Discovering The Powerband

by Barry

I'm middle aged now, but when I was 17 or so I rode a 250 Honda 4-stroke thumper. It was a great dependable bike and was great at riding in the hills and on the dirt roads around here. Smooth, tractable power, but no rush.

I had never ridden a 2-stroke until one day while riding with my buddies, a friend asked me to trade for a little while. After I stalled the engine getting started, (not knowing about 2-strokes) I was underway. While I was trying to catch up I came to a long straight, I pinned the throttle and that YZ 250 Yamaha of my friends took off like a rocket ship on rails. When I hit 3rd gear the front started up. After a few seconds in 4th I was going so fast I started thinking about brakes.

When we traded back my eyes were watering, I was grinning from ear to ear, and my eyes had to be as big as quarters. My friend Earl asked me how I liked 2-strokes and I told him that his Yamaha was scary fast.

I had found out what a powerband was and that 2-strokes are a different kind of animal. For me, the power was explosive compared to my 4-stroke and after a year or so I bought an almost new Honda CR 250 - amazing bike but it seemed like after I got accustomed to the power, I crashed what seemed like every week (gotta laugh). That bike still ran great with bent bars, forks wheels and years of abuse.


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