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Hot Single: Suicide Machine Co. x Husqvarna FC 450

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
Even if you’re not into flat track, you have to love the style of the machines. The most high profile ‘Twins’—the Harley-Davidson XG750R and the championship-winning Indian FTR750—have an especially appealing neo-classic vibe, which gets us thinking about adding blinkers, license plates and road-legal tires.

In reality, the Twins are far removed from any showroom v-twins. But the 450 Singles class is occupied by modified motocrossers that are relatively close to production spec. And this Husqvarna FC 450, we’d venture to say, is the best looking racer of all.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
It’s from Suicide Machine Company of Long Beach, California, an outfit run by brothers Aaron and Shaun Guardado. They’re famous for high-performance builds that live up to the company motto: “Fast Loud Deathproof.”

“Husqvarna approached us for a build to showcase their latest model, the FC 450,” says Aaron. “They’ve got a strong racing heritage, and given our involvement with flat track, it seemed like a perfect match.”

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
Husqvarna is planning to support racers in next year’s series, who’ll be up against the mighty Honda and Yamaha singles. So they tapped the Guardado brothers to prep a 2018-spec FC 450 motocrosser as an exhibition bike.

The Guardados know the drill: they’ve been racing flat track for the past couple years, mostly in the Harley Hooligan Series and the Super Hooligan Series run by Roland Sands and Indian.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
“Coming in stock at over 63 hp, this electric starting, EFI bike is the perfect bike to take to the flat track,” says Aaron. “It’s the ideal platform for us to practice in—and eventually race—the AFT Singles class.”

So how do you turn a motocrosser into a competitive flat track racer? It starts with the suspension.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
“The tracks vary widely in both length and surface, from eighth-mile to full mile, and from soft cushion dirt to hard packed clay,” explains Aaron. “The right suspension set-up is key. The FC 450 comes with WP suspension front and rear. We shortened it to lower the stance of the bike, and tuned it to custom flat track specs.”

The front fork legs are now paired with the Husqvarna’s own adjustable Factory Triple Clamps, so Aaron and Shaun can change the offset as needed. This is crucial for steering response, allowing the bike to turn-in quicker on short tracks or maintain stability on longer tracks.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
Dubya USA built a set of blacked-out flat track wheels to SMCO specs. The stock hubs were thin film ceramic-coated black, then laced up to 19” Excel hoops using black spokes and splined nipples to give it that custom touch.

Dunlop Tires has a contingency program for American Flat Track racers, with two different compounds on offer; SMCO chose DT3s in the ‘medium’ CD5 compound front and rear.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
“The combination of the Excel wheels and Dunlop tires not only looks good, but is also a race-proven combo.”

Getting power down onto the track surface efficiently is a delicate balancing act—and murder on clutches. So Rekluse provided an Auto Clutch Setup and adjustable slave cylinder to allow the lads to find and tune the balance.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
“The Auto Clutch uses the principles of centrifugal force, and automatically engages and disengages based on RPM and traction feedback,” Aaron explains. “It reduces wheel spin at the start and maintains even power transfer in the middle of a turn, without the worry of stalling—or having to modulate the clutch the entire time.”

There’s also a big safety benefit to the Rekluse Auto Clutch: if for any reason the engine stops at speed, the rear wheel will not lock up and cause a potential catastrophe.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
The exhaust system is a stainless stepped pipe from Kully Co Products. “Kully Co builds some of the nicest exhausts out there and is used by a lot of the teams in the American Flat Track series,” says Aaron.

“This exhaust lowered the position of the pipe to underneath the bike, as is usual in flat tracking. It also maintained a nice power band throughout all rpms, and most importantly, has a really nice exhaust note!”

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
With most of the mechanical mods for the FC 450 locked in, SMCO turned their focus to the cockpit. “Even if you have the best mechanically set-up bike, it doesn’t meant a thing if the rider can’t be comfortable piloting it.”

“We wanted handlebars that would help rider stability in the straights, and ease of control while sliding up on the tank in turns. ProTaper has a bend for just about every discipline, and we went with their Dirt Track bars.”

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
The bars are home to a Motion Pro Rev2 variable rate throttle, an unusual device that can be fitted with different sized reels to change the amount of twist required to open the throttle body.

“Whether you want to accelerate quickly with a small turn of the throttle, or have a longer opening for smooth acceleration, this is a great addition to any bike—on or off-road,” says Aaron.

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450
Seat covers are obviously critical for race bikes, and the FC 450 is sporting a grippy item from Saddlemen. “It offers enough movement when you want it, but keeps you in place when it matters.”

We’ve always loved the looks of Husqvarna bikes—going right back to the 400 Cross of the 70s—and the Guardados are fans too.

“A clean white frame, white bodywork, black details and touch of blue anodized components … it really came together nicely,” says Aaron. “We’re looking forward to seeing more FC 450s in the paddock—but most of all, getting out and turning laps on this bike!”

We’re betting this Husky has the speed to match its amazing looks. Keep an eye out for it when the next season starts in about five months’ time.

Suicide Machine Co. | Instagram | Husqvarna USA | Images by Patrick Evans

Hot Single: The Suicide Machine Company x Husqvarna FC 450