Although Gas Gas dirt bikes aren't a major name in the vocabulary of many dirt bike riders, they do produce a high quality range of enduro, motocross and quad bikes. Better known for their championship winning trials bikes, Gas Gas have been producing motorcycles since 1984 from their factory in Salt, Spain.
The company originally began in 1974 when Narcis Casas and Joseph M. Piebernat established a chain of stores specializing in, and selling products for the trials market. It wasn't until they received an injection of cash (10'000'000 Pesetas - roughly $65'000 US) in 1984 that they began producing motorcycles. Originally only 200 bikes were made. These proved to be popular and nowadays Gas Gas dirt bikes are produced in the thousands, selling all over Europe, America, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and South America.
If you're like me, you probably think 'Gas Gas' is a funny name... well it is! But it actually means "to gas it", meaning to accelerate or go faster. Well this name must help because a number of championship races have been won on Gas Gas dirt bikes including the World Enduro Championships in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2003. And in 2006 Wayne Braybrook - riding a Gas Gas dirt bike - and one other madman were the only two people out of 126 who completed the Red Bull Last Man Standing (and last bike working!) event.
So although Gas Gas aren't part of the dominating few motorcycle companies in the motocross and supercross scene, keep one eye open on them. They have a strong presence in the trials market and are now producing some world class enduro bikes. But unlike most of the big four Japanese companies, they are still focusing on and improving their two-strokes.
Wouldn't it be nice to see some serious competition for the Orientals to keep them on their toes? With importance placed on a high standard of quality, ongoing research and improvement, and a commitment to the dirt bike industry, who knows what the future holds for them... and us?
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