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  #1  
Old 08-23-2017, 12:19 AM
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coopernicus coopernicus is offline
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Default 2018 EC 300 Test Ride

I had the chance to ride the '18 EC 300ES this past Friday at the GG test ride event in Meeker, Colorado and wanted to give my observations to the forum. To begin with, going into the ride I considered myself a "skeptic" of the new model from the pictures I have seen and had some performance fears about the new frame and components. I have owned 5 ECs from 1999 through 2014 and currently own a '11 250 and a '14 300 so I am well aware of the characteristics of all the different iterations of the EC line. Here is what I thought of the 2018 after riding it on an offroad track about 0.75 miles in length with twisty turns, quick uphills, and some small jumps thrown in:

--Handling is considerably "quicker" than all models as it leans into turns much more quickly than all older models. This was expected with the departure of the perimeter frame. Additionally, it "feels" like it weighs 20 pounds less than older versions.
--Turning precision is similar to older models with no perceived oversteer or understeer. Tires were stock Metzeler with worn edges. I would say it does not steer as precisely as my '11 and '14 but it is not too far behind as set up for the test ride.
--Stock KYBs as ridden were the best stock suspension I have ridden. My '14 setup with Reiger and Marzocchi 48s are excellent. The KYBs on the 2018 were perfect considering they are stock and I'm old and overweight (245 lbs/ 110 KG or so). My friend at 170 pounds (77 KG or so) thought they were perfect. Suspension is certainly more suited for racing out of the box than prior GGs.
--Motor is snappier and felt like it was a couple HP better across the range. It had stock GG pipe and no spark arrestor.
--Ergonomics were very good for me (73.5 inches or 186cm tall) and ideal for friend (69 inches or 175cm tall). Easy to stand and ride, easy to sit and ride, and easy transition from seated to standing position. The bike is also very narrow. The seat is shaped very well with perfect foam density and excellent cover.
--General: It looks like a GG designed KTM with a GG motor, the airbox access is great, the seat is GREAT, quality looks really good, and everything works like it should. Did I say the seat was GREAT?!? It was!!

Verdict: Very good bike with great suspension, a lively GG 300 motor, a fantastic seat, and upgraded quality. I fully expected to not like the bike but I tried to keep an open mind allowing me to appreciate that it is a very good bike as test ridden. The KYBs work better than any stock suspension out there and I have ridden a bunch of Yamahas (the other rider I was with has a SSS YZ 125 that he considers to be the standard of offroad suspension). I also test rode the 2017 afterwards to confirm my impressions. It is no taller than the '17 (which feels exactly like my '14) and allowed both of us to put our feet on the ground (the narrowness helps this,too). If you race, this is the GG for you! The only thing it really needs is a steering damper as I believe that will help the steering precision to closer match the '17 and earlier models. I would certainly buy one.

Thanks to Gas Gas North America for having the test ride and at a location where the terrain showed the true nature of the bike! Thanks to Mark Odette for convincing Gas Gas to show up to the tiny town of Meeker, Colorado!! Thanks to Rod Overstreet for getting me the details so I could find the test ride after 4 hours of driving!! And special thanks to Steve and Stacy for hosting the test ride!! Steve seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about the bike and pointed out all of the pluses and minuses like an longtime riding partner. He also kept talking about a 200cc future that had him excited!

(me: old, broken down, overweight former A level racer who still rides a lot. my friend: another old, broken down, but not overweight former A level racer)


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  #2  
Old 08-23-2017, 04:56 AM
Cox76y Cox76y is online now
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thanks for the ride report. Sounds as though all the things I dislike about my 2012 have been fixed. Cant wait till i get a chance to ride one.

JC
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:40 PM
Greenleaf13 Greenleaf13 is offline
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Thanks very much posting this Eric!
Been patiently waiting for a review from a GG guy, sounds like all good things.
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:10 PM
Moto7man Moto7man is offline
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Thanks for the report!
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:52 PM
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Still don't believe the seat is that good.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:00 AM
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coopernicus coopernicus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gg3 View Post
Still don't believe the seat is that good.
The seat was the first thing noticed by both of us. The 2017 test bike had a Seat Concepts seat and cover which was nice. My 2011 has a Guts medium density/stock height seat and my 2014 has a Guts medium/tall seat with a Motoseat cover. The 2018 was far better than all of those. However, I do realize your preferences may be different than mine. In the end, my opinion stands: The seat on the test bike I rode was GREAT.

Eric
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:19 PM
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Pictures...?
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:08 PM
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Jakobi Jakobi is offline
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I have the stock seat on my 13. It's a plank. Anything would be a step forward. It's the suspension that excites me. Makes me wanna throw money around for a 200.. but I'd have to make some sacrifices for that to happen. Still think next upgrade 2020
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:24 AM
Cox76y Cox76y is online now
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What about engine vibration through the bars? Has it been reduced with the additional engine mount?
Regards
Jc
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cox76y View Post
What about engine vibration through the bars? Has it been reduced with the additional engine mount?
Regards
Jc
I rode an '18 on monday and immediately noticed the lack of vibrations throughout the rev range.
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