From the smell, the fury and the history, to the fun and the long list of awesome race machines; here are the top ten reasons why the two-stoke is still the bomb
There is no better smell in motor racing than that which emanates from the two-stroke. It’s the smell of racing, of fun, of legends and good mates.
No four-stroke has ever come close to topping the sound of a two-stroke – especially in racing. The sound as a screaming 125 held on the stop, or a 500’s epic build as it destroys corner after corner. We can listen to a soundtrack of a two-stroke race without vision. Maybe with one of those two-stroke candles burning so we get the smell as well.
So many legends. From Hannah to Leisk, Thorpe and McGrath. Reed at his absolute finest. RJ, RC, Bubba, then to the offroad greats like Walker, Blazusiak and Shane Watts.
OK I GET IT
The two-stroke engine isn’t much of a mystery. It’s a pretty simple design concept that most of us can understand. A dad can sit down with his kid and explain most of it and those are moments of gold. The TPI has made is a little more complicated but not too much – plus they are in the vast minority.
Beta’s 250RR is maybe the most fun bike we rode all 2017. With Gas Gas bringing back the 200 and Sherco offering a registerable 125 – not to mention KTM’s ridiculously fun 150XC-W, there are quality choices to go and have fun without having the racing world sitting on your shoulders.
Want to see constant bar-to-bar racing year after year? Racing where one rider would come into contact with another and everyone would cheer instead of Tweeting their disgust while rubbing more essential oils into their man bun?
Just watch two-strokes going at it and you’ll get everything you want. More evenly matched and possible for a budget racer to achieve something, plus the AMA two-stroke only era of supercross is just insane. We watch it constantly.
Plus two-strokes are still the kings of Hard Enduro and have proven they have a place still on the motocross track.
JAMES STEWART ON A KX125
This is where the legend was built and if he stopped before he got off the 125 it’d still stand as one of the greatest sights in motocross of all time. The time he let Chad Reed by only to pass him back at Unadilla, 2002 was mind-blowing.
CHAD REED’S 2004 YZ250
Titanium Pro Circuit exhaust. Kayaba A-Kit forks. Titanium pegs. An engine made out of unobtainable parts and a Supercross title to go with it. Chad loved it so much he recently built a replica and was to race it at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm until he got hurt. He has claimed this is the best Supercross bike he ever rode and well…he’d be pretty good at picking one.
KINGS OF THE WORKS BIKE ERA
From the truly amazing Hondas in Europe and the States to Stephen Gall and Craig Dack’s YZ here at home. Bikes that were made of stuff that’s still a secret. Bikes that lasted just a couple of seasons like the YZM500 and enough of this sweet stuff to fill three major classes. The list is endless and drool-worthy. Jeff Ward’s KXs and McGraths 1996 CR250 (RC250). Oh then there’s Johnny Omara’s 1980 Mugen ME125 and James Stewart’s 2002 KX125. We could go on and on but you get the picture. Hang-on, there was also ones that didn’t quite make it – like the Honda CR125 twin cylinder…and the one with the Ribi front-end too…
SAY THANKS TO ENDURO AND THE EUROS
The Japanese said it was all over. They were wrong. The Europeans have showed that not only is the two-stroke still loved and wanted, but it also has development left in it. And it’s been enduro that’s led the way the whole time. Motocross, also, has got it wrong.