Gas Gas Enducross EC 300 2018 Reviews

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OZ DRZ

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   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

 It's great to see another excellent two stroke enduro in the market. While Gas Gas have made superb trials bikes forever, reviews of their earlier two stroke enduro models consistently said they were heavy, underpowered and had mediocre suspension. Financial troubles almost killed off the brand a few years ago but they are back with a revamped 2018 range which is lighter, more powerful and finally with great suspension, those brilliant Kayaba forks and rear shock from Japan. Like Beta, they have FMF exhausts standard. And all models come standard with a kick start, for guys who really miss this on other European brands.  There are three models, the Gas Gas 300EC base model with all the road gear. The Gas Gas 300XC is the cross country racer with slightly firmer suspension and an engine slightly retuned for competition. Then if bling is your thing there's the 300GP model with floating front disc, gripper seat, Rekluse clutch cover, anodized triple clamps, renthal bars, quick release front axle, the list goes on. So starting with the Gas Gas 300EC review what's it like? First the suspension is beautiful. Incredibly supple over small bumps, but soaked up the jumps and big hits with ease. It makes me wonder why European brands keep stuffing around with European suspension. The past two years Beta have dialed in the Sachs suspension very close to the standard set by Kayaba, I reckon all the Europeans could have saved a lot of messing around years ago by opting for Kayaba....

I never rode the older heavy Gas Gas models, but at a reported 105kg or 231lb they are getting close to the industry standard. It feels light, very stable at speed, and the flared side panels make it easy to grip the bike with your legs. If you sit a lot then you'll like the soft seat too. Power delivery is extremely linear with almost no powerband evident, at least with the stock power valve setting. At first I wondered if I was actually on a 250 because I was stalling the bike in technical terrain, and needing to keep the revs up on hill climbs. But as the speed picked up I found that gentle power was a pile of fun. I rarely ride my Beta RR300 at higher revs as it scares the shit out of me, but with the Gas Gas I was happily giving it handfuls of very predictable throttle. And the Gas Gas is no slouch, there's a reported 55hp on tap and it really sings along when you hit the gas... gas. Great to see a very light hydraulic clutch, matched with a slick gearbox and nice wide ratios.

Then over to the Gas Gas 300XC review the cross country racer. There's meant to be more mid range power with a slightly different pipe, personally I couldn't really pick this out. The Kayaba suspension is firmer on the XC, still very plush but I think more aggressive riders would appreciate getting a bit more feel of the terrain back through the wheels with the XC. So where does the Gas Gas fit into the market? First it's very competitively priced at least here in Australia. It's around the same as Beta but given you get the kickstarter standard it's effectively $400 cheaper. If you are very finnicky about your suspension then the Kayaba forks and shock are a definite plus. There's a very good chance you'll save money by avoiding expensive suspension tuning. The gentle power characteristics would make it a near perfect bike for anyone getting into two strokes for the first time. And if you do like the playful revvy nature of 250s then this is a 300 you can ride like a 250 and not scare the bejesus out of yourself. 

Personally I found the lack of grunt made it a bit harder in technical terrain or on tough slow climbs, but it just means needing to rev and slip the clutch more. The seat height is on par with other brands so short legged riders may find it's a stretch to reach the ground, the Beta would suit better in that respect. Having said that, all these European two stroke models are brilliant nowadays - top riders are winning enduros on Shercos, Betas, KTMs and Gas Gas two strokes. There are slight differences between the brands but I doubt you could go wrong with any of them. It's great to see Gas Gas offering another high quality alternative that is priced substantially below KTM, Sherco and Husqvarna. A big thanks to Mansfield Marine & Motorcycles for letting me abuse their Gas Gas models, and watch Euro Enduro's vid about common mods and known issues with the Gas Gas 300XC and 300EC review. 

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