2-stroke guy wondering about 4-strokes


Sep 2, 2003
I have been riding bikes on and off for the last 10 years but I have never owned a 4-stroke. I started on a YZ-80 and have rode 125's and 250's. My latest bike is a RMX250 which is a little tamer than some of my previous MX bikes but I still find myself in situations where I could appreciate the low end of a 4-stroke. Most of my riding buddys ride 2-strokes and they all say 4-stokes would bore me? I ride fairly aggressive, like to jump, and LOVE wheelies but more and more these days I find myself just wanting to hit the trail and just cruise along, I must be getting old or something! I always appreciated how a 2-stroke would pull the front wheel on command but how does a 4-stroke compare as far as power delivery? Not really wanting to get a 2 vs 4 stroke debate going cause just wondering why you choose to ride a "Thumper"

...And why in the world are they refered to as Thumpers???


Apr 23, 2003
All I know is every weekend I see more and more 4 strokes. There is obviously something too them. Most of the pro's I am friendly with have all switched from the 2 stroke 250's to the 4 stroke 450's.

My next bike will be a 4 stroke for sure.... They all claim they are easier to ride and more fun.

Porstala F9

Jul 30, 2003
Yeah, I have always been a bit of a 2-stroke guy, currently with a KX 125, but after riding on a buddies 4-stroke MX'er, I am positive my next bike will be the new KX250F (I have strong connections with the kawasaki dealer)


Oct 3, 2002
Ya want the best of both worlds? Tons of low end AND great top end? Take a look at a 500cc 2 stroke. :p

4th gear wheelies? No problem. Like jumping? It's got an MX suspension. Aggressive rider? Heh... These bikes wrote the book on "offroad aggression!" Plus you'll love the funny look on others faces when you tell 'em it's a 500.

On the flip side, I primarily ride my KX500 with my 6 yr old in the woods. The only thing I need to do is to gear it down a bit. No need for a 90 MPH dirt bike here. And once it's jetted right, it starts easy and idles w/out dying.

Best of all they are pretty darn inexpensive and take very little in the way of maintenance..... other than chains and tires.

One day The Man will force 4 strokes on us. Experience the rush before it's too late.

Thumper: single cylinder 4 stroke. Name came from the sound they make.

All I know is every weekend I see more and more 4 strokes. There is obviously something too them.

Yeah, that something are the tree huggin' environmentalists who are squeezing the Gov't to eliminate smokey 2 stokes.
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Jan 21, 2003
Originally posted by Zuki
All I know is every weekend I see more and more 4 strokes. There is obviously something too them. Most of the pro's I am friendly with have all switched from the 2 stroke 250's to the 4 stroke 450's.

My next bike will be a 4 stroke for sure.... They all claim they are easier to ride and more fun.

My Yamaha dealer is only getting one '04 YZ 250 presently. Does not know if he is getting anymore this year. So look at the big picture here, the something that is too them is that they will be the only things on the showroom floor. Joe Dirt Biker goes into his local shop to buy a new bike...."Whatcha got he says...." salesman says..."here have your pick of these 4 strokes"

The manufacturers and media are manipulating everyone into thinking the 4 stroke is the best thing since sliced bread. And forcing you the consumer to have a limited choice.

I'm not saying that they are bad or better or worse etc... Just that it annoys me a bit that we are being squeezed. Or for that matter the top racers. How many of them do you really think have a choice on what bike they want to ride? I'd say a small handful of the top pros can say what they want. The rest just are along for the ride.

I also know a group of Pros/former Pros who are riding 4 strokes and love them. I think part of it is that they've been on dirt bikes for 20+ years and something new is exciting and challenging for them.

As I said I'm not saying better or worse. Just bummed about the lack of options we have.


Apr 1, 2001
I agree that an open 2-smoke might be just the ticket right now given that they'll be un-available in a few years. I'll tell you the biggest advantage an open 2-stroker has over a 4-stroke on the trail: on a nasty hill-climb on the 2-smoker you can chop the throttle, then get back into it and have instant power. Hillclimbing on thumpers is all about maintainig momentum.


Nov 14, 2000
After riding and trying to race the 250F for a year I'm going back to a 125, the 250F has made me a slower lazier rider. I hate to say it by my yz250F feels like a flying brick at times and it's an '03! Plus being on the small side makes things worse for me. Bought into that the 250F is the ultamite bike band wagon too and it's not, learned the hard way that it was the worst choice for me wears me out much faster and I think I've called it everything under the sun. This was my first real 4 stroke i've owned other than an XR 75, to me the 250F is still a big heavy feeling too much engine braking of a bike that gives me little confidence out on the track especially if it's a tight techincal track in fact I'm selling it! 2 strokes are not dead! don't believe the hype, the 4 strokes are only getting so much attention cause thier like the new kid on the block. Not to mention they can be such a pain to restart especially after a fall! I've gone from 2nd place in moto's to being lapped cause it wouldn't start more then once. My Point is, if your used to riding nothing but 2's you probably won't like the 4's I strongly recommend getting a good ride(s) on one before commiting. I'm going back to a 125 and my other riding bud with a 250F is getting a CR500AF. Oh yea even when I let me friends occasionally ride my 250F it's usually givin back to me after like 2 laps #1 reason just don't like the way it feels or compression braking.

Bet On Red

Aug 11, 2003
another reason you see more thumpers is because of the price. most of the 2 stroke mx bikes cost a lot more than thumpers. Plus most people think 2 strokes are a ton of "fixing this and that" I used to ride 4 stroke and finally got me a 2 stroke. I'm never going back. riding a 4 stroke makes me feel like a 50 year old man in a mid life crisis.


Apr 10, 2002
The 2 stroke isn't dead and wont be for at least 10 years I hope. The reason I choose the 2 smoker is repairs are cheap and easy compared to a 4 stroke they are lighter and in my opinion faster. I hear a lot of people saying 4 strokes will be as good as 2's in a few years yeah right. that means a 250 4stroke will be as fast as my 2stroke 250 I think not!


Sep 18, 2003
Thanks for the good thread. I've been agonizing over what bike to buy for the past few months I think this has helped me decide.

I've been a two-stroke guy for thirty years and still love my WR250 smoker. Like Robert Duvall says.... "I love the smell of (BelRay) burning in the morning". But I was being dragged into the "you've gotta have one of the new four-strokes" mentality by everyone... friends, mags, reviews, manufacturers, etc.

Like others have mentioned, I've gotten the feeling we're being corralled into the whole four-stroke mentality

I was seriously stuck between the 525EXC and the 300EXC. My heart of hearts tells me I'd like the 300 better, but all the hype around the 525 made me want one, eventhough I have reservations about the extra weight, extra complexity, extra maintenance, and engine braking.

I may still gett one, but only to say I've tried it. If it hooks me, fine. But I suspect I'll be selling it for a 300 next season.


Mi. Trail Riders
Jan 16, 2002
You should go back and reread Gwcrims reply. He is letting you in on one of the our worlds most over looked issues! I have been back and forth over the 2 - 4 stroke issue for years and have owned everything from Honda to VOR. I picked up a "New" KX500 this past spring, street legaled it, put a 14 oz weight on it, a 3.8 gallon tank with a DG skid plate and this thing is an AWESOME do all bike!! It is the most versatile bike I have EVER owned - BAR NONE!! It has massive TORQUE that is so much unreal fun. I cna slow down to just above idle in 5th gear and still loft the fornt wheel!
I recently got caught on a ride in a "low gas" situtation and had to "idle" almost 14 miles of trail to conserve fuel. This KX stayed with a group of 3 fourstroke riders running thru some of the tightest Michigan woods and maintained "speed" running 3rd and 4th gear just above "Idle"!! It climbed some massive rooted out/rocky hills during this ride that I was shocked about, and I was able to maintain throttle position!
PLUS, you wanna whip whoops? Or be able to run 70 mph down the road for an hour to get to another trail?
Also, you REALLY need to count the costs of maintenance. Do yourself a favor and price out a complete topend for a modern 4 stroke then do the same for the KX5 - if money matters to you - you will be shocked!!
Just my opinion!


Nov 24, 2001
Well, I'm another 2S to 4S convert- who converted back to a 2S. I quit riding bikes about 12yrs. ago and had always had 2S, well, about 3yrs. ago I got bit by the dirt bike bug again. I read all the magazines(I know, big mistake, but the mags were pretty decent back in the 70's/80's) and BB's and researched everything I could find on the 4S, and everyone seemed to think that they were the end all, be all of motorcycles. So I took my hard earned cash down to the Yamaha dealership and plunked it down on a YZ426.

The bike gave me reliable service for 2yrs, and I hated every minute of it. So I saved up some money, FINALLY traded in the 426( tried to sell it first, no takers- and it was in perfect condition), and bought myself a 2S. Now that's livin'.

Yeah, the media tried to sucker me in to another 4S. They've got less compression braking now they said- Yeah but they've still got more than a 2S. They're lighter now they said- Yeah but they're still heavier than a 2S. They handle better now they said- Yeah but they still won't turn inside of a 2S. They need less maintenance they said- Yeah they MAY need a little less maintenance, but it's twice as complicated and takes three times as long as on a 2S.

Now, having said all that, I know several people who have went from a 2S to a 4S and are very happy. And, as evidenced by this thread, there are other people like me too. If you can, ride a 4S and see if you like it better, and if you do, buy it. But don't be surprised if you still prefer the "outdated" 2stroke.


Apr 17, 2002
the 2stroke 4stroke war will probably be going on awhile. But my take on it is rider preference. Yamahas may fit one person but feel all wrong for the next. Same with Hondas, Kawi's and Suz's. Different ergos, different engines, different feel. Some like bottom end some like top end. Same with the 2stroke 4stroke scene. Every person is different and one riding style may work best on a 4stroke while sucking bad on a 2stroke.

Because everyone is different, it is extremely difficult to say which is better. Only thing is to try it yourself and if you can't do that, research it to death. Read magazines, visit forums, talk to local riders, etc.

My. 02cents


Mar 30, 2002
Have you ever considered a KDX? The perfect trail bike (low end torque included) that is still a two stroke. Stick with them, I have.
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