What was the REAL reason for the end of two strokes?

(I didn't want to hijack the "CR250 or CRF250?" thread or derail it more than it already is, so I thought I'd start a new topic.)

OK, I know that two strokes aren't dead yet, but...

I've heard from various sources that claim it was the EPA, the AMA, or Honda that decided to kill two stroke motocross bikes. I've also heard from a bunch of thumper riders that say two strokes are old news purely because four strokes are easier to ride and are faster around the track. As a retort, two stroke fans will say that it takes skill to ride a two stroke, and that two strokes are way easier and cheaper to maintain. There are great arguments for, and great arguments against, both two strokes and four strokes.

Does anyone have any actual evidence about the EPA, AMA or Honda or are we all just a bunch of opinionated whiners repeating unfounded accusations?

It to me seems like the 2t has been les marketed vs the 4t and would result in less demand Wich is a touchy subject because there's plenty of buyers out there for the 2t. Maybe it comes down to money, manufacturers make more money on parts and materials for 4t then 2t parts. Most people that ride a 2t do just about all of there own service to the bike, making less money for a dealership. I know alot of guys do there own work on their 4t but the majority of the 4t owners get there work done at the shop or dealership increasing the 4t demand aka money. I hope I didn't post an off subject to your thread.

Thanks for the reply. That is indeed part of the story that I've heard. On one hand, it makes sense*, but at the same time, I'm still curious if this is part of the folk lore or if it is a real factor...

(* Makes sense like those crazy razors you get from Gillette or likesuchas, the handle is cheap to start, but the refills are outrageously expensive! Especially when, three hours later, you're going to have whiskers starting to poke out again anyway...)

4 stroke makes money. thats all big corps want. is more money, in there pocket.

look how hard the 4 stroke got advertised by honda. now find me a 2 smoker advertisment by honda...its ok, ill wait.

my opinion at least...i have no evidence to back it up.

Well, it probably all boils down to $$$ in the end, but I do know that two strokes are not environmently friendly. China has banned a lot of the two stroke motors there (see below). Many other countries did similiar things. The EPA is not a fan either. So, the environment factor added with what dirt-rich said is pretty much why the 2 stroke market is getting smaller. I'll never own a 4 stroke until that is literally all I can find anywhere... My next bike will probably be a KTM since Honda has abandoned all us 2 strokers. :smirk:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1247506/

P.S. I've been riding street and sport bikes since the 70's and they have all been four strokes. I always followed the recommendations about valve adjustments, oil changes, etc, and I never had a problem...

I was also a big motorhead, doing autocrosses, running at drag strips, etc. That was all four stroke stuff... Although, I do remember one of my aunts having a two-stroke Saab. That was weird!

At the same time, aren't snowmobile and outboard engines proving that two strokes can be environmentally friendly?

P.S. I've been riding street and sport bikes since the 70's and they have all been four strokes. I always followed the recommendations about valve adjustments, oil changes, etc, and I never had a problem...

I was also a big motorhead, doing autocrosses, running at drag strips, etc. That was all four stroke stuff... Although, I do remember one of my aunts having a two-stroke Saab. That was weird!

At the same time, aren't snowmobile and outboard engines proving that two strokes can be environmentally friendly?

yeep, more so then 4 strokes. BRP e-tecs are the only motors to have a 3 star EPA rating. yamahas just bearly squeeked in with 2 stars. not only are they cleaner. they last a hell of alot longer. the canadian coast gard has squeezed well over 2500 hrs out of them with no problems at all.

found this wile digging around on google.

" have this information on good advice and it’s been confirmed by another factory that has been trying to race their 2 strokes at the pro level. The word is, in summary, that to race at the highest AMA level, factories have to produce and sell “X” amount of 2 strokes in the states, which KTM does. However, the smaller companies who don’t meet this number cannot, this in of itself warrants all of us to take action against the AMA, and KTM could race their strokers, but they don’t. The voting side of the AMA, which is dictated by Honda ( sorry but it’s true ) has an in-place agreement that the 4 stroke agenda will take precedence and if any factory can meet the 2 stroke requirement, they have a huge uphill climb. I also heard ( but cant prove ) that the amount of sales required will go up the following year, in essence, if a small factory meets the 2 stroke targeted goals, the following year the amount will raise, making it almost impossible race their strokers.

So basically, why, then? Not emissions or sound or safety or rider preference, but because of money.

2002 KX250 MSRP 5699

2012 KX450F MSRP 8149

And yeah, more moving parts, more wear and tear, more complicated, so that gets a lot of people through dealer doors, It all comes back to money.

I work at a dealership in Indiana, USA, and I actually have been able to learn a lot about the industry and workings. All the other companies really hate like Honda... Honda's like the giant bully *******. I will never buy a

Honda. **** them.

Just wait, the two stroke is going to be back and the four stroke is going to be gone. It's not that far down the road. KTM Is building a direct injection two stroke as we speak, which is much lower emission and significantly improved performance.

So. basically, you kids better watch how much shit you decide to talk about the two stroke, because you are going have to eat your words not so long down the road.

These four strokes are destroying the sport because it is making it unaffordable for most people. First whats more important, that you can afford to ride, or what motor is in your bike... Second, the bikes are going to be awesome.. Four strokes are in trouble.

I'm just showin the facts"

+1 choppertown

Doug Henry, that is why 4 stokes are on top. If yamaha hired a spode it would not have worked. They took off cause they had an advantage. Yep when I'm racing I would want the slowest machine, NOT. Pro's don't pay for parts, they just want results. Holeshots = results.

Remember when John dowd was holeshoting everything on the ktm 520 then the AMA limited the deal to 450.

Mainly because they were allowed double displacement advantage with the AMA. No one ever thought a competitive 4-stroke could be built, and when one was it became a novelty. The AMA did nothing to change the rules once it was obvious the 4-strokes had more potential because of that displacement advantage.

Mainly because they were allowed double displacement advantage with the AMA. No one ever thought a competitive 4-stroke could be built, and when one was it became a novelty. The AMA did nothing to change the rules once it was obvious the 4-strokes had more potential because of that displacement advantage.

That is the exact reason. the rest is red tape and history.

The AMA does not allow a injected 2 stroke, but they do a 4 stroke. Funny how politics spoil everything.

I know nothing about the AMA, but don't forget that in the US, marine outboards have migrated (although not totally) to 4t technology from pressure by the EPA and other govt organizations. Power equipment (chainsaws, mowers, snowblowers, etc.) also felt they were going to have to abandon 2t, as well. I'm sure that same pressure was applied to powersports, too. Reality set in for many that realized that 2t pollution didn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things. Reducing emissions can be accomplished without having to ditch the 2t.

Honda led it all, they have always wanted all of their products to be 4 strokes, they have 4 stroke weedeaters, and were racing 4 stroke oval piston, 8 valves per cylinder motogp bikes in 79 when it was unheard of to make a 4 stroke race bike in motogp.

The AMA, Manufacturers (all of them), and the consumer killed the two stroke. The AMA because it allowed double the displacement for four strokes in Professional and Amateur National Racing. The Manufacturers because they followed the Consumer's buying trends and went heavily in favor of four strokes, to the point of discontinuing their two stroke lineups (of course this excludes Yamaha and KTM, but they still both played a part killing two strokes).

Who really cares? Pick a stroke and ride it. Don't be hatin' on others bike choices however. :smirk:

Honda led it all, they have always wanted all of their products to be 4 strokes, they have 4 stroke weedeaters, and were racing 4 stroke oval piston, 8 valves per cylinder motogp bikes in 79 when it was unheard of to make a 4 stroke race bike in motogp.

Honda's first 4 stroke MX bike was 2002. The YZ400F debuted in 1998 and the YZ250F in 2001.

Yamaha lead the turn in 4 stroke revolution in the late 90s.

Honda's elsinors in the 70s was a major factor in the popularity of 2 strokes in MX dominance till the mid 2000s until the current 4 stroke craze. Its all a circle.

I was looking at buying one of them newer 4-strokers. There sure seems to be a flood of them out there on the used-market for sale! In the past, the 4t's were known to be more reliable, less maintenance, but also less power.

So if you wanted a bike that would last forever, you got yourself a Honda XR or something like that. They weren't too exciting to ride, because they were underpowered, or in the case of the XR600R... HEAVY.

So you either rode a slow bike, or a heavy tank.

The 2-stroke guys were flying, but they were also messing with jetting, pre-mixing, doing top-ends and clutches, and chains and sprockets.

The new generation of pro motocross 4t's are 450cc's, VERY expensive, and they don't last longer! They rev to the moon, and cost a fortune to rebuild. They wear out fast, because they are wound up tight. Power is smooth and strong. People buy them, and people like them.

So WHY do we see so many of them for-sale on the used market right now?

Price of GAS is ridiculous, and when people find out how much it costs to freshen-up their 4t motors, they just wanna dump them.

I did alot of research on these things, because I was looking to get back into riding. After all my research, I started looking for a good deal on a later-generation 2-stroke! I really liked the newer YZ250's, but then I ran across my 2005 CR250R with a deal I couldn't pass up.

I also think the big 4-stroker craze is going to fade.

It will depend mostly on the big corps and the AMA, but the consumers can stop buying them 4t's! Yamaha still makes the YZ250, and that is a great choice. ( Even though they seem to be producing them in limited numbers, so they are kinda hard to find )

Also, the new YZ250's are just as expensive as the YZ450F.

If the new 4-strokes were way more reliable, I would like to try one.

But they wear out just as fast, and cost more to maintain.

I'll stick with the 2-strokes!

I don't RACE. I just want to have fun!

are we all just a bunch of opinionated whiners repeating unfounded accusations?

I think you hit the nail on the head here. No one answer, plus people start these threads every other day. Talk about beating a dead horse

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