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The age old question: 2-Stroke or 4-Stroke. Revisited 2020

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by SierraCB, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. SierraCB

    SierraCB wadahp

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
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    Reno/Tahoe, Nevada
    Eventually I'm going to break down and get a new bike to replace my wonderful 525 EXC but the choices are harder these days with the lines being blurred between the 2t and 4t. It seems that there has been a huge push for 2 strokes recently due to the tractor power of the 300's and the lower (ish) maintenance of them, while 4 strokes have become more dualsport bikes with less advancement.

    For someone looking for one bike how can you even decide? I already have a big bike like many others do for longer travel and fire roads, but I also want my dirt bike to be able to handle everything. Are the two strokes really good enough now to handle alittle bit of long distance dirt road work and still rip up single track? Are some of the smaller 4 strokes like the 350's just as good as a 300 2t? Are the 500's still just the best of everything?

    Mostly single and double track, but needs to handle long distances getting to those areas and still be enjoyable in the desert/quick slab to trail ride?

    What says everyone now in the new decade?
    #1
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  2. PlowHand

    PlowHand Ancient, ugly and happy :-) Supporter

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    Lightweight dirt bikes that are fun off-road aren’t fun on road.
    #2
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  3. PlowHand

    PlowHand Ancient, ugly and happy :-) Supporter

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    PS: A 2 st dirtbike can take you around the world if you want it to.
    #3
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  4. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

    Joined:
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    KTM 300 TPI
    #4
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  5. Rufjeep

    Rufjeep Been here awhile

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    I just sold my KTM 250xc after moving to an area with more long distance/ mild off road and less gnarly singletrack.

    2 strokes are awesome in rough stuff, but mine was really terrible for long days on forest service roads and gravel. To put it in perspective, I owned a 525 and it was a much better do-all bike (though not nearly as good in the truly rough stuff).
    #5
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  6. meatsack

    meatsack Moto-idiot

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I recently spent a day (offroad) riding a 19' Husky 501 as well as a few different 300 2T's. (20' KTM 300 TPI, KTM 300 carb and 19' Husky 300 race with mods)

    The 300 2T's really are fantastic and if I could have a large 4T AND a 300 2T I would. Regrettably there's only room for one dirt bike and I need it to have a license plate to connect trails, etc. The Husky 501 (or KTM 500) is the swiss army knife. Perfectly capable of running all of the gnarly single track and still being at home ripping through the desert. It's ridiculously light and slim for it's displacement and has fantastic suspension. Oh, and power everywhere, all the time. :)
    #6
  7. SierraCB

    SierraCB wadahp

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    Reno/Tahoe, Nevada
    So if you lived somewhere that you could plate the 30 would you change your mind and have that as the only bike?
    #7
  8. meatsack

    meatsack Moto-idiot

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    Good question.
    I guess it depends on how likely I felt it was that I would head to Baja or other locales that involved multiple days of high-speed off road riding.
    If I was confident that my riding would be 98%+ single track, two-track, etc. then I would seriously consider the 300. It's a hell of a bike.

    Still, I like variety and having one bike that does everything (offroad) pretty damn well is very appealing.
    #8
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  9. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Maryland
    Im a 2T fan. I like mine. Its even plated. However, I do very little road riding with it.

    This is were personal preference plays a huge part. Ive read threads where guys have loaded up their KTM 300 2T and used it for multi day rides like its a true dualsport.
    There are also guys who would rather haul their DR650 in the van than do 45 mins of highway.
    #9
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  10. PlowHand

    PlowHand Ancient, ugly and happy :-) Supporter

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    My favorite riding is single track on a lightweight 2t. I recently sold mine (Beta) because I had to trailer it round trip 5 to 10 hours. I’m still sad about having to do that. I also love ADV rides so I have a WRR and a KLR. Eventually everyone that rides off-road realizes that there are different tools that work best for different jobs.

    A person has to be honest about what they truly enjoy and how they will use the machine. And even then, your preferences will change over the years, or your body will limit your choices.

    Based on your first post my guess is that a KTM 350 would best suit your wishes for one bike that can do it all. Or the new Honda 450L but they are having issues with slow speed throttle smoothness but that will only impact someone that does a good amount of technical work on single track or high speed canyon carving type stuff. Based on your comments it would probably suit you well. Good luck hunting! :-)
    #10
  11. Eldon

    Eldon 90% Bike 10% Rider

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    High speed desert. My 350 worked great but I'd rather have a 450. A 4T will handle the constant throttle position better than a 2T. The 350 made a pretty good singletrack machine but lacked the fun of my 300.
    20170519_140705.jpg

    The 300 XCW is so much more fun on the double track and single track. I will most likely run a 14/48 combo and try some higher speed DS riding but I don't anticipate it will be ideal.

    20191203_121208_HDR~2.jpg
    If you're coming off a 530 I think you'll like the agility of the new 4T bikes and won't miss having a 2T. But on the other hand, if you ride a new 300 you'll quickly realize why it's the apex predator on the trail.

    I recently sold my 350 and have more fun in the woods on my 300. It also keeps me close to home while my children are young. I will most likely be adding at 450 at some point.
    #11
  12. greasyfatman

    greasyfatman Long timer

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    Build a ktm 300 2t into a 500cc 2t. Shop in Canada sells a motor build kit.
    #12
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  13. SierraCB

    SierraCB wadahp

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    The 350 does sound great. But at that point why not just go 2t? I would never do multi day rides on my dirt bike. That's what the 950 ADV is for. Everything is sort of pointing me in a new 300 TPI but it almost seems weird to switch to 2t after all these years on a 4t. But I think i'd enjoy it regardless.
    #13
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  14. TripleTriples

    TripleTriples Been here awhile

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    That sounds great except that I'd probably kill myself to death.
    #14
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  15. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    Not up on the new nodel lines, but a die hard long term 100 000 miles plus 2 stroke single user with nothing but respect for two styrokes re power simplicity, in fact everything.
    Modern two stroke tech As in outboards jet skis etc, i am guessing by now is in the modern two stroke motorcycles of today.
    I would go two stroke in the 250 to 500 single engine size.
    Engine choice. Any two stroke single that is the most basic and low stressed in the engine ranges. a big torque monster of a 500 would be awesome with modern 2 stroke technology.
    #15
  16. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    Keep the 525 for DS riding and get the 2T, one needs to have the bases covered. :evil

    A 2T will basically suck on any pavement, it's good to have a 4t in reserve for those rides or long dirt road rides, 2Ts aren't ideal long distance bikes although some riders will disagree. :ilmostro

    [​IMG]
    #16
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  17. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    If I could only have one or the other, it would definitely be the 500 for the dual-sport versatility. But in practice, the accumulation of hours on my 500 has plummeted since I got a 300xc, since most of my rides lately are just desert and singletrack day-rides, so why not take the simpler, lighter, more peppy, lower-maintenance 2-stroke? It's not drastically better offroad, but it has the edge.

    The xc is not a dual-sport though. Besides having no headlight etc, I'm reaching for 7th gear to cruise at like 50 mph. Of course I'm sure you're thinking of an xc-w anyways.
    #17
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  18. 1wicked55

    1wicked55 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    I have a husky 300i with a RK tek head and turbine core muffler oh and Ca plated.
    With these mods it makes a killer short distance DS. I sold my 501 to buy this bike and I have zero regrets. The 300 has way less vibes on the street and if you gear it up 1 tooth on the front it will easily run 65 on the hwy. IMHO the 300 is better in almost ever type of dirt riding (maybe hi speed des) the 501 was better
    #18
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  19. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    Having owned both at the same time I'd agree, the 2T are awesome single track / woods bikes and so so when the distances start to stretch out. The 4T bikes are good for longer distances and dual sport / light ADV type riding.

    There's a cross over between them but really both is the ideal answer. I was stupid and sold my legally plated KTM 300 and I badly want another 300 2T but this time it will be counterbalanced and hopefully EFI of some sort.

    But for me the 2T needs to have a plate cuz even in the forest the Rangers are annoyingly picky about where you ride and how you connect trails. Been there......
    #19
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  20. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    That plated Husky 300i sounds awesome!!! I won't ask but would love to know.......
    #20
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