2018 Gasgas xc300 and ec300 test dirt rider gas stoichiometry examples


Once a thriving yet small company offering a wide range of two- and four-stroke enduro models, GasGas slowly offered fewer and fewer, ending up with only two dated off-road bikes (EC 250 and 300) in 2017. But with a new ownership coming in and not only pulling the company out of bankruptcy but revitalizing its manufacturing plant in Spain 76 gas card payment, GasGas seems to be a brand renewed, with five all-new models for 2018. To start things off, it has introduced the flagships of the group—the EC 300 and XC 300. The other models that will be intro­duced later this year are an XC 250, XC 200, and EC 200, all two-strokes. We asked about why there wasn’t an EC 250 planned, and GasGas said that for more trail-oriented riders, having a 300 and 200 covers the bases and that its 250 trailbike in the past sold in much fewer numbers.

The two model lines are XC (racer oriented with no lights and simpler electrical system) and EC (trail oriented with lights and computer) that are surprisingly close to one another on paper and out on the trail yet have very little in common with any of GasGas’ previous models. One of our biggest questions, and most likely yours as well, is, “Did they go on a diet?” Back to our “2013 300 Two-Stroke Off-Road Shootout,” the GasGas was the heaviest at 274 pounds, 2 pounds heavier than the Christini All-Wheel-Drive bike even. According to GasGas’ numbers, the ’18 model is claimed to be 9 percent lighter. With some quick math that would be 24.7 pounds—but our first impression ride was only for one day on the trail, so we haven’t had a chance to confirm that number.

Suspension can make or break a bike, and we are extremely happy to see KYB components both front and rear on the 2018 EC/XC bikes. If you like a coil spring in each of your fork b games virus legs, then you’ll be happy to hear the fork is an AOS, closed-cartridge system on both models. This is not the same SSS fork gracing Yamaha’s machines but similar, with off-road-specific settings just for GasGas. While other OEMs give their “cross country” and electricity and magnetism study guide answers “trailbikes” completely different suspension, or at least different settings, the EC and XC 300s have identical units and settings. In our opinion, this is a good move since we are always trying to stiffen up the stock suspension on the bikes with headlights.

The engine has a new cylinder, crankshaft, and cylinder head, and while the dyno chart that GasGas presented us shows almost 10 more peak horsepower for the 2018 300cc engine over last year’s motor, this is the part of the bike that retains its character from previous red Spanish machines. The clutch is new as well as the intake (38 Keihin carb into a Moto Tassinari VForce reed cage), and all of this is the same on each model. What differs in the power department is the exhaust system. The EC model has a stock (read: unbranded) expansion chamber and an FMF muffler, while the XC has a full FMF system.

While top-end power and over-rev were okay, our testing trails for the day were pretty tight and didn’t have us wringing the bike out much. But we also were so happy with the power in the lower rpm that we’d probably short-shift it in any condition just to stay down there. The XC’s power is shifted a little higher in the rpm and comes on with a sharper electricity outage austin hit, while the EC’s power is very linear and smooth. The XC has a tiny bit less boost right off the bottom but a more aggressive and powerful hit in the middle.

Just having new suspension doesn’t count if it doesn’t work on the trail. Fortunately, the KYB kit does work on the trail. Actually it works really, really well on the trail. The first thing that surprised us was the firm overall setup from both ends. Normally, European off-road bikes have such comfort-based, soft setups that we are begging for stiffer springs immediately. Not so with the EC and XC. Conversely, both of our testers went two clicks softer on the fork—one because he is very light (130 pounds) and wanted more comfort; the other because the front end had a slight push when turning and he was trying to get just a touch more front-end traction.

But overall, this performance-based fork and shock had great hold-up, smooth overall action, and good amount of plushness in the first part of the stroke. To be completely fair to GasGas, the fork and shock are so new that the “stock settings” are just the middle of the adjustment ranges. Geoff Aaron, National Trials champion and GasGas media liaison, hasn’t had a chance to sink his teeth into the bikes yet to put his experience to good use and come up with a best overall setting gas and water mix.

Handling doesn’t feel anything like the 2017 and earlier GasGas bikes. While the bikes don’t feel crazy light or thin, they are definitely close to the orange and white bikes. Changing directions through the trees took minimal effort, and the claimed weight loss was most noticeable when needing to slow down quickly, pivot, and get back on the gas. In our limited testing electricity 101 episode 1 area, there were no open areas to get a feeling of the bike in high-speed whoops or long sweepers. But the bikes were stable and planted even in the dry and dusty conditions and in the few short sand sections.

We really look forward to getting these machines in our shop and putting more time on them, especially with other off-road bikes for comparison. As we often say, a bike on its own can feel pretty good, but with other machines as competition, its strengths and weaknesses are easily noticed. Our guess is these new GasGas machines have some serious off-road strengths.