no stopping roczen webb sees red

Transcription

no stopping roczen webb sees red
QUICK LINKS IN THE WIND 20 STUFF 78
<< RedBud Motocross >>
NO STOPPING ROCZEN
WEBB SEES RED
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
Comparison Test
YAMAHA XSR900 VS.
DUCATI MONSTER 821
Also…
FIRST RIDE:
2017 GAS GAS
EC 300
STURGIS
SUPERMOTO
ARCHIVES:
1985 SUPERCROSS
SEASON
P8
CAPTURED
Spanish Redemption
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Mathias
Bellino celebrated a double victory at
the GP of Euskadi in Gordexola (Spain).
It was the Frenchman’s first win since
topping the opening round of the 2016
World Enduro Championship.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FUTURE7MEDIA/
HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
P9
SUZUKI BRINGS
THE
For the second week in a row, RCH Suzuki put
both of its riders on the podium. The dominant
Ken Roczen took his fifth win of the season
while teammate Broc Tickle claimed third at the
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship round
at the RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan.
That’s how the in-control RM-Z450 celebrates
Independence Day.
EXPERIENCE RM-Z
#20 BROC TICK
Professional riders in closed-course competition.
KLE
#94 KEN ROCZEN
P34
IN
THE
WIND
FIM RELEASES 2017 MXGP SCHEDULE
T
he provisional calendar for
the 2017 FIM Motocross
World Championship has been
announced, revealing some
new venues, such as Pangkal
Pinang, Indonesia and Baldasserona, San Marino, and some
old ones, such as Uddevalla,
Sweden and Ernee, France, the
site of last year’s Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.
On the list is a return visit to
Charlotte, but no Glen Helen.
However, a venue has not yet
been announced for next year’s
Monster Energy Motocross of
Nations, which is scheduled to
be held in the U.S. on October
1, 2017. CN
DATE
GRAND PRIX
VENUE
February 25
March 5
March 19
March 26
April 9 April 23
May 7
May 14
May 28
June 4
June 18
June 25
July 9
July 30 August 13
August 20
September 2
September 10 September 17 Qatar
Indonesia
Patagonia-Argentina
Leon-Mexico
Italy
Europe
Latvia
Germany
France Great Britain
Belgium
Italy
San Marino
Czech Republic
Switzerland
Sweden
USA
The Netherlands
TBA
Losail
Pangkai Pinang
Neuquen
Leon
TBA
Valkenswaard
Kegums
TBA
Ernee
Matterley Basin
Lommel
Maggiora
Baldasserona
Loket
Frauenfeld/Gachnang
Uddevalla
Charlotte
Assen
TBA ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
P42
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
ROCZEN
BY KIT PALMER
PHOTOGRAPHY ROB KOY
IMPRESSES AGAIN
Ken Roczen dominates, Cooper Webb takes over
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
P43
Justin Bogle
pulled both
holeshots in the
450MX class.
A
s the 2016 Lucas Oil
AMA Pro Motocross
Championship reaches
the midway point of the season
at RedBud, one of the roughest tracks—and certainly one of
the most spirited, thanks to an
always-energetic crowd—very
little has changed in the 450MX
class. Ken Roczen continues
to dominate much like he did at
the opening round at Hangtown,
and at Glen Helen, Thunder
Valley, High Point… Most of the
bar-to-bar racing action is taking
place far behind him.
But last week at Muddy
Creek, Eli Tomac did show
signs of his old self with a
strong second. Could he carry
that momentum into RedBud
and perhaps derail the Roczen
freight train? Turns out, no.
In the 250MX class, trends
seem to continue. Defending
two-time champ Jeremy Martin
still struggles with his consistency, his brother Alex Martin continues to get faster and faster
while opening-round winner and
now former red-plate holder
Joey Savatgy continues to make
mistakes (his biggest yet), and
the more Cooper Webb continues to heal up from his wrist
injury, the more he wins; he’s
now won two in a row and is the
new red-plate holder (championship leader).
ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
Ken Roczen celebrates his
fifth overall victory in front
of a typically enthusiastic
RedBud crowd.
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
P44
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
P45
450MX
Just when you think that somebody (okay, Eli Tomac) might
put an end to Roczen’s win
streak, the Soaring Eagle/Jimmy
John’s/RCH Suzuki Team rider
steps up his game even further.
At RedBud, Roczen turned in
his most impressive ride yet,
which is saying a lot since all of
his other rides this season have
been impressive as well.
Roczen won the first moto
over Tomac by 13.6 seconds.
After passing holeshotter Justin
Bogle, then Justin Barcia (who
passed Bogle as they crossed
the holeshot line) on the first lap,
Roczen pretty much checked
out and opened up a big lead
over Tomac, who had also gotten around Bogle by the end of
the first lap.
But Tomac got stuck behind
a stubborn Barcia, who was determined not to give up second.
Finally, on lap seven with Broc
Tickle breathing down his neck,
Tomac got around Barcia after
the Yamaha rider bobbled.
By the time Tomac got into
second, however, Roczen was
long gone, even on a bike that
he later said was “the worst
bike I’ve ridden all year.” Between motos, he made several
changes to the bike, including a
complete engine swap.
Tomac ended up second in
the moto six seconds ahead of
Barcia. Tickle dropped off the
pace a bit but still landed fourth,
just ahead of Red Bull KTM’s
Marvin Musquin.
ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
P46
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
The start of the second moto
had all of the makings of being a
real thriller when Tomac got out
in front on the first lap and held it
there for a complete lap—it was
the first time that Tomac led a lap
in the outdoor nationals this year.
Roczen was fourth but not for
long. By the second lap, he had
already gone around fast starters
Bogle and Tickle and was right
behind Tomac, setting the stage
for the battle that everyone had
came to see. Unfortunately, that
battle quickly fizzled out.
Roczen, now on a bike that he
would later say was the best bike
of the season, made quick work
of Tomac and was leading the
way by the end of the second
lap, and that was that.
Roczen steadily—and surprisingly—rode away from Tomac
like he was just another rider on
the track. After starting together,
Roczen still took the checkered
flag an amazing 31.281 seconds
ahead of Tomac, who, coming
into the race, was the only rider
many felt was capable of beating
Roczen, now that some of the
top riders are out with injuries,
like defending 450MX champ
Ryan Dungey, Jason Anderson
and Cole Seely.
After the race, Roczen said
the second moto was one of
his best rides of the year, and
Tomac said that he gave it everything he had, admitting that he
was “second-best today.”
Overall, it was another great
day for the Soaring Eagle/Jimmy
John’s Suzuki squad. For the
second time in a row, the team
finished out the day with both of
its riders on the 450MX podium.
After recording his first podium
finish since 2014 last week in
Tennessee, Tickle showed that
his success last weekend at
Muddy Creek was no fluke and
found his way onto the podium
again, joining Roczen, after going 4-3. It was a repeat podium
from the weekend before, with
Roczen, Tomac and Tickle going
1-2-3.
Barcia, on his AutoTrader.
com/Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha,
was hoping to change things
around at RedBud and he did,
sort of. Barcia was the defending race champion, and he said
that his style of riding bodes
well with the rough RedBud
track; although he did ride
well—the best of the season—
with a 3-4, it wasn’t enough to
get on the podium. He scored
as many points as Tickle on the
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
P47
Eli Tomac had to settle
for another second-place
finish, but he did lead a lap.
day, but Tickle’s better placing
in the second moto broke the
tiebreaker.
Musquin rode hard for fifth
overall, despite losing out in
a tough battle with Yoshimura
Suzuki’s Blake Baggett for fifth
place in the second moto.
His 5-6, however, still topped
Baggett’s 7-5 in the overall.
Seventh place overall went to
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s
Christophe Pourcel, and eighth
went to Matt Bisceglia, who is
still filling in for James Stewart
on the Yoshimura Suzuki Team.
Bisceglia rode much better than
his eighth place might suggest.
He ran near the front for most of
the second moto before giving
way to a few riders late in the
race. In just his fourth-ever 450
race, Bisceglia went 8-8 for his
best ride yet.
Bogle holeshot both motos
and battled longer up front in
both motos than he has all season. He eventually slipped back,
going 10-9 for ninth overall.
BTO Sports/KTM’s Benny
Bloss had his best finish all year.
He cracked the top 10 overall
with 10-9 moto finishes.
ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
P48
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
250MX
Cooper Webb is now the new points
leader in the 250MX class—he’s the
third different one (Savatgy, Alex Martin and now Webb) so far this season.
Now seemingly fully healed from his
earlier wrist injury, the Yamalube/Star
Racing Yamaha Team rider collected
his second overall victory in a row
after going 1-1.
Webb, however, had to fight for
those wins. He battled back and forth
with a pesky Austin Forkner in the
first moto. After two laps, Webb finally
broke free of Forkner, who soon gave
way to his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate, Savatgy.
Savatgy was determined not to let
Webb get away and slowly but surely
reeled in the Yamaha rider. Only a few
P49
Austin Forkner
(214) grabbed the
holeshot in the first
250MX moto ahead
of Aaron Plessinger
(289), Jeremy
Martin (1) and Zach
Osborne (16).
ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
Cooper Webb fought
hard for his 1-1 victory in
the 250MX class.
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
P50
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
seconds separated the two for
most of the race, then Savatgy
make a late-race push and got
to within a second of Webb.
Even with just a couple of laps
left, there was plenty of time to
strike, but small mistakes by the
Kawasaki rider prevented him
from letting that happen.
Meanwhile, Forkner, in third,
was doing a great job of holding
back two-time champ Jeremy
Martin. While they argued over
third, Alex Martin as able to
sneak up on both of them and
pass them in rapid succession. Jeremy would also get by
Forkner but the damage was
already done, with Webb taking
the narrow win over Savatgy, and
then Alex Martin, Jeremy Martin
and Zach Osborne, who made a
late pass on Forkner for fifth.
Savatgy took the early lead
in the second moto but had
a tip-over on the third lap that
dropped him to fifth. He would
crash again on the 11th lap. This
one was a nasty and a costly
one. He was visibly rattled in the
crash and slow to his feet. To
make matters worse, he had to
pull into the mechanics area get
his bike straightened. He would
eventually finish 16th.
When Savatgy went down the
first time, Shane McElrath took
over the lead but moments later
ran off the track, handing the
lead to the third different rider,
Alex Martin, making it a Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha threesome up front. Alex Martin led,
followed by his brother, Jeremy,
P51
and Webb.
Then it was Jeremy’s turn to
falter. He swapped out, handing
second to Webb, who chased
down and eventually rode
around Alex Martin for the lead.
And things got worse for Alex.
As he chased Webb, Osborne
caught fire and caught up to
Alex, passing him for second on
the last lap. The three—Webb,
Alex Martin and Osborne—all
crossed the finish line within 1.6
seconds of each other. Jeremy
Martin finished 27 seconds
behind his brother in fourth,
while McElrath held on to fifth,
finishing another four seconds
back. CN
450MX
1. Ken Roczen (Suz) 1-1
2. Eli Tomac (Kaw) 2-2
3. Broc Tickle (Suz) 4-3
4. Justin Barcia (Yam) 3-4
5. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 5-6
6. Blake Baggett (Suz) 7-5
7. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 6-7
8. Matthew Bisceglia (Suz) 8-8
9. Justin Bogle (Hon) 10-9
10. Benny Bloss (KTM) 11-10
250MX
1. Cooper Webb (Yam) 1-1
2. Alex Martin (Yam) 3-3
3. Zach Osborne (Hus) 5-2
4. Jeremy Martin (Yam) 4-4
5. Shane McElrath (KTM) 9-5
6. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw) 7-8
7. Joey Savatgy (Kaw) 2-16
8. Austin Forkner (Kaw) 6-10
9. Arnaud Tonus (Kaw) 11-6
10. Mitchell Oldenburg (KTM) 8-9
ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
My Own Race:
94 KEN ROCZEN 1ST 450MX (1-1)
Ken Roczen was again dominant at RedBud but admitted afterward that,
despite winning seemingly easily, he was not comfortable at all on the bike
in the first moto. Between motos, a few changes, including swapping engines, made a big difference for the better in the second moto. “I think the
second moto might have been the best I’ve ridden all year,” Roczen said.
“I felt really good today. I felt like I was riding really good, so I just kept it
consistent the whole time. I changed a couple of little things in practice
and I wasn’t happy at all in the first moto. Obviously, I had a good lead and
I won but I told my mechanic I wasn’t happy with the bike. In my eyes it
went from the worst bike I’ve ridden all year to literally, in the second moto, to the best bike. We just made a tiny little
change and it was crazy. I guess I’m just really sensitive to it and it just made that big of a difference. We actually had
to do a quick little motor swap in between [motos]. My gut told me we should put a new motor in and the guys did a
motor swap and everything worked out good.”
3 ELI TOMAC 2ND 450MX (2-2)
Tomac was hoping to give Roczen another battle for the win at RedBud but
he just didn’t have his best stuff on this day. He got a seventh-place start in
the first moto, got into second on the seventh lap after passing fast starter
Barcia, but by then Roczen was gone. Tomac made up some ground but
not enough to really pressure Roczen, especially after stalling his bike
late in the race. Tomac led the first lap of the second moto but bobbled
and wasn’t able to jump LaRocco’s Leap and Roczen flew by him and
pulled away. Tomac ended up second again. “I was searching a bit during
the motos today,” said Tomac. “I didn’t have my best jump out of the gate
and was pushed around a bit on the first lap. I managed to play a bit of
catch-up to earn second place. From that point I did all I could to reel in the leader, but close to the end I stalled the
bike and it almost cost me second. In the second moto I had a great start but I was passed and from that point out
[Roczen] was just on another level.”
377 CHRISTOPHE POURCEL 7TH 450MX (6-7)
Christophe Pourcel was the fastest qualifier in the 450MX class and rode
his best so far in the motos for seventh overall. “I had the fastest qualifying
time again and probably put in two of the most consistent motos I’ve ever
done,” said Pourcel. “It’s good that my speed is coming back. It’s been
good two weeks in a row. We have a couple more races to go, so that’s
good. The top six or seven guys are so good, so it’s tough when you don’t
get a good start and just have to fight the rest of the moto. It’s tough to
make a pass when you’re riding with guys that are all the same speed as
you. I’m just going to get some rest this week and will hopefully get a better start at the next race.”
20 BROC TICKLE 3RD 450MX (4-3)
Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing Team’s Broc Tickle
proved that his first podium in a while last week at Muddy Creek was no fluke.
He did it again at RedBud after getting two good starts [fifth after the first lap
in the first moto and fourth in the second moto] and riding consistently all day.
He even pressured Tomac a bit in the first moto. “It’s awesome to get another
podium,” Tickle said. “Last weekend really hit it off for me. In the first moto, I
wanted to get third but I knew I could do it in the second moto. I got a decent
start in the second moto and moved into third and pretty much just charged
on. Barcia was coming there for a little bit. I saw him coming, I responded
and that’s pretty much how it ended. I’m just stoked.”
P52
ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
My Own Race:
214 AUSTIN FORKNER 8TH 250MX (6-10)
Rookie Austin Forkner was impressive early in the first 250MX moto.
He pulled the holeshot, then he and Webb went back and forth
for a bit. Forkner gave up the lead to Webb on the second lap and
eventually slipped back to sixth at the finish. Forkner didn’t get the
start he wanted in the second moto and ended up 10th, but RedBud
was a great learning experience for the young racer. “In the first
moto, I earned the first holeshot of my pro career, which was great,”
Forkner said. “I ran up front for a little bit and fought hard for the
lead. The first 20-25 minutes I was in third, unfortunately towards
the end of the race I was pushed wide and passed by two riders at
once and I ended up bringing it home in sixth. In the second moto I
struggled a little at the beginning of the race and it held me back. I
still came back for 10th so I’m pretty happy with that. I’ll be working
on my consistency and getting rid of a few mistakes and I’ll be up
front and show these guys what I’ve got.”
44 ADAM CIANCIARULO 6TH 250MX (6-8)
Adam Cianciarulo’s day started off very promising after topping the
morning qualifying in the 250MX class. He went on to post his best
finish of the season. “The weekend was a step in the right direction,” said Cianciarulo. “I’ve had good starts and been going fast
lately but a few errors have hindered my results a bit. I was the fastest in qualifying again, which is always good for my confidence, and
the motos were all about focusing on riding my race. I’m a little upset
with my starts but this was a really good building week heading to
Southwick.”
17 COOPER WEBB 1ST 250MX (1-1)
Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb won both 250MX
motos, which included a hard-earned pass on Alex Martin before
he could win the second moto. In the first moto, after an early scrap
with Forkner, he held off a charging Savatgy to take the win by less
than two seconds. After the race, Webb admitted that wins are not
easy to come by. “It’s definitely not easy [to win]. The nationals are
not easy,” said Webb. “It got rough in that second moto. We all
had good starts, so I figured it was going to be a battle. And it was.
Everyone was riding well and I knew they’d be right there. We’re all
going fast and everyone wants to win, so it’s not like you’re going to
dominate. Luckily, I was able to get it done today.”
16 ZACH OSBORNE 3RD 250MX (5-2)
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne finished on the podium again in the 250MX class but is still looking for
his first win (overall). Mediocre starts might’ve prevented that from
happening at RedBud. “Today was okay,” said Osborne. “I didn’t
feel that great in practice and ended up 14th-fastest. I just had a long
travel day yesterday and it kind of wore on me. I had a little bit of
doubt going into the motos, but knew if everything went well I could
pull it off. I didn’t get a great start in the first moto, but I rode up to
fifth. Then I got pretty much the same start in the second moto, but
I rode up to second and was really close to winning. That’s a good
feeling. To be on the podium again is nice.”
P54
ROUND 6 / JULY 2, 2016
REDBUD MX / BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN
MOTOCROSS
P56
LUCAS OIL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
Briefly...
The Honda HRC Team did not field
any riders on the track at RedBud.
Both of its riders—Trey Canard and
Cole Seely—are healing up from injuries suffered while practicing during the week. Canard has been dealing with a bulging disc in his back,
which is causing numbness in his
right arm and hand ever since falling at Pala, and has missed the last
three rounds. However, he attended
the RedBud race and signed autographs. Seely suffered a broken
finger earlier in the week. The injury
required surgery to his “pinky” finger
and he will miss a number of races.
Former Arenacross Champion Tyler
Bowers made his 450MX debut on
the Monster Energy Kawasaki Team
as a fill-in rider for Josh Grant (and
Wil Hahn). Bowers, who will finish out
the year with the team, struggled a bit
in his new environment, going 16-20
for 20th overall. “I am still working on
myself and getting to where I need to
be, but I finished both motos strong
and I’ll be even better next week at
Southwick,” Bowers said.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Arnaud Tonus had a careerbest sixth in the second 250MX
moto. An 11th in the first moto led
to ninth overall. “This was my best
weekend so far,” said the Swiss
rider. “Every weekend has been better than the last and I felt really good
in the second moto today. I’m very
happy with how I rode; I just need a
little work on the starts and I’ll be at
the front where I belong. There’s still
work to be done but we’re moving in
the right direction.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Mar-
tin Davalos said that he was lucky
just to race RedBud after getting
slammed into by a drunk driver in his
car earlier in the week. “I had a little
incident this week so I’ve been super sore,” said Davalos. “I got rearended by a drunk driver on Monday
and was in the hospital. So it’s been
a tough week for me. I really didn’t
know if I was going to race and just
decided to come and do my best.
I ran out of tear-offs during the first
moto and wasn’t able to put a good
race together. I had a better start in
the second moto and dug deep to
finish seventh, despite a lot of cramping. I’m just thankful that I’m okay and
was able to race.” Davalos went 15-7
for 12th overall in the 250MX class.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart
was again a no-show at RedBud.
According to his team, Stewart and
his wife are still awaiting the arrival of
their first child.
RedBud Notes: GEICO Honda’s Jordon Smith, who finished fourth overall the week before at Muddy Creek,
had a terrible day. Multiple crashes
in both motos left him saying afterward: “It was definitely just the worst
weekend I think I’ve had as a pro.”…
Smith’s teammate RJ Hampshire
also had a bad day after taking a rock
to his lip (splitting it open) in the first
moto then crashing and “tweaked” his
back and neck. He finished out both
motos for 15th overall… RedBull/
KTM’s Marvin Musquin ended up
fifth overall in the 450MX class after
slow starts. He said, “I didn’t get the
best starts today and I’m disappointed
with how both races went at the beginning, but I am happy with my riding
towards the end.”
FIRST RIDE
P68
2017 GAS GAS EC 300 R
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADAM BOOTH
BACK ON THE TRAIL
GAS GAS RETURNS WITH SOME OF ITS
MOST POPULAR MODELS, LIKE THE EC 300 R
TWO-STROKE OFF-ROADER. WE RECENTLY
TOOK A SPIN ON IT AND LEARNED MORE
ABOUT THE COMPANY’S COMEBACK.
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
P69
G
asGas is back in North America and the
new owners are making a legitimate push,
establishing a home base of operations with
a solid plan for dealers. They are also well aware
of the need for the customer to get parts when
needed in a timely manner. The U.S. infrastructure
is taking shape and as proof by our day aboard
the 2017 GasGas EC 300 R (Racing model), bikes
are coming out of the factory and making it to
American soil.
A N EW B EG I N N I N G
Geoff Aaron
shows you
what the
2017 GasGas
EC 300 R is
capable of
doing.
The Spanish company Torrot, which is known
for its electric scooters and mini bikes, acquired
GasGas, which was in dire finical distress. Torrot’s
plan for recovery of Gas Gas is now in motion and
we meet with Geoff Aaron, the new promotions
manager for GasGas here in the States, to ride the
2017 EC 300 off-road two-stroke for a day. It was a
great chance to get reacquainted with the bike and
to get caught up with all of the latest happenings
FIRST RIDE
P70
2017 GAS GAS EC 300 R
with the company, which also
just acquired off-road legend
Scot Harden as chief marketing
director. Plus, Gas Gas recently
hired former factory motocrosser
Broc Hepler as one of its new
off-road factory racers. As you
can see, Gas Gas is serious
about its comeback.
In between our rides on the
EC 300, Aaron filled us in on
Gas Gas’ major push to make
the company with the funny
name successful again.
“Gas Gas now has a subsiderary team, an arm of the
factory here in the U.S.,” Aaron
said. “They have a group for
the dealerships and a team for
promotions. My new role with
Gas Gas is to work with the
The new EC 300 R two-stroke
isn’t dramatically changed
over the previous model.
Luckily, it was already a very
good off-road bike.
media and provide new models
and showcase the new bikes. I
will also continue to race EnduroCross, which is something I’ve
been passionate about for 10
FIRST RIDE
2017 GAS GAS EC 300 R
The Gas Gas
isn’t the lightest
bike in its class
but it’s still quite
agile compared
to big-bore fourstrokes.
P72
FIRST RIDE
2017 GAS GAS EC 300 R
Geoff Aaron is
liking the EC
300. GasGas is
also offering the
EC 250.
P74
VOL. 53 ISSUE 26 JULY 6, 2016
P75
years. The other cool thing I get to do is I’ll
be attending all the national trials events.
I did 20 years on the circuit and won 10
national championships and while I’m not
competing, I’m there representing the Gas
Gas brand and being the eyes and ears
for Gas Gas.
“For now Gas Gas will release their flagship models like the EC 300 and EC 250
here in the U.S. On the trials side they will
have a 300 and 250 two-stroke available.
They are bringing in what they are good
at, their trials and enduro two-stroke models. Gas Gas is excited about their future
in North America and they have a lot of
cool things in the works.”
R EF I N EM EN T S
The 2017 Gas Gas EC 300 is much like
the previous EC 300 with some very minor revisions to the subframe at the front
mount and the overall color is now red.
Key features, like the adjustable powervalve and an FMF muffler remain. Nissin
brakes squeeze Galfer wave rotors to help
stop the Excel rims that are wrapped in
Metzeler Six Days Extreme tires. The Marzocchi closed-cartridge fork has updated
internal valving and is combined with the
German made Reiger shock.
Other notable features carried over
from the previous model include E-start
(with manual kick for backup), a digital
speedometer, headlight, sidestand, skid
plate and hand guards.
OU T ON T H E T R A I L
We spent just a few hours with Geoff
Aaron, riding around on the 2017 Gas
Gas EC 300 R, roosting single track
and crawling around on big rocks. Little
changes or not, the EC 300 R is still an
fantastic off-roader and is without question
worth looking into if you’re in the market
FIRST RIDE
P76
2017 GAS GAS EC 300 R
SPECIFICATIONS
2017 GAS GAS EC 300 R
(Above) Gas Gas is working hard
to build a name for itself in the
U.S. again. Hiring people like
Geoff Aaron, Scot Harden and
Broc Hepler should help do that.
(Right) Electric starting is a huge
asset. In case anything goes
wrong with the button, manual
kick is still there for backup.
for a middleweight two-stroke
off-road bike. It’s a worthy rival
to the KTM, Husqvarna and Beta
300cc two bangers out there.
The engine is unchanged
from the previous model, so the
familiar lugability of the 300 twostroke is still present. The Gas
Gas engine shines down near
idle, providing incredible traction
when navigating technical terrain. It pulls well through the mid
and will rev out when needed.
The Marzocchi fork moves
through its travel smoothly, doing
a great job of soaking up trail
hack and holds up well to big
drops. The Reiger shock works
nicely and with only a day of
single-track and rock-hopping
we feel with some fine tuning
(through sag and clicker adjustments) the potential is there to
make it work even better.
It is great to see the new owners of Gas Gas committing to the
brand and working toward success. Two-stroke off-road riders
can rejoice that there is another
choice in the enduro world and
we are looking forward to riding
and testing further with Gas Gas
as more bikes and models make
it to the U.S. CN
ENGINE:..............Single cylinder, 2-stroke
DISPLACEMENT:............................299.3cc
BORE X STROKE:..................72.5 x 72mm
FUEL SYSTEM:......... Keihin PKWS 38mm
INTAKE SYSTEM:...........Direct reed-valve,
V-Force
MUFFLER:...................... FMF Powercore 2
CLUTCH:............Wet Multi-disc, hydraulic
TRANSMISSION:............................ 6-speed
FINAL DRIVE:......................... Regina chain
IGNITION:...................... Hidria DC ignition
STARTING SYSTEM:....................... Electric
FRAME:............Chromoly-steel, perimeter
FRONT SUSPENSION:................Marzocchi
Shiver 48mm, closed-cartridge, fully
adjustable
REAR SUSPENSION:............. Reiger single
shock, fully adjustable
FRONT WHEEL TRAVEL:......................12 in.
REAR WHEEL TRAVEL:......................11.7 in.
FRONT BRAKE:......... 260mm Galfer wave
rotor, 2-piston Nissin caliper
REAR BRAKE:...........220mm Galfer Wave
rotor, 1-piston Nissin caliper
FRONT TIRE:...........90/90-21 in. Metzeler
Six Days
REAR TIRE:............140/80-18 in. Metzeler
Six Days
HANDLEBAR:.........................Double Force
SEAT HEIGHT:.................................. 37.4 in
WHEELBASE:..........................58.2 ± 0.4 in
WEIGHT (without fuel):.................236 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY:.............................2.5 gal.
MSRP:............................................... $8399

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