most tough obstacles. The EC keeps running at rpm levels
so low that virtually any four-stroke would cough and die.
Gas Gas is true to its trials bike heritage in that way. But
when it’s time to race, there’s not much real power down
low. You have to work the clutch to stay in the happy
zone. Luckily, it has an awesome hydraulic clutch. The pull
is one-finger light, and the actuation is precise and consistent. No matter how much you abuse it, the engagement is
always where it should be.
This year the power valve can be adjusted very easily.
It can actually be done on the trail. You remove a cover
on the left side of the engine, and then tighten or loosen
the preload on the governor spring. One turn out gives the
power a softer hit; three turns out and it has a fairly intense
kick. It doesn’t change the amount of power, only the
delivery, which is all about personal preference.
TIGHT TRAIL TACTICS
We all know what the Gas Gas is designed for. It’s a
bike for tight, slow, difficult trails. That’s why people buy
two-strokes in general, and why they look to Gas Gas in
particular. The bike is a very solid platform for very unsolid
terrain. When you have rolling rocks, slippery mud and
angled tree roots, the EC300 goes straight and is oblivious
to all the carnage in its path. The bike is somewhat heavy
for a two-stroke, and that adds to the feeling of stability. It
stays the course. But, the weight works against it in other
situations. It can be difficult to pop over ledges and manhandle the machine. It never feels especially small. The
suspension setup isn’t especially lively, either. It’s not soft
or cushy as you might expect for a bike of this type. It’s
firm, and when you combine that with a very hard seat and
a fairly high level of vibration, the Gas Gas doesn’t rank
very high on the comfort scale. It’s a very business-like
That doesn’t detract from the bike’s hard-core mission. Geoff Aaron will be riding an EC300 this year in
EnduroCross and extreme enduros, and we know he only
decided to switch after extensive testing. In that harsh
world, the Gas Gas is unstoppable. It’s made to get
through the ugly stuff, just like it’s been doing for 20 years.
That hasn’t changed, thankfully. o
The starter motor spins the motor hard and fast. The FMF silencer comes without a spark arrestor.