2004 Gas Gas ATV Lineup
2004 Gas Gas ATV's
Handling: On the 450 as well as the 300 the steering was very tight. It was the general consensus that with some minor changes, there could prove significant performance increases. Even at 52" the two quads stayed on track through the tight woods sections. In fact it made one wonder how well they might handle with the shorter a-arms mounted on.
Suspension: Given the wide range of riders showing up to test ride, the high performance Ohlins shocks where probably set for a rider in the 200lb range with and average riding ability. But even with a 150lb Pro they handled very well in every area except in the deep, choppy whoops. With the proper adjustments both the 450 and the 300 should pound through similar scenarios.
Motor: I'll start with good. The 300cc two-stroke has the most useable power I have ever experienced on a production performance two-stoke. The jetting was slightly off due to the high elevation, but still performed well. The 450 fuel-injected motor was superb. It had terrific torque, a wide power-band, and was overall very comfortable. The only bad thing I have to say about the quads would be that the 300 just doesn't have the torque that the 450 has (duh). I would like to add that trails were very gravelly and I would have loved to see what these quads could with some better traction.
Pros & Cons: The weight for Pro level racing will need to be addressed, but I could see areas to drop some lbs. The 450 and the 300 come race ready with every thing you could ask for. The price tag is significant $7,895 for the 300 and $8,795 for the 450. However, if you were to compare the new Yamaha 450 and Honda 450. Both of which are in the upper six grand area. I believe the three are comparable. Neither the Yamaha nor the Honda are fuel injected and for motor-cross or desert you'll have to buy a-arms, axles and more than likely three new shock absorbers (if you want Ohlins quality). Finally, the Gas Gas Quads come standard with a chrome anti-vibe steering stem, nerf-bars with extra large foot-pegs, Pro-Design kill switch, and complete aluminum skid plate protection.
Off-Road.com columnist/Professional Racer
P.O. Box 6157
Palm Harbor, FL 34684-0757