Home. Back. ...... The Gas Gas Guru. Technical Information.

This past year I bought a 2000 GG 280. This is my first year riding trials but I have been riding motorcycles since I was 4. I am a top B Class enduro rider and I always have to have my suspension rebuilt for my weight. With trials I have no clue what is good or bad. I am friends with Kerrie Brokaw but I am not at her level in trials yet. I weigh 125 lbs and I am 5'8" tall. Right now everything on my bike is stock as far as suspension is concerned. I did not compete in the Ute Cup this year but I did ride the loop on both days which was not difficult. As I begin to learn all the advice I can get is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Nicole

Nicole, Tuning Trials suspension is always a trial and error (no pun intended) process as it is with any competition motorcycle set-up. It's somewhat difficult to give you any specifics other than possibilities as a start. I don't know how your suspension suits you without watching you ride. The 280 Gas-Gas has sophisticated and highly adjustable suspension that can be modified fairly easily to suit your weight, class, terrain ridden, riding style and experience. I would suggest you might ask friends to help with the adjustments to start with. Most all Trials riders I know love to share their knowledge and experience. Kerrie, no doubt, has some good suggestions that will improve your suspension settings for you. I'm also going to e-mail the text of an article I did for Trials Competition Newspaper that will explain a lot of suspension theory and give you some practical ways to go about "personalizing" the bike to your needs. Sorry I didn't scan the photos in but the text should be helpful. Your excellent Gas-Gas Owners Video Manual will be a good place to get further information. Jim Snell of Rising Sun Imports did the video and he really knows EVERYTHING there is to know about the Gas-Gas and how to make it work even better. It will show the internals of the suspension and how to make certain adjustments. If you can, have a friend videotape you riding several moderate sections and analize the tape to see how the forks and shock are working (slow motion is great for this) and if you are getting full travel. This is a technique I use a lot with the Professional riders when doing suspension testing. You will probably need to "soften" the suspension for your weight and experience. That will mean backing off the compression settings a little- both the shock and forks-, possibly raising the fork tubes in the clamps about 5mm, taking some preload off the springs and possibly lowering the fork oil level a little and maybe changing the fork oil weight. As you become more experienced, you will have a better idea of what need to be changed. Any of these modifications may or may not be needed, however. It's always a good idea to set the adjustments to both ends and the middle of the range and ride the bike in a safe type section that has a good variety of obstacles to see how it affects the bike's handling and become familiar with the effects, but only do one adjustment at a time so you'll know what that specific knob or screw does. Kerrie will also be helpful in setting up your controls and handlebar attitude. This will have an effect on how and where you place your weight on the bike and will have an effect of how the suspension works. Let me know how it goes and if I can be of any further assistance, I'll be glad to do whatever I can.


Professional tuner and 'Trials Competition' writer Jon Stoodley has very kindly stepped up to the plate to answer your questions. If you're having problems, or need some advice just send an email to Jon. If it's something that could be useful to others, we'll post it on the site.
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