If you had to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel today, it wouldn’t be any easier. There’s no paintbrush
that’s any better than the one Michelangelo used 500
years ago. Likewise, the best tool for extreme off-road
riding hasn’t changed in a very long time. The general
description is still a European 300cc two-stroke. Never
mind the crowd that claims two-stroke technology is
neglected. Two-strokes haven’t changed much simply
because no one has come up with anything better for
hard-core off-road riding.
The people at Gas Gas are at least trying. By now,
most off-road riders have probably heard of these
guys. Even if you’ve never seen a Gas Gas in a showroom, you can’t escape video clips of Adam Raga
doing amazing things on his trials bike. Raga is kind of
the senior statesman of the trials world, still threatening
to win championships after 15 years of competition.
But even though Gas Gas is an iconic name in trials,
enduro models like the EC300 are more obscure, even
to the point where they can be called cult bikes. The
company struggles to produce more than a handful
each year, but this marks a big year of change. First
of all, the factory has recently emerged from financial
reorganization. And starting with the 2015 models, U.S.
sales of the enduro bikes will be handled by GoFasters
Powersports in Minnesota, under strict control of the
factory in Spain. And 2015 also marks a year of big
mechanical change for the motorcycles themselves.
The very definition of a cult bike