THE LAST ‘RAGA’ REPLICA?
It’s always surprising what can come out of a casual conversation. I was talking to Adam Raga about the Gas Gas situation and expressing what a pity it was that there would be no more Adam Raga Replica machines from the Spanish brand, which is now in liquidation. I asked Adam how good is his current machine – his reply: “Why not ask one of your test riders to have a ‘Quick Spin’ on it?” One of his old minders and good friend Jack Lee was involved in the conversation and, with all his experience, I asked if he could be the pilot! Adam agreed he could ride the machine prior to the World round at Penrith in Great Britain but it would be his spare machine. We arrived at the WTC round on the Friday to be greeted by Adam and his 2015 minder Michele Bosi, who were both smiling. I asked Adam why the smile? He replied: “You can test my race machine, yes the machine I will compete on this weekend” – Wow; the opportunity to test a hand-built ‘Works’ machine!
Words: John Hulme with Jack Lee and Adam Raga
When we use the words ‘Hand-built’ that’s exactly what Adam’s machine is. This Gas Gas was put together with one aim in mind – to win the World Trials Championship. It has been tailored in all areas to give Adam the maximum opportunity to challenge for the World crown.
You might think that the statement – ‘Nothing’s standard’ is a little bit wild to make but that’s what this machine is – non-standard. Each area of the machine has been examined and modified to suit Adam’s expectations from the Gas Gas. Yes it’s based around a production 300cc TXT but that’s where it ends. The biggest change is in the steel tubular chassis, which has had the positioning of the motor changed. It’s moved forwards to put a weight bias towards the front for better traction distribution, which is achieved by the change to the fulcrum point of the gearbox position. The head-stock angle is changed to push the front out more for stability. His personal choice of front forks is the Tech brand, which allows for many adjustments to be made in the compression and rebound areas. At the rear a Reiga shock is used but features a larger body with increased oil capacity to aid cooling and keep the performance consistent in all conditions. The rear shock is attached to a changed linkage ratio from standard to suit Adam’s riding style. The footrest location is a little higher and the angle changed for personal preference. He also uses his own bend of handlebar. Weight distribution is key and for the indoors or X-Trial he uses a small carbon fibre fuel tank that contains just 1.3 litres of fuel, as opposed to 3 litres for outdoor events. The airbox assembly is also fabricated from carbon fibre. The sump-plate is non-standard and supplied by ‘Geco’ special parts.
It’s a fact that the top riders’ machines are very difficult to ride, as we found out when we tested the factory Beta of James Dabill. The power delivery is instant and very precise. Adam’s Gas Gas motor is tuned to make the power very strong at all throttle openings. The very bottom-end power, he says, is where the four-stroke motors in the Repsol Honda machines have the edge over the two-stroke he rides. The carburettor has a larger diameter bore over standard and also features an increased float-bowl size, once again to achieve more power. The electric water pump only cuts in when it’s required and does not run all the time like the mechanical one, which in turn reduces mechanical friction. A larger aluminium radiator also helps to keep the water temperature more consistent. The Diaphragm clutch remains but has four fibre plates, instead of three in the standard motor. The biting point on this machine is incredible to say the least and is ideal for unleashing the power to Adam’s throttle hand. Changes are made to the exhaust bend on the front pipe which has a much shorter curve, but these are not just performance related, as with the frame modifications to the headstock they also allow clearance for the front wheel. The aesthetics of the machine are complemented by Adam’s own new range of design to enhance the appearance. We have noted at times that some people have been critical of the appearance of Adam’s machine but we can 100% assure you that the machine is always in top-class condition.
Jack Lee: “This is not the first time I have ridden Adam’s factory machines. They are very different and as John has explained not the easiest to ride, as Phil Disney found out when he rode James Dabill’s Works Beta. Every mortal part of the machine works to perfection, you open the throttle and you are instantly propelled forward, you let the clutch lever go and it’s the same sensation. The brakes and suspension are very sharp and the whole experience is in truth a little daunting! Riding Adam’s machine is made more difficult because of the forward weight bias and it genuinely wants to throw you over the handlebars if you do not move around on the machine. Adam is physically very strong and his body is as lean as a Whippet, and you will notice how he moves around on the machine to extract the best possible performance from it. My body has been broken in various areas over the years and the truth is the machine is way beyond my ability. To obtain the maximum from this machine requires a very good understanding between the throttle hand and the clutch as both are so very strong in performance. I found it hard to gain any confidence on it as it’s a genuine world championship contender and I am not – simples!”