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ADB's Ben Grabham had this bike for a full twelve months, so he had the chance to drag it all over the country and ride it in all kinds of terrain with over 120 hours on it.

It is not uncommon to hear stories about people who had rough starts in their lives going on to become high achievers. It was kinda like that for my long-term test ADB GASGAS EC 250F. Before I even threw a leg over it ADB’s editor Mitch dropped it in a very large puddle, during which it swallowed a decent amount of water, then not long after the exhaust pipe had stopped blowing steam, Mitch got caught out by a sneaky log and sent it flying down the track on its side. Not exactly the ideal start I had in mind for this long-term test bike, luckily the next 100 hours ticked over a lot smoother.

During the first five hours I just rode it in standard trim, mainly running it in and learning all the traits of this small-bore thumper. From the beginning there was not much that I did not like about this bike, my only complaint was that the front brake was not powerful enough for heavy braking. So, what I did that solved my issue and brought the front brakes stopping power up a few levels was replace the standard brake pads with some Braking pads and replaced the brake fluid with Motorex Racing brake fluid.

Once I had clocked up ten hours of ride time, I stripped the bike down and greased all the bearings in the swing arm, linkage and triple clamps. I also gave all the nuts and bolts a good check over to make sure they were at the correct torque settings. Just doing this maintenance alone had the bike feeling smooth and handling as it should.

Next up, I fitted a handful of GASGAS Technical Accessories, a radiator fan, FMF slip-on muffler, Factory Racing triple clamp, WP 6500 cartridge kit and a power map switch. Out of all of the GASGAS Technical Accessories parts I fitted, the WP 6500 cartridge kit was easily my favourite. I really rated the standard fork for trail riding, it just couldn’t handle the aggressive bumps you find on a racetrack, and that is where the WP 6500 kit really allowed the capabilities of this bike to rise multiple levels.

All of the other Technical Accessories sure do what they are designed to do and made my riding experience that little more enjoyable in every situation. Other aftermarket additions I added were Acerbis hand-guards, skid plate and frame guards all aimed to give either myself or the bike added protection.

As I had this bike for a full twelve months, I had the chance to drag it all over the country and ride it in all kinds of terrain. Hattah was high speed sand, Three Bridges meant mountains and clay, Sunny Corner for hills and stones, Griffith had pea gravel, the Stockton sand dunes, the Finke whoops, the Central Coast mountains, the river flats around Echuca and every flat track I had the chance to spin a lap on. The best part of this bike was the fact I did not need to change much at all to have it feeling right at home in all of these different conditions. The biggest change I would make was the rear tyre, next would be suspension clicker settings depending on weather I wanted firm or soft feeling suspension and lastly, I would flick between map 1-2 as well as TC mode on and off.

The most fun I had was with a trials rear tyre fitted, rear shock settings all on full hard, the map switch on Map 2 (the most powerful) and the throttle wide open as I raced around a speedway track against 450s’. Generally on a fire breathing 450 the lungs struggle to keep up after six or so laps but on this little weapon I was logging 20 lap Moto’s without cracking a sweat and at a front running pace as well.

During my time on this bike the biggest plus I experienced was on a day when I was not feeling overly great. The kind nature of this bike and its power delivery kept a smile on my face and generally led me back to a good place with my riding. I have been saying it for years and will continue to say it forever. All of us riders can benefit from riding/racing a bike that we can take for a ride and use the majority of the power, this bike is exactly that for me.

Reliability wise this bike was rock solid during the 110 hours I had it, even with its rough start to life it never once missed a beat. My ritual that I believe played a big part was a fresh Twinair airfilter with Motorex bio filter oil every ride, engine oil change every 10-12 hours (Motorex Cross Power 10W60), a new inline fuel filter every 10 hours, and a new fuel pump filter kit every 40 hours. In an ideal world I would have given the engine a fresh piston at 70 hours, however times got busy and the original piston got stretched out to the 100-hour mark. Regardless, it still looked like new when I did switch it out for a new one.

Considering this is the longest period I have had a long-term test bike for, and the fact that I cannot really remember crashing it or even having a bad day’s ride, definitely says how much I gelled with it. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and it is time to hand back this little weapon and let it move onto its next lucky owner. Originally, I was thinking that I would be fine handing it back and sticking to one of my desert 500EXCs’ for all of my riding but after reflecting on my previous twelve months with this 250F I am more than keen to get hold of another small-bore thumper.