4 stroke vs. 2... (Riding Impressions Wanted)


O.K... don't just flame me and tell me to ride one... LOL... Its not currently an available option.

I am looking for those that have recently been on a 250 that have made the switch to a Thumper...

I am considering making the change from a 98 CR250 to a CRF450 when they become available. Note I said considering.... Some of my questions are:

1.) For a novice rider, would it be to much to handle (Weight/Power etc.)? I am not a large guy... 5'7" 185lbs.

2.) Handling is a huge concern... non issue, or do they feel as big as they sound?

3.) "Typical" powerband... is it smooth as in "controllable" or more like slamming into the Pipe?

What attracts me is:

1.) The Technology... O.K.... I am a geek.. so what.

2.) Hoping the lowend torque is all that is made of it. I like to ride lower in the RPMs...

3.) Maintenance... is it safe to assume that if good care is given... upper end rebuilds would possibly happen less often?

4.) Of course THE SOUND!!! and Would love to be the guy throwing the big ROOST!

Any experiences and insight would be greatly appreciated.



I have a -00 YZ250 and have ridden a Husaberg 501 extensively and a YZ426F a bit. The 'berg is every bit as extreme as a CR500(of which I had a -97 and a -99). You go slow, and it tractors on even at idle. You twist the throttle even at low revs and there is pull like you wouldn't believe. Add to this the lightness of the thing, and you have some serious machinery.

The 426 is a different story. Coming from a 250 it seemed almost tame. The power at low revs is very tractable in a smooth, car-like manner. When the 'berg at low revs goes THUMP-THUMP-THUMP, the YZF goes "whirrr". It does feel a tiny bit heavier to handle than a 250 2-stroke, but at my 6'4", 210 lbs, not really noticeable.

At WFO, the 'berg runs out of revs, and is a bit awkward at first for a two-stroke guy to handle. The YZF will rev to the moon, but somehow it always felt a bit weak for me.

Going from a 250 to the CRF is probably as safe a switch as any in the world of competition motorcycles. After the 426 experience I won't play with a small (under 500 cc :) ) four-stroke anymore. I will get a -02 520 SX.



My WR 400 has plenty of power all over. We have some old paved roads in our riding area and I ripped it up and down a few times and it felt slower than my YZ 250. Then I went riding with my buds who I rode with before. One has a Quadzilla, Quad racer 500cc and the other is a Banshee with mods. The Yz could always hang but the Quadzilla pulled hard off the line and has a long wheel base and can keep the wheels down and move out. The YZ on pavement was always a struggle to keep the front wheel down on the pipe.

Any way, we were all waiting to cross the road to prceed down the old paved road to the trail, lined up 3 across, the traffic cleared and we were off to the races. The WR just walked away right off the line and started running away after that. The smooth power just pulls hard and strong. There is no whips of powerband power, just smooth acceleration. You will here alot of guys tell you the 4 strokes fell slower, they do, those guys will then tell you there lap times are faster, they are.

The WR has AWESOME suspension and great tracable power, wich all goes to make it feel light as long as you keep your feet on the pegs and dont try to throw it around with your feet down like I used to on the 2 strokes. The only time it feels heavy is off the throttle on steep rocky down hills and in soft loom and sand when the front end wants to plow. I find just keeping on the throttle and using the power slide and rolling doughnut methods works good. I still have the stock tank on it though.

Side notes: ALOT less shifting and whip lash cause you can lug then rev to the moon, so reduced arm pump and no more not being able to move my left fingers anymore after trail rides.

Great for hill climbs too, hit the botom in mid second, line her up and shoot up the hill reving second, watch the quad guys jaws drop when you catch air off the top of the hill climb :) . Just try to HOLD ON!

Fuel milage,,,,,, forget about it, the 4 stroke goes ALL DAY on one tank of gas :) .

Leave your spark plugs and socket set on the truck!

EDIT, Whhoooooooo hooooooo I almost forgot about engine brake, IT ROCKS! makes the bike managable on rocky single track down hills and means you dont have to work the clutch and brakes, just the throttle, hit the gas to power over obstacles and let off for brakinig with out losing traction. Very comfy if you come off big bore high comp street bikes :)
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I did the opposite and went from 4 to 2 strokes. I have recently ridden a yz400f, yz426, '01 ktm520 exc, and a husaberg 470 te. Unlike what was posted earlier, I think the yz426 felt the fastest. I think the ktm520 actually is the fastest, but the power is so smooth from bottom to top you don't realize how hard it's pulling. The yz426 comes on really hard in the mid-top. The husaberg was in between with a softer bottom than the ktm, a decent mid-hit, but not as much hit as a 426. The ktm was nice and skinny and the berg felt wide to me. I think the Yammie has the best suspension and brakes and I bet it's the most reliable. Honda's new ride should be pretty nice. They all have one thing in common though--more reciprocating mass higher up in the frame which means none of them can carve corners like a two-stroke. The power is nice though...

sfc crash

Human Blowtorch
i'm kinda new to this as a rider of real(read that modern,less than 18yrs old)bikes,last bike i had was an 83 kdx200, felt light, and had its "hit" i would ride tight stuff in my woods, then got my '01 wr 426, and rode the same trails, i thought, man this 426 is slower than my 83 kdx...not so, just waaay more tracktable and predictable. i never notice the weight untill i screw up, then dump it.i LOVE compression breaking, i love the fact that while the kx and cr guys i rode with were shifting gears on the trails,i was just winding out then chugging back down and along,all on one gear. i love 4 strokes, good four strokes!:cool: oh yeah,what jason j says about climbing---SA-WEEET, i went riding up some 50-55 foot steep hard pack hills with a couple of cr guys(125 and a 250) and those guys would get a run at it hard, the 250 guy declined one slope, but these guys seemed to, not if de-celerating, not really accelerating, i'd roll up on the 426 and roll on the throttle all the way up, finishing the last 1/3d of the hill on the rear wheel, but never felt out of control, felt natural as, well good scotch and self pleasure:D


Hey Guys,

Thanks so much for the replies so far...

The descriptions of available power and the way it seems to "pour on", excite me. I rode this evening with a buddy, we both ride 98 CR 250s... I noted that he really likes to Wind it out right through the pipe and stay in say second... were I tend to grab third and stay lower in the power band.

This noted it seems the response the 4 stroke would offer might suit my riding style more appropriately. The comments on handling concern me... coming from a 125 to my 250... I noticed right away it did not handle like my 125. Hopefully Honda does it right and can conquer some of the handling woes of these big bikes.

Also... a note on weight... evidently the new CRF450 tips the scales and nearly the same weight as my 98 CR250... hmmmm, 2 generations of frame updates... same weight... Maybe handling won't be such an issue.

Thanks again to all who respond(ed).



Funny you should ask. I went from a 99 YZ 250 to a 00 426. Then in 01 I got another 426. For 02 (I get a new bike every year) I bought the CR 250. I went to the track Sat and practiced and put the CR back in the trailer and got out the old trusty 426! I can't ride the 2 stroke. It is UNREAL how much lighter the CR 250 is compared with my 426, but I will have to park the 426 for a while to get used to the 2 stroke. You can be lazy on the 426, off a gear and still be there, whereas the 250 you need to be on the pipe.
I am going to keep the 250 and trade the 426 for a YZ 250 F.
If you are considering the 4 banger I would wait for 03, as I'm pretty sure Yamaha has some things up the 'old sleeve.

scar tissue

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I went from a YZ250 to a CR500 to CR250 to XR600 and now to a KLX340. So I've experienced the transition you've mentioned. So far I've loved the motors on the four srokes, but the handling on the XR left alot to be desired. My KLX is highly modified and is awesome. I saw a review on motorcyclist about the CR450F and they said that Honda reduced alot of the engine braking associated with thumpers, created one that is easy to start, and saved alot of wieght. Up to this point it seemed if you wanted the power you had to ride a heavy bike. (Unless you created your own monster and highly modified a smaller bike.) It seems like Honda made a 4 stroke that is the most like a 2 stroke. I've yet to ride one but It sounds like a great bike.
We'll see how I finsh out his year sales/income wise, but I may have to park one in my garage Good luck.:cool:


I am contemplating the same move right now. I ride in the hills exclusively with mostly 4-stokes (YZFs, XRs, KTMs) and the only reason I'm not on a YZF is ease of startng and weight. We side hill a lot and weight and starting ease are two really big issues. I've noticed that kicking a 426 on a side hill is not a fun or easy thing to do! If what I have read about the CRF is true (starting ease and 10lbs lighter than the 426), I'll own an '03 model. I'll find out shortly, two in our group have CRFs on order.

One thing to remember, when Hannah was asked if he where to strictly hill climb and was given the choice between a YZ250 and YZ426, he'd pick the YZ250.


Crazy Russian

The YZ250 may have an advantage on a technical hill, but on a hill that is steep and reasonably straight with loose dirt, the 426 will easily come out on top.

But the 426 is heavy.......:eek:


Crazy Russian

Technical.....I read the same article and saw the same pics.

I don't hang on Hannah's every word though (only DeCoster's :confused: )

Oh yeah, in the same article, Hannah said that he's always been a four stroke rider and would only own four strokes. Before the Yamaha YZF came out, his personal bikes were Husabergs. He only tolerates two strokes for competition, whether motocross or hillclimb (or whatever). I don't recall Hannah competing in a hillclimb though. :silly:

Personally, I’m looking for a 125 two stoke to supplement my 426. :)
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I did the backwards thing -- four stroke to two stroke -- got a two stroke that's tuned, though, to be more like a four stroke -- a GasGas ec300. I have only one thing to say:



Originally posted by LongTime
-- got a two stroke that's tuned, though, to be more like a four stroke

LT. Wouldn't that be a three stroke????:confused: