Why a 4 stroke for Trail Riding?

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#1
I have a serious question here. I currently own a 4 stroke bike and I like it alot but I want to know why they are considered the best for "trails" or joyriding? I dont race or jump I just like to get on and ride hard, I dont want it to sound like I am not aggressive because I push my bike as hard as I can when I ride I just try to keep the wheels on the dirt :). I dont know alot about bikes but I know that my bike weighs a ton which I dont really like but what is the great benefit of a 2 stroke that weights 35 lbs less?

I bought a four stroke because where I ride it is quiet so I like my stealth stock pipe I also do not know how to do top ends/bottom ends etc. I am really wanting answers here. I am not trying to start a battle over 2 vs 4. I just want to know the pros and cons of a 4 for playriding over a 2?

Any input would be greatly appreciated. My biggest complaint about my bike is the weight other than that I think it is great! (just an FYI)
 
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#2
Four-strokes usually have a heavier fly-wheel weight, and just the design gives them good low-end and excellent lugability. Two-strokes are usually designed your MX and therefore need to be able to rev quick, so they have less weight added to the flywheel, but this makes them more prone to stalling and they also will not lug. Another thing is that most thumpers do not have a big 'hit' like a two-stroke, making them easier to control in the woods.
 
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#3
Makes sense. Thanks

I recently went to the big motorcycle park in my area and I did a quick count. While drinkin my water in preparation for my big day I was sittin on the back of the truck. I wanted to just go to 100

I saw 100 two strokes go flying by and 7 four strokes. This place was loaded with two strokers that is why I asked this question. Maybe I was missing something owning a 4 stroke. The place I went to is Trails. I thought I would have seen alot more thumpers, I was surprised.

Again thanks for the input. :)
 
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#4
I don't think it is as easy as 4 stroke or 2 stroke.

I have a 01 520 EXC it is a awesome bike but it has a few drawbacks for tight trails, it has too much power, when you want to go fast between turns etc.. it is tough to hang on to, it will go slow or fast but in between is not there when you are on tight trails and want to be a little aggresive.
it is the perfect bike for open trails, desert and anywhere you want to go really fast. my answer was to buy a 200EXC 2 stroke for tight and keep my 520 EXC for open stuff.
The 200 EXC is perfect for tight or fast trails, but for long sustained speed like desert you have to be on or off the pipe in a 2 stroke where the 4 stroke would be easier to ride at a constant speed.

So last it depends on you, a DRZ400 can do tight woods the motor is a little more subtle than the 520 and it can do desert constant throttle stuff. It just might not be as fast in the woods as the 200 EXC can be or pure power and speed as a 520 EXC is. I am crazy enough to want both, my opinion is your is a great compomise if you do not want to buy both.
 

WoodsRider

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#5
Personally, I prefer 2-strokes for off-road/woods type riding. They are more difficult for beginners to control. However, once you master clutch and throttle control, you can go anywhere a 4-stroke can go, usually faster too. The added bonus of a 2-stroke is lighter weight and easier starting. Although the new KTM 4-strokes are definitely making a challenge in this arena.

As for noise emission, having conducted sound tests, KTM 2-strokes with the factory pipe and silencer are the quietest off-road bikes out there aside from trials bikes, which are also 2-strokes. I always get a chuckle out of 4-stroke owners who install those obnoxiously loud exhaust systems, yet complain about 2-strokes being too loud. :scream:

With that being said, I'm looking forward to the new crop of 4-strokes looming on the horizon. Maybe one day I'll buy another one. For now, I'll stick to 2-strokes, thank you very much. :cool:
 

CRX

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#6
Four strokes have several advantages for trail riding. One of the important ones that haven't been mentioned yet is gas milage. A four stroke will get you many more miles on a tank of fuel. Another advantage is the ability to maintain traction. There is a longer time between power impulses and that lets the tire regain traction. Did you ever notice that flattrackers use single and v-twin four strokes. The " hook up" is the reason. Another factor in four strokes being popular trail bikes is they don't require as much energy to ride because you aren't contantly clutching and fighting for traction. I think a very good rider, in excellent physical condition could go faster on a two-stroke but for the majority of the riders, a four stroke will be easier to ride. You don't get the speed sensation on a four stroke, but if you compare lap times you might be surprised to find you are turning better times on the four stroke and be able to maintain your speed for a longer period of time.........CRX
 
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#7
You seem to be perfect for a kdx.I know there will be differing opinions, but
consider this. Dead quiet,lite and nimble,stone reliable and cheap, around
$3900.00. Since it has been the same bike for six years, info on them such as
repair and hop up, are everywhere. Now this is by no means the fastest bike
around. On the contrary, it has no hit and revs smooth but will loose badly to
any 125 or 250cc mx bike in a drag race.On the trails and in the woods is another story. With a few simple and inexspensive upgrades,performance will come up nicely. A good solid all around bike.
P.S. I mx my kdx......but as my user name implies............
Steve
 
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#8
Main reason................S M O O T H power delivery. I can't stand 2-strokes now after being spoiled with the DRZ.
 
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#9
Like KTMfan said, it's not as simple as purely two stroke versus four stroke. Some two-stroke motorcycles have a lot of flywheel weight and extremely smooth power delivery which is superb in the woods. Some of the KTM models, Husqvarna's and Gas-Gas's quickly come to mind. I have a 300 KTM that is an absolute tractor, it thinks it's a four-stroke. I use the clutch less on it than I have on many past four-strokes.

By the same token, not all four-strokes are super smooth and user-friendly either. Last year, I rode a YZ400 Yamaha and while I adored that motorcycle and had a lot of fun on it, it was not a good woods bike. The power was very abrupt and quick-revving, very two-stroke like, and it was prone to stalling on the trail. If you weren't on the gas at all times, it had a tendency to cough and die in technical situations. Some of the newer, high-tech thumpers do not have the flywheel weight and user-friendliness that four-strokes are known for. In my opinion, it's not just a four-stroke and two-stroke comparison, it's a case-by-case, motorcycle-by-motorcycle discussion. But in general, four-strokes are a bit smoother and easier to manage in the woods, although invariably you will have more weight to herd around.
 

Rodzilla

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#11
I trail ride almost exclusively and am a dyed in the wool thumper guy, But there are times when out in the woods I really wish I had a smoker especially trails with lots of water bars and jumps. But when I ride with my 2 stroke buddies I get real tired of having to cut a ride short to go back and gas up.

I've also had to cut rides short because a buddy forgot pre-mix or a fresh plug. Advantage thumper.

I guess different strokes for different folks.:confused:
 
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#12
As a former 4 stroke rider now riding a KTM300EXC, I have also had my interest peaked by the new generation of 4 stroke offerings. I rode the 520exc and was not overwhelmed by the need to get one, I think it is the soft setup that deterred me. So for awhile I am happy with my trusty and very capable 300EXC. But, then a friend buys a Husaberg 400 [enduro model] and I take a test ride. Now considering that they 'Berg is a little different in design but shares most componentry with my Katoom, I felt right at home.

The new 'Berg is a 4stroke I could be happy riding and racing. Its light, nimble, has the E button, is just powerful enough [maybe needs a new exhaust], and the ergos are just right. Now if I could just get past the color and graphics...
 
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#13
It was well put by someone earlier, these "new" 4strokes require alot of attention just like the 2 strokes.A 520 SX or 426 is not a put her away wet and forget it kind of bike, they require alot of maintenance and attention at the controls.There are 2strokes suited to tight technical and there are 4strokes made for MX.I personally will never own a 4stroke until armegeddon and my 2strokes are taken from me by the government, the feel and "hyper" acceleration and light weight, I have found what I like and I'm not going to change that because of some bureaucrat.
 
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#14
Different strokes for different folks!!! Bob Brooks summed it up well. The difference between a YZ426 and the WR426 is real!! The added flywheel weight makes a big difference. As far as the maint. on any of the new bikes, the maint. is nill when you consider that these are machines that in the right hands are capable of winning a ntl. caliber event!! Its just what gives you the biggest GRIN:) :confused: factor!!
 

DougRoost

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#15
A key advantage for a 4 stroke for trails riding is engine braking. Remember the engine in your car or truck is a 4 stroke. If you let off the gas the vehicle will slow down due to the compression of the engine. 2 strokes don't really do this, so you rely on your brakes more go down hills, which if it's slippery or rocky tend to lock up vs. slowing you down. BTW, this means 4 strokes require a different riding style for MX -- you need to be on the throttle when coming off jumps or the front end is going to come down hard when you land.

Otherwise, I agree that it's all about purpose-built engines. Some 2 strokes have been smoothed out for trails and some 4 strokes have been amped up for MX. It is nice when you're out in the middle of nowhere to just be able to gas it up at any old gas station (or even siphon from your truck!).