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The biggest argument in MX - Two stroke or Four stroke? And why?

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  • The biggest argument in MX - Two stroke or Four stroke? And why?

    Reason for this post - I've ridden motocross as a hobby for years and have always sworn by two strokes. I love the noise, the lightness and the simplicity of fixing them when they go wrong (I've always maintained my bikes myself)

    Then I had my first experience on a four stroke, my mates 2012 KTM SXF250 at Tinto MX park...

    The part that has made me sway towards the four stroke now is the rider friendliness.. instead of sitting around 12th/13th absolutely knackered after a good few laps I find myself chasing 5th while barely breaking a sweat. But the part that makes me reconsider is if I buy a four stroke and it happens to go bang I'm looking at £1000 to fix instead of the usual £150 for a piston kit and gaskets.


    My dilemma is - Do I stick with a two stroke, keep riding as best I can in the middle of the pack knowing its not going to bankrupt me if it blows... OR... Buy a four, have that competitive edge and chase the boys at the front and PRAY it doesn't decide to drop a valve on me?

    (I know if you look after a four and regulary change oil and check clearances it shouldn't give you problems, but theres always the worry because it is pricey!)

    So whats everyones elses experiences/opinions/preferences?

  • #2
    I find it really hard to choose, I like 2 stroke because they are simple, but I like 4 stroke because they go better on the highway.
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    • #3
      I've never riden a 2 stroke.

      But where costs are concerned. A 2 stroke by its very nature wears out very quickly. So yes its cheaper to repair but surley you repair a 2 stroke alot more than a 4?
      All posts by me are opinion unless stated otherwise

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Vetrox View Post
        I've never riden a 2 stroke.

        But where costs are concerned. A 2 stroke by its very nature wears out very quickly. So yes its cheaper to repair but surley you repair a 2 stroke alot more than a 4?
        Yes, but it still doesn't cost anywhere near as much to repair as a 4 stroke, and if things go wrong on a 2 stroke it's not huge money to fix it.

        For the weekend warrior a 2 stroke makes sense, cheaper to buy, cheaper to repair, arguably more fun.. Sure they aren't as competitive in mx at least, you still see 2 strokes in the top 10 on race day.

        If you're doing trail riding then obviously the 4 stroke is easier with a better power delivery for the trails but you still have bikes like the KTM 200 keeping the 2 strokes alive.

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        • #5
          I dont bother riding my dirtbikes on the road. So 2 strokes are the only thing I bother with.
          No valves, no timing chains and you can strip and rebuild it in an afternoon. Ok it doesnt have the low end pulling power of a 4 stroke but that doesnt bother me. The simplicity is what I like.
          To be honest when you really ride the balls off them the 4 strokes are getting pulled down as much if not more on occasion than my 2 stroke.
          Im not even doing a piston in the time it takes those bikes to stretch a set of valves.

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          • #6
            If you want to get a four stroke bike get a clean one that isn't to cheap.... they are generally pretty good with their engine if they don't receive a flogging but if you want to race just stick to the maintenance schedule and do it by hours. That will give you the most life out of the motor and really any motor work is expensive on a four stroke race bike. my bike was an ex race bike and the previous owner took good care of it by the hour schedule and it hasn't needed a single value adjustment since I have had the bike. And really for picking one just pick a colour and do the research on the models.
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            • #7
              Both are good in different ways!!!

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              • #8
                I have both a four stroke and a two smoker (WR400 and a Yz250) from my experiences a two stroke is more agile and has better 'get up and go' but you also have to keep revving it hard. the four stoke on the other hand just lumbers along minding its business. so from that you need to be a more responsive rider to ride a two stroke as it is far more unpredictable with the power band. the four stoke is a bit more of a tamed beast you control the power better.

                Cost wise and reliability wise the 2 stroke is a much more reliable bike in the scene that there is less moving parts but will wear out a lot quicker then the 4 stoke. not to mention that the cost of doing a top end of a 2 smoker is far cheaper then a 4 banger. the 4 stroke you have to keep maintaining in my opinion. but will take 5-6x as long to wear out then the 2 stroke. also the 2 stroke goes through spark plugs like there is no tomorrow. there are probably more points there i should've touched on like fuel mixing etc...

                If i had to pick. i would pick a 2 stroke for the bush and the 4 stroke for that occasional run into the bush. this is just my opinion don't accuse me as wrong. like i said its my opinion your allowed to have your say. like AJD_97 said they both great bikes in their own ways.

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                • #9
                  Having ridden both I'd say you can't beat a 4 stroke. I rode a 2007 CRF250R and it was quick. the newer 4 Strokes rev almost as high as a 2 stroke. 4 strokes have bottom end power that hits hard coming out of corner's that 2 stroke would never have. Not to mention that a tapped out 4 stroke sounds sick on the rev limiter. I'm about to pick up a new 2014 CRF250R.

                  In short I say 4 stroke.

                  But It's up to you.
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                  • #10
                    Two-stroke naturally goes through tires, chains and sprockets a bit faster because it makes more power.But four stroke engine having more complexity ,so it makes expensive proposition to live with also.

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                    • #11
                      If you buy a 4 stroke and look after it and don't thrash the balls off of it you can get 100 hours before you'll even need to think of doing any major topend work on it. I'm a mechanic it a suzuki/yamaha/husqvarna dealership and our parts manager managed to get a 116 hours into her 2010 yz250f, racing it in c grade, before it needed any major sort of work. We threw a new piston and some fresh rings in and it was like it was fresh off of the floor again. Its all about maintenance, If you look after your bike it will give you many, many hours of fun before you need to even worry about stuffing money into it regardless of whether its a smokey or 4 stroke.
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                      • #12
                        Nothing quite like the sounds of a 2 stroke going flat out. Hows the serenity.
                        And the snap of an aggressive powerband really separates the men from the boys. Some of those rapid onset powerbands attack like the bike has come alive and it is trying to kill you. <3

                        (Disclaimer: only a casual dirt/mud/trail rider here, so no advised backed with competition experience to be found in this post. =P )
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                        • #13
                          2 strokes for messing around, racing, having fun. (more maintenance and cost)
                          4 strokes for trails, a to point b, driving on road, (less maintenance and cost).
                          If i had the choice, i would own both. i had a yZ125 2 stroke and a 4 stroke yamaha, honda.etc and i loved my yz
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                          • #14
                            in the motocross racing world 2-strokes have become a thing of the past, sorry to say but even one 2 stroke in a track full of racers is rare.

                            4-stroke competition bikes make more power than their 2-stoke counterparts but they weigh more.

                            as for the 2-stroke maintenance it is easy to swap pistons and rings, but after a while you need to have your cylinder wall sent away to be re coated. if you just keep swapping rings and pistons and it needs a re-coat it'll get spanked by anything else on the track. when I was racing I had to spend over $400 a year just in top end rebuilds for One of my bikes.

                            I raced for 7 years fyi
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                            • #15
                              Being a casual trail rider, 4 strokes are my favourite. Nice, (reasonably) linear power and lots of torque. Being a fairly light guy, a 250F is more than enough power.

                              Two strokes on trails are pigs of things - you're always either close to stalling the engine, or flipping the thing. It can be pretty unforgiving, but like anything, some people can learn to deal with it and ride better than most 4-stroke riders. I know a few people who swear by the 2-stroke 300EXC's...

                              Rebuild costs of 4-strokes suck, as others mentioned. I put $2000 into rebuilding my bike a few years ago, it definitely ain't cheap.

                              You simply can't beat the sound of a 2 stroke though. I think most people will agree with me on that

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