GasGas Pampera 280 ’03 – 11/27/02
GasGas has a 2-smoke trail bike named the Pampera, which is based on their famous trials bike line. The bike in no way resembles a trials bike, but it looks just like a conventional two-stroke trail bike. TracyB from the Bay Area bought a Pampera recently, and here are some comments from her, her husband, and friends about her new bike.
The bike finally arrived on Friday, and Mike spent most of Friday and Saturday getting it rideable for me, so we could go riding on Sunday. The only thing I noticed that needed to be changed right away was the shifter; it seemed too far away from my foot peg and Mike agreed. The bike also does not come with a spark arrestor, so Mike made one work with a little help from a nice guy at a local muffler shop.
Mike also changed the tires for me, telling me we would save those until spring when they would be more appropriate.
Sunday morning did finally arrive, and much to my dismay, Mike was not up at the crack of dawn like I was. Then after sleeping in, he reminds me that he spent all his time on my bike, and now he has to work on his before we leave. Ugh. Well all my gear was ready, and lunch was ready, so I waited, and waited; I was so frustrated.
We leave and arrive around noon, but I’m not complaining.
The bike is definitely completely different from my TTR, and having never ridden a two stroke for more than 5 minutes, I don’t know what to expect. Jim (from Smackover MotorSports) had prepared me for the kickstarter, and he did not exaggerate; it was very difficult to start. I did after much practice and demonstration from Mike learn a technique that will now allow me to start it almost every time.
I have learned to find the spot where the compression is released, and then I bring back up to the top and give it one full push and it starts. I’m sure I look very strange doing this because I push really slowly down to find that ‘spot’ and hope I don’t go too far past it. I hope with time I get faster at it.
The bike is a tremendous improvement over my last; it fits me better and will tackle anything with ease. I was a little worried about not being able to flat foot it, but that is no longer a problem. I have had to adjust to the new vibrations and motor sounds and spent most of the day riding over things that were a challenge for my TTR, amazed at how easy and smooth my Pampera handled them.
Having full size wheels is great!!
Aside from a little junk in my carburetor causing one of the jets to clog, I had a perfect day of riding. The only other things I’ll need to change right away is putting new taller bars on it and different levers on it that aren’t so far away for my short fingers.
This is going to be a great bike for me for several years to come, and hopefully, it will help make me a better, faster rider.
Before we headed out to ride, I weighed the bike on our bathroom scale, calibrated with dumbbells and bench weights. It weighs in ready to ride with approximately 1 gallon of gas at 206 lbs. Hand guards and a skid plate will increase that a little.
I’m sure the Dunlop 756’s that I put on it weigh more than the Michelins it came with. Not to mention the ’94 KX 250 spark arrestor that I grafted onto the bike.
The bike starts easily if you know the technique. I’m happy to tell you that the suspension is pretty good. I rode it slow and at a pretty good clip, and it felt good. I even slammed it through some whoops, and it did OK. It certainly didn’t do anything evil.
The brakes are top notch, and it uses AJP master cylinders for the clutch and brakes and Hebo calipers. Good stuff.
I need to make the levers a little closer to the bars for Tracy’s small hands, but it’s not difficult to do. I will replace the front brake switch with a bolt that will hold the lever closer to the bar. On the clutch side, I either need to drill and tap and bolt hole to match the brake side or use quick steel. Anyway, the bars are apparently too low, and I will be raising them with tapered bars and a universal mounting kit. This 280 also turns on a dime.
I want to take it on a nasty trail soon.
We had a problem right away with some tank slag making its way into the carb. It’s not a big deal, but I will be removing the petcock and cleaning out the tank.
Power: The 280 is definitely a great bike. It makes good usable power just off idle and it does so smoothly. Standing to the side of the bike in the dirt with the bike at a slow idle, you can dump the clutch in 1st gear and it will not stall. It’s much like my trials bike that way. It revs slow, and I believe more power is just a few jets away.
It’s rich on the bottom, and then seems to get real lean. I need to talk with BobR about what he has done with Ellen’s bike.
The air filter and air box is straight off the trials bike. It uses the same filter as my trials bike. It’s also a pain to get at because a frame tab for mounting the side number plate is in the way. The kick stand is about .75 inches too long, and it’s a suicide kick stand also. So, the bike stands almost straight up, and the slightest movement can make it topple.
I fixed this by relocating the point where the spring hooks onto the frame. I still will still cut the kick stand shorter.
All in all, I believe it’s a great step-up bike for Tracy. I was told that I cannot steal any parts from it. I told her that it’s my back-up bike for enduros.
After all, it’s a 280 and legal for the open class that I ride.
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