MXA TEAM TESTED: RIDE ENGINEERING GASGAS SPLIT TRIPLE CLAMPS

WHAT IS IT? The Ride Engineering Split triple clamps for KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas models were created to enhance the flex characteristics and optimize the handling of post-2013 Austrian-model dirt bikes. The Ride clamps are made of 2024 aluminum, and they have the stock 22mm offset. We tested the Ride Engineering Split triple clamps on our 2021 GasGas MC450F in an effort to find some more accuracy at corner turn-in.

WHAT’S IT COST? $679.90 to $699.90 (includes top/bottom clamps, stem, lower bearing and frame-mounted hour-meter relocation bracket).

CONTACT? www.ride-engineering.com or (949) 722-8354.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Ride Engineering Split triple clamps for KTM, Husky and GasGas. 

(1) Concept. Triple clamps are the connection between the front suspension and the rest of the motorcycle. The front wheel and forks have to deal with the loads placed on them in corners and over bumps and jumps. If the triple clamps are too flexible, the front end will be unpredictable at turn-in. Ride Engineering Split triple clamps are designed to flex more than the stock billet KTM triple clamps but less than the stock forged GasGas triple clamps. 

(2) Material. The major difference between the GasGas and KTM clamps is the GasGas clamps are forged, while the KTM clamps are CNC-machined from billet aluminum. GasGas spec’ed forged aluminum clamps to lower production costs, not to differentiate between the handling of the GasGas and the KTM. But, there is a significant difference. The forged GasGas clamps flex more than the stock KTM clamps, which helps in the rough sections of the track but hurts during cornering. 

(3) Performance. We tested the stock forged GasGas clamps, stock CNC-machined billet KTM clamps and Ride Engineering Split triple clamps back to back on our GasGas MC450F. The stock GasGas clamps flexed significantly, which created an oversteer/understeer effect at corner entrance. This vague steering response allowed the front end to wag under heavy loads. Additionally, the GasGas clamps had solid bar mounts that transferred track undulations to the rider’s hand. The stock KTM billet clamps were more rigid, which resulted in more accurate steering at turn-in, but the trade-off was a harsher feel in the rough; although, the KTM’s rubber-cushioned bar mounts cut down on vibrations. Test riders were torn between the forgiving feel of the GasGas clamps in the rough and the accurate steering of the stock KTM clamps in the corners. In the third stage of the test, we installed the Ride Engineering Split triple clamps. We expected them to be more rigid than the billet KTM clamps but were surprised that the Ride Engineering clamps split the difference between the GasGas and KTM clamps on comfort and precision. The Ride Engineering clamps were rigid enough to be razor sharp at turn-in but flexible enough to absorb more track clatter in the bumps and squared edges. It was the perfect compromise. 

(4) Torque specs. Ride Engineering wants its top triple-clamp bolts torqued to 13 pound-feet (17.6 N/m)  and 10 pound-feet (13.6 N/m) on the bottom. If test riders complained that the Ride Engineering Split triple clamps were flexing coming into the turns, we tightened the bolts to 14 pound-feet (top) and 11 pound-feet (bottom). This helped significantly and was the preferred setting for our Pro riders, while our Intermediate and Vet riders stuck with Ride’s recommended torque settings and the slight flex at turn-in. 

(5) Extra parts. The stock GasGas handlebar mounts are solid mounted, which means that riders need to purchase the KTM/Husky rubber-mounted oversized bar mount kit for $94.95 (KT-BBM00-CA) and the KTM/Husky bar-mount fastener kit for $59.95 (KT-BMN16-KT).

(6) Anodizing. Ride Engineering’s clamps come in black, blue, orange, red and chrome anodized colors.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? No complaints; they did what they are supposed to do by stopping the vagueness at turn-in, but keeping comfort.

MXA RATING: If you ride a GasGas and you’re struggling to find confidence entering corners, the Ride Engineering clamps will help. If you ride KTM or Husky, these clamps will add some comfort, but they won’t drastically improve accuracy. 

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