We dabble around on GasGas’ latest and greatest trials machine, the 2019 GasGas TXT Racing 300
Any motorcyclist who has swung a leg over a trials motorcycle in the last 20 years can tell you just how highly specialized these machines have become. As the elite riders continue to push the limits of physics, manufacturers match their effort with increasingly capable motorcycles. From finely tuned engines to aggressive frame geometry, trials motorcycles have evolved drastically since their inception in the early 1960s. Lucky for us, companies like GasGas have carried on this tradition of constant refinement, delivering a superior motorcycle year after year.
The 2019 TXT Racing 300 is the most recent evolution of GasGas’ flagship trials motorcycle. Known for its lightweight design and potent powerplant, the TXT 300 has been regarded as one of the top trials motorcycles on the market for several years. The 2019 model builds on the success of its predecessor with key improvements while maintaining many of the excellent characteristics for which GasGas is known.
By Eric Storz | PHOTOGRAPHY BY SPENCER OWENS
It doesn’t take long to notice some of the aesthetic as well as the functional updates that the Spanish manufacturer has made to the TXT 300. The rear of the bike features an all-new aluminum swingarm, aimed at providing increased stability and traction. Along with the new swingarm, comes an improved mounting configuration that uses double sealed bearings, which allows for longer service intervals.
An all-new progressive shock linkage design delivers improved suspension performance across the board. The rear-brake master cylinder has also been updated to enhance modulation and precision. A redesigned brake rotor guard, sprocket guard, and chain tensioner top off the complete overhaul of the back section of the motorcycle.
In addition to the external changes, key improvements were made to the TXT 300 powerplant to achieve even greater reliability. New crankshaft bearings ensure proper lubrication of the engine while allowing a more tightly sealed fit of the entire assembly for greater efficiency and enhanced engine performance.
While the previous model of the TXT 300 already boasted one of the most consistent and precise clutches on the market, GasGas decided to up the ante with new variable preload clutch springs and Kevlar plates, that further improve clutch performance. The clutch cover has been split into an inner and outer section to simplify standard maintenance tasks, which is a very welcomed improvement over previous models.
Also, of course, you can’t forget the bold new graphics, updated fork brace and front fender that cap off the improvements to this rock-hopping machine.
Riding the 2019 GasGas TXT Racing 300
So, how did all of these changes translate to on-the-bike performance? Well, we’d say it worked out pretty darn well.
As you might expect, the suspension saw the most significant benefit from GasGas’ list of upgrades for 2019. Between the revised, progressive linkage, the Ӧhlins shock, and all-new swingarm, the rear suspension substantially outperforms previous models. The initial part of the stroke is very sensitive and plush, which allows the rear tire to stay connected with the ground for optimal traction. Fortunately, the increase in traction and stability did not come at the expense of maneuverability, as the progressive linkage provides a lively feeling as you get deeper in the stroke. This becomes most critical when negotiating tight, technical sections or trying to create lift for a large obstacle, which the TXT seems to shine at both. Big drops and impacts were handled with ease, and the bike remained well composed.
The TXT’s 39mm TECH fork complements the rear suspension well. Off the top, the fork is buttery smooth, making the bike very stable and comfortable to ride, while providing maximum front wheel traction. As you get deeper into the stroke with more substantial hits, the fork ramps up to prevent any harsh bottoming sensations. While we didn’t feel the need to make any changes right off the bat, the fork features a preload adjustment, as well as a rebound damping adjustment.
The chassis didn’t receive any changes outside of the swingarm, but we feel GasGas’ tubular frame design is worth mention. Not only is it one of the lightest designs on the market, but it also offers excellent balance and stability. The lightweight characteristic of the TXT makes it very nimble and easy to maneuver, while the wide midsection and footpegs give the bike a sense of balance and stability, which is very confidence inspiring.
With one of the most potent power plants in the business, the TXT 300 has long been praised for its ability to create impressive top end power, without sacrificing low-end torque. As mentioned in previous tests of the GasGas 300, the bike can be a lot to handle for beginner riders and the excess power can enable poor technique. However, for intermediate to pro level riders the TXT 300 engine is hard to beat. Whether you’re lifting the front wheel for an obstacle or trying to find traction on a challenging climb, the low-end power is always there at the crack of a throttle. In the higher RPMs, the 300 flexes its muscle with one of the highest revving motors in the class. This instills additional confidence for that big obstacle that you’ve been sizing up.
In the clutch department, the upgraded Kevlar plates withstood all of the abuse I could dish out. Even under heavy load, I was not able to get the clutch to slip. The smooth and precise actuation of the lever helped manipulate the power with pinpoint accuracy. GasGas has done a great job delivering a high-performance clutch that can tame the power of the 300cc motor.
The transmission performs well and provides noticeable feedback between each gear change. While this might not sound like an ideal characteristic, it is quite helpful because when you need to change gears in the middle of a section, the feedback from the shifter ensures that you have changed gears so that there is no doubt whether or not the bike has shifted. This is essential in trials. The TXT gearbox boasts an additional gear compared to the competition, with first through fourth being your “section riding gears,” while fifth and sixth are much higher for riding between sections. The additional gear allows the bike to climb long, steep hills with ease by enabling the rider to carry more momentum.
All of these hard-hitting features are packed into a 149-pound motorcycle, which makes the TXT 300 all the more impressive. Between the powerful engine, top-notch suspension performance and nimble handling, we can confidently say that GasGas has built one the most competition ready trials motorcycles on the market. Is this bike for you? If you’re a first-time rider or are new to the sport, you may want to look at one of GasGas’ less powerful options in the TXT 125, 250 or 280cc motorcycles. However, if you’re a seasoned rider looking to up your game, you will be hard-pressed to find a better out of the box trials motorcycle. CN
2019 GasGas TXT Racing 300 Specifications
||Liquid-cooled, 2-stroke, single
|BORE / STROKE:
||79 / 60mm
||6-speed w/GG 4/6 technology
||GG 1/3 hydraulic-diaphragm system
||Carburetor w/reed-valve induction system
||Chrome-Molybdenum tubular frame
||Aluminum, progressive linkage system
||Tech, USD, fully adjustable
||Ӧhlins hydraulic mono shock
|FRONT WHEEL TRAVEL:
|REAR WHEEL TRAVEL:
||Michelin Trial X11 2.75 x 21 in.
||Michelin Trial X11 4.00 x 18 in.
||185mm wave-type disc, floating, 4-pistons, Braktec caliper
||150mm wave-type disc, 2-pistons, Braketec caliper
|WEIGHT (claimed, dry):