Gas Gas is a Spanish made bike and the company has been evolving very dramatically in recent years. The last bike they have released is the Gas Gas XC which is a endure style bike specially made for long-distance cross-country time trial competition. Because of their design for this type of riding, they are built to be extremely durable and reliable and the XC doesn’t break that mold by any means.
This bike comes equipped with a Two-stroke, single-cylinder, 249.3cc engine. The bike starts out smooth and steady, ramps up during the midrange and is followed by a strong surge of power at the top-end. This is due in part to the Vforce3 Reed Valve. Even though this bike starts out a bit sluggish, the tractability of the bike is superb at low revolutions per minute (rpm). The clutch is very smooth and very easy to pull, providing a very quick response once engaged. The transmission is surprisingly smooth and its even spacing allows for comfortable riding in the peak of the mid-range surge. This makes it easy to control the power and carry an appropriate amount of power throughout the turns. The lower gears do not provide a substantial amount of power and speed however the higher gears deliver a copious amount of both.
The XC is built to be an off-road bike however the company’s tradition of a long-range, smooth riding bike is not lost in this model. The suspension is comprised of a Marzocchi inverted front fork while the rear is an Ohlins twin sided wing arm with an adjustable shock and pre-loaded spring, both equipped with adjustable rebound damping. The front end retains a lightweight feel and the seat is lower than most, giving the bike a lower center of gravity for more rider control and easier handling. This also gives the rider an ease of access to foot-plant turns and direction changes. Low-speed wheel positioning is incredibly precise however during fast, flat turns, the rear tends to slide. Despite this inconvenience, they bike still has impeccable traction control.
The XC is designed to be ergonomically friendly, allowing the rider to slide up on the tank during twists and turns. The handlebars are spaced comfortably apart to keep the shoulders relaxed while riding but the seat does tend to feel rigid after a long day of riding. The bike does give the rider a decent amount of torque despite its lack of low end power. This, combined with the low-mounted seat for a reduced center of gravity and the overall ergonomic design of the bike, gives the rider a plethora of control while traversing unpredictable and rugged terrain.