The Two Stroke Camel That Broke Our Back

by Rockin Road

The only reason I will not buy a 2 stroke is because of lack of reliability and longevity. I've put 12,000 miles on my XT350 4 stroke without having to crack open the engine once. I simply change the oil, sparkplug, and filters and that is it. In contrast, I'm lucky to get 5-6000 miles out of any 2 stroke. Not to mention constantly screwing around with carb adjustments, fouled plugs, fuel mixtures, oil, tuning, and general maintenance.

Sure it's cheaper to rebuild the 2 stroke and the power is nice and cheaper to rebuild. But, I would rather not rebuild or work on my machine. I bought it to ride... not to be a hobby mechanic every weekend.

Furthermore, the full power available by a 2 stroke is seldomly even used by 90% of the riders I have seen. It's there so they say it is... nothing more. That's why most eventually go to a 4 stroke, because it is exactly the kind of power they have been using in a much nicer package.

Another thing; I definitely won't buy a used 2 stroke. I know how much maintenance goes into these machines. I can't trust someone to have kept up with it. In general people are lazy. If it has high hours or miles, I won't even consider it regardless of how good the deal is. Even if the seller reports that it was recently rebuilt and with solid proof. You can never trust if it was done right or trust the quality of parts that were used until you are left stranded on the trail, water, and snow which has happened more times to me on a 2 stroke than I can count... and never once on a 4 stroke.

Forget power, weight, and environmental issues, until they develop a 2 stroke that is 4 stroke reliable, say goodbye to the 2 stroke. I think I am not alone, when I say, we're tired of playing with 20 y/o technology. The only camel we are riding is the one named 2-stroke that broke our back. The real death of the 2 stroke, is itself. Even if they say they have a good 2 stroke now, it will take years of proven reliability from others to prove itself to me.

Anyway, I'm going to go jump on my 4 stroke toys and have fun while you all debate this issue and fix your 2 strokes.

Haha.. I love the way you finished up here "Rockin Road". I'm looking forward to the response you get from this 'stirring of the beehive'.

Hayden -

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Mar 28, 2012
CR 500 Stone Sandwich
by: Robert

XR Rider / Big Tizz..
If you were keeping up to the 500 and 250 2 strokes you must have been riding with the wousies or blind school. I have a 1985 CR 500 and there is no way in the world that you will keep up. All you will do is eat rocks and dust when I let you maybe catch up. 2 strokes rule!

Mar 26, 2012
In Response
by: cfield189

I've been a four stroker my whole life, only bought a 2 stroke because I DESPERATELY wanted a bike and I got a heck of a deal.

Here's your logic's flaw. You're comparing a trail bike on trails to a race bike. Higher cc's is obviously more power, more power is typically more difficult to control. Now factor in the peaky performance of a 2 stroke... to put it metaphorically, you're saying a basketball player sucks because he couldn't block for the quarterback (that doesn't make much sense does it?). My point exactly.

Two strokes were implemented into the off road scene as a RACE bike. The 2 strokes that have been developed to date are meant for a more open environment than the trails. It's apples and oranges my friend, two completely different types of technicality. I personally am more of a track based environment advocate, however I do LOVE trails as well.

The end all be all factor is the rider though. Sure you kept up with riders on bigger bikes, but who's to say you're not a great rider? Or who's to say that the other riders don't suck terribly?

This isn't intended to bash your views, but instead to try to put it into perspective that the level of development and the purpose of these bikes are indeed different. If any company wished to do so, they could easily incorporate a 2 cycle engine that would indeed be trail friendly, thus voiding the argument of 4 stroke being superior to 2 stroke.

Also, the only 4 strokes that are having maintenance issues are the race format bikes. I like you had a smaller cc trail bike (crf 230) that I beat the living CRAP out of, and never ONCE busted the engine open. It's because these engines aren't as highly strung as a 4 stroke racer, and don't experience even a fraction of the stress that a race format bike does.

I hope this opened your mind a little bit to cut down the media hype of how "2 strokes are evil, and 4 strokes are the 2nd coming of Jesus" but in the end man, just keep riding what you wanna ride and keep having fun with it. I'll do the same and it's the same thing I'll tell everyone else.

Mar 09, 2012
2 Stroke Power
by: Anonymous

Whether or not you use all the available power is a moot point. It is there for when you need it and when you are expert enough to use it. On the trail the peak power is usually not needed but a 2 stroke is lightweight enough to make trail riding more fun than on a 4 stroke and you can ride longer.

I had a modern XR250 that was a decent trail bike but the heaviness kept me from trying to ride as fast as I really like to. And the modern 4 stroke racers are anything but reliable. They are too highly strung with overly lightened parts to be reliable.

Nov 10, 2011
Two Stroke Simplicity And Skill
by: Anonymous

You obviously have no idea mate.. it takes real skill to be able to use the power a 2 stroke creates as it's so peaky. The biggest difference between the strokes is traction.

Why ride a heavier bike that at the end of the day has more moving parts, costs more to produce therefore creating more industrial emissions and you still have to dump 1-4 liters of waste oil somewhere? Why not burn it in a clean combustion cycle?

And what you ride an xt? You really have issues and can't be much of a rider. I'm a bike mechanic and have seen it all too often - a bike with stuffed valves = 3 times the price of a piston for a 2 stroke even if you rebuild the smoker 3 times a year.

Simplicity is the key to the 2 stroke and with an E-TEC system I believe these lil screamers have a good future. Pity that the naive people who are stuck in cruisy slow land can't see that.

Oct 26, 2011
Keeping Up With The 2-strokes
by: Anonymous

The reason you never see anyone using the power of the 2-stroke is because you are way too far behind any decent rider. You are comparing yourself to a beginner. Lol you're riding a really slow heavy pile, you don't really think you're keeping up to anyone that can ride... I hope.

Jul 11, 2011
The Two Stroke Camel That Broke Our Back
by: Anonymous

People need to make a statement and support manufacturers who still make 2 strokes. I ensure they will be the future again as they have been leading for over 30 years. Direct Injection - EFI will make 4 stroke pigs obsolete.

Look at the market value - no one wants a used one as they cost more than what they are worth to fix. The smart guys are replacing the motors with 2 stroke 500 or 250 engines. People have made companies doing this.. that must say something about what people really want.

Mar 02, 2011
XR Rider
by: bigTizz

While I don't know the exact percentage of riders that fit your comment.. "the full power available by a 2 stroke is seldomly even used by 90% of the riders I have seen". I would have to say you can't be that far off. I don't have many hours in the saddle at all yet on my xr200r and I have had no problem keeping up on the trails with riders on bigger 2 strokes. If these riders were using all that extra power from those magnificent 2 stroke engines it wasn't too apparent to me.

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