Damon Bradshaw is the winningest rider to never win a major AMA National Championship. He did earn the 125 East Supercross title in 1987, but that is a Regional Championship, not a national title. Damon was no slouch and was always a threat to win. He won 19 AMA Supercrosses, six AMA 250 Nationals and four AMA 125 Nationals. Most amazing, Damon Bradshaw won nine Supercross events in 1992, only to lose the 1992 AMA Supercross Championship by three points to Jeff Stanton. Stanton won three events to Bradshaw’s nine, but Damon lost 23 points to Stanton at the Indianapolis round when he crashed. Damon was dropped from Team Yamaha at the end of 1996 and raced one final season as a privateer for Manchester Honda—winning his first 250 National in four years at Mt. Morris in 1997. At the end of the 1997 season, he retired from Pro racing and moved over to race Monster trucks from 2007 until 2017, driving the “Air Force Afterburner” in Monster Jam.Unlike his fellow senior citizens’ bikes (Ryan, Ivan and Travis), Damon’s race bike gets its bones from a purpose-built cross-country model. That makes the job of turning it into a motocross bike much more complicated. First, the GasGas needed to lose some weight. Since the XC300 is more of a cross-country bike than its EC300 enduro cousin, much of the work was done at the GasGas factory for the 2018 production model. The biggest change for Bradshaw’s purposes was the removal of the electric starter motor and battery. This saved 6 pounds. In stock trim, the GasGas XC300 already comes with an FMF exhaust, Moto Tassinari VForce reed and Keihin carb. Back in 2018, the Spanish machines got KYB suspension front and rear (replacing the less-than-stellar Sachs shock and Marzocchi forks).The biggest problem for the XC300 engine is that it was designed with a cylinder that delivers a torquey, low-to-mid style of power. GasGas enlisted the help of R&D’s Dean Dickenson to bring the cylinder to life, but Dean felt that the port timing was as high as it could be. He focused his attention on the position of the power valve flapper in the exhaust port because it limited the cylinder’s ability to make serious motocross power. The real problem was that the pivot point of the power valve did not allow it to completely clear the exhaust port when open. He worked on the power valve but felt that this cylinder had reached its limitations.Okay, we admit that we were very surprised by Damon Bradshaw’s GasGas XC300 project. Surprised in a good way. It was comfortable and well balanced fore and aft. The suspension was plush in an offroad manner but usable on a motocross track without issue. It was on the heavy side for a motocross bike, even with the electric starter, kickstand and miscellaneous offroad foof removed. It has the potential to be a really good motocross bike, but the engine is pure offroad. Damon’s GasGas power was so focused on the low-to-mid transition that there was no mid-to-high power to speak of. No surprise. This is fairly common with 72mm x 72mm bore and stroke 300cc engines, which are basically 250cc engines with a 5.6mm larger bore. The big piston has to push a lot of swept area, which restricts its ability to turn revs. And the high-compression ratio and 110-octane Torco race gas couldn’t push it through.Once we learned to work with the powerband, take advantage of the 300cc engine’s torque, lug it through the corners and shift at peak, we really enjoyed the GasGas chassis, which is much more forgiving than the overbuilt chromoly perimeter frames that they used to build. Living with the GasGas was fun. We’d like it a lot better with a modern engine design that was willing to deliver a more all-encompassing powerband. Good try, but the goodness was overshadowed by the oldness.
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Title : Motocross Action tests Damon Bradshaw’s Gas Gas XC300 2 Stroke
Video Length : “06:31
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