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2018 FACTORY RACE BIKES | COMPLETE COLLECTION

One of the most exciting things about every new racing season is getting to take a look at the new factory race bikes. This year at Anaheim One, we were able to get up-close-and-personal with a race bike from each of the factory 450 teams. Up first is Jason Anderson’s Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna FC 450, which is tuned by Chris Loredo.

“When I first jumped on the new bike, I was actually on a hybrid bike that was the new engine and chassis, disguised with old bodywork,” Anderson told us. “I like being really familiar with things and I don’t necessarily like change. It took me about a month to really get used to the new bike and with a few weeks before Anaheim One I felt really at home on it.

“The new bike is far more comfortable between your legs. The new gas tank is lower and it helps the center of gravity a lot. The bike feels squattier and more neutral, and I like that. I feel like the new bike’s engine is really good. I like to stay away from on 450s especially, is anything that gives my bike a high-compression feel. This new bike has a much freer-feeling engine because I think that helps the chassis feel better. I don’t like my engines to be too aggressive because I feel like I ride aggressively enough as is. I like a smooth, easy powerband. I guess you could say I band-aid my riding style with a smoother engine. I feel like my riding style is a benefit though, so I make my bike mellow to keep me safe.

“I like my suspension to have good hold up, but I want it to have good traction on dry slick conditions. I feel that hurts me a little on tacker tracks because it tends to go through the suspension more. So that’s something I am working on – finding that happy medium.

“The thing I am most picky about on my bike is my seat. I think last year I put more testing into my seat than any other part on the bike. (Laughs) I want my seat to feel like a couch! The stock Husky seat is pretty firm and I don’t like it. So, I have a softer foam and a seat cover with no grip or no ribs on it at all.

“Overall, I am super happy with the race bike the team has provided me with and my mechanic CeeLo does a great job of keeping it feeling brand new for me every race weekend.”