What's it like to ride a 2 stroke?
Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:14 AM
I myself have never ridden a 2 stroke, everyone I know rides a 250f or a 450f. Everyone is always saying to me how they are out dated and hard to ride well. I am looking at going into my first year of motocross, I ride a 2009 CRF250R but since I'm really short and it's a pain to start. Though how everyone seems to make out that the 2 stroke is hard to ride puts me off buying one seeing as it will cost around $9000 for a 2012 150sx and if I don't like it or it's just not as effective as my 250f then I can't really resell it as I would lose a few thousand.
So is it really as bad as people make out? Is it just this tiny narrow powerband that if you fall out of it has the power of a xr100?
Sorry for the silly questions as it should be common knowledge but I can't justify paying so much on a experiment.
Anyway, thanks for your replies in advance
Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:18 AM
they're super quick and cut the corners however you want. I have an 09 crf250r and I took my friends 04 yz125 out for some laps yesterday, it was a lot of fun. Easy to start, light in the air and corners, once you get the hang of it they're a blast.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:33 AM
Edited by gruberyz, 05 April 2012 - 05:34 AM.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:59 AM
Op, a 2t can be Heaven or Hell, just like a 4t. If you are serious about your racing/riding you Owe it to your self to delve deep into the 2t world. Just remember that if "it doesn't work for you" it wasn't the machine, it was YOU. Each machine weather 4t or 2t is designed with specific compromises, and you may have just picked a machine that doesnt mactch yours or it's goals.
I ride 2t for one reason the 2011 250XC was the right tool for the job and for me doing the job, but you owe it to yourself to know whether or not a 2t would fit your needs, this will take a while and a few bikes to figure out... Try it.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:08 AM
All my research showed that this would be the perfect bike for me (100 acre course, tight single track with lots of smallish jumps (3-5 foot elevation), fallen logs, tight switchbacks, hill climbs, ave speed 12-18mph, top speed 55mph). I like it better than my 400exc because it is 40 pounds lighter... huge dividends here in the PNW when it is wet and muddy (200xcw is 2-3mph faster when muddy, less crashes). I like it better than my 250xcfw because it doesn't have engine breaking and the handling is better (200xcw 1-2 mph faster overall). Only negative is that you have to shift more often and be more meticulous about gear selection. If you can accept that drawback, than a 2 stroke could be a great choice for you as well.
I still have my four strokes, they just don't get used very much anymore. (except my 690 which I take to work every day)
Edited by TmanTman, 05 April 2012 - 06:19 AM.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:36 AM
Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:41 AM
Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:09 PM
DEFINITELY NOT!!! 2 Stroke power definitely has a power band, but I compare it to driving a turbocharged car. A turbo car typically has plenty of power at low RPM and (speaking from personal experience) has no problem around... but when you step on it and the boost comes on, it's just like a hit of a 2 stroke!
I'll leave it by saying it this way. If you're of the "new school" thought that 2 strokes are crap and "old" then you may want to avoid them altogether. I get so much crap from my 4t buds that don't like 2ts - You've got to take it with a grain of salt. One of the things I love about 2t's is the fact that I do about 1/8 as many repairs to my 2t as they do to their 4t bikes.
You HAVE to ride a 2 stroke before you bite the bullet and buy one. If you want an all out bad ass woods/enduro bike, then a 2 stroke would definitely be the way to go! If you feel you NEED that instant low end torque that 4t's are known for - and need that on demand power to lift the front wheel immediately, then a 4 stroke is probably for you...
...A 2 strokes generally requires more effort to control, but in the end is often WAY more rewarding and comfortable to ride...
Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:27 PM
what im trying to get at is i wouldnt give up my 4t for my 2t but i would stop using my 450 as a trail bike and get a 2t as my mx/trail . and imagine your power on your 250f if all your gears are oppisite. 4t -low end power less top end , 2t- less low end torque alot of top end torque.
good luck on your searches and either way your on two wheels so your alright in my book!
Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:34 PM
Don't go drop your coin on a new 150, go get a used bike for half that price. Use it, learn from it, sell it, and try something different. You can read other opinions all day long but nothing is a replacement for riding the bikes and judging for yourself. If you do this and try many different bikes then you will know what you want to drop the big coin on;)
Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:24 PM
Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:33 PM
Well, welcome to the big debate! A debate which has been thrashed around the world of motocross for more then 10 years.
Now before I begin a multi-page diatribe on the pro's and con's of each bike, I will begin by saying one simple thing. If you plan on racing motocross and you want to do well racing said motocross, I would put owning a small-bore (125/150) 2 stroke on the far back burner. Spend every dime you have, buy a 2012 KX250F, put a Pro Circuit rear link, offset triples and exhaust on the sucker and go race. There is no debate, there is no conversation, that IS the bike and if you wanna race, its got your name written all over it.
Everyone is entitled to have an opinion on the subject, so let me try and explain a few things which make the whole 2 stroke vs 4 stroke "discussion" (argument) more understandable.
When a motor produces power every stroke (every time it goes up and down), it produces constant "electric" power. Its smooth, its super crisp and it spins the rear wheel constantly. This is because there really isn't much of a break between the power pulses. When a motor produces power every OTHER stroke, (every other time the piston goes up and down) there are tremendous losses in the over-all power the motor can produce. It also means, there is a slight break in the power hitting the ground, this gives the tire a break under acceleration. Because of the losses associated with a 4 stroke design, it can't produce the power of a 2 stroke at the same CC level. So a modern 125cc 2 stroke (half the cc of a 250) has equivalent power to a 250cc 4 stroke. A 250cc 2 stroke has more or less equivalent power to a 450cc 4 stroke and so on. Now, 4 strokes drivetrain steals a considerable amount of power to run from the retaining springs it needs to push past, to the larger flywheel/crank it needs to keep running. So 4 strokes in general are more heavy and much more complex then 2 strokes.
Now, here is the real kicker... A 2 stroke motor is basically a big vacuum pump. The piston moves up and down, it sucks in fuel/air and it pushes that mixture out and into the combustion chamber where it explodes and produces power. But just like a vacuum pump, with less pressure, it doesn't do its job as well. The higher the pressure, the more sucking it does, henceforth the more power it produces. So in layman's terms; 2 strokes need to have more pumping action to produce power (its the same on 4 strokes to a certain extent). That means two things; the higher the RPM the more power you produce OR the bigger the bore the more power you produce. 4 strokes however, don't pump, they just suck and blow (no pun intended LOL ). So they suck in the air/fuel mixture through HUGE valves (ports) and then immediately compress it. Because of this and the power pulses, 4 strokes generally produce power at extremely low RPM's, making them extremely tractable. This is why a lot of people call 4 strokes "tractors" because you can literally stop in a corner without the clutch in and get on the throttle and it will "chug" you out of the corner. Where if you did that same trick on a small-bore 2 stroke (like a 125/150), you'd fall flat on your face the first time around. Thats because its just not moving enough air/fuel mixture around, it just can't produce the power with that little bore. At the same time the larger the vacuum pump (125 < 150 < 250 < 300) the more bottom end you make because it moves MORE air/fuel mixture at a lower RPM. Again, this concept is the same on 4 strokes, just a little bit less pronounced since 4 strokes only have have to suck and blow.
Now, when it comes to riding, a larger bore 2 stroke will obviously be more similar to a 4 stroke because as I said, the larger the bore, the more air it can move at lower RPM's. A 500cc 2 stroke has bottom end like a 450 does, its unbelievable. So the "happy medium" has been in recent years a 250 2 stroke. Thats about where the bottom end starts be enough that it can get out of its own way at lower RPM's without intervention (clutch use). Surprise, surprise, seeing a similarity? 250 4t's and 250 2t's being "lugable". A 250 2 stroke however does have a lot more power, more then any one of us would ever need, so its a double edged sward. The smaller the bore, the narrower the power band which means, you need to ride the bike faster in order to keep it in the right power range. You also are forced to learn how to use the clutch and the rear brake because both of those things are necessities for slowing down and getting a small-bore 2 stroke to "pop" out of a corner. When your physically riding the bike, there is less rotating mass, less gyroscopic force, so the bike will go anywhere you want it to go, literally. But at the same time, there is less stability because that gyroscopic force does help keep the bike upright.
Finally, lets look at the numbers (these are generic just for reference, so don't go looking for them)
150cc KTM 2 stroke produces 18.2lb torque at 6 - 8k RPM and 40hp at 9 - 10k where it signs off quickly. So as you can see, 6k - 10k not much power band
250cc KTM 4 stroke produces 18.8lb torque at 4 - 6k RPM and 38hp at 10k - 12k where it keeps pulling until the electronic rev limiter kicks in. 4k - 12k, much wider power band
So there are pro's and con's to each design. Obviously as you can read above, a 125/150 2 stroke is a lot more work to get around the track and mistakes can be the end of your race, even simple ones. However, they are extremely easy to operate and own from their simple carb's and much easier maintenance, to the lower purchase price and TOC (total cost of ownership). 250 4 strokes cost more to purchase, they are also harder to tune unless injected, but they still have a much more maintenance.
Finally, I don't know one person who hasn't ridden a 125/150 and not fallen in love. The sound, the powerband, the snappiness of the throttle, the rear wheel steering, the light-weight, they are so much fun to ride, its difficult to NOT own one. At the same time, I do think they are a lot of work to ride and that kinda means, you've either gotta be a better rider then your friends on the 4 strokes, or you've gotta ride a bigger 2 stroke, like a 250.
Edited by tye1138, 06 April 2012 - 09:09 AM.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:34 PM
Non-power valve machine! Very narrow power band and extreme explosive nature! The Kawasaki KIPs only gives you about an extra 500-800 RPM power band then the Honda but at least you get an extra few milli-seconds to let off the gas before you visit the trauma ward!
I wish KTM would build a true 2 stroke big bore again! The 380 just quite didn't cut it out here in the desert against a true big bore but I'm sure that there are those that will argue the point!
I cut my teeth on an RM370. One of my favorite of all time bikes other then my recent KTM's
Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:47 PM
Good write up! I think you did touch on it but it is generally excepted that 2 strokes are also way cheaper to maintain and operate too! If you become a good 2 stroke rider you will most likely be great on a 4 stroke! A great 4 stroke rider will not be a great 2 stroke rider unless he started out on 2 strokes! Just my opinion.
Edited by rmzpegger, 05 April 2012 - 07:55 PM.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:23 PM
wow, that is one of the best looking bikes ive seen on this forum, what a beauty.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:41 PM
Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:00 PM
Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:32 PM
R O F L !!!!