[GASGAS]

2024 GASGAS Cross-Country Weapons: Are They Made for You? 

8 months ago | Words: Jarrad Duffy | Photos: GASGAS Motorcycles, Savage.Division

We all know that the KTM Group (KTM, Husqvarna, and GASGAS) made some damn impressive enduro and motocross bikes for a massive cross-section of the Aussie market, but have you ever looked into the whole other range they make; the cross-country bikes? Well, if you are like us and can’t decide whether you’re a dedicated bush warrior, enthusiast off-road sprint racer, or a motocross die-hard, then a cross-country bike might just be the ideal bike you’ve been chasing; a bike that might just do it all!
To help you decide, here are our thoughts on the new five-model (EX250, EX300, EX250F, EX350F, EX450F) 2024 GASGAS EX (cross-country) range after spinning the wheels at the recent international GASGAS media launch in Italy…

WHAT’S NEW ACROSS THE BOARD FOR 2024?

Like the other Austrian bikes in the KTM Group line-up, these 2024 Gassers are crazy different from their predecessors. You can get all the details of these changes here, but here are the significant changes that we felt out on the track/trail:


Frame & Aluminium Subframe:
For 2024, all 16 of GASGAS models across enduro, motocross, and cross-country share the same ‘stiffer’ frame. We recently dove deep into the characteristics and design focus behind this new frame on the ’24 KTM range, but in short, the new stiffer frame improves handling stability at speed and improves cornering precision when you are between the trees or navigating ruts, all while allowing the rear shock to do what it’s supposed to do: independently absorb rear wheel impacts from braking bumps, roots, logs, etc. We were impressed with how this new frame worked across both disciplines.

Bodywork: The radiator shrouds are longer and pointier than ever, making the whole front-end of the bike feel way narrower. And less likely to snag your boots when cranked over in deep ruts. Combine that with the all-new footpegs – that are a little lower, further back and mounted more inboard, the new peg/seat/handlebar triangle creates a more neutral/natural stance on the bike. Plus, the added ankle- and calf-area on the revised shape of the frameguards, give you a noticeably more connected feel with the bike and helps takes the weight off your arms by allowing you to grip the bike more with your boots.

Engine: Whether it’s the new TBI (Throttle Body Injection) system in combination with the new electronic power-valve on the two-strokes, or the host of updates to the lighter and more compact four-stroke motors – these ‘24 powerplants from GASGAS run clean, crisp, and create stronger power throughout the rev range on all 16 models we tested. To learn more about the new motors and how they were developed, click here

WHAT MAKES A GASGAS CROSS-COUNTRY EX MODEL DIFFERENT TO AN ENDURO EC MODEL?

  • Suspension: The 2024 cross-country (EX) bikes from GASGAS run the all-new closed-cartridge WP XACT fork seen on the ’24 KTM and Husqvarna enduro bikes, but not the ’24 GASGAS enduro (EC) models. The WP XACT Closed-Cartridge fork fitted to the EX models is a much ‘racier’ feeling fork that excels when it’s being pushed by an intermediate-advanced rider. That makes it a good match for riders who are looking for a bike they can take racing at off-road events, such as a Transmoto 8-Hour, and aren’t afraid to give it a nudge when the track gets rough. But that does come at the cost of small-bump sensitivity and comfort in the front-end over terrain like tree roots and loose rocks if you are more of a weekend warrior trailrider who rides at a slow pace or likes it tighter and more technical. And like you would expect, handling the heavier hits and giving you more front-end hold-up (and better front-end feel) in fast turns in the bush, this stiffer WP XACT fork and XACT linkage rear shock eats up the hard landings, braking bumps and deep ruts found on the moto track. 
  • Engine: The EX range shares the same engine platform as the motocross (MC) models, but takes the wide-ratio six-speed gearbox found in the enduro (EC) models. So, if you like the idea of a bush weapon with more of a free-revving nature with more mid to top-end pull, you’re going to like the vibe of an EX engine. This was unreal when the trails were flowing and/or when you popped out of the bush onto the grasstrack. It really felt like you had jumped on a race bike when riding an EX, which inspired you to ride harder than you ordinarily would on an EC (enduro) model. But in saying that, an EX (cross-country) model won’t have the bottom-end tractability and silky-smooth throttle off the bottom like you’d find on an EC (enduro) model.
  • Pre-mixed (two-strokes only): Because these EX aren’t designed for riders clocking up 100km+ rides, filling up at the servo, then smashing out another tank of fuel to get home, they are pre-mixed. Meaning they don’t come with the oil injection system found on the EC (enduro) two-stroke models. So you’ve got to mix your own 2T gas before you haul arse (old school style)!
  • ADR compliance & registrability in Oz: If you are lucky enough (in this case) to live and ride in Victoria or Tasmania, you can pretty much skip this point because of your relaxed rec rego laws give you different road rules to follow. But if you’re like the rest of us living in the other six states/territories of Oz, the downside of these XC models is that you can’t register them as a ‘road-legal’ motorcycle. Which is a buzz-kill for those who don’t have access to tracks/trails on private property and spend most of their riding days in state forests.

AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT TO A GASGAS MC MOTOCROSSER?

  • Enduro-sized 9L fuel tank: Perfect for longer rides or off-road longer races than a traditional motocross moto.
  • Sidestand: To make life easier!
  • 18-inch rear wheel: To keep up with the demands of off-road bush riding.
  • Suspension: The EX range features its very own suspension set-up, different to both the MXers’ XACT air fork and the enduro bikes’ open-cartridge XPLOR spring fork – well as specific suspension settings and spring rates for each model to best suit the hybrid job these bikes are trying to do by riding both motocross and off-road.
  • Six-speed wide-ratio transmission: Still good on the moto track, but makes the EX better suited to the top speeds of bush fire trails compared to the motocross five-speed gearbox found in the four-stroke GASGAS MC (motocross) models).   

WHAT MODELS DO GASGAS MAKE IN THE EX RANGE?

Two-stroke:

  • EX250
  • EX300

Four-stroke:

  • EX250F
  • EX350F
  • EX450F

SO, IS A GASGAS EX MODEL THE BIKE FOR YOU?

Only you can decide that one. But if you want our two cents, we think these bikes are a bloody awesome option for riders and racers who aren’t chasing a cushy trail riding bike but want something that will keep up to the demands of pushing their limits in the bush, grasstrack, and moto track. A cracking option if you are a Transmoto Enduro Event fanatic!

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