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2 vs 4 stroke maintence costs


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I've heard that the 2 strokes are much cheaper to maintain, never buy a used 4 stroke etc..But I haven't seen any actual numbers. About how much more expensive is a 250F over a 125 2 stroke? How much time between maintenance events for each and what does it cost? Assume that I would work on the simpler 2 stroke myself but have to hire someone for the 4 stroke.

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They're more expensive, it's hard to put a number on it, because it's alot based off of how you ride, how you maintain your bike, how much you ride, etc. But 250f vs 125, the 250f will cost more, even in just oil changes. A good quality 4 stroke oil costs a fair bit, plus oil filter, versus a bottle of pre-mix and a gallon of rotella-t for 13 bucks. 

 

Also, I personally believe if you can't work on a 4 stroke yourself, it's probably not the right bike for you, unless you just have gobs of money lol. I wouldn't say they're that difficult to work on though.

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There was a thread on here a few years ago where someone recorded his maintenance costs on both his 4t and 2t over a year period. Surprisingly they were pretty much the same....

That being said, the cost on certain parts, like a top-end on a 4t is more then a 2t but, I've seen way more hours on these 4ts then most 2ts...

It's all about how you take care of it in the end....

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Do you need any expensive special tools for the 4 stroke? I've replaced a camshaft and lifters on a car before and I'm also a licensed aviation mechanic so I could probably handle it. I just hate working on stuff unless it's an easy job that can be done in one day or less.

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Do you need any expensive special tools for the 4 stroke? I've replaced a camshaft and lifters on a car before and I'm also a licensed aviation mechanic so I could probably handle it. I just hate working on stuff unless it's an easy job that can be done in one day or less.

 

 

You'll need a few special tools for any bike you buy, such as a flywheel puller.

 

Long-term maintenance costs are pretty close between four-strokes and two-strokes. Four-strokes have more parts that wear, but two-strokes need them a little more often. However, in the advent of a catastrophic failure, there is no comparison, a four-stroke is far more expensive simply by virtue of having more parts to replace.

 

As for working on them, these are all very simple engines, even the four-strokes. If you have a reasonable level of mechanical ability, then as long as you have a repair manual there's nothing you won't be able to do in an afternoon.

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I've heard that the 2 strokes are much cheaper to maintain, never buy a used 4 stroke etc..But I haven't seen any actual numbers. About how much more expensive is a 250F over a 125 2 stroke? How much time between maintenance events for each and what does it cost? Assume that I would work on the simpler 2 stroke myself but have to hire someone for the 4 stroke.

Virtually anyone is capable of tackling disassembly and assembly on either type of engine. There are myriad tutorials on the web to tear down and reassemble any given engine. Certainly a mechanical tradesman has nothing to fear.

 

When you think about it, how much more complicated is a 4 stroke than a 2 stroke? -It's got a head with valves, springs and keepers, cam and chain and an oil pump. Everything else is virtually the same. They are all VERY simple compared to a car engine, a lot like an aero engine in fact.

 

The real reason to buy one rather than the other is because of how well it works in your chosen environment and riding style/skill level. 

 

4strokes are better at some things, 2strokes at others.

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MOST people will never rebuild their motors at all so the cost difference is mute! Most just sell it when it starts running poorly and let some other poor schmuck deal with it!

 

Also, unless you race or ride A LOT, you are unlikely to need to rebuild a 4 stroke,  and most people don't notice their 2-stroke is down on power or compression and so also don't do it's topend. 

 

Now, assuming you are a good, conscientious dirt bike owner and well maintain your bikes - 2 strokes cost less and are easier to maintain, but require top ends more. 4 strokes tend to last longer, but cost more when you do eventually do the work - so like stated above it turns out to be a wash.

 

This all goes out the window if you race because you'll want to follow the racing maintenance schedule to avoid DNFs plus you put a ton more stress on your valve train/topend, in which case you are doing major maintenance almost as often on the 4 stroke making it much more expensive to race.

 

There are also the 4-stroke exception bikes known for valve/topend issues. These are not the norm (though there are plenty and any high performance 4-stroke could be "that bike"), but will end up costing you $$$.

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The two bikes I'm looking at now are a new 2014 KX250F and a 2010 YZ125 in excellent shape with lots of upgrades. I was looking at the maintenance intervals for both and was surprised to see that the hours between piston replacement was about the same. I think the 250 might be more suited to my skill level and type of riding but I don't want to be pulling the head off and changing the piston on that thing every 15 hours. I won't be racing so I'll probably get more time out of it but the same would be true on the YZ. I can get the new KX250F for 5000 or the YZ for 3000 so it's a difficult decision. Might have to get both to try out and just keep the one I like best.

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The two bikes I'm looking at now are a new 2014 KX250F and a 2010 YZ125 in excellent shape with lots of upgrades. I was looking at the maintenance intervals for both and was surprised to see that the hours between piston replacement was about the same. I think the 250 might be more suited to my skill level and type of riding but I don't want to be pulling the head off and changing the piston on that thing every 15 hours. I won't be racing so I'll probably get more time out of it but the same would be true on the YZ. I can get the new KX250F for 5000 or the YZ for 3000 so it's a difficult decision. Might have to get both to try out and just keep the one I like best.

If you can afford to buy both, I recommend it. It seems to take people a while to decide whether they prefer a two stroke or a four stroke. And both prices you mentioned are excellent for those machines.

 

Maintenance is an issue to be tackled lovingly and with no deadlines. I sometimes find myself in the garage caring for my bikes as an escape from daily pressures. There is a very Zen quality to maintaining and perfecting your bike, for you.

 

I love both two and four stroke bikes just about equally and own both. The real problem is deciding which one to get dirty.

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I've heard that the 2 strokes are much cheaper to maintain, never buy a used 4 stroke etc..But I haven't seen any actual numbers. About how much more expensive is a 250F over a 125 2 stroke? How much time between maintenance events for each and what does it cost? Assume that I would work on the simpler 2 stroke myself but have to hire someone for the 4 stroke.

For me the $ difference between my 4t and 2t is about $500. That is over 4 years or so. Both go through case oil, filters, tires, chain n sprockets and piston changes the same. The difference has been shim kit $80 - cam chain $80 - new intake valves $320 for 4t

Only other diff is the pre mix in the 2t

I do all my own work with the exception of installing valves. That is because I didn't have the tools.

Edited by cse2c
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If you can afford to buy both, I recommend it. It seems to take people a while to decide whether they prefer a two stroke or a four stroke. And both prices you mentioned are excellent for those machines.

Maintenance is an issue to be tackled lovingly and with no deadlines. I sometimes find myself in the garage caring for my bikes as an escape from daily pressures. There is a very Zen quality to maintaining and perfecting your bike, for you.

I love both two and four stroke bikes just about equally and own both. The real problem is deciding which one to get dirty.

Agree 100%

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