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2 Stroke vrs 4 Stroke

Home Forums General Discussion Chit Chat 2 Stroke vrs 4 Stroke

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  • #13283
    Michael J Breen
    • Rank: 400cc Rider

    With my Aprilia in the shop for a warranty recall, valve check and fork service and my KTM also in need of a fork service, I sit here wondering which bike to keep and which to sell. Those of you who have ridden with me over the last few years or so will probably have seen me on my 2013 KTM300exc Six Days with an 18 litre tank. I loved that bike and probably would still have it if some scumbags hadn’t stolen it.

    I’m thinking now of the comparative service costs of the 2 stroke and 4 stroke endure bikes and frankly there’s no question whatsoever which is cheaper to run. The 2 stroke wins hands down.
    From a ride perspective however, theV2 Aprilia is a lot more comfortable with a ride that’s much less buzzy. Having ridden that bike down around and up the South Island, and having done a number of 500-800km days on the 2 stroke: I know that the Aprilia was significantly more comfortable.

    With both bikes geared up for adventure riding; there was pretty much nothing between them in terms of fuel economy. I got a little over 200kms from the Aprilia’s 12l tank meaning a best of around 17 litres per litre. With the tall gearing on the 300, I was able to get about the same. That said, these are best economies at semi spirited riding riding a gear higher than I might use if I was having the most fun and both would suck fuel far more quickly if I caned them.

    Suspension on both was similar, ride position and comfort goes to the Aprilia by dint of the modified seat and lower vibrations. Yes, I can feel a weight difference between the two bikes and certainly the 300 was better in tight stuff. With it’s Rekluse clutch the 300 was also better in nasty conditions.
    So the main benefit of the V2 four stroke is lower vibes offering greater comfort and not having to mix oil with fuel (that wasn’t a big issue BTW). The biggest benefits of the 2 stroke were cost of ownership and flickability.

    So what if the 2 stroke had 50% less vibration? Would that make the 2 stroke better for me and negate the advantage of the 2 cylinder 4 stroke? I’m thinking yes, it would but I’m also unlikely to buy one because I’m sure 2 strokes are on the verge of becoming fuel injected which would mean much better engine characteristics, lower oil consumption, better fuel economy and the ability to add switchable modes for different ride conditions.

    The latest KTM 2 strokes now have a counterbalance system which reduces vibrations by 50%. The benefits are more than just engine smoothness and a major effect is far better suspension performance. If I wait another year or so, will I get a counterbalanced fuel injected 2 stroke? I hope so and at that stage I’ll be a willing buyer as long as I’m still able.

    In the meantime: check out this tech article on why a counterbalance system in a 2 stroke means much more than just a smoother motor.


    BTW: wow!, 7 years old and Aprilia offers a free warranty upgrade!

    • Rank: 250cc Rider

    interesting article Michael – I appreciate your knowledge and passion for motos – thanks for posting

    • Bike: CT110, Husky TE 250, DRZ250, CB500X
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Does this help?

    • Rank: 50cc Rider

    I personly thing that a 4 stroke is much better and more reliable for any long distance adventure riding.

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