Jump to content

How did 2 strokes REALLY die?

Recommended Posts

I was taking a look back and couldn't see any real reason on why the big 4 would stop making full size 2 strokes with the exception of Yamaha. they make more power, lighter, cheaper to manufacturer, more mechanically reliable... it can't be from emissions or else kawasaki wouldn't make the 65, 85 and 100 2 strokes and Yamaha wouldn't make their 125 and 250. demand is still high for them hence why 2 strokes have a higher resale price. does anybody know the real reason? even 2 stroke trail bikes are dead like the KDX. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They didn't die. I just bought a 2021 KTM 300 XCW two stroke.
The big Japanese brands stopped due to real or imagined EPA/smog rules.
And for MX racing, add in the AMA's traditional hatred of two strokes.

  • Like 8
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, pat22043 said:

They didn't die. I just bought a 2021 KTM 300 XCW two stroke.
The big Japanese brands stopped due to real or imagined EPA/smog rules.
And for MX racing, add in the AMA's traditional hatred of two strokes.

but Yamaha still makes the 125 and 250x, dont get why Honda, kawasaki and Suzuki would stop 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Dylan Wright said:

but Yamaha still makes the 125 and 250x, dont get why Honda, kawasaki and Suzuki would stop 

Honda's heart has always been high technology four strokes. Its name is Honda Motor Company. They have made impressive, even world championship two strokes, but only when the rules almost literally forced them. Remember the oval pistons on the 500cc GP bike?

A lot of models sold by the Japanese brands are unchanged for decades, which allows them to not have to recertify them for smog.
Smog rules dislike the unburned hydrocarbons that old school two strokes create. Which is why the KTM/Husqv/GasGas modern two strokes have fuel injection.

Small "off road only" race bikes have different rules.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2t vs 4t argument is getting old. In 2007 Honda announced to their shareholders that they wouldn’t sell another 2 stroke motorcycle. The decision was made for “environmental” reasons. Perhaps we should spend the next 20 years arguing about gasoline vs electric bikes because that’s what’s coming. 

Edited by Into the sunset
  • Like 5
  • Angry 1
  • Sad 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be wrong about this, but in the mid 2000s I recall that the US would be importing 2ts after 2009. I knew guys that bought YZ250s etc just before that date, Honda discontinued their 2ts et cetera. That obviously didn't happen and  KTM went full speed ahead with their 2t R & D, hence their dominance of the 2t market of today.

I think that was the reason that 4ts made a big comeback back in the early to mid 2000s but as KTMs got better each year in the 2t department is the reason why the 300 is arguably the best selling bike these days. 

 

Edited by dyrtmon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pat22043 said:

Honda's heart has always been high technology four strokes. Its name is Honda Motor Company. They have made impressive, even world championship two strokes, but only when the rules almost literally forced them. Remember the oval pistons on the 500cc GP bike?

A lot of models sold by the Japanese brands are unchanged for decades, which allows them to not have to recertify them for smog.
Smog rules dislike the unburned hydrocarbons that old school two strokes create. Which is why the KTM/Husqv/GasGas modern two strokes have fuel injection.

Small "off road only" race bikes have different rules.

it's even deeper than that. Soichiro Honda wasn't a great fan of 2-cycles, he was really all about rings, and since 2-cycles are easy to build, he built a lot of them as a fledgling company. The Honda Dream being the first if I recall. Shortly thereafter they released a 4-stroke and Soichiro's time was spent working on the CVCC head design for the civic. I read at the time there was a rogue engineer keeping the idea alive even after Soichiro had lost interest and sold the idea of racing the 2-cycles. I forget his name. They won, and for years Soichiro just went along, he was always more interested in the 4-stroke motors. 

I may have some details off...I read about it years ago when Honda bailed on 2-cycles. 

  • Like 3
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Slackkinhard said:

it's even deeper than that. Soichiro Honda wasn't a great fan of 2-cycles, he was really all about rings, and since 2-cycles are easy to build, he built a lot of them as a fledgling company. The Honda Dream being the first if I recall. Shortly thereafter they released a 4-stroke and Soichiro's time was spent working on the CVCC head design for the civic. I read at the time there was a rogue engineer keeping the idea alive even after Soichiro had lost interest and sold the idea of racing the 2-cycles. I forget his name. They won, and for years Soichiro just went along, he was always more interested in the 4-stroke motors. 

I may have some details off...I read about it years ago when Honda bailed on 2-cycles. 

Yes, along with they have a ton of pull in the AMA to change rules which made the two strokes disadvantageous the way the classes were set up. Now we have a whole next generation that think 4  is better than 2, which it is if you tip the scales so damn heavy.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Dylan Wright said:

I was taking a look back and couldn't see any real reason on why the big 4 would stop making full size 2 strokes with the exception of Yamaha. they make more power, lighter, cheaper to manufacturer, more mechanically reliable... it can't be from emissions or else kawasaki wouldn't make the 65, 85 and 100 2 strokes and Yamaha wouldn't make their 125 and 250. demand is still high for them hence why 2 strokes have a higher resale price. does anybody know the real reason? even 2 stroke trail bikes are dead like the KDX. 

Google this topic and get background. Find some threads. This has been talked about on a bunch of threads . Seems to come up every couple years..... again....

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, hawaiidirtrider said:

Google this topic and get background. Find some threads. This has been talked about on a bunch of threads . Seems to come up every couple years..... again....

its worth talking about

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rode a 2-stroke Kawasaki KX 125 back in the 90s, but now ride Honda CRF250L and KTM EXC-R 450 4-strokes. Gotta say that I liked the powerband on the 2t  in tracks, but for trail & enduro riding now that I am older the 4t’s are better, imo. Ever try hitting a rocky & muddy hill on a 2t vs 4t? World of difference. 4t you don’t have to go balls out to get up the hill, but a 2t you better or it’ll be uncontrollable hitting the top & dealing with the powerband pull. Also, 2t’s seem to wear out much faster... more maintenance & more replacements (rings, valves, plugs, etc). Just my experience. I like them both for different riding... 2t = mx track, 4t = trails/enduro 👍😁

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard something about a Tsunami wiping out a lot of the factories and destroying the tooling for 2 strokes (and many other bikes)  and they didn't feel it was worth rebuilding the 2 stroke lineups. Don't know if that is true at all. 

Not sure exactly what caused the lead up, but the final nail was the AMA allowing twice the displacement to race against the 2t's. It's like someone at AMA said "Twice the strokes must equal twice the displacement duurrrrr" 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bobby Stanford said:

I rode a 2-stroke Kawasaki KX 125 back in the 90s, but now ride Honda CRF250L and KTM EXC-R 450 4-strokes. Gotta say that I liked the powerband on the 2t  in tracks, but for trail & enduro riding now that I am older the 4t’s are better, imo. Ever try hitting a rocky & muddy hill on a 2t vs 4t? World of difference. 4t you don’t have to go balls out to get up the hill, but a 2t you better or it’ll be uncontrollable hitting the top & dealing with the powerband pull. Also, 2t’s seem to wear out much faster... more maintenance & more replacements (rings, valves, plugs, etc). Just my experience. I like them both for different riding... 2t = mx track, 4t = trails/enduro 👍😁

I used to feel the same way until I rode a 300 and all that went out the window . They aren't much lighter but feel tons lighter due to the much shorter engine im sure and the 300 will lug along no problem. I usually get in 3rd gear and stay there most of the day . 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It happened about the time Honda stopped being relevant in the off road motorcycle market.  

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bobby Stanford said:

I rode a 2-stroke Kawasaki KX 125 back in the 90s,

There is no comparison between an old small two stroke and a modern KTM 300 TPI XC/XCW. The 300 has tons of torque and low end HP. The delivery is linear. Sure, there is plenty of power in higher revs, but there is no "whoa Nellie" kick when it gets on the pipe.

  • Like 5
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Dylan Wright said:

I was taking a look back and couldn't see any real reason on why the big 4 would stop making full size 2 strokes with the exception of Yamaha. they make more power, lighter, cheaper to manufacturer, more mechanically reliable... it can't be from emissions or else kawasaki wouldn't make the 65, 85 and 100 2 strokes and Yamaha wouldn't make their 125 and 250. demand is still high for them hence why 2 strokes have a higher resale price. does anybody know the real reason? even 2 stroke trail bikes are dead like the KDX. 

This a troll post? 250f make nearly the same power as 250 2ts, and over a broader range.

They are also as light and as reliable... 

Nice try

  • Like 7
  • Helpful 1
  • Haha 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Dylan Wright said:

I was taking a look back and couldn't see any real reason on why the big 4 would stop making full size 2 strokes with the exception of Yamaha. they make more power, lighter, cheaper to manufacturer, more mechanically reliable... it can't be from emissions or else kawasaki wouldn't make the 65, 85 and 100 2 strokes and Yamaha wouldn't make their 125 and 250. demand is still high for them hence why 2 strokes have a higher resale price. does anybody know the real reason? even 2 stroke trail bikes are dead like the KDX. 

Because Honda hates 2 strokes and they conspired with racing officials to put 4 strokes at an unfair displacement advantage with 450cc rule. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, pat22043 said:

There is no comparison between an old small two stroke and a modern KTM 300 TPI XC/XCW. The 300 has tons of torque and low end HP. The delivery is linear. Sure, there is plenty of power in higher revs, but there is no "whoa Nellie" kick when it gets on the pipe.

you must be on a kdm, the Beeta 300 is a monster on the pipe. 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...