Gas Gas fse450


Sponsoring Member
Sep 19, 2002
Has anyone had any experience with the Gas Gas 450 enduro? I saw one at the 'Vegas Off Road Manufacturer's Expo that had been prepped by SandTech Motorsports. I'm pretty sure it was an '03 because it was red. Very nice looking bike with lots of trick features. Any idea about their dependability or performance? How do they stack up against the other 450's?


Aug 25, 2000
I've put some time on the 450FSE and have a buddy with a 2002 400FSE. Suspension and handling for woods riding is excellent! The bike feels very heavy on the stand and had me a little concerned, but that melted away once the beast is rolling.

The motor is not comparable to the likes of the CRF or YZFs. It is very smooth delivery and feels relatively slow, compared to the CRF and YZF, however, in actual riding, it has no problem keeping up. GasGas motors are all kind of like this. They seem to be able to put power to the ground very efficiently in a smooth, linear fashion. No hit makes them "feel" slow.

The fuel injection works very well. It is adjustable in trim, but not full mapping like the C'Dales were.

Chassis wise, they're pretty bullet proof. They have had some teething problems with head gaskets due to high compression. Apparently the DRZ's have similar problems when modified.

Starter clutches have also been an issue for some, although not all, as the 2002 I mentioned hasn't had a single problem with anything. The now have an updated starter clutch mechanism.

Early models also had problems with the nylon water pump impeller selfdestructing due to the higher temps they see. This has been remedied with an aluminum impeller now. LTR, an aftermarket company specializing in GG also make an updated aluminum impeller that pushes even more coolant and seems to get rave reviews.

Bottom line is they are really nice woods racers, purpose built. This is not a converted MXer. If you want big thrills, stick with a CRF or YZF. If you want fast that you can ride all day, bikes like the FSE are perfect. :thumb: