Colton Haaker claimed five wins from nine starts on his way to winning the 2016 AMA EnduroCross Championship.
Despite already crowned a SuperEnduro World Champion back in March, the endurocross championship marked his debut AMA title in the USA. This 2017 Husqvarna FX 350 is the bike he rode to victory on.
Josh Schaecher, Colton’s mechanic and closest ally - they’re childhood mates - talks us through what’s gone into building this year’s title winning bike and the base for his SuperEnduro World Championship defence…
The rims are Excel A60 in black. Hubs and spokes are stock. Dunlop provides the rubber. We use MX52 compounds and have switched from an 80/100 to a 90/90 front tyre for the 2016 endurocross series. The rear has two rim locks.
Colton’s FX 350 is fitted with tyre balls and not moose. Partly because they are much lighter but really because they are customisable and more consistent than a moose. I can set the exact PSI I want, whereas this tends to differ with moose.
Some moose can be much stiffer than others, you don’t really know what you’re getting. Every time the bike hits the track I know what the tyre pressure is and Colton knows exactly what the front wheel will do when he hits obstacles.
The brake callipers are standard Brembo parts but the front is fitted with a half-floating mount. This means if the disc gets bent the buckle won’t affect braking unless it’s severely damage. Discs are by Braking. The front is fitted with a Cycra carbon guard and the rear is a Zip-Ty aluminium shark fin.
Suspension wise and upfront we’ve got a set of 48mm WP Cone Valve forks that WP have built especially for us. The rear is WP’s TRAXX system with standard stroke length.
We’ve tested settings extensively on Colton’s track. We run the forks long, set at two notches in the 22mm Neken triple clamps. This keeps the front end light. It is a little harder to turn but Colton is a tall guy so it’s a balance that works in his favour. The overall setup is soft in the first half of the stroke and then quickly stiffens during the second half.
I’d love to say the motor is pimped out but it’s actually not that fancy - there’s nothing titanium inside. It is hand built and tripled checked by the Husqvarna Factory Service to make sure everything is in check. The 350 has plenty of power (most others run a 250f in endurocross) so it was just a matter of getting the delivery where Colton wanted it.
We worked on the bottom end to get more torque and avoid stalling then mapped the ECU accordingly. In the USA we use VP Fuels which keep the engine running clean with less chance of stalling.
The aluminium motor mounts are from the 2017 model, Colton prefers the feeling it gives from the frame.
The gearbox remains intact and unmodified. Gearing is 12/51. The clutch is a Rekluse Manual.
FMF Racing supply the exhaust system. The silencer is F4.1. We use a drop down header pipe. It’s the longest header we can fit and it provides more torque on the bottom end of the motor.
We use the IMS Core One foot peg. They’ve got sharp teeth but when you race something as aggressive as endurocross, peg grip is so important. We worked on setup there too and Colton runs them 5mm lower and 5mm further back.
We outfit the bike with a SuperB SB12V5200P-BC. This battery gives us the peace of mind our bike will fire quickly and consistently no matter what circumstance Colton get into.
The skid plate is by P3 Carbon. I fit a Sea Horn tail piece to protect the linkage while aiding the “sliding” effect over obstacles. I double skin mine for added protection. Last year in Poland I only used one skin and Colton actually punched a hole in three of them in one night, since then I’ve doubled up.
We don’t run hand guards, because there’s no trees indoors. I think it’s more a European thing running hand guards in endurocross. However, the ARC unbreakable levers do keep things safe. Pro Taper bend is Carmichael.
IMS supply us with clear fuel tanks. We run the FC spec used in motocross.
One cool thing we’re running is an IMS coolant catch tank. It’s a new product from them and essentially acts as a water collector for the radiator if it steams up or overheats. The water is collected in a small can and when the engine returns to normal running temperature the water is then fed back into the system. I really like it and see advantages especially in extreme enduro and stuff. I’ve fitted ours into the tubular down tube of the frame.
Regards servicing and maintenance between races, things are fairly straight forward. We’ll run just one engine during the endurocross or superenduro season. Simply because we only do about an hour's track time at each race.
If significant damage happens then I’ll strip it down to the frame and go through everything. Otherwise we just do a “cosmetic service” for each round. That’s chain, sprockets, brake pads, handlebar grips, air filters, check for damage and fit a fresh set of graphics.
The opening round of the 2016/17 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship takes place in Krakow, Poland, Saturday December 10.