As many probably know, the Spanish motorcycle company GasGas was purchased by the Pierer Mobility Group late last year. Pierer Mobility is the owners of KTM and Husqvarna, as well as a strategic partner of India’s Bajaj Auto, a global leader in motorcycle manufacturing.
While the enduro bikes and future MX GasGas motorcycles will be using the same platform as the current KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles, the 2020 GasGas trials bikes retain the Spanish design, and that’s a good thing.
The change in ownership did result in the consolidation of the GasGas trials lineup, however. For 2020, GasGas offers the TXT Racing trials bike in four different displacement sizes—125, 250, 280, and 300. All share the same chassis and, other than the 125’s smaller cylinder, they are indistinguishable in appearance. (Update: GasGas has introduced the 2020 TXT GP lineup)
The 2020 GasGas TXT Racing 250 is probably the best option for most entry to mid-level riders. Experienced trials riders will need no introduction to the TXT or its components, which are pretty standard to all trials bikes. The Braktec calipers and hydraulics, Michelin Trial Competition X11 radial tubeless rear tire, Keihin 28mm PWK carburetor, 39mm Tech fork, and the Öhlins shock are top-notch.
As an expert rider, I wasn’t sure to go with an experienced trials rider’s perspective, or looking the TXT Racing 250 as average dirt bike rider would. I’ll try to work it from both angles, and those in-between.
Having competed on a GasGas TXT Racing 300 in the NATC/AMA USA National Championship MotoTrials Series Expert class last season, I’m very familiar with the GasGas trials bikes and how they handle. With that experience, I was comfortable on the TXT Racing 250 as soon as I stood on the pegs.
GasGas makes stable-handling trials bikes with a somewhat raked-out front end compared to the competition. GasGas also seems to be a little easier to balance because of the front-end geometry. However, the downside is it has one of the widest turning radiuses of any brand.
Ergonomically, the GasGas has higher pegs than some other brands, as well as a lower-bend handlebar. While it might sound like it caters to smaller riders, at 6’ 1” I’m very comfortable on it. The bar clamps on the TXT Racing 250 can be swapped around to move forward, though I prefer them in their stock rearward position with the handlebar rolled slightly forward. In fact, the only personal adjustments I made from how it was delivered was adjusting the lever position to my taste.
The suspension is excellent at both ends. The Tech forks are a little firm at first, but quickly break in nicely. The Öhlins V2 shock absorbs the small obstacles easily, without upsetting the chassis and letting the Michelin radial find traction. Also, the suspension is very lively, making it easy to get lift without making the bike nervous. For heavier riders in upper classes, the suspension is on the soft side for big obstacles. Optional stiffer springs can help fix that, though at the cost of the plush response.
The oversquare 248cc two-stroke motor is smooth and easy to ride, revving quickly with a high ceiling. Stock jetting is nice and clean—the only adjustment we made was a slight turn of the air screw for optimal performance in local conditions.
There are two modes with a button near the steering head—Sun and Rain. The Sun mode was preferred by all, as we didn’t ride it on wet days. In Sun mode, the motor runs a little cleaner and revs out better. As a National Expert rider, I missed the torque of a 300 for bigger obstacles and really had to rev the Gas Gas TXT Racing 250 to get it to do what I wanted. Riders in local classes won’t have any issues with the power—there is more than enough across the rev range.
The gearing is a little high, as I prefer to ride in 2nd gear. The stock 39-tooth rear sprocket is a somewhat small, so a 42 would most likely bring it into the proper range for me. Local-level riders typically use 1st gear, and the gearing is perfect for that use.
The six-speed transmission has the first four gears close together for riding in competitive sections, while 5th and 6th are for riding the loop when transferring between sections. Having competed in observed trials all over the country, I know how much of an advantage it is having a six-speed gearbox. On loose, slick, or wet climbs having that fourth gear can be very advantageous over a five-speed that only offers three ratios for sections. Distractingly, shifting is somewhat notchy, even by trials bike standards.
Another unique feature that GasGas has had for many years is the diaphragm clutch—something you also find on KTMs and Husqvarnas, coincidentally. The feel on the TXT Racing 250 is unlike standard disc-and-plates clutches; it has a progressive actuation that makes it easier to ride smoothly. This greatly helps novice and learning riders. Riders switching from competing brands will take some time to adapt, while riders who are new to trials won’t notice the difference. For upper-class riders who rev a bike hard for larger obstacles, the clutch doesn’t creep or chatter, as standard clutches tend to do.
The Braktec brakes are trials-industry standard. They offer a strong bite and a nice firm feel. If you are new to trials, be sure not to drag the brakes while racing down hills, The small rotors and master cylinders will heat up and fade quickly. For proper trials work, it’s never an issue.
Kickstarting the motor has a different feel because of the style of kickstart gears. Riders not used to this can initially have a hard time firing up the engine. Once acclimated, there are no starting issues.
After spending serious time on the new 2020 GasGas TXT Racing 250 and thoroughly going through it, it’s obvious this bike is all GasGas. While it is built under the new Austrian ownership, the still-Spanish motorcycle doesn’t have any significant changes at this point. The good news for trials riders and would-be trials riders, that the dealer network for GasGas motorcycles has just gotten quite a bit larger.
Photography by Don Williams
Ty Cullins is a factory TM racer in EnduroCross and the SuperEnduro World Championship. He is also sponsored by Shot Race Gear, Alpinestars, IRC Tire, Bardahl, Neken, Pro Circuit, ARC, and AXP Racing.
2020 GasGas TXT Racing 250 Specs
- Type: 2-stroke single
- Displacement: 248cc
- Bore x stroke: 72.5 x 60mm
- Starting: Kick
- Fuel delivery: 28mm Keihin PWK carburetor
- Lubrication: Premix, 80:1
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Diaphragm w/ hydraulic actuation
- Final drive: 5/8 x 1/4″ chain
- Frame: Chromoly steel tube w/ hollow aluminum swingarm
- Front suspension; travel: Spring-preload and rebound-damping adjustable Tech 39mm fork w/ brace; 7.0 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted, spring-preload and rebound-damping adjustable Öhlins V2 shock; 6.5 inches
- Wheels: Wire-spoke w/ aluminum rim
- Front wheel: 21 x 1.60
- Rear wheel: 18 x 2.15
- Front tire: 2.75 x 21; Michelin Trial Competition bias-ply tube-type
- Rear tire: 4.00 x 18; Michelin Trial X11 radial tubeless
- Front brake: 185mm NG Wave floating disc w/ monoblock 4-piston Braktec caliper
- Rear brake: 150mm NG Wave disc w/ 2-piston Braktec caliper
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 52 inches
- “Seat” height: 24.8 inches
- Fuel capacity: 2.5 quarts
- Curb weight: 152 pounds
2020 GasGas TXT Racing 250 Price: $7599 MSRP
2020 GasGas TXT Racing 250 Review Photo Gallery