Real Men, Two Strokes, Four Strokes & Disco Fever
by 2 Stroke 4 Ever!
I have had 2 strokes then converted to 4 strokes - New KTM 525SX then a CRF 450R - both bikes had been used for trail riding and 40-100 mile poker runs.
I am a maintenance freak and take care of my equipment. I work many hours and I travel, so riding time is important to me. I have lost many days of riding due to starting issues and valve issues as well as top ends being replaced. The KTM never would start from the beginning from the show room. I even broke a kick starter and ruined my boots from kicking it so many times. It took major work to get custom jetting set (after many months) to get the bike to start consistently. Then the valves eventually couldn't be adjusted any more, so top end time and money.
The CRF was a poor handling, overheating pig that could never idle or be jetted correctly and would not start very easily.
I recently purchased two CR 250R's, 3rd generation (used but went through with rebuilt top end, clutch, bearings). They were older than both of the 4 stroke bikes. I now have a dependable, durable, great handling, easy maintenance, easy starting fun to ride machine and a back up for my friends who always ask to ride it even though they have new 4 stroke 450's! They love the 2 stroke and had forgotten how fun, easy starting, and great handling they are. Most convert after a ride, or others who have payments wish they could!
The 2 strokes are so much more fun and dependable to ride and place a smile on my face. Plus, last time we went riding a poor 4 stroke Yamaha 450 rider held up everyone because his bike would not start - he kicked it 20-30 times - nothing - we had to pull him to bump start. I do not miss that at all.
Look at the Erzberg Rodeo enduro race that captures 35 kilometers of rugged, gnarly, dangerous motocross / enduro racing that is considered the most difficult enduro of all time. Travis Pastrana and Jeremy McGrath - two motocross / supercross superstars entered the event and could have had any bike they wanted.. they DID NOT choose a 4 stroke. Travis chose the Suzuki RM250 and Jeremy chose a Honda CR250R even though they do not make them anymore. I wonder why? Because of weight to power, handling and dependability - they know what will finish and what to choose as no one paid them to enter this event.
When Travis Pastrana entered The
Baja 1000 - he chose a 4 stroke, and the Suzuki RMZ 450 (4 stroke) broke down and he did not finish the race.
I consider the 4 strokes era like "the disco era" in the late seventies - everyone wants to be a part of it. The 2 stroke riders are like the die hard rock/metal fans - trusted and true. The disco people dropped the fad fast and had been embarrassed that they even partook in the dress, music and dancing - "4 Stroke Fever" we can call it.
James Stewart's best time on a national track I read in an article was on a two stroke and has not been beat yet.
The 4 strokes are ticking time bombs and very heavy and ill handling machines. Imagine if all the R/D money that went into 4 strokes had been invested in the 2 strokes?? The companies want to charge more for bikes, and as you have seen they came in at 6K and are now close to 9-10K. They cost more to make and now the dealer gets extra sales in the service bay as they are expensive to work on, and over 70% of the people who own them would not touch the top ends on them. Whereas more 2 strokes are out of the picture as they are cheaper to make and more dependable.
This was a win - win for Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki... The environmentalist, EPA and AMA also had a part in this. I choose to support any manufacturer that has 2 strokes for my next bike just to make a statement. We all bought into what the factory paid riders had been forced to ride.
Remember many riders like Carmichael, Reed and McGrath held out as long as they could. Now they have to promote the 4 strokes as they are paid to.
Yes, from 2002 - until the direct injected EFI 2 stroke development becomes the new engine - I will call this Era the "4 stroke fever" disco era - short lived, tasteless and embarrassed that we bought in and participated in it.
Besides the 4 strokes are boring and for beginners as it takes a good rider to man handle a real 2 stroke. They scare the new 4 stroke riders to death, (who cannot even change a tire or work on the machine). Let's get the real riders (2 stroke) on the dirt bikes, not the wanna be "parking lot hero's" (4 stroke riders). Real men always rode 2 strokes and always will unless you are paid to ride a 4 stroke.