THE GEAR: Jersey: Moose Sahara, Pants: Moose Sahara, Helmet: Shoei VFX-EVO, Goggles: EKS Brand Lucid, Boots: Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented.


A: Yes. GasGas’ engineers did a very good job of bringing the 2024-1/2 well above the specs of the 2024 production GasGas MC450F. 


A: GasGas was a Spanish motorcycle brand that specialized in trials bikes and off-road motorcycles; however, the brand fell on hard times and went through a flurry of new owners. In 2020, KTM owner Stefan Pierer bought the Spanish brand from previous owner Black Toro Capital. 

It was a strange purchase, because KTM didn’t want any of the GasGas off-road motorcycles. They were only interested in the brand name and the trials bikes. A similar strategy was behind the purchase of Husqvarna a few years earlier. Once the GasGas brand name was wrapped up, Pierer added GasGas to his Austrian-built, three-brand lineup. As for what happened to the remnants of the Barcelona-based GasGas off-road bikes, that technology was bought by Spanish-brand Rieju, who re-branded the existing 2020 GasGas bikes as Riejus. 

Of course, many GasGas loyalists hoped that KTM would take the GasGas marque and develop an all-new bike that was vastly different from the KTM, Husky and previous GasGas, but that would have been a bad business decision. Stefan Pierer’s costs would have skyrocketed if he had to cast new engine molds, fund extensive R&D time and suffer through lengthy delays in getting a totally new bike on the showroom floors. 

As proven by the Husqvarna acquisition, the best economy-of-scale decision was to take the frames, engines, suspension, hubs, swingarm, throttle bodies, electronics and subframes from KTM, and wrap them in red plastic. The MC450F Factory Edition has all the bells and whistles of a KTM.


A: When the new GasGas was first introduced for the 2021 season, it was no secret that it shared a platform with the KTM and Husky. Sharing components meant the GasGas could be produced much cheaper, because all the components and R&D had been paid for by KTM. Thus, the GasGas MC450F could be positioned as a stripped-down, economy version of the KTM 450SXF. It was marketed and priced to steal the thunder, not from its higher-up-the-totem-pole Austrian brothers, but from Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki. 

The 2021 GasGas’ price was set at $9599, which was the same price as a Honda CRF450 and Yamaha YZ450F, $200 less than a Kawasaki KX450, $700 less than a KTM 450SXF, and $800 less than a Husky FC450.

GasGas’ marketing plan was simple—buyers could get 90 percent of a KTM 450SXF for the same price as the big Japanese brands. Of course, there were compromises made on the production line to keep the price down, but they were limited to the map switch, airbox, muffler, tires and triple clamps. The price break was a great launching pad for GasGas in America.

To maintain the price for as long as possible, GasGas sold the same basic machines in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Back in 2021 and 2022, the GasGas MC450F’s retail price was $9599, but the 2023 GasGas MC450F jumped up to $10,199. And, for the first time in GasGas history, the GasGas MC450F was not platform shared with the KTM 450SXF. Well, that is not exactly true. It was shared with the 2022 KTM 450SXF, but for the 2023 model year, the KTM and Husqvarna got all-new engines, frames, rear shocks, rising-rate linkages, airboxes, electronics, subframes, 3mm-lower countershaft sprockets, footpegs, swingarms, rear axles, and triple clamps.

Now, you might think that KTM’s and Husqvarna’s “great leap forward” in 2023 would have obsoleted the left-behind GasGas MC450F, but the opposite was true. In-the-know motocross racers soon discovered that the 2023 GasGas MC450F, which was a warmed-over 2022 model, was lighter, more resilient, and handled better than the 11-pound heavier and overly stiff 2023 KTM 450SXF.

MXA lobbied KTM not to update the 2024 GasGas models with the new KTM frame and not to build fuel-injected, electric-start GasGas 125 and 250 two-strokes, especially after the carbureted 2023 GasGas MC125 won the “2023 MXA 125 Shootout” by an enormous margin. We wanted them to leave the GasGas race bikes as-is and continue to work on the issues with the 2023–2024 KTM frames. They told us that they were too far along to stop the advancement of the 2024 GasGas models, and they were bringing them up to KTM and Husky specs. Which, in a roundabout way, leads the MXA wrecking crew to the 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition.


A: First of all, the 2024-1/2 Factory and Rockstar Editions are, in reality, stalking horses for the 2025 production bikes. For those who don’t know the term, a “stalking horse” is a hunting term that describes a horse (or a wooden version of a horse) that a hunter hides behind to conceal his real intentions. Thus, the Factory Editions are labeled as 2024 models on their VIN numbers but are in fact 2025 models.

The GasGas will benefit not just from the 2024-1/2 Factory Edition but also from the updates and changes made for the 2025 model year. Here are those changes.

Frame. The 2023–2024 KTM and Husqvarna frames were too stiff, harsh and unforgiving. Job one for 2025 was to engineer a plusher chassis with five changes.

(1) Shock tower: The shock tower was over-built. For the 2024-1/2 Factory Edition and the 2025 GasGas MC450F, the engineers designed large relief holes that were cut into both sides of the shock tower to feed flex into the frame.

(2) Forged backbone plates: To stiffen the head tube area of the 2023–2024 frames, thick-forged steel gussets were welded to the top of the frame’s backbone and wrapped around the steering head. They were too stiff on the 2024 KTM and Husqvarna models, but for the 2024-1/2 Factory Edition and 2025 models, the engineers reduced the strength of the gussets to soften the frame longitudinally. 

(3) Frame tubes: On each side of the 2023–2024 GasGas chassis—from the shock tower to the footpeg brackets—there are two symmetrical frame tubes. They stiffen the chassis both longitudinally and torsionally, but maybe a little too much. For the 2024-1/2 GasGas Factory Edition and 2025 model frames, the stiffer tubes have been replaced by thinner-wall chromoly tubes to put more spring into chassis movements under high G-loads.

(4) Head stays. On the 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition and 2025 GasGas models, the head stays have CNC-machined openings in them to soften up the feel and improve front and rear bite.

(5) Swingarm & buffer pad: When the KTM and Husky engines were rotated 2 degrees rearward in the frame, it moved the engines down 3mm. Dropping the countershaft sprocket 3mm lessened rear-end squat under hard acceleration. However, lowering the countershaft sprocket also meant that the chain line had to angle downward at a steeper angle than before. As a result, the chain ate through the swingarm’s buffer pad, and, if not caught soon enough, ate through the swingarm itself. On the new Factory Edition, GasGas’ engineers added clearance on the chain buffer pad and redesigned the swingarm by shaving down the aluminum thickness on the top. Problem solved.

A: Forks. Thanks to revisions and refinements to WP XACT air forks over the last few model years, the new forks are dramatically improved.

Shock/shock linkage. The biggest rear-suspension changes revolve around the all-new shock linkage. The linkage arms were 16.2mm tall on the 2024 model. For 2025, they will be 13.6mm tall and 2mm thinner in width. The shock bolt that attached to the linkage’s bell crank has been downsized from 17mm to 15mm, while the bolt on the other end of the bell crank has been reduced from 17mm to 14mm. 

Why all the downsizing of the link arms, bell crank and bolts? GasGas discovered in testing that the 2023–2024 linkage parts were too rigid. The smaller linkage bolts and slimmer linkage arms not only reduce friction but work in conjunction with the previously updated smaller rear axle to provide more feedback from the rear wheel.

As for the 2024-1/2 shock, it only gets minor updates to the compression valving, largely because the reduced friction and increased flex of the new linkage allow the shock to move more freely, leading the engineers to add a touch more compression damping to the shock.

It should be noted that because the production date for the Factory and Rockstar Editions is way back in November, all the 2024-1/2 models come with KTM spec forks and shocks instead of the suspension setup of the production models. That means that the GasGas MC450F Factory Edition does not get the lighter fork and shock valving or its normal 42 N/mm shock spring. Additionally, the Husqvarna FC450 Factory Edition does not get its 10mm-shorter forks and all-new bell crank and longer pull rods to lower the seat height.

This is the transponder that allows smartphone connectivity.


A: At this point, you might think that we have covered all the important changes on the 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition, but wait, there’s more. Here is the updated list.

(1) Connectivity Unit Offroad (CUO). GasGas’ new Connectivity Unit can supply beaucoup engine management options and full-blown analysis through the “Rider” section of the GasGas Connect app. Riders can access different levels of throttle response, traction control, launch control and engine braking, and also engage preset maps for sand, gravel, hardpack and wet dirt.

(2) LitPro. The 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition also harnesses the power of LitPro to collect data about speed, acceleration, deceleration, average speed, G-forces, airtime, jump height, gearing, rpm, throttle position, water temperature and traction control. Best of all, LitPro can use its front-fender-mounted GPS unit to map the track you are riding on and play back the lines you use on every lap.

(3) Retrofit. The Connectivity Unit Offroad can be retrofitted to 2023–2024 GasGas, Huskys and KTM models. The retrofit unit retails for $249.99, and the LitPro features require a $69.99 annual subscription from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

(4) Engine. The 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition engine is virtually identical to the 2023–2024 engine, but increased performance is available from the Akrapovic slip-on muffler and self-selected performance options of the CUO. You will notice the Hinson clutch cover, but there are no Hinson parts in the Factory Edition clutch.

(5) Quickshift. There are two different Quickshift reaction speeds: one for upshifts through third and fourth gear, and one for upshifts for fourth to fifth gears. 

(6) Red stuff. Here is the list of red-anodized Power Parts accessories on the GasGas MC450F Factory Edition, which probably won’t be on the 2025 production model. They include a red/blue two-tone ribbed seat cover; red powder-coated frame; red frame protectors; red WP holeshot device; red front gas tank cover; red rear sprocket; red anodized CNC-machined, split, adjustable-offset Factory triple clamps; and GasGas Factory wheels with CNC-machined, red-anodized hubs.

(7) Tires. The GasGas Factory Edition comes with Dunlop MX34 tires (instead of the stock Maxxis tires). There are also black-anodized D.I.D DirtStar rims. The chain is made by Regina.


A: The engine, from top to bottom, delivers one long, churning, locomotive style of power. It builds at an unbelievably progressive rate from 5000 rpm to its peak at 9400 rpm. It’s strong on the bottom, stronger in the middle and strongest on top. It makes an impressive 59.94 horsepower at peak.

Unlike a lot of fast bikes, the GasGas remains supremely manageable whether you are tapped out in fifth or weaving your way through switchbacks in third. Torquey, broad, powerful and fun are the watchwords of the 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition.


A: Every MXA test rider, all with lots of hours on MXA’s stock 2024 GasGas MC450F, raved about how the 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition feels in motion. It is definitely an improvement over the stiff 2024 frame. Plus, it did not take 10 hours of break-in time to get the frame to feel comfortable. 

The 2023 GasGas MC450F had squat issues, most evident in consecutive whoops; but, by rotating the engine backwards, GasGas was able to lessen squat under acceleration by reducing chain torque. You can feel the improvement in rear-wheel traction.

The 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition is the best all-around-handling bike on the track (along with its Austrian stablemates). It is very accurate in the corners, laser-guided down the straights, and doesn’t suffer from any chronic tendencies to over-steer in the tight stuff or shake over rough ground. 

It comes with a Hinson clutch cover, but inside is a stock GasGas clutch.


A: The hate list:

(1) Start/stop buttons. If you don’t like having the kill button on the right side of the handlebars, Nihilo Concepts makes separate start and stop buttons that retro-fit so you can put the kill button back on the left side.

(2) Chain slack. On the 2024-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition, you need 70mm of chain slack. That translates into four fingers under the chain at the back of the buffer pad. Yes, we know that you have always used three fingers to check your chain tension, but on the 2024-1/2 GasGas, you need to use four. The chain is not right if it doesn’t look too loose.

(3) Finding neutral. Getting the transmission into neutral on the starting line is very hard. It resists being snicked into gear. Our solution is to rev the engine with the clutch pulled in, and when the rpm peak, we shift into neutral before the rpm drop. 

(4) Gas cap. The gas cap sticks—sometimes to the extent that you can’t get it off at the gas station.

(5) Radiator cap. The plastic radiator cap is a pain to remove. Nihilo Concepts makes a removal tool to make it easier.

(6) Spokes. GasGas’ spokes come loose all the time. If you can’t check all the spokes, be sure to check the spokes closest to the rear rim lock; if those spokes are loose, you need to tighten all the spokes. 

(7) Plastic fitment. The stock red plastic fits so poorly that we have lost the left-side panel in the middle of a race.

(8) Seat height. There are a massive number of potential GasGas racers who are disenfranchised by the seat height of the GasGas MC450F Factory Edition. The average height of males in the USA is 5 feet, 9 inches, which means that 50 percent of the males in this country are over this height and 50 percent are under it. If you are under it, the odds are that your feet won’t be able to touch the ground on the starting line. 

The black plug was added to cover a sensor mounting location, which WP says will be used in the future.


A: The like list:

(1) Brakes. The 2024-1/2 GasGas Factory Edition comes with Brembo brakes (front and rear), Brembo brake and clutch levers, and a Brembo clutch slave unit. The production 2024 GasGas uses BrakTec brakes, levers and a BrakTec slave unit.  

(2) WP Factory holeshot device. Aftermarket holeshot devices cost anywhere from $100 to $160, so it’s nice that the GasGas MC450F Factory Edition comes with one.

(3) Shock collar. WP’s latest shock collar is much easier to use and more durable than it was in the past. 

(4) Factory skid plate. GasGas puts threaded tabs under the frame to mount the PowerParts skid plate, which comes stock on the 2024-1/2 Factory Edition. 

(5) Washing. We run Twin Air’s plastic airbox covers to avoid getting water in the engine.

(6) Frame guards. Most MXA test riders like GasGas’ fancy frame guards, but we have test riders who remove them because the thickness of the plastic pushes their feet outwards (if you remove them, you will be surprised by how much narrower the bike feels at your boots).

(7) No-tools clickers. You can adjust the WP shock and forks without ever using a tool—only the rebound clicker on the shock is hard to get to, but that clicker comes with a slot for a flat-bladed screwdriver.


A: Factory Editions aren’t always better than the production models they are based on, but in the case of the 2014-1/2 GasGas MC450F Factory Edition and the 2025 MC450F, the GasGas Factory Edition is a giant step forward. That is big news, given that most MXA test riders preferred the older 2022 chassis. The 2024-1/2 GasGas Factory Edition gets a lot of very good upgrades. Yes, you will pay for them…to the tune of $12,449.


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