It may seem like supermoto has dropped out of the spotlight lately when it comes to new models, but these street legal dirt bikes are still alive and kicking.
With that said, Husqvarna updated their FS 450 to put it back on center stage again. This machine was already a race-ready rocket so we can’t wait to see what they did to improve this bike.
This news comes hot on the tails of the recent announcement that the new 2020 KTM 790 SMC supermoto is headed our way very soon. Could that technology be about to bleed over to the Husky side of things?
Let’s take a look at what we currently know about the 2020 Husqvarna FS 450.
2020 Husqvarna FS 450: Upgrades and Changes
The engine is still the 63 horsepower single-cylinder four-stroke with electric start. Weight also stays the same as last year at 227 pounds. Power pushes out to the wheels through a PANKL 5-speed transmission.
For stopping power up front Husky is using the 310mm 4-piston disc brake from Brembo and a 220mm disc in the rear. Alpina spoked wheels with Bridgestone supermoto slicks are staying onboard for 2020.
The big change this year is found in the suspension department. Husqvarna bolted on a pair of 48mm WP XACT shocks up front with 10.5 and 11 inches of travel. These forks are similar to what is being offered on KTM and Husqvarna models right now. To complete the package, they bolted a WP shock on the rear with 266mm of travel.
In order to keep this animal on two wheels (or sometimes just one), the FS 450 has launch and traction control. It also utilizes a plethora of different engine modes to keep things under wraps. This bike can be taken to the track right out of the box. However, you cannot ride this one on the street without some elaborate modifications.
When seen shot for shot, these upgrades are not game-changing, but enthusiasts know that a bunch of small changes to a dirt bike can add up to a completely different riding experience.
Husqvarna announced that the FS 450 would be showing up at dealers in September 2019, but we don’t know the price yet. More information will be provided as we find out any updates.
Comparison: FS 450 vs. 701 Supermoto
Just in case you were considering purchasing a Husqvarna 701 supermoto over the FS 450, here are some of the main differences that you should know about.
First up, if you are planning to take your bike on the road, you should keep in mind that the 701 is street legal to take out directly from the dealer. Plus with its power to weight ratio, this is a fun bike to ride.
The 701 has a 690cc four-stroke engine that puts out 74 horsepower compared to the 63 horsepower of the FS. The 701 also has an extra gear over the FS 5-speed transmission which also makes this a better bike for the street.
If you are looking for a race-ready bike, then the FS 450 would be your choice. This is not a street legal bike but merely built just for the track. You could make this bike street legal with the proper lighting and gauges. Just check out our street legal kits for an idea of what’s possible.
Comparison: 2020 Husqvarna FS 450 vs. 2020 KTM 790 SMC
The other new Supermoto on the horizon is the 2020 KTM 790 SMC. While details on this model are still scarce, what we do know boils down to the following.
Motive power: 799cc LC8c parallel twin (makes 105 HP and 64 torques in the 790 Duke)
Suspension: 48mm WP USD fork and WP-PDS monoshock
We also expect that the 790 SMC will see many of the high-end features KTM and Husky have become known for, including:
advanced traction control
in-depth ride modes
XPLOR suspension features including Supertrax and TXN
We hope to see a showing of the 790 SMC at EICMA this November, but we also wonder if the price tag will discourage people from upgrading right off the bat. The same goes for the Husky models as well.
With those laundry lists of features on bikes that are faster, more agile, and street legal dirt bikes from the factory, where does that leave the FS 450?
What happens next?
After all, we live in an age where a ten-year-old Supermoto from either of these companies would easily hold its own against a brand-new model in practical terms.
In other words, since very few of us are accomplished motorcycle racers we doubt we would really notice the difference between a lot of these components. Even if we could, would a budget-minded rider consider that to be worth the investment?
It's unlikely the new 2020 Husqvarna FS 450 will cost less than the $10,799 MSRP of the 2019 model. Even if that price remains the same, the question still becomes, is it worth it?
Like everyone else, we will just have to wait until the newly revamped FS 450 hits showroom floors later this year.
Would you take a Husqvarna FS 450, 701 Supermoto, KTM 790 SMC, or none of the above?
So what will it be? Are you leaning one way or another? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.