by Ben Wical
Now, the great two stroke versus 4 stroke battle...
Since I like 4 strokes and 2 strokes, I'm not going to prefer or endorse one or the other.
My first bike was a 125cc Suzuki Ag bike 2 stroke. Back then I was just thrilled because after years of saving, I could afford a bike. It didn't have much of a powerband and you couldn't thrash it around a motocross track, but it was fun, felt fast because it was so low to the ground, and easy to start. Plus when it broke it was really easy to fix due to the simple engine.
However, starting it was hard on a cold morning. And when it didn't start, kicking it over for twenty minutes at a time wasn't too fun. This is why I don't like two strokes. They are quite temperamental, and if you really think about their engine, theoretically they shouldn't work, or at least still have most of the exhaust in the piston when it fires.
As I became older, I bought a 4 stroke 250. It was great. Not only was it a lot more powerful than the old Suzuki, it had great suspension and the power was so versatile. This is why I love 4 strokes - the tractable power. What I don't like about 4 strokes is either they have less power than a 2 stroker, or if they are a new high revving 4 stroke, they require ridiculous amounts of maintenance. I recommend everyone to
own an old style 4 stroke trail bike at some time. Having to do bugger all maintenance is a blessing after owning a high end motocrosser.
Back to the 2 strokes. Anyone that has ridden a 250 two stroke will know that they have insane power. Some bikes have power nearly like a light switch, instant and full on. This can be good or bad, depending if you want that power or not. Also, 2 strokes are quite light, this is why I enjoy riding them.
All in all, 2 strokes and four strokes are still viable bikes. People will tell you to get one or the other, but only buy one on for what you are going to use it for. 2 strokes are fun, light, easy to maintain and powerful, but also temperamental. 4 strokes are fun, tractable and grunty, but also require huge maintenance. But some bikes, like the 300cc two stroke enduro bikes, are in between. Sometimes called '3 strokes' or '6 strokes' because of their ability to amble along like a 4 or get screamin' into the pipe like a traditional 2 stroke.
So I don't take sides in the old 2 versus 4 battles and arguments, but I still find it sad that the twos are dying out. I love all bikes, large and small, two or four. I think anyone can ride any bike, but just pick the right one for the conditions and your riding level and style.
Thank you for reading, FOUR STROKES RULE! Joking...