A warm day in Montana in mid-March gave us the perfect opportunity to take our brand new fleet of 2022 GPX dirtbikes out for a day of testing. We loaded up and drove out to Radersburg, Montana to do some riding and filming and develop opinions on these Chinese machines. One of our bikes of focus was the 2022 GPX FSE 250E.
This bike is an air cooled, carbureted 250cc 4 stroke dirtbike. It comes fully street legal with blinkers, brake lights, mirrors and a headlight. It also includes a motocross style number plate and all of these additions can be easily removed to make it more of an off-road oriented machine. The bike isn’t the lightest there is but carries it weight well, tipping the scales at 247 pounds full of fuel and ready to ride.
I was immediately impressed with the chassis. The bike feels and handles much like a KTM and I felt right at home. After only a couple of laps on the bike I was feeling comfortable and flicking it around with ease. The suspension is surprisingly good; I didn’t expect it to be bad, but it exceeded all of my expectations. The forks have amazing bottoming resistance and eat up small bumps well. The suspension truly feels competitive with the setups on modern Japanese or Austrian bikes. I might not have been able to tell the difference if the forks were unbranded and you told me to compare them to modern Showas, KYBs, or WP.
The brakes are strong but not as good as Brembos. Brembos are the gold standard in braking so that might be expected. They did not leave much to be desired, but could have a bit more bite if I’m being picky. Now that I’ve established how impressed I was with the chassis, let’s talk about the engine.
The power is surprisingly good. The bottom end throttle response is very smooth and responsive. It is not too difficult to lift the front wheel with a little help of the clutch and the correct RPMs. The bike does run through its gears very quickly and demands to be shifted to be ridden fast. It does not have good over rev and will stop accelerating if you do not shift up. The power is very smooth and controllable. An experienced rider can ride this bike very hard and rev it to the moon with complete control. A new rider would feel comfortable on this bike as the power is incredibly manageable and does not feel overwhelming or like the bike can get away from you. The fact that this bike is as good as it is with a simple air cooled engine design and minimal maintenance is quite impressive. The low end torque is fairly strong and this bike would have no issue taking you up some fairly difficult terrain without complaining.
The only real issue we experienced with this bike was the handlebar mounts coming loose. We added Loctite to the mounting bolts of a TSE 250R before testing it after we experienced this issue and did not experience any problems. As of now, that is our recommendation to avoid this problem.
For the price, this bike is pretty much impossible to beat. If I was in the market for a new race bike, this would not be it. If I was looking for a fun and smooth trail bike with the added bonus of being street legal, I would have my eyes on this GPX.