Our test of the GPX FSE 450R concludes our review series of GPX’s full size enduro bikes until we can get our hands on a TSE 300R later this year. After riding the FSE 250E and FSE 300R, I was very curious to see how much power GPX’s beefy 450 had. It became apparent very quickly that this bike is not a fire breathing motocross bike. When most people think of a 450, they think of incredible torque and explosive power. This GPX 450 is not that. The power is incredibly tame, and I struggled to get the front wheel off the ground even when using the clutch. It feels a bit like a DRZ400S. With this said, it is clear that the EFI mapping needs work. The bike runs very hot and lean, and it struggles to create good, smooth power everywhere but the very bottom.
Throughout all of our GPX reviews we have been very happy with the chassis and suspension, and that is no different for the 450. The bike handles and steers well. The suspension does a good job at absorbing big impacts while eating up small bumps, and manages to stay high in the stroke. The brakes are strong, but we did have a complaint regarding the rear brake on this bike. The rear brake pedal has an enormous foot. We aren’t sure if GPX did this since the case is so wide to ensure you can reach the pedal, but it sticks out pretty far and we actually caught it on a shrub when turning right. This could be worth a modification.
The shifter was also a major issue for us. The case is so wide that the shifter comes stock pointed way down to clear the case when upshifting. We moved it up one tooth and ground the top of the shifter off a little bit to help with clearance, but had a lot of missed shifts throughout our day of testing. With this said, we have read from multiple sources that the IMS Shift Lever for a 2000 Honda XR650L will fit this bike and alleviate the problem.
Alright, I had to get the cons out of the way. Let’s move onto where the bike shines. It feels smooth and planted. It carries itself well at very high speeds. I ran it 80 MPH down a dirt road with no signs of wobble of headshake. This would be a nice dual sport bike and definitely has the motor to run highway speeds comfortably. With the EFI tuned, I believe the bike has so much more to offer. The componentry is nice and the bike has quality finishes. It’s a really good looking dirt bike.
Compared to the other bikes in GPX’s enduro line, the 450 was our least favorite for the reasons stated above. With attention to those 3 items, this could be a very good bike at a very good price point. It has a lot of potential that we know can be unlocked. We are currently working to get one of them tuned so we can give our opinions on a properly fueled GPX FSE 450R. Until then, we will be honest in saying the bike is good but not great and has a couple issues that should be resolved to ride the bike aggressively. For dual sport use, the bike is good out of the box.