Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

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MoonStomper
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Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

Post by MoonStomper »

2022 Rieju MR Racing 300 REVIEW…
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My son has been griping about not having enough power this year racing B on his 2008 KTM 200 xc-w. His time spent in the gym preparing for his senior year playing linebacker has packed on some weight in the form of muscle (5’9” 175 lbs) and he’s pretty strong. The 200 has been very good, even dominating in the woods, but when they hit the WOT GP sections of the course he’s getting his doors blown. All indications were that the bike was tuned properly and healthy, but the 4 strokes were just stronger in those sections. It really sucks putting time on those boys in the single track only to be chased down in the fields. With our goal of pursuing Nat’l Enduro points next year and the VCHSS hare scramble series we felt it was time to start looking around.

Our local shop is Gearhead Junction http://www.GearheadJunction.com here in Pearisburg, Virginia. Terry Rafferty is the owner and is a good friend of ours. His shop is the third largest by volume Royal Enfield dealer in the US and he also has the Rieju brand. There are only 39 dealers here in the US, his is the only one in Virginia.The 2021 and 22 Riejus are basically 2018 GasGas bikes that are rebadged and slightly improved under the famous spanish Rieju name. They bought the rights to this architecture when KTM bought the old GasGas name and started building rebadged red KTMS. Rieju has a long enduro tradition in Spain and are well known internationally, but they are still a rare sight here in the US. What’s nice is we can order 2018 GasGas parts and they will fit this bike.

Terry has been giving Henry and I some racing support this year so when we realized it was time for an upgrade we knew we needed to take a serious look at this bike. Pricing on these bikes run significantly below what the big brands are and that is obviously a big consideration. Gearhead received a batch of bikes just a few weeks ago and so I went by to take a look. Somehow I ended up bringing a fresh 300 Racing home to check out. After carefully breaking it in per the manual we had fallen in love. In the ten hours since, we have had Travis at GoRace Suspension set up the very nice KYB suspension and also rejetted. This bike RIPS! Henry is riding everything a gear higher and is very excited to race it later this month.

My time on this bike is still somewhat limited and I’m definitely more comfortable on my KDX 200, but I’ve ridden it a fair amount as well as his xc-w and have some general impressions along with what he has expressed.The bike feels very nimble in the woods, but has beaucoup power to spare. The grunt on this machine is undeniable. It modulates the horses with a Magura hydraulic clutch that feels smooth and consistent. The newly redesigned starter addresses a weak link (now oil-cooled) found on the older bikes. As a KDX guy I’m not really jealous and still use the kicker mounted in the right place instead of the EZ Button. However Henry thinks that button is the coolest thing ever. To me the kicker that most of the other bikes in this class out there are now missing is a deal breaker.
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The bike is really nicely set up for ISDE with an easy to a remove front wheel axel pull, a quick pull air filter cover and filter release, quick release seat which hides the battery, and there’s easy access to the dependable Keihin PWKS carb for jetting adjustments. The hour meter/speedometer activates (lights up) automatically when the bike is rolled or started, there are no keys or power switches to fool with. The tail light goes to high mode when the brakes are engaged and there is a pod on the handlebar for easily adding signals for street use if desired. We’ll probably swap that pod out for a simple starter button just to ensure that we don’t damage that multi-function switch, though it looks pretty sturdy. There is also a map switch to change the engine’s power delivery between wet and dry conditions. I’ve not played with that yet, but Henry says the difference in how the power hits is very noticeable.
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Everything on the bike is tucked in tight out of the way of brush and rocks. There are nice wide pegs, and the bike is equipped with strong and dependable Nissin brakes like on my KDX. There is a see through 2.6 gallon tank which is really appreciated and a reserve function on the petcock which is easy to reach, but placed up tight against the tank bottom where it won’t be snagged in the woods.
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The bike comes with DOT Michelin Enduro medium tires, the rear is a huge 140/80-18. They’ve been surprisingly good as we break it in. We are going to swap them out next week for the Bridgestone M59 up front and Dunlop MX33 120/80 on the rear on 12psi mousses. Henry has a ‘hit everything hard’ riding style that has rewarded him with three flats this year. Time to give the foam hoops a try. This setup is recommended by our local pro. I’m interested to see how it feels. Being that we ride in a very hard enduro locale Henry has already bolted on Enduro Engineering radiator braces and is about to bolt on a SXS skid plate with linkage guard. Some Moose Racing brush busters are now protecting his levers and hands.

It’s not green, but until Kawasaki starts building a modern 2 stroke enduro bike I don’t see Henry going for it. Though this bike could pass for a modern KDX with the color properly adjusted.
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Last edited by MoonStomper on 06:42 am Jul 21 2022, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

Post by KDXGarage »

That is a very nice looking scooter! Congratulations on the purchase, and thanks for the report.
Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo:
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Re: Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

Post by doakley »

I like that. 300 has always been too much power for me but I can certainly see why your son would like it.
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Re: Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

Post by SS109 »

MoonStomper wrote: 02:30 pm Jul 09 2022 Though this bike could pass for a modern KDX with the color properly adjusted.
Ha! I've been saying that for years. The first time I rode a GasGas it was a natural and easy transition from the KDX for me. I still have my '11 GasGas EC250 Racing that I'm collecting parts to get it back out on the trails.

That said, congrats and I think you guys made a wise choice. Your kid is going to love it at the races. I rode the '19 GG EC250 and loved it and, as you already know, it's essentially the same bike as the Rieju MR series. It had fantastic suspension, great power everywhere, and felt very light and nimble even though they aren't the lightest bikes. I think the pre KTM GG, and now Riejus, are some of the most overlooked bikes out there and, especially for the money, they are tough to beat.
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Re: Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

Post by VTMTcowboy »

Looks and sounds like a sweet bike! Got to love the KYB suspension and premium components at a lower cost. Congrats and enjoy, especially the time riding and wrenching with your son!
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Re: Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW x one month in…

Post by MoonStomper »

Kairos is a real proving grounds.

One month in and we have a short term verdict… This bike delivers.

Last Sunday Henry finally had a chance to race the 300 at the VCHSS Kairos race, our local hare scramble in Glen Lynn, Virginia. This is a serious ‘not quite Hard Enduro-lite’ kind of course. Extremely steep and rocky, long climbs, challenging creek runs, steep and sketchy descents into oblivion, nearly all tight single track with high degrees of elevation change. It’s tough and relatively slow even in perfect conditions. They run an SRT here, this terrain requires your A-game, and I’ve noticed it’s a race a certain percentage of the hare scrambles series racers skip every year.

(Of course the KDX eats it up! … that report will come later)
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… [Myself, Henry, Terry Rafferty - Gearhead Junction, & Travis Jones - GoRace Suspension]…

Henry moved over to the 250 B class which is typically the largest field in the Main (12 this day) and some very fast dudes. Rain all week leading into the event and scattered showers during, meant extra challenging conditions. I’ll keep it PG here, the trails were like riding on a wet bar of soap. Tire selection was fresh M59 Bridgestone front and IRC IW-9 rear, mounted with SRT 12 psi mousses. For hare scrambles on this terrain that’s about ideal. The bike can climb anything on this gummy tread and the course is slow enough you don’t need the heavier sidewalls of the VE33, but the mousses protect your rims in the fast but ledgy creek beds. The M59 bites into that hard wet clay, and handles the creek traction in beds too.
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Henry completed 3 laps of the 7.5 mile course and said it was the best he’s ever felt. The 300 was easy to ride and just floated up the climbs. He’s been practicing for his senior year playing linebacker and full back for his high school football team so he’s tremendously fit, but also trying not to get hurt. He started the race pretty relaxed expecting to just ride some clean laps, be patient and not take chances. Then found himself climbing up through the field each lap, ultimately finishing fourth. Said it was the first time he can remember not experiencing arm pump, probably because of the more relaxed start and thanks to KYB and GoRace Suspension.
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The bike came off the course and cleaned up with no damage or other issues. He was really excited about how that 300 power just ate everything up.

The following week his sponsors (Gearhead Junction & GoRace Suspension) pitched in and we signed him up for a two-day hard-enduro class (also at Kairos) with the GOAT, World Champion GRAHAMFREAKINGJARVIS. He is in town training for the Tennessee Knock Out (TKO) coming up this weekend. Graham has done these courses here before. Travis does Graham’s suspension tuning and has run these classes with Graham over the years (why we have him plastered all over the race trailer). Also the guy that manages the bike side of things at Kairos is friends with Graham, having been to Spain to do his summer camp there.
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Henry and his best bud Russell had a great couple days and I think he almost forgot all about football and everything else. I got to watch and followed the class as a sweeper on a couple rides they did so was able to witness the hard enduro master’s magic first-hand. Yeah. He’s a wizard, and as nice, humble and mellow a guy as you will ever meet.
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https://www.gearheadjunction.com/

https://www.go-race.com/suspension
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Re: Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

Post by KDXGarage »

Thanks for the follow up. He is doing great.
Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo:
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Re: Rieju MR Racing 300 - REVIEW

Post by SS109 »

Rieju, the most unknown, overlooked, and best value enduro bikes out there. Glad he's doing good and suspect he's just going to keep getting better! Yup, Jarvis is the BillyGOAT and a true class act.
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Re: Rieju MR Ranger 200 / 300 - CycleNews REVIEW

Post by MoonStomper »

This article from Cycle News just hit detailing the Rieju Ranger line. It’s full of interesting details, and really highlights the differences between this more trail-rated bike and their other race oriented bike. My son has ridden both the Ranger and Race 300s and can attest to the differences they describe.

https://magazine.cyclenews.com/i/14769 ... xmhSVoF_Tk

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If you are interested in one, check out Gearhead Junction in Pembroke, Virginia. They are sponsoring my son on his Racing 300 and usually show up at the VCHSS races with a trailer full of new bikes to show off. These Rangers are close as you can get I believe, to a new, modern KDX. It’s like they stole a chapter out of Kawasaki’s old playbook.

https://www.gearheadjunction.com/
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
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