Two stroke street bikes were all the rage back in the day. In fact, there was even a period in time when two-stroke bikes were quite popular, the so-called golden age of 2 stroke bikes.
However, as time goes by, it seems that manufacturers are slowly putting an end to the production of two-stroke bikes. But do they still make 2 stroke dirt bikes to this day?
Well, there are a number of manufacturers that still make 2-stroke dirt bikes, though they’re not as common. Besides, two-stroke motocross bikes are no longer considered street legal in the US due to regulations.
Table of Contents
- History and Evolution of 2-Stroke Dirt Bikes
- Why 2-Stroke Dirt Bikes Continue to be a Fantastic Choice
- Disadvantages of 2-Stroke Dirt Bikes
- Comparison Between 2-Stroke vs. 4-Stroke
- Different Manufacturers and their 2-Stroke Models
History and Evolution of 2-Stroke Dirt Bikes
Before anything else, let’s have a brief look at the timeline of the 2 stroke dirt bike for adults.
The first-ever two-stroke engine was invented by Karl Benz on December 31, 1879. However, it wasn’t until 1904 that the first workable two-stroke engine for a dirt bike was created by Alfred Angas Scott.
Four years after that, Scott Motorcycles went on to manufacture the world’s first two-stroke dirt bike.
Many decades later, the Japanese industry found an opportunity for large-scale manufacturing. It was then that various brands started manufacturing their own dirt bikes to sell at a lower price.
Unfortunately, the massive fuel consumption of a two-stroke engine eventually led to its downfall. This explains why it’s no longer in large-scale production these days.
Why 2-Stroke Dirt Bikes Continue to be a Fantastic Choice
Even though two stroke street bikes are no longer in large-scale production these days, they still remain a fantastic choice among riders.
That’s why you can still find a brand who still makes 2 stroke dirt bikes out there, even though 4-stroke variants have already taken up the market.
In fact, even popular brands like Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha continue to make their own 2-stroke models. A few good examples include the Suzuki RM85, Yamaha YZ85, and Kawasaki KX112.
Put simply, two-stroke dirt bikes aren’t going anywhere and will remain in production despite the market being dominated by four-stroke bikes. But why exactly is that? Well, it’s because there are several benefits that 2-stroke dirt bikes offer.
These are as follows:
1. Lighter Weight
Since 2-stroke dirt bikes have fewer moving parts, they’re generally lighter compared to their 4-stroke counterparts. On average, a 2-stroke dirt bike can be up to 10 lbs. lighter than a 4-stroke bike.
This can be beneficial for smaller people, as it allows them to balance and maneuver their bikes a lot easier. Also, you can lift your bike over an obstacle you’re not confident about jumping or riding over.
In fact, even the biggest 2 stroke dirt bike can still be a bit lighter than most 4-stroke bikes on the market.
2. Faster and More Powerful
If we were to make a 2-stroke dirt bikes vs. 4-stroke comparison, you could easily tell that both are designed to take on rough and uneven terrain with ease. However, both are constructed differently.
Since 2-stroke dirt bikes come with smaller engines and lighter weights, they can exert more initial power. This makes it faster than a 4-stroke bike, but only for shorter distances.
A 4-stroke variant has the advantage of staying faster for longer. In comparison, a 2-stroke engine is the most powerful in terms of instantaneous delivery. As such, a 250cc or 300cc 2-stroke bike would be more powerful than a 4-stroke bike of the same engine size.
However, it’s a bit less powerful compared to a 450cc 4-stroke variant.
3. Easier Maintenance
Another benefit that a 2-stroke dirt bike has is that it’s quite easy to maintain due to its fewer moving parts. In some cases, you can just make the adjustments and repairs on your own.
Not only that, but it also means you don’t have to spend a lot on replacement parts since there are fewer parts that need to be replaced in the first place.
Overall, a 2-stroke engine’s simpler design translates to more savings.
Lastly, 2-stroke dirt bikes still made by some manufacturers these days are way cheaper compared to the 4-stroke variant. This gets even cheaper if you decide to buy a secondhand two-stroke bike instead!
Then again, this ties into the simple fact that a two-stroke engine has fewer parts. This means that it only requires fewer materials to make, which makes it way cheaper.
Disadvantages of 2-Stroke Dirt Bikes
Obviously, a 2-stroke dirt bike has its downsides. Here are some of the most notable:
- More Frequent Maintenance
While maintaining a 2-stroke bike is easier, you’ll have to do it more frequently than a 4-stroke bike. It’s because each part is subjected to more wear on average.
But as long as you’re fine with getting heavily involved in your bike’s maintenance, this shouldn’t be a major problem.
- Requires More Shifting
You’ll also need more shifting when riding a 2-stroke dirt bike. The reason is that there’s a relatively smaller variability threshold for the various gears in a 2-stroke engine compared to its 4-stroke counterpart.
- Higher Fuel Consumption
Probably the most notable downside of a 2-stroke dirt bike is its higher fuel consumption. This is part of the reason why it’s no longer as widely used these days.
It also tends to produce a lot of smoke while starting, causing it to produce emissions that can harm the environment.
Comparison Between 2-Stroke vs. 4-Stroke
Let’s have a brief comparison between a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke engine:
- A 2-stroke engine is smaller than a 4-stroke.
- Since a 2-stroke requires less energy, it can start much more quickly.
- A 4-stroke bike has the advantage when running on open high-speed terrain.
- A 250cc 4-stroke has more horsepower than a 125cc 2-stroke.
- A 4-stroke bike produces less vibration, which allows it to retain energy.
Different Manufacturers and their 2-Stroke Models
As mentioned earlier, there are still a handful of dirt bike brands that continue to make 2-stroke dirt bikes. Let’s look at some of them as well as their 2-stroke models:
- Beta – 300RR, 300RX, XTRAINER
- GasGas – EX300, EC300
- Husqvarna – TE300i, TX300
- KTM – 300XC, 300XC-W, 300SX
- Rieju – 300 MR PRO, 300 MR RACING, 300MR RANGER
- Yamaha – YZ250, YZ250X
- Suzuki – RM85
- Kawasaki – KX65, KX112, KX85, Kx65
- Cobra – CX50, CX50 JR.
- Sherco – SE300
- TM – EN300ES, MX300ES
I hope this answers your question of “do they still make 2 stroke dirt bikes?”.
As you can see, the 2-stroke dirt bike market is still thriving, though it’s no longer as popular as it was back then. Besides, these manufacturers have kept up with the times by integrating certain improvements into their 2-stroke models.
But who knows? Maybe one day, 2-stroke dirt bikes will slowly make a comeback in the dirt bike industry and dominate it once more.