2020 Husqvarna FX 350 Review

A midsize, four-stroke cross-country bike for the track and trails.

Riding the 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 at Cahuilla Creek MX in Anza, California.
Riding the 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 at Cahuilla Creek MX in Anza, California.Spencer Owens

For the serious off-road rider, your local terrain can play a major factor in the purchase of your new motorcycle. Husqvarna is one of a few manufacturers that seems to be trying to offer a bike for almost any terrain or location. The FX 350 is one of those models that is designed to cover the broadest range. It offers an engine that, in comparison to a 250 four-stroke, is stronger and has more horsepower and torque. However, it understandably doesn’t have the open class power of a 450 four-stroke.

The 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 shares many of the same components as the 2020 Husqvarna FC 350 motocross bike, but it does have off-road components and suspension settings that distinctly make it a cross-country model.
The 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 shares many of the same components as the 2020 Husqvarna FC 350 motocross bike, but it does have off-road components and suspension settings that distinctly make it a cross-country model.Spencer Owens

The FX 350 is classified as a cross-country model, but it’s not your everyday trailbike. Husqvarna built this bike to be a competition model by taking its FC 350 and adding the features that a consumer would want if they were to race their motocross bike in an off-road or GNCC-type event.

2020 Husqvarna FX 350 Engine

A six-speed transmission, 2.25-gallon fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, and kickstand are some of the cross-country-specific components on the Husqvarna FX 350.
A six-speed transmission, 2.25-gallon fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, and kickstand are some of the cross-country-specific components on the Husqvarna FX 350.Spencer Owens

The engine in the FX 350 is essentially the same as the FC 350. You get the same Keihin Engine Management System (EMS) along with the 44mm throttle body. The EMS offers selectable engine maps via the switch on the handlebar as well as traction control and launch control. The exhaust is not a choked-up spark arrestor system either; it’s the same one that comes on Husqvarna’s four-stroke motocrossers with a flow-designed resonance chamber for optimal performance. Where it differs is its six-speed gearbox. This is possibly the most significant off-road component as it would be substantially challenging for the customer to add to the bike with aftermarket parts.

My first impression of the engine was that I was riding an FC 350. Since it uses the same engine, it feels just as fast and pulls just as hard. I would describe it as a faster 250cc four-stroke, but not fast enough to compete with the open class power of a 450cc engine. It has a smooth and linear delivery that makes power all the way to the rev limiter. I ran the bike in map 2 as I liked the additional roll-on torque it offers. The FX 350 does not come with the new optional vented airbox cover like the 2020 Husqvarna four-stroke motocross models do. However, I am assuming it would offer the same benefits and might be something to consider ordering if you are buying an FX model.

The FX 350 engine’s power is strong enough to take you anywhere a 450 can.
The FX 350 engine’s power is strong enough to take you anywhere a 450 can.Spencer Owens

The advantage the FX 350 has over a 450 is its rideability. You can ride it harder for longer periods of time with less fatigue. You can also roll your corners more easily with much less energy. One thing I noticed was with the different transmission ratios, it felt like the engine-braking was slightly reduced over the motocross model. For the most part, I never felt like the 350 engine was holding me back. It still had power through the deepest sand and pulled me up the biggest hills that I would climb on a 450. It’s an all-around very fun engine.

We like the six-speed tranny, but found first gear to be much taller than expected, which required more use of the clutch than wanted when riding in a tight single-track setting. This could partly be due to the bike’s 14-tooth front sprocket.
We like the six-speed tranny, but found first gear to be much taller than expected, which required more use of the clutch than wanted when riding in a tight single-track setting. This could partly be due to the bike’s 14-tooth front sprocket.Spencer Owens

The six-speed gearbox really doesn’t come into play until you are out in more open areas or going across a dirt road to get to your next favorite single-track trail. I expected the six-speed transmission to be similar to an enduro setup with a super-low first gear, second gear that was just above a normal first gear, and then spacing out from third to sixth. However, I found first gear to be much taller than expected, which required me to have to use the clutch much more than I wanted in a tight single-track setting. This could partly be due to the bike’s 14-tooth front sprocket. The remainder of the gears worked as expected with no notable unexpected gaps between them.

I got to put the Magura hydraulic clutch to work in the slower, tighter sections because of the tall first gear sensation. The clutch itself functioned well with its smooth and consistent engagement, even when it may have been getting hotter. Unfortunately, the Magura hydraulic system still suffers from a recurring problem year after year.

What Could Be Improved On The 2020 Husqvarna FX 350?

The Magura slave cylinder on Husqvarna’s motocross and cross-country models have been known to have piston seal issues in the past and we had hoped Husqvarna would have addressed the issue with Magura, but it seems as though there is still a problem. With only three total hours of run time on the bike and very early on our second day of riding the FX 350, it completely failed without warning.
The Magura slave cylinder on Husqvarna’s motocross and cross-country models have been known to have piston seal issues in the past and we had hoped Husqvarna would have addressed the issue with Magura, but it seems as though there is still a problem. With only three total hours of run time on the bike and very early on our second day of riding the FX 350, it completely failed without warning.Spencer Owens

We had an issue with the Magura slave cylinder on our test bike that is worth mentioning. It has been known to have piston seal issues in the past and we had hoped Husqvarna would have addressed the issue with Magura, but it seems as though there is still a problem. With only three total hours of run time on the bike and very early on in my second day of riding, it completely failed without warning.

This occurred at one of the most inconvenient times too—the first day of a two-day ride, more than six hours from home, and 30 miles from the truck. I went to pull in the clutch and felt the lever simply had no pressure. Fortunately, I was able to get back to our campsite and make a modification to the slave cylinder that salvaged the weekend.

Not having an extensive assortment of tools or options and instead of driving six hours back home after only one hour of riding, I decided to see if I could fix it. I removed the clutch slave cylinder from the engine and inspected the piston and O-ring. The O-ring appeared to be fine, but it was just not sealing well enough in the cylinder’s bore. My thought was if I could fill the O-ring groove in the slave cylinder piston with something, then it would help it seal.

I found some feeler gauges in my toolbox. With some scissors, I cut a small sliver off of a 0.003-inch feeler gauge and took that sliver, wrapped it inside the O-ring groove, and carefully reinstalled the O-ring over what was now a 0.003-inch shallower groove. Then I reinstalled the piston and O-ring back into the slave cylinder and installed the assembly back onto the engine.

I didn’t have brake fluid, so I had to take some out of my truck’s master cylinder. Fortunately, the hydraulic clutch system on the bike uses very little fluid and I was able to bleed the system and restore it to fully functional. I left the slave cylinder like that for several days and quite a few tanks of gas—about 15 hours of riding time—without any issues.

With all that being said, my recommendation would be to keep an eye on the oil level in the clutch master cylinder of your Husqvarna motocross or cross-country model and maybe order a few spare slave cylinder O-rings.

2020 Husqvarna FX 350 Suspension

The FX 350 comes with the same WP Xact air fork and WP Xact shock as you would get on the FC motocross models, but the suspension components have been revalved for more of an off-road setting and are tuned toward more of an off-road competition setup.
The FX 350 comes with the same WP Xact air fork and WP Xact shock as you would get on the FC motocross models, but the suspension components have been revalved for more of an off-road setting and are tuned toward more of an off-road competition setup.Spencer Owens

The FX 350 comes with the same WP Xact air fork and WP Xact shock as you would get on the FC motocross models, but the suspension components have been revalved for more of an off-road setting. The settings are tuned toward more of an off-road competition setup. The recommended air pressure in the fork is 9.8 bar, down from 10.4 bar on the FC 350.

If you are on a motocross track, you will notice the significantly softer suspension settings on the FX 350 compared to the motocross model, and may need to make some adjustments. We found good results by going in about five clicks front and rear on both compression and rebound, and adding some air pressure to the fork.
If you are on a motocross track, you will notice the significantly softer suspension settings on the FX 350 compared to the motocross model, and may need to make some adjustments. We found good results by going in about five clicks front and rear on both compression and rebound, and adding some air pressure to the fork.Spencer Owens

If you are on a motocross track, you will notice the significantly softer suspension settings and may need to make some adjustments if you plan on riding a full day of MX on the FX. I was able to make the suspension work reasonably well on the motocross track simply by turning in the adjusters—about five clicks front and rear on both compression and rebound—and adding some air pressure to the fork, up to the recommended FC 350 setting of 10.4 bar.

2020 Husqvarna FX 350 Chassis/Handling

The chassis is, for the most part, identical to the FC 350 with no significant updates from the 2019 model. In comparison to the FC 350, some of the added off-road benefits of the FX 350 include a larger 2.25-gallon fuel tank, an 18-inch rear wheel, and Dunlop’s off-road competition AT81 tires front and rear. While the FC 350 has Brembo brake calipers front and rear, the FX 350 is spec’d with Magura units. Even though the FX 350 is a competition model, there is a nice, well-tucked-away, self-retracting kickstand that is convenient.

We conducted this 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 test over several days and varying conditions. On the motocross track and off road, the bike handles well with a good balance of cornering and stability. When you get this bike into tighter sections, it does feel a little long. Getting it to turn in tight trees with no lean angle would be its weakness. This might be amplified by the gearing as the 14:51 gearing leaves first gear too tall for tighter enduro-type sections. I would recommend going to a 13-tooth front sprocket as soon as you get the bike. The additional flex in the carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide subframe offers just that little extra comfort for the longer days.

How Does The 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 Ride?

Riding the 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 at Cahuilla Creek MX in Anza, California.
Riding the 2020 Husqvarna FX 350 at Cahuilla Creek MX in Anza, California.Spencer Owens

Overall, the Husqvarna FX 350 is still one of my favorite bikes. The package of a midsize engine, six-speed gearbox, and slightly larger than normal (but not too cumbersome) gas tank makes this bike very versatile. It comes equipped with WP’s premium Xact suspension components that offer a very good range of adjustability and are easy to modify. The FX 350 has a fun to ride chassis that feels fairly light and nimble in comparison to a 450, but with significantly more power than a 250F. If you are a weekend racer who likes to compete in motocross or off-road events, or just like to be able to get on your bike and ride anywhere your buddies are going on any given day, the Husqvarna FX 350 will get the job done.

Gearbox

The FX 350 has a long throttle pull, even with the optional black throttle cam.
The FX 350 has a long throttle pull, even with the optional black throttle cam.Spencer Owens

Helmet: Arai VX-Pro4

2020 Husqvarna FX 350 Tech Spec

PRICE $10,499
ENGINE 349.7cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
MEASURED HORSEPOWER 49.1 hp @ 11,700 rpm
MEASURED TORQUE 25.5 lb.-ft. @ 8,700 rpm
FRAME Steel central double cradle
FRONT SUSPENSION WP Xact 48mm fork adjustable for air pressure, compression damping, and rebound damping; 12.2-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION WP Xact shock adjustable for spring preload, high-/low-speed compression damping, and rebound damping; 11.8-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Magura 2-piston caliper, 260mm disc
REAR BRAKE Magura 1-piston caliper, 220mm disc
WHEELBASE 58.5 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 37.4 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 2.25 gal.
MEASURED WEIGHT 239 lb. wet
AVAILABLE Now
CONTACT husqvarna-motorcycles.com