For the record, we have no idea how to pronounce Rieju. We kinda like saying “re-YAY-who,” but that usually degenerates into “Yahoo.” We currently have a bunch of them that came to live with us after the AIM Expo, so we have been getting to know them. The top of the line is the 300MR Pro, which is a direct competitor for the KTM 300XC-W Six Days. In case you don’t know, Rieju is built on the foundations of the original GasGas organization. When the parent company of KTM purchased controlling interest in GasGas, the existing GasGas off-road line was abandoned. Rieju was a Spanish maker of small two-stroke street bikes that acquired all the tooling and intellectual property. For now, the off-road bikes formerly known as GasGas are still being manufactured in Girona, Spain, alongside products that KTM is selling–most notably GasGas trials bikes. Rieju doesn’t yet have the capacity to take on that task, but is building a new factory.
Rieju’s current motor still resembles the original GasGas 300 from back in 1998. It was state of the art at the time, with a counterbalancer, hydraulic clutch, case reed and mechanical power valve. It has evolved since then, but there’s never been a blank-slate redesign. Today’s motor has an external electric start and the counterbalancer is no more. The chassis, on the other hand, has gone through some very big changes, with the biggest of all coming in 2018. The EC300 also got KYB suspension at that time, and now suspension has been further updated.The MR Pro is a Special Edition and has a long list of premium items, starting with a cartridge fork that has a DLC coating on the lower tubes. The bike also has an X-Trig ROCS triple clamp, a cooling fan, a skid plate, Polisport engine protectors, Goldspeed wheels, Renthal Twinwall Bars and a gripper seat. The MR Pro sells for $10,499, which is $1000 more than the standard version. For comparison, a standard Husky TE300i is $12,299.
When you ride the Rieju, you get the distinct feeling that you already know the bike very well. You become comfortable quickly–at least if you’re a 300 two-stroke guy. If you aren’t, you’ll be astounded by how well the Rieju runs at low rpm. That’s a signature trait of most modern off-road two-strokes. GasGas was one of the key reasons that these bikes developed that way. When the original one came out, it had some distinct trials-bike attributes. They worked so well that KTM, Beta and all the others drifted in that direction. The Rieju allows you to slow down to idle speed, then just open the throttle and climb whatever it’s pointed toward. The bike’s mid-range power is excellent, as well and peak power is decent, although not spectacular.
Overall handling is, once again, very familiar feeling to anyone with a 300 two-stroke background. The geometry is almost a Husky by the numbers, although the Spanish bike has more of a long, stable feel when you ride it. It turns well, too, but isn’t quite as nimble as any of the Austrian bikes. Overall weight plays a role here. The standard version of the 300MR Pro is already a little overweight at 245 pounds without fuel. The MR Pro is a couple of pounds more because of the electric fan and engine guards. A Husky equipped in a similar fashion is 10 pounds lighter. A KTM XC-W without linkage is lighter still.
Inevitably, the Rieju will be compared to 300 two-strokes like the Beta, KTM, Husky, Sherco, TM and the [current] GasGas 300. It belongs in that group. We’re loving everything about the bike right now and working on a full test for the July 2022 print edition of Dirt Bike.
AMA ON ETHANOL IN FUEL
The American Motorcyclist Association strongly opposes the emergency waiver to allow summertime sales of E15 recently announced by the Biden administration, along with any attempt to weaken the already inadequate labeling standards at the pump that puts motorcyclists at risk of misfuelling.
None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in this country is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. E15, which contains 15 percent ethanol, is in fact illegal to use in motorcycles, boat engines, lawn mowers, chainsaws and other outdoor power equipment products.
“E15 has been shown to damage carbureted and fuel-injected motorcycles, reduce gas mileage and decrease shelf life of the gasoline,” said AMA Director of Government Relations Michael Sayre. “The fact that it is illegal to use in motorcycles, and that clear labeling at the pump is not required, poses a significant risk for misfuelling.”
A similar EPA waiver in 2018 to allow for year-round sales of E15 was challenged in court by the AMA and the American Petroleum Institute (API). A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that the waiver misinterpreted the Clean Air Act and the waiver was struck down.
The planned EPA waiver is set to be finalized before summertime sales begin on June 1. E15 sales are traditionally barred between June 1 and September 15 due to the blends’ higher volatility, which contributes to smog in the warmer months. According to the White House, the EPA will also consider working with states to expand E15 availability and modifying labeling at the fuel pump.
The AMA greatly opposes modifying labels at the pump that could potentially misinform customers. The AMA instead advocates for stronger labeling at the pump to make the potential dangers of E15 clear and concise. The inadequacy of labeling can be seen in the rise of Unleaded 88, a fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol and is deliberately mislabeled.
In lieu of proper labeling, the AMA continuously spreads awareness to members about the potential damage E15 can cause.
The EPA has acknowledged the growing scientific consensus that ethanol-blended fuels are worse for the environment than non-ethanol fuels, and economists and analysts doubt the waiver will have any measurable impact on lowering prices at the pump.
To learn more and take action, visit https://www.votervoice.net/Motorcyclist/campaigns/94109/respond.
AMA VINTAGE DAYS
2022 AMA Vintage Motorcycles Days, presented by Royal Enfield, is fast approaching, and race registration is now open for those looking to be part of all the vintage-racing action. Vintage racing is one of the staples of the AMA VMD experience, and racers looking to participate can register at https://vintagemotorcycledays.com/page/racing/.
AMA VMD offers everyone — from weekend warriors to Hall of Famers to pro riders — a chance to go back in time and compete on the beloved two-wheeled machines of the past. The AMA Vintage Grand Championship, running in conjunction with AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, includes motocross, hare scrambles, roadracing and trials — as well as a round of the AMA Vintage Flat Track National Championship Series — and class winners in each discipline are recognized as AMA national champions. The AMA Vintage Grand Championship also crowns the AMA Vintage Grand Champion and the AMA Vet/Senior Vintage Grand Champion, special recognitions that combine the points from the off-road disciplines — motocross, trials and hare scrambles.
All racers must have general admission tickets in their possession prior to gate entry, and only pre-registered riders with entry confirmation will receive access to Mid-Ohio on Thursday, July 21, at 9 a.m. Gates open for general admission at 5 p.m. Participating racers compete on vintage motorcycles from across different eras in the many different racing disciplines showcased each year at AMA VMD. Vintage racing includes motocross, roadracing, hare scrambles, trials, flat track and pit bike racing. Be aware that pit bike racing has moved from its usual Saturday slot to Friday evening.
Youth riders can also participate in the action. The age requirement for competitors in each discipline is as follows:
Trials: 4 years and up
Motocross and Hare Scrambles: 9 years and up
Flat Track: 12 years and up (Youth riders are not allowed to participate in the dirt-track brakeless class)
Road Race: 14 years and up
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is the preeminent — and longest-running — vintage motorcycle event in the country, with over 40,000 attendees each year enjoying off-road and road racing, bike shows, AMA Hall of Fame exhibits, camping, Laps For History on the legendary Mid-Ohio circuit and, of course, the country’s largest motorcycle swap meet.
Running from July 22-24, this year’s event promises to be the best yet, with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz serving as Grand Marshal.
To register to race or learn more about AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days racing, visit https://vintagemotorcycledays.com/page/racing/
ERZBERG OPENS UP
Press release: As the COVID-19 situation is relaxing all over Europe, Red Bull Erzbergrodeo enlarges its starting grid to the full maximum – and releases some more 300 starting spots for the World Xtreme Enduro Supreme, held from June 16th to 19th 2022. Competitors can look ahead to a sensational comeback of the world’s toughest Extreme Enduro
It’s only 54 days until the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2022 will gather thousands of ambitious offroad motorcycle riders from all over the world at the massive stage of the Styrian Erzberg in the heart of Austria. Preparations for the World Xtreme Enduro Supreme, which will also be part of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship for the first time, are well on their way. After a 2-year break due to COVID-19, the 26th issue of the world’s unique motorcycle offroad festival is fervently awaited by competitors and fans.
Get yourself one of the last race entries. “To race the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo should be on top of the bucket list of every ambitious Enduro rider.” That’s how motorsports icon and Wings-for-Life founder Heinz Kinigadner sums up the significance of Red Bull Erzbergrodeo. Offroad athletes can now fulfill their dreams and secure themselves one of the much sought-after starting spots for 2022.
Red Bull Erzbergrodeo Mastermind Karl Katoch explains why there are additional starting spots available for the first time in the events long history: “Due to the COVID-19 situation we had to narrow the starting grid down to 1200 riders last year. Now that the situation in Austria and Europe has significantly relaxed, we are able to return to the full maximum of 1500 competitors. The Red Bull Erzbergrodeo has all lights put on green, and we are looking forward to a mighty showing of the motorcycle offroad racing family at our comeback after 2 years of break.”
The online rider registration for the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2022 can be found at redbullerzbergrodeo.com
See you next week!