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When it comes to racing, there are many things people disagree on. Personal preferences play a big role in every rider's choice of bike, products and riding style. One of the most common debates is 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke ad the ultimate question is, which one is better? We cannot be the ones to answer that but one thing is for sure: 2-strokes are making a comeback. They are now present across all forms of riding and racing.
What is the difference? The difference between the 2-stroke and 4-stroke internal combustion engines have tortured riders for years now, everyone has a different opinion or conflicting views, which leaves everyone wondering which one really is better and why?
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A 2-stroke engine can produce twice the amount of power and twice as much noise compared to a 4-stroke engine of the same size. This is because it fires once every revolution, giving it twice the power of a 4-stroke that only fires once and because of this it has a higher weight-to-power ratio making it much lighter. 2-stroke engines are simpler and cheaper to manufacture compared to 4-stroke engines, because of their simpler design. Something to take into consideration when deciding on what bike to purchase.
The major factors are handling, power and maintenance. When it comes to handling, this can sometimes be subjective from rider-to-rider. Although 2-strokes are definitely lighter, that doesn't always mean they are easier to ride. Handling ability will ultimately depend on a rider's level and also their own personal preference. With that being said 2-strokes can be harder to ride, because it's going to demand more work from a rider's perspective. Some would argue that the more work, effort and interaction with the bike makes it more fun though.
The next component we took a look at is power. Power delivery is hands down the biggest difference between the respective engine types. 2-strokes hit hard and fast, leaving an explosive impression on the rider. 4-strokes are definitely less intense with the way the power is put to the ground and give the rider a choice of how they want to ride the bike.
Since the 4-stroke's power is a little more user-friendly, hard-pack conditions or situations where traction is necessary gives it a clear advantage. Inside ruts, hard -pack dirt and throttle finesse are just a few things that 4-stroke riders have come to enjoy. This is because of the 4-stroke's engine cycle when producing power. Sandy and loose dirt is where the 2-stroke shines and with the right rider can be the rider's biggest tool when handling these types of conditions.
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Our final component is maintenance. Not the fun part, but the necessary part that will instill a long life for your bike. In the past, 2-strokes struggled in this department. This is a problem of the past though. With technology and innovation at an all-time high, changes are being made and the 2-stroke is making a counter. There is no question that 2-strokes are fun to ride, combine that with their inexpensive maintenance and lesser parts it's no surprise that they are making a comeback.
Better handling, more power and finally less parts means less cost. I'm convinced why 2-strokes are making a comeback. How about you? There is no question that 2-strokes are back on the scene and here to stay. They demand more from the rider's perspective, which in turn will continue to make you more knowledgeable and a better rider.