and Cross Country models have dropped and as expected, they are all new just like the 2023 KTM’s previously announced. New frames, chassis, engines, and bodywork make up the changes to all of the models including the FC450, FC350, FC250, TC250, and TC125 motocross models, as well as the FX450, FX350, and TX300 cross country models. Note, KTM released a 300cc two stroke MX model, as well as has 250F, 250 two-stroke, and 125 two-stroke XC models but the Husqvarna lineup continues to go without them, instead focusing on a smaller range of bikes.

2023 TC250 Engine

The big news again is all two-strokes are now fuel injected via throttle body injection, feature electronic power valves, and are housed in the newest chassis with electric start only. With these changes come a selectable map switch on the handle bars similar to the four-strokes, albeit with no traction control or quick shift functions.

For more insight on the 2023 bikes, check out our 2023 KTM First Look and stay tuned as we aim to put some time on these bikes in the near future. For the full press release, read below ~

2023 FC250

Strengthening their positions as the leading 2-strokes on the market for 2023, the TC 125 and TC 250 are now equipped with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and E-Start. These significant advancements underline the continued development of these popular machines and set the benchmark within the highly competitive 2-stroke segment. Enjoying the same, innovative throttle body fuel injection for 2023, the all-new TX 300 continues to lead the way in off-road 2-stroke development.

The 2023 FC 250, FC 350 and FX 350 are powered by all-new engines that are designed to be faster, lighter, and enhance overall handling. Continuing to utilize the latest technology and rider aids, these 4-stroke models remain at the pinnacle of motocross and cross-country machinery alongside the FC 450 and FX 450, which feature a repositioned engine to improve mass centralization and a redesigned cylinder head for optimal torque and overall performance.

Technical Highlights

  • New bodywork with specifically tailored ergonomics for easier movement on the motorcycle
  • New hydro-formed chromium-molybdenum frames significantly improve anti-squat behavior
  • New topology-optimized die-cast aluminum swingarm provides optimal rigidity and low weight
  • New throttle body fuel injection on 2-stroke engines ensures class-leading power and rideability
  • New FC/FX 250 and FC/FX 350 DOHC engines deliver class-leading torque and peak power
  • New Quickshift sensor ensures seamless upshifting on all FC models and on the FX 450
  • New electric start on all 2-stroke models
  • New aluminum-polyamide hybrid subframe construction provides specifically calculated rigidity and advanced durability
  • New WP XACT 48 mm front forks with AER technology offer more progressive end-of-stroke damping
  • New WP XACT rear shock design with CFD-optimized main piston and tool-free adjusters
  • New multifunctional Map Select Switch also activates the Quickshifter, Traction, and Launch Control on select models
  • High-performance Brembo hydraulic clutch system
  • Premium-quality ProTaper handlebars
  • Electric start powered by a lightweight Li-Ion 2.0 Ah battery

Features and benefits

Frame

The hydro-formed, laser-cut and robot-welded frame is expertly crafted. Constructed with specifically calculated parameters of longitudinal and torsional flex, the frame provides exceptional rider feedback, energy absorption, and straight-line stability. Additionally, the frame features forged mounting brackets for the newly designed skid plate, which is available as a technical accessory.

Together with the new shock mounting, which is no longer connected to the main tube, the anti-squat behavior of the chassis has been significantly improved. Additionally, the wall thickness of the frame has been optimized to achieve improved reliability and specific rigidity in high stress areas such as the steering head and the shock mount. Parallel frame mounts (same position on left and right sides) improve chassis flex characteristics, while straight line stability remains unrivalled.

Another highlight of the new frame design is that the footrest mounting positions have been moved inwards, resulting in less susceptibility to catching in deep ruts or when scrubbing jumps. The overall size of the all-new footrests has been increased using state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The new one-piece steering head seal allows easier mounting in case of replacement or service and offers improved reliability.

The frame is finished off in a premium metallic blue powder coating. The standard frame protectors feature a new and improved surface for superior protection, durability, and excellent grip in all riding conditions.

  • Specifically engineered longitudinal rigidity → exceptional rider feedback, energy absorption and stability
  • New shock mounting design → significantly improved anti-squat of chassis
  • Varying frame wall thickness for specific rigidity and improved reliability in high-stress areas (e.g., steering head, shock mount)
  • New parallel frame mounts (same position on left and right side) for improved flex characteristics
  • Footrest mounting position moved inwards for reduced risk of catching in deep ruts or when scrubbing jumps
  • New, service friendly one-piece steering head seal → easier mounting, improved reliability
  • Durable powder coated finish with standard frame protectors
  • TX and FX models feature a new polyamide composite skid plate

Polyamide-reinforced aluminum subframe

Using 60% polyamide and 40% aluminum, the two-piece subframe has a total weight of just 3.9 lb. (1.8 kg). With the help of computational dynamics, specific rigidity was engineered into the light and robust subframe, delivering outstanding handling and rider comfort.

The lower subframe spars and frame mounts are made from cast aluminum to guarantee strength and reliability. The upper subframe is made from injection-molded polyamide, enabling specific flex characteristics and allowing a lightweight construction.

New polyamide/aluminum hybrid construction

  • Lower subframe spars and frame mounts made from cast aluminum→ extremely robust and reliable with no weld joints
  • Upper subframe made from injection-molded polyamide → specific rigidity and flex benefit handling and comfort

Swingarm 

The new hollow die-cast aluminum swingarm is designed to offer optimal stiffness and reliability at the lowest possible weight. Engineered to ensure precise rigidity, an improved casting process reduces weight by approximately 190 g. In order to optimize and match the new chassis flex characteristics, a new 22 mm rear axle is fitted.

Additionally, the chain guard and chain slider have been completely redesigned, resulting in improved durability and are less susceptible to catching on external objects. This new design helps reduce dirt build up around the swingarm and chain guard, especially in extremely muddy conditions.

  • Chain adjustment markings are easily visible from above to make for simpler adjustment.
  • New die-cast swingarm → topology-optimized for optimal rigidity
  • Improved casting process for reduced weight → 190 g less than previous generation
  • New 22 mm rear axle optimized to match chassis flex characteristics
  • Newly designed chain guard and chain slider
  • Transitions aligned with swingarm surface; spring-steel mounted for improved durability
  • Overall, less susceptible to catching on external objects

WP XACT front forks with AER technology

The 48 mm split air forks feature a capsulated air spring and pressurized oil chamber for progressive and consistent damping. Oil and air bypasses reduce pressure peaks and, in combination with a midvalve damping system, the fork provides exceptional feedback and rider comfort. A new hydrostop improves bottoming resistance through more progressive damping force in the last 40 mm of travel. Additionally, rebound is also reduced leading to the fork being lower on initial acceleration after a hard landing. Redesigned dust seals prevent dirt intrusion into the fork legs.

Settings are easily adjusted via a single air-pressure preload valve, as well as via easy access click adjusters for compression and rebound. Additionally, the air pump needed to adjust the air pressure is provided as standard.

  • WP XACT front forks → 48 mm air type with split damping function
  • Midvalve damping system → exceptional damping and consistent performance
  • Capsulated air spring and pressurized oil chamber → progressive and consistent damping
  • New hydrostop in fork legs → improved bottoming resistance and reduced rebound
  • More progressive damping in last 40 mm of travel (total FC/TC 305 mm; FX/TX 310 mm) → previous generation hydrostop was only effective in final 10 mm of travel
  • Reduced rebound → fork stays lower on initial acceleration after hard landings
  • Easy access clicker dials → fast and simple setting changes by hand
  • Redesigned dust seals → increased protection against dirt intrusion

CNC-machined triple clamps

Made from high-grade aluminum, the 22 mm offset CNC-machined triple clamps ensure perfect alignment of the fork tubes for increased stability and a smooth action from the WP XACT front forks. The upper triple clamp is stiffer and works in harmony with the front forks to ensure superior handling while the handlebar clamp offers three mounting options for customizable ergonomics.

New handlebar mounts feature a larger clamping area for less handlebar twist in the event of a fall at the same weight as the previous generation. Additionally, they allow for both rubber-damped and fixed mounting of the handlebar to offer customizable handlebar flex.

  • Rubber-damped → less vibration, less precise front-end feel (OE)
  • Fixed → increased vibration, more precise front-end feel
  • The front number plate integrates a triple clamp protector which covers the lower triple clamp and protects it from roost damage.
  • CNC-machined aluminum with anodized surface → finest quality and reliability
  • Perfect clamping and alignment → smooth fork action
  • New handlebar mounts → increased clamping area for less handlebar twist at the same weight as the previous generation
  • Rubber damping on top clamp → reduced vibration, increased comfort
  • Adjustable handlebar position → customizable ergonomics

WP XACT rear shock 

An all-new design results in a shorter rear shock, which is 100 g lighter compared to the previous generation while the rear wheel travel remains unchanged at 300 mm. The shock is matched to a revised linkage system with new geometry to deliver the same progression as before but with the greatest possible traction and absorption. Combined with the new frame geometry, it improves the ground clearance of the linkage and is therefore less susceptible to damage when bottoming out.

The new, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) optimized main piston in the shock improves initial comfort and provides strong hold-up. Differently sized flow holes in the shims allow them to open more easily and reduces the overall stress of the oil flow and pressure on the shims. Reduced weight also means less moving mass, resulting in lower forces on the main piston.

A fully hand-adjustable dual compression control concept allows high and low speed settings to be easily changed by hand. Together with the newly designed rebound adjuster, which is hand or tool adjustable, riders are now able to adjust their shock settings without tools or need the assistance of a mechanic at the racetrack.

In addition to the tool-free setting adjustment possibilities, a new preload adjuster is introduced, which brings increased resistance to dirt intrusion. A new two-piece retainer allows for quick spring changes without disassembling the shock.

With its low-friction SKF linkage seals, the WP XACT rear shock provides advanced damping characteristics for unsurpassed traction and energy absorption. A pressure balance inside the shock ensures consistent damping, resulting in superior rider comfort and feel.

  • New lightweight, compact rear shock design with 15 mm reduced overall length
  • 2022 → 470 mm / 2023 → 455 mm | rear wheel travel unchanged → total FC/TC 293 mm; FX/TX 300 mm)
  • Reduced weight results in less moving mass → 100 g lighter design results in lower forces on bearings
  • New CFD-optimized main piston increases initial comfort and guarantees strong hold-up
  • Improved ground clearance, lower risk of damage in extreme bottoming-out situations
  • New dual compression control allows high and low speed settings to be adjusted by hand
  • New rebound adjuster allows for setting changes to be made by hand or tool
  • Reworked preload adjuster with increased resistance to dirt intrusion
  • Low-friction SKF linkage seals → refined rear shock response for advanced damping characteristics
  • Pressure balance inside the shock body → consistent damping
  • Two-piece retainer allows for quick spring changes without disassembling the shock

Brembo hydraulic clutch

The high-performance Brembo hydraulic clutch system guarantees even wear, near maintenance-free operation, and perfect action in all conditions. This means that play is constantly compensated so that the pressure point and function of the clutch remains identical in cold or hot conditions, as well as over time. The high quality, Italian-made Brembo hydraulic system has been developed from countless hours of race-focused testing to ensure exceptional reliability.

  • Brembo hydraulic clutch system → perfect action in all conditions and outstanding reliability

Brakes 

The highest level of quality is guaranteed with class-leading Brembo calipers and controls. The 260 mm floating front and 220 mm wave rear discs deliver superior stopping power and instill confidence in all conditions.

  • Brembo brake calipers and high-performance discs → superior stopping power with greater control and rider confidence

ProTaper handlebar

The ProTaper handlebar is second to none for function and style. Manufactured to exacting standards, the handlebar features class-leading fatigue resistance at a minimal weight. The handlebar bend is designed to increase comfort by not putting additional pressure on the hands of riders.

  • ProTaper handlebar → class-leading function and style
  • Husqvarna bend → optimal comfort
  • TX and FX models include standard handguards

Grips and throttle assembly

The ODI lock-on grip on the left side does not require gluing, while on the right, the vulcanized grip features an innovative integrated throttle mechanism. The assembly has easy free-play adjustment and, by changing a cam, throttle progression can be altered.

  • Throttle assembly and ODI grips → easily alter throttle progression; easy grip mounting without glue

Footrests

The all-new footrests, designed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), offer a bigger surface for boot soles while being less susceptible to catching on deep ruts, take-offs when scrubbing, or trackside barriers. The result is better control of the bike in all conditions, which was achieved by a new, narrower mounting concept integrated in the frame design. This also reduces overall weight.

  • New die-cast footrests → reduced weight and less susceptible to dirt build-up
  • Footrest mount integrated in frame → narrower profile is less likely to hook on deep ruts

Map select switch, traction and launch control

Designed for easy and intuitive operation, the new map select switch comes as standard. It activates traction and launch control, selects between two engine maps (aggressive/smooth) on all 4 stroke models, and activates the Quickshift feature on all FC models and the FX 450. Map 1 is the standard map for linear, predictable power, while Map 2 is an aggressive map for a sharper throttle response and a stronger power delivery.

The new Quickshift on all 4-stroke motocross models and the FX 450 can be activated or deactivated via the map select switch. It works by interrupting the ignition momentarily and only functions when upshifting between second and fifth gear. A sensor on the shift drum registers the force from the shift lever, which sends a signal to the ECU to temporarily pause the ignition timing. This ensures smooth gear changes, even with the throttle fully open and without the need to use the clutch.

With the engine at idle, launch control is engaged by pressing the traction control and Quickshift buttons simultaneously. Both symbols will start flashing to indicate that launch control is active. This function limits the amount of power to the rear wheel, improving traction, and preventing loss of control under hard acceleration. Once the rider shifts up a gear, the launch control will deactivate automatically. Additionally, the Quickshift function is deactivated while launch control mode is engaged.

Traction control on 4-stroke models is engaged by a button marked ‘TC’ and functions by analyzing throttle input from the rider and the rate at which engine RPM increases. If the RPM increases too quickly, the engine management system (EMS) registers a loss of grip and reduces the amount of power to the rear wheel to ensure maximum traction. This is a distinct advantage in wet or muddy conditions.

  • Newly designed handlebar map select switch → alters engine characteristics according to conditions and rider preference
  • New Quickshift function on 5-speed 4-strokes → smooth and clutch-free upshifting
  • Traction control → optimal traction in all conditions
  • Launch control → maximum traction for perfect starts
  • Start/stop switch
  • The new combined start/stop switch on the right side of handlebar allows for easy, intuitive starting and stopping of the engine.

Engine Management System (EMS)

The Keihin EMS is specifically designed to be smaller, lighter, and faster at processing data. It integrates launch control for perfect starts, selectable engine maps via the traction control switch on the handlebar, as well as the new Quickshift function (5-speed models). Combined with the gear sensor, power delivery is tailored for each gear.

A new Rollover Sensor cuts the ignition in the case of extreme crashes, adding a nice safety feature to the new generation of Husqvarna motocross and cross-country machines. Additionally, the new hour meter now comes with an integrated FI status LED and a fuel level indicator.

  • Keihin EMS → smaller, lighter, and faster at processing engine data for more efficient engine management
  • New Rollover Sensor (ROS) → automatically stops the engine in extreme crashes
  • New hour meter with integrated FI status LED and fuel level indicator
  • Gear sensor → specific engine maps for each gear

Keihin throttle body

The 4-stroke range feature a 44 mm Keihin throttle body with an injector positioned for optimal flow with the throttle cable mounted directly, without a linkage, for optimal engine response.

The new 39 mm Keihin throttle body on the 2-stroke models feature dual injectors. These are positioned to ensure the most efficient flow into the combustion chamber, with the throttle cable mounted directly to the throttle body for a more immediate response from the engine. Idle is controlled over the throttle valve (not over a bypass system as on Transfer Port Injection) with a new dual injector setup – one low load injector (positioned as on 4-stroke models) and one “top-feed” oriented injector for maximum performance before the throttle valve.

The Keihin throttle bodies provide much better idle control, more stable idle behavior, and a much-improved fuel/air mixture. The result is more power, more response, and a larger fuel/air mixture operation window in comparison to TPI. Therefore, it is less prone to engine cut-outs or hesitations, and less sensitive to different ambient conditions (e.g., temperature, altitude, humidity).

  • 4-stroke throttle body → 44 mm, injector positioned for optimal flow, more immediate throttle response thanks to direct cable mounting
  • 2-stroke throttle body → 39 mm with two injectors positioned for optimal flow and more immediate throttle response thanks to direct cable mounting
2023 FC450

Exhaust system

Tailored specifically for each model using an innovative 3D design process, the 2-stroke header pipes offer optimal geometry and performance, and ground clearance, meaning they are less susceptible to damage. The 2-stroke mufflers also feature an aluminum mounting bracket and advanced internal construction for excellent noise damping and weight saving.

The 4-stroke exhaust systems are expertly designed to deliver leading performance at the lowest possible weight. The header pipe has been designed and manufactured in two pieces to be as compact as possible, with section one featuring an integrated flow-design resonance chamber for reduced sound and maximum performance. The position of the connection in the header pipe allows for easy disassembly without the need to remove the rear shock. Further innovation allows for a short, compact silencer with no increase to noise levels or restrictions in performance. The silencer is crafted from lightweight aluminum and is stylishly finished in a black coating that highlights its premium quality.

  • Compact exhausts → lightweight and engineered for maximum performance
  • Header pipe mounted directly onto engine mount for improved serviceability
  • Header connection position → easy removal of exhaust without removing rear shock

Electric start and Li-Ion battery

Along with the benefit of an easy electric starting system, a Li-Ion 2.0 Ah battery is fitted to the full Husqvarna motocross and cross-country range. The Li-Ion battery weighs approximately 2.2 lb. (1 kg) less than a conventional lead/acid battery, so the convenience of electric starting is delivered while minimizing overall weight.

  • Electric starter → easy starting when time is critical
  • Li-Ion battery → lightweight, 2.2 lb. (1 kg) lighter than a conventional battery

Integrated cooling system and radiators 

The radiators are expertly crafted by WP using high-strength aluminum. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) optimization was used in the design process to channel air through the radiators efficiently to provide optimal cooling in all conditions. The cooling system integrates into the frame, eliminating the need for additional hoses, where a large center tube ensures a more consistent flow of coolant. A new internal thermostat aids reliability.

Additionally, the radiators are mounted close to the center of gravity for improved handling agility.

  • Integrated cooling → maximum efficiency in minimum space
  • New bayonet closure radiator caps
  • WP radiators → efficient for optimal cooling
  • Large central tube → consistent coolant flow
2023 TC250 Engine Cases

Fuel tank 

New 1.9-gallon/7.2-liter (TC/FC) and 2.24-gallon/8.5-liter (TX/FX) polythene fuel tanks use a reliable threaded filler cap and a new, one-piece fuel pump with integrated filter. This improves fuel supply and allows the tank to be emptied further at low fuel levels, allowing for extended running times. The external fuel line is specifically positioned to make it less exposed and susceptible to damage.

  1. New 1.9-gallon/7.2-liter (TC/FC) and 2.24-gallon/8.5-liter (TX/FX) polythene fuel tanks → larger capacity for extended running times
  2. New one-piece fuel pump and filter for improved fuel supply → tank can be emptied further at low fuel levels
  3. External fuel line routing → less exposed and susceptible to damage

Airbox and tool-less air filter access

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) were used to optimize the airbox design with precisely positioned inlet ducts preventing air deformation and ensuring maximum airflow and filter protection. Replacing or inspecting of the air filter is quick and easy, without tools, by removing the left side panel. A Twin Air filter element is fitted to a filter cage designed with a simple fail-proof mounting system for safe and accurate filter installation.

  • CFD optimized airbox → improved air flow and maximized filter protection
  • Intuitive filter mounting system → safe and accurate protection against dirt
  • Tool-less filter access → quick and easy maintenance
  • High-flow airbox cover included→ added customizability of the engine response

Wheels

Black high-strength alloy rims by D.I.D with laser engraved logos are coupled to CNC machined hubs using lightweight spokes and silver anodized aluminum nipples. The nipples incorporate an advanced design which reduces the frequency of spoke checks and maintenance.

  • Lightweight but strong and reliable construction → minimum unsprung weight
  • TC/FC models with 21/19-inch wheels. TX/FC models with 21/18-inch wheels

Tires

TC and FC models are fitted with Dunlop GEOMAX MX33 tires featuring the proven ‘block-within-a-block’ design for more progressive cornering and superior grip. TX and FX models come with Dunlop GEOMAX AT81 rear tires that are paired with MX33 fronts for the perfect blend of durability and traction on the new cross-country platform.

  • Developed in top-level AMA Supercross and Motocross → enhanced handling, cornering, and steering feel
  • High performance on a variety of surfaces including sand, mud, and hard pack
  • Increased durability and crack resistance through an innovative rubber compound

Bodywork

The motocross and cross-country range features bodywork which clearly showcases Husqvarna Motorcycles progressive approach to off-road motorcycles and striking white and grey graphics stylishly adorn the Swedish-inspired design.

An improved rider triangle for better knee contact, especially when riding in the standing position, inspires confidence for riders of all abilities and enables them to perform at their highest level for extended periods of time. Slim ergonomics allow the rider to move freely on the machine which enhances overall handling and agility.

The flat seat profile, combined with a high grip seat cover, deliver superior comfort and control in all conditions. A recessed pocket under the seat, just above the airbox, allows riders to grip and lift the machine using their legs for improved control.

  • Progressive bodywork → distinctive looks with modern graphics
  • Improved rider triangle for better knee contact, especially when riding in the standing position
  • Slim ergonomics → offers free movement on the motorcycle
  • Recessed grip pockets → enhances grip to lift the bike
  • Seat → flat seat profile and high-grip seat cover for exceptional comfort and control in all conditions

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