<img width="200" height="138" class="floatleft" src="www.motorcycle.in.th/images/articles/The_Two-Stroke_Enduro_and_Trialbikes_1.jpg" alt="" />Despite modern trends swinging the majority of us riders to high-tech four-stroke motorcycles, there's still a bunch of quality two-stroke trail and enduro bikes available. If the new four-stroke machines are so damn good, then why do manufacturers continue making two-strokes motorcycles?
The simple answer is demand. There are plenty of riders out there who grew up on two-stroke machines and will forever remain dedicated to the ring-ding oil burner. On yeah, the other reason these bikes keep selling is that they're good.
Most young riders do spend time riding two-strokes in their early years and the good times of two-stroking motorcycling are hard to shake. If you look around any endure or rally event you'll still see a good sprinkling of two-stroke riders out there.
The major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have given up producing two-stroke endure and trail bikes, or at least, we can't get them here in Thailand. But over in Europe there's a abundance of bran new two-banger models rolling off the production lines every year.
Some of you may think these crazy Europeans are clutching at straws by continuing with the two-stroke bikes when four-strokes are clearly taking over.
But that theory is blown out of the water when you consider major players like KTM and Husqvarna still churn out plenty of two-strokes right alongside their giant-killing bikes.
With the notable exception of current champion David Knight, two-strokes are the weapon of choice in the Grand National Cross Country series in the USA. The same can be said for most extreme rally events such as the Red Bull Last Man Standing and other enduro rallies.
Why would a trail rider choose a two-stroke over a four-stroke? The reason vary from rider to rider but one of the main benefits of riding a two-stroke is the lighter weight. Two-strokes have far fewer parts to wear out.
Almost anyone could rebuild a two-stroke top end but the mere thought of dealing with valves and timing chains would scare plenty mechanics away from attempting open-heart surgery on a four-stroke.
With fewer moving parts to wear out, a two-stroke can also be a lot cheaper to run. Sure, you have to mix oil with your petrol to run the thing but they'll go for ages between gearbox oil changes. Most modern four-stroke engine and gearbox needs frequent changing.
Accessing the sparkplug is dead easy on most two-strokes as there's usually plenty of room around the cylinder head. This makes reviving a drowned bike quick and easy.
One misconception is that two-stroke motorcycles are harder to ride than four-strokes. Sure, once upon a time most two-stroke enduro and trailbikes produced peaky and hard-to-control power, which could make riding it tricky conditions harder than it needed to be. These days most two-stroke offer a predictable and meaty power supply that can sometimes rival a four-stroke.
Tow-strokes have their one distinctive sound and , let's face it, there's nothing quite like the sound of a well-muffled two-stroke tapped out, hard on the gas under load. It's music to the ears of a true motorcycle enthusiast.