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Old 05-25-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
Boo Radley OP
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Tell me about the GAS GAS EC300

I'm looking for an enduro/trailbike, and I keep hearing good things about the GAS GAS EC300 (6-speed, two-stroke enduro bike). I've been reading up on them over at the Gas Gas Riders Club forum, and the few online tests I've seen have been positive. Most seem to prefer it over the KTM EXC 300.

The negatives I hear are few...primarily parts availibility...and a few folks saying it's a little small for larger riders (I'm 5'11" and currently #210). A few people have said that the fit and finish isn't as good as the big 5.

The bike will be used for tight, rocky single track, two-track, and open desert. I doubt I'll ever take it to a track, but it's a remote possibility.

If you have one, know someone who has one, or have ridden one, let me know what your thoughts are. I'd like to get some unbiased opinions from the inmates!

Thanks,
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
carburated
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I love my XC250. Here's my thoughts on it, having bough it new 9 years ago...

it is physically on the small side. At 6', 180 pounds I've replaced the top clamp with a BRP clamp that moves the bars up and forward. More comfy for standing now. I also paid big bucks for a full suspension respringing/revalve and that made a TON of difference. It's now got stiffer springs front and back, and yet rides smoother and more compliant in the rocks and nasty stuff. I asked to have it set up for a 'B' enduro rider who mostly does the tight stuff (cause that's what I am ). I think ANY bike greatly benefits from this though.

I have done the usual LTR mods, jetting, power valve cover, chain guide, and regeared a bit lower so my first is a usually unused granny gear (until I'm stalled out in a nasty situation, then first is nice) but 6th is still plenty high for any offroad situation. 2-5 are fairly tightly spaced and make it easy to keep the bike 'on the boil.' My XC 250 has a healthy MX style 'hit' that I don't think the EC300 has, gearing would probably not be as critical on the EC300.

I've never had an issue getting parts, I used to get them from Jim over at Smackover, but since he unfortunately went out of business I've been getting them from gofasters.com and have no complaints. It is true, I have no local dealer. No problem as far as I can tell.

All the general conusables are pretty universal, tires, brake parts, plastics etc., and cross over to one of the Japaneese brands.

Now, mine is a 2000 and they may have improved some details in the last few years, but I do agree with the lacking fit-n finish. Parts were a little rough fitting here and there, and the fasteners were not really well matched. Meaning, you needed a lot of different wrenches to work on the bike. I've changed out most of them over time so it's all socket head stuff now, but from the factory there were 8, 10, 12, socket head, philips, and some were even nuts and bolts instead of the nut being fixed (for example, the subframe).

On the plus side, the motor is flat indestructible! It is massively overbuilt. I'm still on my original lower end, and only replaced the piston once, and that was just cause it seemed I ought to. My bike is 9 years old. I even submerged it once. There is a handy drain screw in the bottom of the crankcase. I drained the water from the case, pulled the pipe to empty it out, wrung out the air filter, then fired it up and rode the rest of the day.

I've ridden the 5 miles of hell, a few national enduro's, flat out in the desert, done a few days on a motocross track just for fun (I suck!) and every trail riding situation I can think of. It's a good bike.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:04 PM   #3
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I had a buddy who bought a GGec300 after owning many KTM's. He sold it within 6 months. Said it vibrated much and didn't handle any where near the KTM250 or 300. He had a hell of a time selling it without losing his shirt. He ended up packaging it with one of his KTM's to get it out of the garage. I also was very interested in the GG, but after watching him go through this mess I decided to stay on what has worked so well for the past 15-20yrs....a KTM....for what it's worth.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:21 PM   #4
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I have a GG 200EC and it is a fine bike, competes with the KTMs. Mine came from the factory with an Ohlins fork as well as the usual Ohlins rear shock. I don't see how you can get much better handling than that.

GGs are on an incrementally smaller frame; I am 5-10 and I noticed the difference. I could get bar risers and also I hear there are lower footpegs, but it wasn't enough of an issue for me to make any changes.

It's a fine bike but an exotic, they don't sell 'em on every corner.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:38 PM   #5
Boo Radley OP
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"GGs are on an incrementally smaller frame; I am 5-10 and I noticed the difference. I could get bar risers and also I hear there are lower footpegs, but it wasn't enough of an issue for me to make any changes."

Could you compare the size to say, a KX-250? I haven't been able to find an EC-300 locally and am trying to get an idea of how much smaller it is compared to a standard mx bike.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal-SAHD
I love my XC250. Here's my thoughts on it, having bough it new 9 years ago...

it is physically on the small side. At 6', 180 pounds I've replaced the top clamp with a BRP clamp that moves the bars up and forward. More comfy for standing now. I also paid big bucks for a full suspension respringing/revalve and that made a TON of difference. It's now got stiffer springs front and back, and yet rides smoother and more compliant in the rocks and nasty stuff. I asked to have it set up for a 'B' enduro rider who mostly does the tight stuff (cause that's what I am ). I think ANY bike greatly benefits from this though.

I have done the usual LTR mods, jetting, power valve cover, chain guide, and regeared a bit lower so my first is a usually unused granny gear (until I'm stalled out in a nasty situation, then first is nice) but 6th is still plenty high for any offroad situation. 2-5 are fairly tightly spaced and make it easy to keep the bike 'on the boil.' My XC 250 has a healthy MX style 'hit' that I don't think the EC300 has, gearing would probably not be as critical on the EC300.

I've never had an issue getting parts, I used to get them from Jim over at Smackover, but since he unfortunately went out of business I've been getting them from gofasters.com and have no complaints. It is true, I have no local dealer. No problem as far as I can tell.

All the general conusables are pretty universal, tires, brake parts, plastics etc., and cross over to one of the Japaneese brands.

Now, mine is a 2000 and they may have improved some details in the last few years, but I do agree with the lacking fit-n finish. Parts were a little rough fitting here and there, and the fasteners were not really well matched. Meaning, you needed a lot of different wrenches to work on the bike. I've changed out most of them over time so it's all socket head stuff now, but from the factory there were 8, 10, 12, socket head, philips, and some were even nuts and bolts instead of the nut being fixed (for example, the subframe).

On the plus side, the motor is flat indestructible! It is massively overbuilt. I'm still on my original lower end, and only replaced the piston once, and that was just cause it seemed I ought to. My bike is 9 years old. I even submerged it once. There is a handy drain screw in the bottom of the crankcase. I drained the water from the case, pulled the pipe to empty it out, wrung out the air filter, then fired it up and rode the rest of the day.

I've ridden the 5 miles of hell, a few national enduro's, flat out in the desert, done a few days on a motocross track just for fun (I suck!) and every trail riding situation I can think of. It's a good bike.
Thanks for the info Norcal. I have my eye on an out-of-state 2004, but I'm going to go sit on a new 2008 first to size it up. I'm still a little worried about the smaller cockpit.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:46 PM   #7
gaspipe
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Funny that a KX250 was mentioned....the GasGas has a very Kawasaki-ish frame. Even looks like one.

My 300EC is an '04. The current ones are a little better.

Suspension: The stoke 'Zokes and Ohlins are OK, but can be made much, much better. If you don't do anything, at least get the right springs to get decent sag numbers. I've had mine revalved and sprung, and very much like the way the GG handles - I just prefer a linkage rear to a PDS.

Brakes: Honda-ish Nissin stuff on mine. I use Honda pads.

Plastic: Sort of wonky fitting, but tough as hell. Lots of Kawasaki parts fit.

Motor: As tough as an Abrams tank. I like the way it makes power better than the KTM motor (at least the non e-start ones - haven't ridden one yet). I just put the first replacement piston in it over the winter. Usual mods - jetting, powervalve cover, steel exhaust spigot, aluminum water pump impeller... Wiseco makes pistons, a CR250 rod replaces the OE one if you ever need a crank....etc.

I like the gear ratios in the transmission. Nice spread for two stroking.

The fastener thing is a must. At least on the older bikes, you needed pretty much every tool in your tool box to work on the bike. I've swapped all the bolts over to stainless allens and carry only a few tools.

Anyway, sit on one. Try to find someone to let you ride one.

Everything I've needed for it was either at gofasters or at Hall's in Springfield, IL.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
Boo Radley OP
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So far i've only found one GasGas locally, an 04 EC200. I liked it, but am going to hold out for the 300. Is the frame size between the 200 and the 300 the same?
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:01 PM   #9
dhally
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I have a 2005 EC300 and have ridden it a couple years. I haven't ridden the KTM.

I haven't had any problem with parts availability, just go online. It does seem a little compact - I'm 6'1" 240 lb. Mainly the footpegs need to be a little lower and further back for good standing position, but I haven't changed them ( I sit a lot too). The fit and finish is "hand-made in Spain", easy to get used to.

The bike shines in tight rocky single track, goes like a raped ape on two track and does OK in open desert. It turns so easily you would think it might get twitchy at high speed but I haven't seen that. ( I haven't spent a lot of time at high speed on open desert either). My favorite things about the bike are the way it turns on tight trails, and the low weight (for carrying over things)

I have heard that the Gasgas has a more plush suspension than the KTM, but I've found I need to bang it off rocks and roots to make the suspension work. This is compared to my old XR400 which I tended to ride more smoothly.

It does have a 6-speed but has a narrow ratio range. I've got mine geared pretty low in first and 6th isn't super fast. Perfect for trail riding.

I think the frame sizes are the same on 200-300 models, you can check on www.gasgasrider.org for sure.

There are some down sides - it's too noisy, and I'm not sure there's a good fix. I think KTM pays attention to everything on the bike to make less noise, whereas Gasgas hangs a silencer on it but the noise comes from other places too. The 300 also vibrates quite a bit. Maybe the 250 vibrates less. Fuel range is 80 miles max with an aftermarket 3.2 gallon tank. Jetting is trial and error - each bike seems to have it's own personality so you can't just copy someone else.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:05 PM   #10
The Cyclops
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I just bought an 02 GG EC300 and love it. It is as nimble as a 125 and lots of fun power. You can get some killer deals on models a couple of years old. Join http://www.gasgasrider.org/ and learn all about them and find some killer deals.

BTW, I am a big guy and went from an XR650R to the GG and don't feel really cramped. What got me interested in GG in the first place was I was looking for a 300 EXC and found one a guy was selling because "he finally found a GG EC300 he had been looking for". Got me thinking and the next thing ya know I drove 21 hours round trip to pick it up.

And I don't think its nimble just because I came from a pig, I have had several YZ's
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:46 PM   #11
ottobozart
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I bought my ec250 back in 98 and still love it. I ride single track that has every combination except sand.

we ride tight woods, rock gardens, rhythm sections, off chamber stuff and I love the bike.

I'm 5'9" and 180 without gear. bike is a near perfect fit for me. I remember when it was new thinking it was like a 125 with a 250 engine in it.

bike is bullet proof, don't worry about parts, you won't be buying them. (knock on wood)

I think that the gas gas'es got heavier scince I bought mine.

I don't know anyone who likes their ktm suspensions in the rocks that we ride. they have basically sold the ktm's and moved to yamaha's

Forget about resale value, because it doesn't exist.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:16 PM   #12
Boo Radley OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaspipe
Funny that a KX250 was mentioned....the GasGas has a very Kawasaki-ish frame. Even looks like one.

My 300EC is an '04. The current ones are a little better.

Suspension: The stoke 'Zokes and Ohlins are OK, but can be made much, much better. If you don't do anything, at least get the right springs to get decent sag numbers. I've had mine revalved and sprung, and very much like the way the GG handles - I just prefer a linkage rear to a PDS.

Brakes: Honda-ish Nissin stuff on mine. I use Honda pads.

Plastic: Sort of wonky fitting, but tough as hell. Lots of Kawasaki parts fit.

Motor: As tough as an Abrams tank. I like the way it makes power better than the KTM motor (at least the non e-start ones - haven't ridden one yet). I just put the first replacement piston in it over the winter. Usual mods - jetting, powervalve cover, steel exhaust spigot, aluminum water pump impeller... Wiseco makes pistons, a CR250 rod replaces the OE one if you ever need a crank....etc.

I like the gear ratios in the transmission. Nice spread for two stroking.

The fastener thing is a must. At least on the older bikes, you needed pretty much every tool in your tool box to work on the bike. I've swapped all the bolts over to stainless allens and carry only a few tools.

Anyway, sit on one. Try to find someone to let you ride one.

Everything I've needed for it was either at gofasters or at Hall's in Springfield, IL.
I found an 04' that looks pretty good. I have some question on the O4's in particular:

1) Do they have the dual map ignition?
2) Ohlins in rear and 'zokes on the front (I think)? How are they compared to other years?
3) Will the FMF Q silencer fit on the 04's?
4) I'll need to re-jet for higher altitude. Anything out of the ordinary regarding rejetting on these?
5) Any recommendations for skid plates /radiater braces/disc guards?

Thanks guys!
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:33 PM   #13
gaspipe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boo Radley
I found an 04' that looks pretty good. I have some question on the 04's in particular:

1) Do they have the dual map ignition?
2) Ohlins in rear and 'zokes on the front (I think)? How are they compared to other years?
3) Will the FMF Q silencer fit on the 04's?
4) I'll need to re-jet for higher altitude. Anything out of the ordinary regarding rejetting on these?
5) Any recommendations for skid plates /radiater braces/disc guards?
1 - My '04 doesn't.
2 - I haven't ridden anything but the '04. I didn't especially care for the way it was valved, and it was sprung way too light. I'm finicky about setup. Anyway, the 'Zokes and the Ohlins can be made to be as good as anything out there. IIRC, I used Husky parts from one of their Shiver equipped bikes to get the longer valve stack. I know a few tuners that work miracles on these things.
3 - Don't know - I have a turbine core 2 on mine.
4 - Seems that they are all a little different if you're looking for jetting Nirvana. Find a needle that you like, and work from there. The carb is a PWK, and there are zillions of needles out there for it. Otherwise, straight forward as any other 2 stroke.
5 - I'm using a Hyde skidplate. I modified a set of Fluidyne rads for a KTM RFS to work on the GG, and braced these. Bulletproof, and hold more coolant. IIRC, the rear caliper carrier is a Honda/Nissin one (??). I would assume you could bolt one up. Mine has the lugs torn off anyway

HTH!
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:06 PM   #14
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So I'm looking at an '08 estart EC300 as well. Anyone have any comments/suggestions on the magic button bikes?

I've ridden a lot of bikes but have most of my time on Honda XR650R.

Input appreciated.

Also what is a good price range for a nearly unused 2008?
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:21 PM   #15
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I'm 6'2" and 215 lbs and picked up an EC200. I put on a tall guts seat and 1" bar risers and still found it a bit small. So I'm selling it to a friend that is a bit smaller than me. He loves it. They are very good bikes and I suspect a 300 has a bit more low rpm grunt than the 200 but even the 200 has good lugging ability. Since their values drop faster they are less expensive than a KTM. If it fits you they are a good bike.
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