Gas Gas EC-250 – Dirt Rider Magazine
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Gas Gas is better-known for world-class trials bikes than for off-road models, but it is an established presence in the United States, more so in the South and Southeast than in the West. These Spanish machines are thoroughly European, but they make no secret of borrowing heavily on Japanese ideas. The chassis and rear suspension appear quite Kawasaki-ish, and the engine is reputed to be very Honda-like.
This enduro model in particular still has some of the feel of the Gas Gas trials line in the exceptional tractability at low rpm. Pick up the rpm above the tractable, off-idle area and the engine is a little flat, but a touch of the easiest-to-pull clutch we’ve ever tested brings it to life; then the EC pretty much rips. The midrange is meaty and the engine pulls hard on top. We never really felt the motor go flat, either. There is no reason to make the engine shriek in one gear, though.
The EC is a six-speed, so there are no obvious gaps from gear to gear; first is a granny gear while top speed is impressive.It may seem that Spanish riders are on the short side, though, since the ergonomics are compact, but our local dealer (Moto West: 714/526-3234) says that Fastways’ (503/244-8368) new footpegs fit the Gas Gas and all other modern race bikes and can be relocated rearward 10-12mm and down 10-12mm to alleviate this feeling. The Spanish brand is still experiencing some growing pains, though the biggest complaint we’ve heard is dealers can’t get enough bikes to meet demand.
That’s not the worst problem to have!On the test loop, the $6095 EC-250 displayed truly exceptional suspension compliance, and the Oehlins shock and WP fork were well-controlled, too. An Oehlins fork is a $600 option on any Gas Gas. Handling is nimble enough, and the bike carves turns well.
Any complaints about handling were more properly aimed at the riding position. The position is not so much wrong as it is different, and when riders are switching from bike to bike, the Gas Gas was different enough to cause some rider discomfort. Clearly Gas Gas’ EC-250 is an impressive off-road machine with spot-on credentials and components as well as a 90-day warranty. It was praised by many riders and even picked as an overall winner by one KTM owner from the Conga Line.
Gas Gas EC-250 Opinions I rode the EC-250 during the 24th hour of the test. The seat was completely mashed out, and the riding position squished me up a bit, too. The front Michelin wasn’t sticking too well, but engine performance and handling were flawless and the suspension was the best I rode on some choppy downhills.
Karel Kramer/6’1″/195 lb/B riderI liked the nice light feel of the EC-250 but had some mixed feelings on the front tire. It worked in the loose, sandy sections, but I didn’t like it on hard surfaces. The bike was very awkward in both seated and standing riding positions. The bar needs to be moved forward, and I felt cramped while seated.
The motor has a very electriclike feel, but I would like more low-rpm torque.
Tom Carson/5’10″/180 lb/ProThe excellent GG 250 suspension soaked up a lot of the rocks and ledges that I was hitting. It had good down-low power and was easy to ride up the hills. The front felt very light, as if it wanted to wash out on me.
I would have to get used to the riding position. This bike comes with premium suspension and components and has powerful brakes.
Elmer Symons/5’10″/165 lb/ProI had trouble getting along with the EC-250 ergonomics–mainly due to the seat. The clutch had a very light pull but faded after a minimal amount of usage. I think with different seat foam this bike could have good potential.
Jason Webb/5’10″/180 lb/ExpertThis bike fit me perfectly, and the clutch was butter smooth. The motor pulls from way down low and just gets stronger with rpm. The suspension is better than anything in the same class, so it is a blast to ride on chopped hills and in tight woods.
The hardware is top-notch, it looks trick and was my favorite.
Tom Burgess/6’2″/200 lb/Senior ExpertThis is the first Gas Gas I’ve ridden, and I’m impressed. The motor is fine for enduros, but I needed to concentrate more on shifting and engine speed than I did with the others. The riding position is very good, and the handling was quick and precise.
Ray Gibbs/5’8″/200 lb/Conga Line
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