Gas Gas: Essential Customisation and Performance Upgrades - aLittleBitOfAll
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-4770,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_grid_1300,qode-theme-ver-9.4.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

Gas Gas: Essential Customisation and Performance Upgrades

closeup of gas gas graphics on dirt bike

Gas Gas: Essential Customisation and Performance Upgrades

From their humble beginnings in trial racing in the mid-1980s to Dakar glory in 2022, Spanish specialists Gas Gas have scooped up dozens of titles in enduro and motocross racing, dabbled in road racing victory and provided riders of all ages and skill levels endless hours or riding fun. The brand’s distinct red colourway is easily recognisable and part of a rich racing history singling it out from the usual contenders. Now partnered with KTM and Husqvarna, Gas Gas has extended its model lineup to include street-legal 2 and 4-stroke enduro bikes, bare but packed motocross machines, a detailed selection of grass-roots trial bikes, and electric bikes for daredevil youngsters. Add the 700cc in supermoto or dual-sport guise, and you have a rounded model range to suit any type of riding.

What draws newbies and seasoned riders to niche European brands is the performance credentials backed by engineering innovation. Gas Gas is rare in that it still offers 2-stroke machines, and can’t be beat for trial racing. And it’s widening its customer base with new bikes and a long list of extra goodies you can get straight from the dealers or compatible aftermarket kit elsewhere. If you’re into racing, consider slapping some custom Gas Gas graphics, tweaking the exhausts and brakes and adding off-roading and racing necessities for more poke and improved protection.

Why Have a Graphics Kit?

gas gas graphics on a dirt bike that is on a bridge

If you’re into competitive racing, a ready-made or custom graphics kit serves several purposes. Graphics can be added to different bike parts (radiator shrouds, front and rear fenders, air boxes, fork guards, and swingarms), be fitted with race numbers and names (riders, teams, sponsors) and protect bike plastics, the engine and transmission from rocks, mud and flying debris. They also prevent fading and cracking from harmful UV rays. Thicker layers do better at preventing scratches, dents, and scuffing and keep vital parts like forks and swingarms out of harm’s way.

Another consideration is keeping bikes clean. Vinyl layers wick away water, mud and dirt, so prevent any handling or performance issues and keep bikes lighter. And lastly, different material blends have a say in outcomes, with smooth or abrasive kits aiding your riding position. Decals, stickers and backgrounds lower in the frame can up contact with feet and boots and help with stability and positioning the bike in turns and jumps.

What to Choose?

Full kits covering more of the bike do a better job when you want to stand out from the crowd. These cover the front and rear mudguards and deflectors, the swingarm sides, fork tubes, the front and side number plates, the radiator shrouds, the airbox, and the tank. Watered-down trim kits get the basics right with graphics covering and shielding the mudguards, fork tubes, and fork deflectors, while number kits include transparent or patterned gloss or matte race numbers and names.

What you choose depends on how and where you’ll use the bike, and how much you’re willing to spend. Full kits naturally cost the most and take more time to get on. When buying consider the thickness of your Gas Gas graphics kit, the material used and how they’re combined. Moreover, go with specialised brands for a better balance of price and performance. Choose thinner kits for the lowest weight but limited protection for a few consecutive races, or 433 or 500-micron vinyl if you’re riding tougher tracks or trails. Moreover, perforated vinyl does better against bubbling and wrinkling and high-quality adhesive sticks well and adjusts to uneven contours more easily.

Other Gas Gas Track Essentials

Exhaust Upgrades

Exhausts are crucial performance parts and upgrading from stock can bring in more power, improved throttle response and increased efficiency. For 2-stroke machines, choose revised expansion chambers for power and torque increases and optimised airflow. Aftermarket parts can be had in different materials, with titanium significantly lighter than stock stainless steel variants. Add a bolt-on muffler to tame sound waves and meet competition noise requirements.

For four-stroke machines, lightweight and reworked headers draw exhaust gases faster, wider mid-pipe tubes increase efficiency (and reduce emissions with catalytic converters) while slip-on mufflers from the major aftermarket brands help with power delivery and torque, besides muting excess sound.

Rear Brake Kits

rear brake and hydraulic systems

While front wheels and brakes are tasked with most of the stopping power, dirt riders can convert from a pedal-actuated rear brake to a lever (left-hand) rear brake kit. This helps with faster and more controlled braking, and keeping the rear wheel tight, especially in hard turns. For improved braking, additionally consider upgrading rotors, callipers and pads, and add calliper guards to prevent damage and brake loss.

Racing Essentials

Pegs are some of the overlooked upgrades, but play a huge role in control, handling, comfort and overall speed. Change to racing pegs if the stock units are too small, don’t offer enough grip, or you’re after weight savings. And swap out factory pegs for something free of vibrations to prevent fatigue while cushioning landings. The parts come in different sizes and designs, with aluminium, steel or titanium variants offering better quality.

Other racing parts include high-pressure fuel pumps, throttle position sensor guards, aftermarket chain guide guards, triple clamps for added control and rigidity and more. Shop for parts, accessories and graphics directly from Gas Gas, or check out the hundreds of compatible aftermarket brands and retailers for a wider selection and lower prices.

Ian Tompson