We have a dirt bike in our office. It's true, really. Our truck wouldn't fit through the sliding glass doors, so we rolled our bike in. Talk about ambience ...
So with that said, we were staring at our bike the other day, pondering why there wasn't a fuel-injected dirt bike (lately we've been plagued by some carburetor tuning issues). Sure, over the years attempts had been made by some manufacturers to inject bike motors, but none survived (or even worked very well). Ironically, shortly after asking ourselves this question we stumbled on the '05 Gas Gas EC 450 FSE. Guess what? It's electronically fuel injected!
Now before we go any further, a brief overview of Gas Gas is in order. Besides being fun to say, Gas Gas has been a favorite of trials riders since the Spain-based company introduced its first model, a trials bike, in 1985. Gas Gas makes no bones about being a competition-oriented company, and it says that its experience in racing is directly applied to its stock production motorcycles. The Gas Gas product line now includes enduro, trials, motocross, supermotard, and kids' bikes. They also manufacture ATVs.
The 450 FSE is an enduro bike, powered by a 444cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-valve, four-stroke engine. It uses Magneti Marelli electronic fuel injection and the ignition is integrated within the injection system. Chances are your four-wheel-drive rig has fuel injection, so you're already quite well aware of the performance benefits, and the same is true for the EC 450 FSE. Not only is the throttle response and overall performance enhanced with the addition of fuel injection, but it also helps create cleaner emissions.
Aside from the engine, the bike boasts enduro-ready capability thanks to a Delta box-type frame, six-speed transmission, hydraulic multidisc clutch, 11.8 inches of front suspension travel, aluminum swing-arm rear suspension with 12.8 inches of travel, front and rear disc brakes (two-piston caliper up front and a single-piston caliper in the rear), and D.I.D. wheels.
According to Gas Gas, the EC 450 FSE has been thoroughly tested in competition, with excellent results. So is the Gas Gas EC 450 FSE going to be the fuel-injected shot heard 'round the world? Will the success of the machine inspire other manufacturers to forego the float bowl and embrace injection? One has to also wonder if performance computer chips and electronic throttle control is far behind.
Whether or not other manufacturers embrace fuel injection is unknown. What we do know is that the fuel-injected EC 450 FSE is here now, and that's a good thing.
Vehicle model: 2005 Gas Gas EC 450 FSE
Base price: $7,795
Type: Water-cooled, DOHC, four-valve, single-cylinder, four-stroke
Displacement (cc): 444
Bore x stroke (mm): 95 x 62.6
Compression ratio: NA
Aspiration: Magnetic Marcella injection
Ignition: Integrated in injection system
Starter: Electric and kick
Final drive: Chain
Front: Inverted WP 43mm or inverted Marzocchi 45mm or Ohlins 46mm, all with 11.8 inches of travel
Rear: Aluminum swing-arm, progressive system with Ohlins shock absorber, 12.8 inches of travel
Front: Single 260mm disc with two-piston caliper
Rear: Single 220mm disc with single-piston caliper
Wheels: D.I.D., type U
Weight (lb.): 262.4
Ground clearance (in.): 13.4
Fuel capacity (gal.): 2.5
Seat height (in.): 37
Wheelbase (in.): 58.1