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Video – Husaberg FE350 & KTM 450xc-f
New Ride Video
2013 KTM 450xc-f ride
Here is a quick ride video I put together. I spent the day at the local track riding our 2013 Husaberg FE350 alongside the all new 2013 KTM 450XC-f. We are currently testing both bikes.
This video is primarily to give you some insight into the process of testing new bikes. It is never an exact science and relies almost entirely on subjective rider insight. In this scenario, I am testing two very different bikes. The KTM 450XC-f is clearly a full blown cross country race bike, just one step removed from the motocross version of the same bike. On the other hand, the Husaberg FE350 is a much milder enduro bike that will be used as a trail bike by the vast majority of owners.
It would seem like these differences would be immediately obvious in lap times on the motocross track. The problem is, that looking a my own actual times, the picture gets cloudly. I am probably just a tick faster of the Husaberg on a mild vet style track. The Fe350 is slower and softer sprung, but I can actually push it harder.
So why is this? The first reason is simply skill level, or my lack of such. I know that I am just scratching the surface of the KTM 450’s speed potential. It requires a bit more throttle control and more turning input. But it is fantastic for learning the way around a new track. It has enough power to get over most jumps, even with a bad approach. The suspension is stiff enough to handle less than perfect landings. So I actually got up to speed much faster on this bike, having both power and suspension reserves.
On the other hand, the FE350 is much more natural for me to ride. While it does not have an excess of power, it doesn’t require much thought, just turn the throttle wide open. It also puts the power to the ground very smooth, so I can get on the gas much earlier exiting a corner. The chassis feels very small and responds to the lightest inputs. It turns on a dime. My corner speed is clearly much faster on the FE and is nearly effortless.
Once I had learned the lines on the KTM, I could easily duplicate it on the Husaberg. There were a couple of longer jumps that I was not doing, but could have easily on the 450. The softer 350 is not quite as forgiving if I make a mistake, so I just chose not to attempt those.
This track is indicative of many of the places I ride. I let two other testers(both faster than me) do similar time on the two bikes, each came back with about the same conclusions. Now, if we went to a big track, like Glen Helen, with lots of ruts, bumps and hills to climb, there would have been no contest, the 450 would be king. But for much of the stuff I ride, I can go faster on the bike that is easiest to ride. I have found similar conclusions with the 2013 KTM 350exc too.