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FIRST RIDE: 2018 Gas Gas EC300 | Bike Reviews

ADB Digital Editor, Olly Malone, was in Broadford, Victoria, for the Australian press launch of the 2018 Gas Gas EC300 and XC300.


The news of Gas Gas’s return to the enduro market with a 2018 model was particularly exciting for me. Forget fuel-injected this and composite frame that, this was the rebirth of a brand that got me addicted to the sport we all love.

For you see, it was an old clapped-out 2003 Gas Gas EC200 that started my obsession with dirtbikes, which eventually landed me a gig with ADB, a magazine I’d read religiously since I was a young punk.

So when the sneaky Spaniards unveiled the Phoenix Project at EICMA 2016 I started counting down the days.

The day finally came and I was given the chance to be one of the first in the country to ride Gasser’s new machine at the press launch at Broadford.

Press the starter button with your left thumb, yes left, and there’s no hesitation from the 300cc two-stroke engine.

Unlike older Gassers I’ve ridden it took no time to adapt to this one. The handlebar had a little more rake than I’d like but, standing or sitting, I had no problem getting all 196cm of me into a comfortable riding position for threading this 300cc missile through the trees. And a missile it is.

In true Gas Gas style, the engineers haven’t skimped on steering lock, which is a subtle nod to the brand’s trials heritage but this hasn’t hurt straight-line stability. This thing is a singletrack weapon, easily flicking through tight trees and pulling up quick under brakes, but it’s also a sixth-gear fireroad bandit that will satisfy any rider.

Gas Gas claims its geeks found another 10hp when building the new engine and I believe them. Right off idle you feel this enormous wave of torque surge from the engine and as you creep higher in the revs it starts pulling hard. If you’re after a gentler tug, though, this Gasser is a short-shifters’ wet dream.

Ride the bike in a gear or two higher and use the torque to just pull you around the track, you never have to even come close to the powerband if you choose.

You may find yourself moving a bit quicker than expected, but Gasser thought of this by fitting the strong Nissin stoppers.

Gas Gas EC300

The switch to KYB suspension was a big move and one Gas Gas is very proud of. The fork is adjustable in every way imaginable and so too is the shock.

I couldn’t fault them. Paired with the chrome-moly frame, which gives a bit of flex, I never felt disconnected from the ground nor did I experience much deflection even on the dry, rocky terrain where we were testing.

The fork does prefer aggressive riding. I found the harder I pushed the better the fork felt. It drove into the dirt better, found more grip and skimmed over the rocks. The shock didn’t kick over whoops and even with six or seven in a row didn’t pack down, it just kept me straight.

It’s the best Gas Gas we’ve seen by a country mile. The finish, build quality and standard equipment rival any of its competitors and outdo them in some cases.

Under the rule of Torrot, they’ve produced a balanced, easy-to-ride and highly competitive bike that’s well priced and well equipped. Gas Gas is back!

For the full ride impression check out ADB Issue #459 – on sale November 6.