I have always been a fan of 2 strokes having ridden and raced them on and off for over 20 years. A while ago now, when the new generation of 4 strokes started coming out I was really excited to try one. The first time I rode one was when my old boss at Alpinestars, Gabriele Mazzarolo, was kind enough to lend me his YZF250 for a day in LA. My first impression of the bike wasn’t all that great, it was a pig to start and compared to my SX125 felt ridiculously heavy. We were sweating out in the Southern Californian desert and I was so exhausted by the time I got it started I had to wait about 5 minutes before I headed out onto the track. I didn’t like the feel of it much either, especially in the bends. It was easy to clear the jumps and the power was great, but after the nightmare of starting it, especially on the 4th or 5th time I wanted to hit the track, I was completely over it.
In many ways 4 strokes are easier to ride but they cost a lot more money to buy, to fix and they feel heavy compared to 2 strokes. Going back from a 4 stroke to a 2 stroke is a little tricky and you have to get used to the absence of engine braking going into corners, you have to re-learn to keep your momentum and you have to rev the hell out of them but I always have a bigger smile on my face when I ride a 2 stroke. Anyway, quite an interesting article about the 2T VS 4T debate here.
A 2012 KTM 250SX two-strokes costs $6695 and the 2012 KTM 450SXF four-stroke costs $8795. That $2100 price difference could finance your whole racing season.
I had a conversation with Gerald Kiska a while back about 4 strokes and in no uncertain terms he told me he thought they were killing the sport because they cost so much money that they were pushing people out of the sport altogether. With an economy as messed up as it still this rings truer than ever. If you want a motocross bike and are not competing at the top level then you might as well save yourself the money and buy a 2 stroke. You will certainly have just as much, if not more fun.
The new 2 strokes are super fast too, a lot of the top enduro guys still ride and win on them, so it would be amazing to see some guys racing them again at the professional level against the 4 strokes in motocross.