RIDING THE RIEJU RANGER 2-STROKES: THE WRAP

Rieju is a small company in Figueres, Spain that has been making small-displacement street bikes for the European market for over 70 years. When KTM took control of the GasGas factory in nearby Girona, Rieju struck an agreement to acquire all the tooling and inventory for the previously existing GasGas line of two-strokes. Those bikes had been extensively redesigned in 2018 with capital from Torrot, a company specializing in electric mobility products. Sadly, emphasis quickly shifted away from the two-stroke line and the redesigned motorcycles were very hard to find.

Rieju makes a 200 and a 300 in the Ranger configuration. They look similar but feel very different.

That should change. Rieju has big plans for increasing production and is currently building a new factory. For now, the products formerly known as GasGas are still produced in Girona. Presumably, there’s some involvement from KTM management there, as they have controlling interest in that facility. Soon, the production will be moved to the new factory under Rieju ownership.

The 2022 Rieju Ranger MR300 sells for $8799.

Rieju calls these motorcycles its “Hard Enduro” line, which has three levels.The MR Pro bikes are the top of the food chain, the “Racing” models are the standard editions and the Rangers are more price-targeted. We have both the Ranger 200 and the Ranger 300, which sell for $8599 and $8799, respectively. Despite those comparatively low prices, these aren’t really “budget” bikes. The fit and finish are excellent and the parts are top quality. The forks and shocks are KYB, the hydraulic clutch is Magura, the carburetor is a Keihin and the reed is a Moto Tassinari. They have electric starters and kickstarters. The brakes might be among the few real concessions to price; they are a mix of different Spanish components including Braktec, J. Juan and AJP. Also, the bars and rims are not name-brands.

The 2022 Rieju Ranger MR200 sells for $8599.

The Rangers aren’t designed to be race bikes. They are aimed more at trail riding and even entry level riders. To make the power delivery more friendly, the expansion chambers have long head pipes and the carburetors are 36mm. Rieju engineers also brought down the seat height by almost 2 inches compared to its other bikes. They did this by reducing the suspension travel and using a thinner seat. You can bring the seat height down even lower by adjusting the linkage, which has a concentric lobe embedded in the dog bone.

The power delivery is altered for trials-like personality though use of pipe and carb tuning.

There are very few mechanical differences between the 200 and the 300. Unlike most 200s, which have historically been made from 125s, Rieju’s is a downsized 300. Externally, the two motors look identical, but the 200’s bore and stroke is 62.5 x 65.0mm, whereas the 300 is 72.0 x 72.0. Correspondingly, the 200 is only a little lighter than the 300. On our scale, the 200 is 237.9 pounds (no fuel) and the 300 is 239.6.

Justin Jones on the Rieju Ranger 300.

What’s really interesting is that the 200 feels much lighter. We’ve seen this before; it turns out that the sensation of weight is produced as much by motor characteristics as by actual pounds. Both bikes are super sweet in the low rpm range and virtually unstallable. Carburertion is perfectly clean and torque is excellent on both bikes, but the 200 is just a little more happy in tight canyons and slow-speed trails. In really confined areas, the Rangers give away nothing to more conventional two-strokes like KTM and Beta. As you might expect, the power goes flat on top, but you don’t notice that until you get into more wide open spaces. There, you might also notice that both engines vibrate a little more than two-stroke motors that have counterbalancers. Likewise, the suspension is super soft on both bikes, clearly made for low-speeds and tight terrain. 

We absolutely love both of these bikes. Even though Rieju never intended them to be race bikes, they both would be competitive in extreme enduros. We will have the full story in the May print edition of Dirt Bike.

What are the differences between the standard Rieju 300 and the Ranger? Here they are superimposed on one another to give you the overview at a glance.

See you next week!

–Ron Lawson

 

Comments are closed.