Two-Stroke Motocross Round-Up
Braaap. This was once a word only known to moto guys and gals. Now, it is almost a joke making fun of itself since it is so overused in many non-two-stroke-related ways. But with the resurgence of two-strokes racing motocross, it is time we can truly take this word back.
Two-strokes have never gone away in off-road racing but have been nearly completely absent from professional motocross racing since 2008. What started as a one-off novelty of valves and cams turned into almost a light switch-like takeover. We often joke that our two-stroke moto lovers are a very vocal minority, but it seems like people are listening.
Case in point, the Two-Stroke Class at this weekend’s Red Bull Straight Rhythm. Straight Rhythm is a one-off, pretty modern event that is tapping into the retro, throwback surge of premix fervor. And don’t get us wrong—two-stroke motocross bikes never fell off our radar. We have long burned the Castor 927 candle and touted the benefits of aspiring young racers hopping on a 125 before making the jump to a 250F.
Getting back to Straight Rhythm, it looks like we are going to see a good mix of 250s from different manufactures. For some OEMs this is going to be more of a challenge than others since Kawasaki, Honda, and Suzuki stopped making their 250 two-stroke motocross bikes in the mid- to late ’90s. As you might have seen, multi-time supercross/motocross champion Ryan Villopoto will be among the premixers, and we’ve confirmed with Kawasaki that he will be riding a KX250. We are assuming it would be a 2007 model since that was the last year the bike was made. As for motocross-turned-off-road rider, Ryan Sipes will have an easier time since Husqvarna still makes a 250 two-stroker, the 2018 TC 250. We are also going to see Chad Reed on his RCTwoTwo 250, which is a YZ250. And if we are going to take any cues from his infamous videos, Ronnie Mac will be on a CR250, keeping the Honda fans happy.
To that end here are some of our favorite two-stroke motocross video tests from last year and the not-too-distant past.
These are two of the three modern, still-in-production motocross 250 two-strokes. The KTM had a ton of changes for 2017, including the frame, most of the motor, and the suspension. For full details, click here. The Yamaha, on the other hand, only recently received cosmetic updates and leaves the motor, frame, and suspension pretty much the same for the past 10 years.
2017 Husqvarna TC 250 Review Video
The 2017 Husqvarna received many of the changes that the KTM 250 SX did yet has a few unique touches that are Husky-only, like the composite subframe and a slightly different swingarm and triple clamp.
2006 Suzuki RM125 Project Bike Video
Making the jump from an 85cc machine to a bigger 250F can be quite the jump to a younger rider. Even if you're an experienced rider and want to have some fun, a 125 two-stroke could be just thing for both types of riders. Jay Clark found a 2006 RM125 on Craigslist and completely rebuilt it for his son (who was just coming off of an 85 himself) for less than $3,000. We wanted to see just how good a used, rebuilt, Craigslist find could be, so we took it through its paces at Competitive Edge MX Park in Hesperia, California. You don't need to spend $9,000 on a new bike to get into the sport of motocross, and this video shows you why.
In Hammond, Indiana, Service Honda takes the old and blends it with the new, creating unique two-stroke dirt bikes. The Service Honda CR125AF is special and looks good just hanging out on a stand. After you pay $12,000 for one, you may just want to leave it on the stand for fear of getting her dirty!
Also, if you want to do some interactive bracket racing with the two-stroke class for Straight Rhythm, check out fantasybracket.redbull.com.