2006 Gas Gas EC 250 — Dirt Rider Magazine

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2006 Gas Gas EC 250 – Dirt Rider

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It was a good thing I decided to an ISDE ready EC 250 from the Gas Gas at the 2005 Maxxis FIM International Six Enduro in the Slovak Republic. I would send my own race like the rest of the team in the USA container that leaves the States two months before the Six starts. Lucky for me I didn’t.

between the port in Germany and a customs official did not like the sent along with the container and kept the container and with it all of the Team USA supplies in his for safe keeping. It did not arrive at the Ferme pits until 23 before the start of day one! to say there were some people in the Team USA camp.

others on the team patiently the arrival of their crated I was busy prepping my brand new Gas Gas bike for my 6 foot, 215 pound I added taller handlebars and a steering damper to the front end of the and headed out to the test track to see how the new EC work. Right away I the strong low and mid range pull of the perfect for lofting the front end obstacles and the jetting was spot on for the and humid air.

From the lap around the rough test I knew that the stock Shiver fork and Ohlins were way to soft for this big boy so a couple of laps I headed to Parc Ferme to have the guys at Gas Gas re-work it for me. This was one of the perks of the Gas Gas rental program.As I for my suspension re-spring and re-valve I going over the rest of the

All of the nuts and bolts came the factory with thread compound, the chain was a press fit rather than having a for less chance of failure, and all of the seemed to be tailor made for Six competition. One of the coolest features on the was the dual curve ignition. One gave the bike a powerful surge and the other gave it a tractor like pull.

The ignition toggle switch on the side of the handle bar reflected with a sun beside the button for the mid hit and a rain cloud for the smooth delivery. My newly set up suspension less than a half an after dropping it off.

added a heavier spring to the shock and heavier springs, and new pistons in the Marzocci forks.The new set up was better for my weight but it still a bit soft compared to the stiff KTM suspension I ride at home. a few laps I realized that the have good reason for their bikes up super

After becoming accustomed to the it works really well in the grass tracks that up the special test sections at the Six After fine-tuning the suspension the clickers I rode back to Ferme to impound my bike.Pre-ride told us that this would be one of the toughest in recent 150 miles per day, 99 percent with bike swallowing mud and rocky creek beds, infested hill climbs, and pumping descents.

And to top it all off the time would be nearly impossible for the to make, for superheroes and World Champions it would still be difficult. Luckily the weather predicted no rain for the first of the week. Otherwise it was suggested less than 100 riders finish.

Day one started on 10 km of road to the check point and then into the first cross of the week. It was situated on a grassy the start-finish at the bottom of the hill the test running up, down, and the side of the hill with off camber corners. The Gas Gas carved the off with ease never to push the front end.

The had plenty of power to pull my 215 up all of the hills but was still smooth to not have to worry about the tire breaking loose. The brake was a little softer at the than what I am used to on my KTM but had good stopping power on the downhills. I rode cleanly the test and made my way to the first section of the event.The trail through out the event were with rocks and roots.

There was rarely a smooth of trail where ruts or mud were not a concern. But the Gas Gas tackled all of obstacles with ease. The soaked up the roots and rocks they weren’t even

However, on larger bumps and it did tend to bottom out underneath me. The on the small bumps would to be an asset as the week wore on my body from much of the caused by square edged bumps.Days one and two had the toughest sections of the There were several creek beds covered soccer ball sized that were favorites of the

I clicked the Gas Gas ignition switch to cloud mode for super power and motored up the slimy like a pro. The locals as I passed less skilled like they were I finished out day one having never so as tipped over and solidly in for a silver medal.Day two was the same as day one the only difference being an faster time schedule and acceleration bumps.

About way through the seven-hour day as fatigue to set in I had my first crash of the week. I on a fast down hill and was from the bike landing on my I was unharmed, but as I picked up my bike USA legend Jeff Fredette me giving me a thumbs up.

The 2005 was Jeff’s 25th appearance at the Six and has finished all of them! I followed into the next check taking notes as we rode the technical terrain. At the end of day two I still had having a fairly uneventful with very few mistakes and no points.On day three the course The terrain was slightly less and there were several flowing trail sections I could really get into a and go fast on the Gas Gas.

The six-speed transmission really me to speed along on the mile straights through green meadows. The special tests more exciting with drop offs and jumps. I the spectators a good show by out my slick free style over the jumps.

My no footers and one wheelies were the crowd Especially when I lost when riding a monster of a past a group of attractive who were cheering loudly, a corner and rode straight a bush.Day four dawned and drizzly which caused the packed clay to get slippery in This made navigating in the fog because it was not easy to tell the with good traction the spots that were as as ice.

Between checks and five was the most technical section and it was also the tightest on with only seconds to As I rode in the fog as hard as I could to on time I hit a spot that was grease smeared over concrete. At 30 miles an hour the end slid out from under the and I hit the ground, slid 20 feet the trail and slammed into a log. My head was throbbing as I the leaves out of my goggles and checked my for protruding bones.

I picked up my Gas Gas and on to the check point where I had 45 to gas my bike and make it to the time I rolled through just as the passed my minute. It was my first point of the week but I was still placed for a silver medal.Overnight the started falling.

It wasn’t a drizzle but a monsoonal downpour wouldn’t let up until the following Day five was a mud fest! Right the get go I clicked the ignition into cloud mode.

The first test of the day was about a mile the course. It was in a flat field and was about a mile and a half It was like trying to ride in a sheet of ice covered with two of axle grease!

It took twelve minutes to one and a half miles! I knew I was in for a day. At the first check I was minutes late.

I knew I had go into survival mode and finish the 170 mile day rather beat my self up and crash my out trying to stay on time. I learned how to ride in the mud, up two gears too high, look as far as you can, and let the bike drift the six inches of slop. This got me to the next two checks on time.

I arrived at the first Enduro which was a combination of grass steep hills, and lots of I very slowly navigated the grassy section with my tire turning about rpm and my front turning at about Then there was an off camber hand corner into a up hill.


I spun out on the up hill and off as the bike landed with the bars pointing downhill. I to lift my bike but it weighed 400 pounds from all of the mud and my feet couldn’t find traction. after watching my try in vain to my bike for several minutes the came to my aid.

I got back on and several more runs at the before screaming the bike to the top a hundred foot roost. the next left hander I up the hill and saw an opening in the trees spectators lining both I knew that could mean that there was ahead so I pinned it. As I entered the the hill got steeper and up ahead I saw the

Thousands of then embedded in the wet clay and the hill got steeper as it up. As I neared the top the rear wheel to spin and I knew my momentum carry me and the bike over the I pulled in the clutch shifted and pinned it.

Then as I bailed off the back of my I dumped the clutch and pushed the forward. The rear tire and sent the bike sailing for the The crowd cheered as I slid the hill on my hands and knees the bike on its journey.

The bike on its side but before it could sliding down the hill or six spectators ran to it and pushed it to the top of the hill for me. I to the bike, hopped on, and I was on my way again. the rest of day six the Gas Gas shined in the mud but I still a total of 25 route points dropped me back into with a bronze medal.Day six was and bright and looked like the moto would be a good one if the at the motocross track dried

When we arrived at the track the looked perfect. I scraped as mud from my bike as I could and my suspension adjuster to full during the work period my moto. I would ride in the E2 moto.

I lined up on the far outside and for the gate to drop. The bike a little bit off the start and I ended up mid through the first turn. The was too soft for the landings on the big table and step up jumps but I didn’t let slow me down. I started riders off around every and over all the jumps.

My forearms like they were to explode and I could barely on. Soon I was in a three way battle for place in the moto. I made my on last lap over the last set of tops. I pinned it over the jump and passed for fifth.

the next jump I pinned it and pulled even with place. We were neck and headed for the last turn he pushed me wide and got the better of me. It was a finish to a great Six Days Gas Gas EC 250 held up great, with no other than a few loose and performed strong all week in one of the Six Days events to date.

With its strong motor and plush suspension it really is a bike for anyone racing or even cross country. DR Troy Lee Designs

Speed HelmetTroy Lee has been synonymous style and design innovation for as as many of us can remember. The TLD Speed Helmet is no exception. The low gloss Hot Rod paint scheme on our test is fresh looking and nothing of what you would expect Troy Lee in the style department. The of the helmet is unique in that it has lines built into the of the helmet.

These stylized serve a dual purpose: give the helmet a great as well as house the helmet’s system. This may be the most motocross helmet ever The huge ventilation and exhaust in the outer shell and no less eight air-flow channels in the shell allow you to actually the wind in your hair! The fit of the is great with large ear and relatively thin padding in the

It is snug but does not squish face like some At 3 pounds 7 ounces it feels and light on your head after a long day of riding. a price tag of $425.00 it is a fantastic for someone looking for a new high-end

After several months of in this helmet it still great and it is now the helmet to beat in my


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