Noob question about KTM 2 strokes

Hey guys,

I've been out of dirt bikes for a while but I just got interested again.

I recall that 2 strokes were really high-performace motocross machines. They were for experienced riders and were insanely fast.

Now it seems that there are hardly any two strokes being made. Why is that?

Is KTM the only big company that is making 2 strokes now? What are the plusses and minuses of a modern 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke? Are 2 strokes primarily for more advanced riders or are they good for beginners too?

Just curious what has been happening in the marketplace in the past 10 years or so. (And I admit I love the sound of a 2 stroke so maybe one day...)

Thanks!

1. It seems there're hardly any two strokes being made. Why is that?

2. Is KTM the only big company that is making 2 strokes now?

3. What are the plusses and minuses of a modern 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke?

4. Are 2 strokes primarily for more advanced riders or are they good for beginners too?

1. Yamaha and Honda really pushed the 4stroke and Suzuki and Kawasaki followed. Maybe they thought it was better, maybe they knew it would result in selling more parts. Consumers bought them because they had a displacement advantage and more linear power delivery than the current 2strokes.

2. If you're talking about the US market Yamaha still sells the Y125 & YZ250 motocrossers (unchanged for the last 5 years) and the other Euro companies continue to develop and sell MX and offroad 2strokes.

3. Plusses: Lighter, simpler, less engine braking. Minuses: Easy-to-hit expansion chamber, mixing oil in gas, less engine braking?

4. No, unless you aren't good at braking and consider a 4stroke's engine braking a valuable aid. The power delivery of a 2stroke or 4stroke can be made linear and easy to ride, or with a hard hit in the middle and most of the power at upper RPM. Bikes marketed as offroad have the former, motocrossers have the latter.

The AMA rule change sin the pro classes are pretty much responsible. AMA. 125 vs 250, 250 vs 450cc. not fare. 2however, stroke 250s are allowed to race in the 250 class at the amature level, which is a big plus for most of us. KTM is the only big manufactorer making a 2stroke effort, improvements etc. you can actually see 2tss on the showroom floor at a KTM dealership! Awsome. Two stokes are more fun and they never would of gone away in the pro class if it wasnt for the displacement handicap given to the four stroke.

Hey guys,

I've been out of dirt bikes for a while but I just got interested again. What type of riding do you want to do? I think this will have a lot to do with where you should start with a bike, whether it be an air cooled 4 stroke, or a liquid cooled 2.

I recall that 2 strokes were really high-performace motocross machines. They were for experienced riders and were insanely fast. don't worry, couldn't be further from the truth.

Now it seems that there are hardly any two strokes being made. Why is that? 2 strokes are alive and well, just not as much in the US. governmental regulations changed the direction for the big 4 and they made a decision to go 4 stroke. That is where the money is for them. 2 strokes are much more popular in Europe where emissions haven't become such an issue. This is why you see KTM, GG, Husky, and Husa still building and developing 2 strokes. Luckily, we get to have them imported still.

Is KTM the only big company that is making 2 strokes now? What are the plusses and minuses of a modern 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke? Are 2 strokes primarily for more advanced riders or are they good for beginners too?

For me, there is no negative for owning a 2 stroke. They are simpler, cost less to rebuild and maintain. The air cooled 4 strokes are very reliable, but they give up lots of weight and power to the liquid cooled bikes. The liquid cooled 4 strokes are high performance engines and cost much more when they need rebuilding. The right 2 stroke can definitely accommodate a novice rider.

Just curious what has been happening in the marketplace in the past 10 years or so. (And I admit I love the sound of a 2 stroke so maybe one day...)

Thanks!

I started back on a TTR 250 that I could get cheap and get my feet wet. Rode it for several months and then bought a WR250F. Nice bike for my still novice self, treated me well for 3 years till my skills demanded something more capable. That led me to KTM and their 2 stroke line. I got a wild hair thinking a wanted another 4 stroke, and figured out real fast I (and my wallet) preferred a 2 stroke. I think I could have started out on a 2 stroke just fine, but my transition allowed me to progress without being overwhelmed by having too much power or maintenance costs.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now