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ENDURO TEST | 2024 GASGAS EC 450F | Bike Reviews

When Grabbo arrived in Italy for the 2024 GASGAS launch it was exciting to see a 2024 GASGAS EC 450F had been added to their enduro model line-up. Here's what he thought.

Since the Austrians purchased GASGAS a few years ago they have not produced a 450cc four-stroke enduro bike, so when I arrived in Italy for the 2024 GASGAS launch it was exciting to see a 2024 GASGAS EC 450F had been added to their enduro model line-up. It is no secret that GASGAS are now produced in the same place as KTMs, making it no surprise that they both share a lot of similar parts and technology for 2024. Instead of listing all the new features of this new GASGAS model I will skip to my favourite part and talk about my experience ripping through the Italian countryside on it.

Jumping onto it the ergonomics are quite spacious, the new Neken handlebar is 12mm taller than the 2023 handlebar, this gives you a feeling of not being so cramped up. Also, the foot-pegs are huge on this bike and easily the largest I’ve experienced on a standard enduro bike. The seat is not overly grippy and the profile gave me a great feeling of sitting into the bike just enough to have good control.

Our Italian enduro test loop was perfect for us Australian riders as it was dry, slippery powder with plenty of stones, very similar to a lot of our Australian conditions.

On the track this engine is powerful, to be honest almost too powerful if I didn’t respect my throttle hand when winding it open. The bottom-end power comes on reasonably mellow and controlled, the midrange is when it comes to life the most and up top it definitely feels as powerful if not the most powerful standard 450cc enduro bike I’ve ridden. The gearbox felt really nice, as all the gears have a really good spacing between each other. The mapping on this engine felt spot on as I never once had it flame out or cough at all.

During the technical presentation about this model, GASGAS technicians mentioned that GASGAS have purposely set up the suspension package to be comfortable and simple to use. The XPLOR fork pretty much ticks both of these boxes. Cruising around at a comfortable trail riding pace this fork eats up all the small to medium obstacles you find in the bush. It even held up quite well charging into fast corners,

The area where I did find its limits was on rough and choppy sections as it had the feeling like it was bottoming as soon as you hit more than one or two big bumps in a row. Playing with clickers on this fork is super easy as you can basically do it during the ride as both compression and rebound are situated at the top of the fork caps.

The rear shock on this bike is a WP linkage style unit, and it also has the new anti-squat behaviour technology that all the other GASGAS enduro models have. This took me a bit of getting used to as I am so used to a bike squatting a lot exiting turns. Once I got the hang of it I started to feel the benefit of being able to exit corners faster and not losing weight/traction from the front wheel. The rear end definitely felt most at home slamming into roughy sections of the track when going in a straight line.

I have heard first hand plenty of current GASGAS riders complaining about the current performance of the Braktec brakes and clutch units. I’m not going to lie I find the 2022 Braktec front brake weak when braking heavily. The good news is GASGAS had heard this too and addressed the problem. During the tech talk they made it no secret that they tested back-to-back with Braktec and Brembo units until the performance was the same between both.

I believe them too, as during the launch I rode roughly 30 different GASGAS bikes all with Braktec clutch/brakes and they all performed perfectly. I am a big fan of the Braktec hydraulic clutch on this bike as it has a smooth light feel that only needs minimal lever movement to achieve drive or slip from the clutch.

The overall handling of this bike has quite a racy feel as the faster you charge the better it responds. It feels very stable in a straight line and with minimal body input it will carve a super tight line. I know GASGAS have targeted the suspension on this bike at the average trail rider, however I find the overall feel of this motorcycle is still very racy. It has a ripper of a motor, the chassis rewards hard charging, and in my opinion, the red colour scheme is as good as it gets.