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Old 07-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
motobene OP
Motoing for 43 years
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
Oddometer: 817
Top-End Swap GasGas 280 & 300

I had the opportunity to swap top ends between an `11 Raga 300 and an `09 TXT 280. I wanted to understand some real world differences and similarities between the 280 and 300-size machines. I was very long on 280 (272cc) machines and wasn't sure if I wanted to switch to a 300.

I don't really conclude in the document what I prefer. It's more technical in nature. So I'll say it here: I like the wide want-to-use rev range of the 280, but I have noticed the 300 tends to mysteriously shrink obstacle size. I'm starting on my journey with a Raga 300. It's too early to tell what I'd ultimately prefer. Probably both, depending on circumstances. If I had only one to chose from? Stay tuned....

There's VERY little difference in these bikes, but the particular sum of parts of individual bikes and cylinder diameter is felt. You feel it. The details of why are interesting though. What's marketed and on stickers can be over attributed only to cylinder diameter, however.

The document link takes you a pdf I created. Inside are pix of the cylinder and piston, plus some ride comparison and other comments. Enjoy.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9eL...it?usp=sharing
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
laser17
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Thanks for sharing your findings. Interesting pics on the piston differences. Its nice to see that others like to tinker on perfectly good bikes like I do out of curiosity. Nice!
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #3
thegraydog
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On first review: you noted the weight difference to be 13 lb. Thirteen? That's much more than I would have expected....
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:16 PM   #4
lineaway
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That`s correct, if you are riding a standard pro it`s a pig compared to a Raga! That is why I keep telling Garrett his bike is still lighter than most Pro`s.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #5
laser17
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Hes comparing a econo vs raga. Econo has steel forks, Steel header, Al cases, and heavy wheel set and tires . Few little items too. wavey rotors ect.. Was suprised it all added upto 13 lbs though. Was thinking 8-10.

GG - ditched the Mg cases on the new factory - so the weight is going back up on the "new raga" by a lb or so. (Mg case were supposed to save 2-3 lbs)
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:42 PM   #6
lineaway
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Yes, hate to say the the econo`s kinda junk. Anyone except a newbie is much better off to buy a used bike!
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
lineaway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laser17 View Post
Hes comparing a econo vs raga. Econo has steel forks, Steel header, Al cases, and heavy wheel set and tires . Few little items too. wavey rotors ect.. Was suprised it all added upto 13 lbs though. Was thinking 8-10.

GG - ditched the Mg cases on the new factory - so the weight is going back up on the "new raga" by a lb or so. (Mg case were supposed to save 2-3 lbs)
Remember FIM has new weight rules. That is more likely the cause of the Raga going up in weight. It would also be the simplest way to gain weight!
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:18 AM   #8
laser17
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Remember FIM has new weight rules. That is more likely the cause of the Raga going up in weight. It would also be the simplest way to gain weight!
Im sure the FIM and cost are primary factors. I don't recall the new list price dropping though...Given what others charge to upgrade to Mg cases, I would have LIKED a little price break. Dream on - I know.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:10 AM   #9
motobene OP
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Originally Posted by lineaway View Post
Yes, hate to say the the econo`s kinda junk. Anyone except a newbie is much better off to buy a used bike!
I disagree. I rode an Econo in many competitions and I'm no newbie. Mine wasn't 'kinda junk', but rather my favorite trials bike to date, and it was very hard to part with.

A few small details aren't as good, but in terms of quality mine has been tops. One detail was a balky tranny, but that turned out to be the eccentric adjustment. I got Michelin tires, a very well balanced motor, and that cylinder and piston you see in the doc is A size, which surprised me. My Econo with the Ohlins shock I redesigned was for me a very competitive bike, and in some case the added weight on the rear wheel was a traction advantage.

All these bikes are individuals to some extent. You can get a sweet Econo and a not-sweet Raga.

motobene screwed with this post 07-27-2013 at 06:22 AM
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:19 AM   #10
motobene OP
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Originally Posted by lineaway View Post
Remember FIM has new weight rules. That is more likely the cause of the Raga going up in weight. It would also be the simplest way to gain weight!
Aluminum cases are stiffer and stronger than magnesium. I was 18 years in medical, in lower limb prosthetics. A number of times we tried to use cast magnesium in lieu of cast aluminum in principle structural components to reduce weight, but every time the magnesium parts would not survive fatigue testing.

About that weight difference, the Mg cases will be 1/3 lighter if cast in the same mold and not thicker here or there to strengthen them. If the cases are only, say, 6 pounds together, then magnesium is only saving you 2 pounds and that's low in the frame, where more weight matters less. Two pounds is a little less than half a tank of fuel.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:24 AM   #11
motobene OP
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Originally Posted by laser17 View Post
Thanks for sharing your findings. Interesting pics on the piston differences. Its nice to see that others like to tinker on perfectly good bikes like I do out of curiosity. Nice!
If it ain't broke improve it is my thinking. People with decades of experience can mess with stuff and have it come back together as good or better, time after time. For me learning and wrenching are as much fun as riding.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
laser17
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Originally Posted by motobene View Post
If it ain't broke improve it is my thinking. People with decades of experience can mess with stuff and have it come back together as good or better, time after time. For me learning and wrenching are as much fun as riding.
You never know until you try is my motto. Usually around simple things like Jetting, carb types, Custom FWW's ect..
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:21 PM   #13
lineaway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motobene View Post
I disagree. I rode an Econo in many competitions and I'm no newbie. Mine wasn't 'kinda junk', but rather my favorite trials bike to date, and it was very hard to part with.

A few small details aren't as good, but in terms of quality mine has been tops. One detail was a balky tranny, but that turned out to be the eccentric adjustment. I got Michelin tires, a very well balanced motor, and that cylinder and piston you see in the doc is A size, which surprised me. My Econo with the Ohlins shock I redesigned was for me a very competitive bike, and in some case the added weight on the rear wheel was a traction advantage.

All these bikes are individuals to some extent. You can get a sweet Econo and a not-sweet Raga.
Well one of the riders lurking around here bought an `010 econo and was not a happy camper and I don`t blame him. He had bought at least eight new gasser`s before this and was quite devoted brand wise.
If you got michelin`s that was a plus, and anything else was grab and go off the shelves.
By the way Motobene didn`t you ride a two day with us at Los Alamos in the mid nineties?
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:35 PM   #14
Jeff_S2R1K
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Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Stuff like this is what makes this site invaluable.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:54 AM   #15
motobene OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineaway View Post
Well one of the riders lurking around here bought an `010 econo and was not a happy camper and I don`t blame him. He had bought at least eight new gasser`s before this and was quite devoted brand wise.
If you got michelin`s that was a plus, and anything else was grab and go off the shelves.
By the way Motobene didn`t you ride a two day with us at Los Alamos in the mid nineties?
When you look at the GasGas site and see the pic of the new Econo (I think they call it the Eco), the forks look cheap. Maybe they are not? Mine had the Sachs forks, which are closed-cartridge and better than the Paiolis I had on my earlier 2000s Shercos. My Econo was the 2010 model. It had the elliptical-tube frame which I like because the subframe is more compact and simple. I noticed the components were mostly from 2009, except the frame, which was 2008. The shifter forging looks a little rough, but it hasn't broken. It didn't have a bunch of stickers, but the components have all been typical of any GasGas.

As for the grab-and-go concept, manufacturing is like that. Part lots get inspect and put into bins. Assembly then is grab and go or they'd not be productive. What's left over in a model year, if parts are changed in color of shape, gets used up by GasGas in these Econo models. There are probably some second-rate components, and maybe some of those end up in Econos and not Ragas?

In my case I got a good mix of grab and go. An excellently balanced engine and an A cylinder and piston. My Raga, which has the aura of hand-picked components, was fit with an unbalanced crank. Now there's grab and go. {Update: The imbalance problem on the Raga was not from the crank and flywheel, as I put the Raga parts into the Econo engine and it was just as smooth as before. Worn main bearings were the more likely culprit.}

Yes, I think I rode that NM event on my `89 Fantic when it was ugly (it's pretty now and sitting in storage and for sale). Gosh that was a long time ago. I was having an arm nerve problem at that event and had to tape my hand to the bars or I'd fall off! I was off in Illinois and Michigan for many years thereafter and too far away for NM events.

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