HOW TO: TWO-STROKE SETUP TIPS

 

STORY SHANE BOOTH PHOTOGRAPHY MATT BERNARD

We take a look at Cody Mackie’s Championship winning Husqvarna TC 125 and give you 5 setup tips to get the most out of your two stroke.

 

JETTING

This is the key to horsepower out of a two stroke. Doesn’t matter how much money you spend on performance if your bike isn’t jetted correctly it won’t go fast. Get your standard bike jetted well and you’ll be surprised at the performance. Too lean and it will cause detonation and your engine will eventually expire. Too rich and the bike will be doughy and not very responsive. A 125 will perform best on the limit of lean especially in the bottom to mid range power. Your spark plug will give a read and may help you if you are unsure about your setting. Dry and white means it’s lean, a tan colour tip is in the right zone and if it is very wet and oily it’s running a little rich. It’s best to get expert advice on this though, if you mess your jetting up it can be a costly mistake.

 

FUEL MIXTURE

99 percent of the time running the recommended fuel/oil ratio is your best bet. Use a premium quality two stroke oil, it will lubricate the engine better and also burn cleaner. Don’t confuse changing your oil ratio with re-jetting your bike to make it leaner or richer. They are two different things.

 

FUEL

Pump fuel can be a little bit of a gamble and a bad batch can cause detonation and wreck your engine or deteriorate performance. It’s not a bad investment to run race fuel like VP or ETS just for the peace of mind. You will most likely gain some performance but I see it more as an insurance policy.

 

AIR CLEANER

Like any bike a two stroke will benefit from a clean filter. But a smaller capacity engine that revs very hard needs to breathe well so keep the air filter clean and change it every race if neccesary.

 

GEARING

This it more critical than on four strokes as you have a slimmer window of peak power to work with. A tooth or two more or sometimes less can make all the difference, especially on a 125. Getting the gearing right may make the toughest jump on the track a little easier or mean you can use third gear more, it’s small things like that that can make the bike easier to ride and help you drop your lap times.