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Old 04-30-2014, 12:53 PM
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wrench wrench is offline
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Default My take on the New 300

GAS GAS presence at the Dream House Family Fun Ride event, April 27, 2014

Finally had my chance to see the new 2014 model up close and personal.
I have to say that it is a beautiful machine, I guess that is the reason that Beta's look so similar to it! ;-)

I observed several riders take their turn on the 300 e start all day. I did not hear anyone have anything negative to say after their time on the bike. Those that had never previously experienced the Gasser mystique, were positively surprised by the performance and build quality. The riders that have ridden a Gaser in the past were impressed that the famous predictable and "electric" like feel that the powerplant is known for had not been lost and the "unknown" Reiger rear shock worked very well. I never saw the e-start falter, nor did I see anyone without a smile.

There was a well known "4 strokes rule" guy there who reluctantly admitted that the new Gasser was a great surprise and that he LIKED it. It was the same response, rider after rider .. "Wow, what a great bike", "Gee, that motor is a tractor, like a 4 stroke".

Out on the trail I was passed by a fast "test" rider on the new 300estart, he blasted by me and my old GG300 like I was sitting still. Normally I would not have thought anything of it[I'm and old and slow "B class" rider], but he went by on the gas, hard with the front wheel floating about a foot off the dirt, and it was a beautiful thing.

Sitting on the bike, I found the ergonomics very well sorted with the exception of the bars, but that as we all know is a matter of personal preference and easily solved with a bar swap. One of the most important factors for me is the "feel" of the ergonomics, not just are the bar position/sweep/levers. I am an average 5'10" and hate that feeling of siting on top of a building [think Kinkg Kong atop the Empire State Bldg]. that "teetering" feeling that that I had with my KTM which brought me to the GG brand. The new Gasser had that nice lower neutral feeling, like your comfortable easy chair at home, the Beta also gives me that "high up" feeling. The other thing about the seating postion that I noticed was the lack of effort in squeezing the bike with my knees. That is the one thing that I do not like about my '03 300EC, the very narrow frame/tank area of my bike, combined with haveing to wear knee braces makes it difficult. This new bike felt wider and much more comfortable at the knees.

Whoever is the guy in Spain that makes the decisions in regards to the controls/switches, must have a son in law that designeed that funky lights/starter/kill switch control pod/knob thingy, because it is still standard equipment. Personally the only thing I find awkward about it is that they locate the Kill button on the front, which means you have to use your index finger to push it rather than your thumb like every other bike I have ever ridden or owned, dirt or street. A simple addition of a $20 standard kill button would be my first upgrade.

They have re-located the ignition mapping switch from the awkward to reach coolant hose position under the radiator, to the righ side handlebar, making it a natural flick of your thumb now to toggle the mapping on the fly. I would consider this to be a great move for rider safety.

Push the magic button with a slight twist of the throttle and she fires up in a nano second. No grinding or spinning of the starter, nothing to write home about, it just works.

Anyone that know's this brand, is well aware of the reliability of the engine. My '01 250 and '03 300 Gassers are prime examples, both have several seasons on thier top ends and still are within compression specs. The bottom ends are original and have no issues. I see no reason to expect anying less

At the end of the day, I had the opportunity to really look over the machine and ask questions of the Factory Rep, Rod Overstreet. We spent a good bit of time talking about the bike and a lot of bench racing as we both have been around the block a few times. He is a very engaginging and knowledgeable enthusiast, not just a guy trying to sell a widget like a Wild West Snake Oil peddler. I was worried that when the news came down that the Factory was going "in house" with U.S./N.A. distribution that we were going to lose that passionate caring desire that we had come to know from the former Independant Importer/Distributor.

Unfortunately, I did not get to ride the bike in the woods myself. I was under strict orders from "she who must be obeyed" that I have too many toys and was not "allowed" to test ride any new bikes! Since she was there to keep an eye on our son's riding so that I could go on the "daddy ride" with my buddies, I felt it best to comply. The thought of "barrowing" from the kids college fund did cross my mind this morning!

Our wedding anniversary is this weekend, I will wait for that to pass before I begin my mission for approval of a new bike!


V Crean


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Old 04-30-2014, 03:00 PM
Moto7man Moto7man is offline
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Nice writeup, thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:02 PM
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great write up
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:42 PM
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Awesome write-up; thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts/impressions together.

A question for you on the ergos; I believe the seat height is taller now (starting in '13?) than it has been in the past. How did the seat height feel in comparison to your older 300?

BTW - I completely agree with your sentiment about the Katoom and it's also one of the reasons I sold my 300 and moved to GG.

Any chance you took some shots of all the fun? Be cool to see those '

Congrats on the upcoming anniversary; hope you're able to sneak something new in the garage once you've ensured marital bliss continues
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:11 PM
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Jakobi Jakobi is offline
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Funny how we all comment on the KTM above the bike feeling. I get it too and for some reason it doesn't inspire confidence. I feel very detached.

The 2012 chasis was taller, and 2013 they changed the linkage to bring it back in between the 2011 and 12 range. I don't know exactly but I noticed it jumping between my 2 bikes in the shed. On the trail its not an issue and I'm only 5'9 - it actually feels much better on the trail as the raised clearance and peg height doesn't have you hanging/banging up as much. The 2013 kind of feels more 'on top of' than the previous chasis, but still nothing like the katoom. Like the perfect mix of in and out.

Thanks for the write up Wrench. Most enjoyed!
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:20 PM
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Honestly, I would say that the height was about the same as my 03 bike. If it is taller, I did not notice. It really felt comfortable, like I had been on it before. Usually, it takes me a few minutes to lose that "foreign" feeling, if you know what I mean when I get on a different bike for the first time.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakobi View Post
Funny how we all comment on the KTM above the bike feeling. I get it too and for some reason it doesn't inspire confidence. I feel very detached.
I know, it is really crazy. I switched from a 94 YZ250 to a 2k KTM 300mxc and it was a night and day type of change for me. When I picked up the bike, I just figured it was that "foreign" new bike thing. I never got comfortable on that bike. A friend of mine [about my size] had switched to this crazy new woods bike from Spain with "old fashioned" forks that had one side compression and the other side rebound damping adjustments. It was the GG 200 and we were all busting his ballz about going backwards with his Spanish time machine. We nicknamed it the "marshmallow" due to the zoke forks. Anyway, long story short .. our previous nights campfire fun was short lived. When the flag dropped the next morning for the hare scramble, he was gone and I mean GONE. He just checked out and we never saw him again until we got back to camp after the race. He went on that year to win his class for his enduro series. He said the difference was not just the bikes power delivery and suspension, rather it was the height and ergos. He had more confidence because he knew that he could "dab" his feet without fear like on the KTM 200 he was on the previous year.

That really stuck with me and when the opportunity presented itself I picked up my 1st gasser, the 01 250XC and never looked back. It felt more like my old mid 90's YZ and I was noticeably quicker on it.
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