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I managed to get a Vertigo test ride on Sunday and I must say I was surprised by how impressed the bike left me. The test began with a brief of the features of the bike. As we know the fuel tank is low and the air filter sits under a cover on the false tank. The 9v rechargeable battery is also under this cover, well out of harms way. The battery is used to prepare the ECU before starting and is then recharged by the engine. Starting was easy but the amount of compression tells you it’s a 300.

So what is like to ride? I am in my early 50’s and normally ride a 250 gasser. I was expecting the Vertigo to be a bit of a handful but not a bit of it. The engine is smooth and runs cleanly whatever you do with it. The gearing is low with 4 usable gears in the sections and 2 more for the roads and trails. The engine pulled 4th gear up a slippery climb from a standing start with ease showing plenty of power. The fuel injection system provides an amount of engine braking but to be honest I never really noticed it. I am one of those people who believe that many marks are lost by people being over biked but at no time in the test did I feel this bike getting away from me. I would not normally consider anything over 250cc but the Vertigo changed my mind. I would be happy to ride one of these as it is.

The sales pitch highlights the stability and you get no argument from me. Equipped with the excellent Reiger shock and low centre of gravity the bike is very forgiving and a joy to ride. The steering is neutral with plenty of lock and no tendency to wash out or tuck in.

Vertigo has been playing with different exhaust arrangements for a while and the final rendition does the job. However, the final version in not repackable which is about the only negative I came away with.

I will wait to see what the TRS is like but the Vertigo is now definitely on my wish list which I wasn’t really expecting.



which map was did you ride it in ?

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I used mostly map 1 which is the default. The other 3 maps do make a noticeably differance unlike a Gas Gas mapping switch. A clubman like me probably would not play with them much as the motor is flexible enough in the default setting.

If I remember correctly the system resets to the default every time you kill the engine. Are you really going to faff with the mapping before each section?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got my test ride today.  I am coming off a 2012 GG Raga.  I am in my 50s and ride clubman, just starting intermediate.


Loved the traction and lugging.  Very planted feeling.  Clutch was very, very smooth.  I found the front end stiff, but my Raga is very plush. More experienced riders find my Raga too plush and like the Vertigo forks.  Rear shock was very nice.

Hard for me to tell about ergonomics, because I am tall and need risers.  I found lifting the front to be a bit heavy, probably because I am hunched over the bars and have too much weight up there.


I struggled a bit with the throttle.  It is precise and accurate (i.e. sensitive).  My Raga is more forgiving.  Perhaps with a slow throttle tube it might work better for me.


Also the compression braking was more than I expected.  Nothing like a four stroke, but more than my Raga.  The other guys (better riders) had no issue with this.  Perhaps bump up the idle and richen up the low end would help me.


One of my buddies pointed out that I owned an 2012 OSSA for a year and asked about the compression braking and twitchy throttle.  I dont recall either - but then again, I have a poor memory.  But I am a hypocrite too.


One last thing.  What I would ride in 1st gear in the Raga, I bet I could have used 3rd in the Vertigo. I ended up using 2nd for all the

tight and slow stuff, no problem.


There was a review by Don Williams in Ultimate Motorcycling.  His conclusion was the the Combat would be too much for riding at the Clubman level.  I disagree completely.  I am a conservative rider (read: chicken), and find this a very nice bike to ride.  In no way did I feel it was too much of a bike for me or that it would get away on me.


Off to try a 2016 300 Sherco, see how that feels.


(P.S.  D & A - I know you are reading this - say hi to Lilli!)


Edited by trialtrial
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  • 1 year later...

Well had my test day today at Birdlip quarry, Gloucester.

Now I had already put money down on a new Ice Hell 300, but thought it best to try, seeing that I hadn't even seen one! I am coming off a 2016 Beta Factory 300.

On arrival, Nick was very accommodating and even though I was early he got me straight on the bike after a quick chat about the features. Both bikes were 2017 models without the battery, all new ones will be battery less; but I believe existing bikes can be modified! The camo was a 300 and the ice hell was 250, seeing that I was planning to purchase a 300, he sent me out on that first. A single kick and it fired into life, it sounded awesome in the flesh; extremely clean revving, as you would expect from FI! Within a few moments of riding I was surprised how it felt, very stable and smooth, so easy to ride! I was impressed with some of the features build into the bike, simple things like the brake level being well protected, yet having a longer pad so riding with foot further out on peg I could still reach the brake without turning foot in? 

After a while Nick suggested I change the mapping and switched to map 3 the softest setting and to my amazement, the difference was immense, a very noticeable difference in total contrast to the 'mapping' switch on the evo! I could see that map being very useful in some of the slippery, twisty routes here in the SW! Also played with the full fat mapping and that was eye opening, however could not see me using it that much!

Then jumped onto the Ice Hell 250, this took a couple of kicks; but once given a little throttle, it burst into life. I immediately noticed in the standard map, a softness when compared to the 300, it was very easy to ride! However I felt that the softer maps would be of little use and didn't really try the full fat mapping on this version.

On reflection it is a little unfair to compare the 250 and the 300 in these forms, because the new Ice Hell has a slightly different gearing (10/42) to the camo; so whilst it seemed a massive difference between the two some of that would have been the gearing!

So this left me with a decision, but have ultimately stuck with my choice of the 300; as I felt that it can be tamed for the mud, but could be unleashed when needed. But the Ice Hell was definitely the right choice for me, seeing the extras including the renthal bars and grips, plus the TI bling!

Now just have to wait for the next shipment to arrive, currently about 3 weeks!

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  • 1 month later...

Untill i read all this , i was on for a new GasGas or new there abouts.I have read the FI doubts and think your going to see the further use of this more and more.

There is a graeater push at the moment in two stroke tech so more advances will be made. Was only back 16 years that they failed miserably with two stroke FI ,and that was with the then bigest motor company in the world,Honda.Before the Blah Blah starts that was on Mick Doohans bike.

Remember the Bimota Vee Due ? FI faileb even more miserably.


So by now ,who's riden in anger ,whats crap what's really good.Whos broken anything,how long has it taken to get spares?


Edited by shyted
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Computing power has moved on since then. You have more power in your phone than was built in to the Space Shuttle. Hence it's more capable of running an engine. We had an OSSA TR300i and that ran well and the Vertigo on the latest maps also runs without problems. As for spares and problems I have had to get a spare mudguard and stickers, the Kick start needed replacing and we had a selector problem. All dealt with within a week.

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