Yes, we’re going there. The debate that will probably never end in the dirt bike world.
It doesn’t matter if you have been riding your whole life, or if you’re new to the sport, you have been faced with the 4 stroke vs. 2 stroke dilemma. Unfortunately, there is not a clear cut answer. If you watch motocross or supercross on TV, you’ll see almost exclusively 4 strokes. If you go to your local enduro, you’ll see mostly 2 strokes.
So which type of dirt bike is the best? I think that’s the wrong question. Chances are if you are reading this, then you’re not getting paid to ride your dirt bike. This is not a profession for most of us average riders, so instead of overthinking the “which bike is the best” question, why don’t we reframe it to “which bike is the most fun for ME?” Something that we like to call “the smile factor.” Which bike puts the biggest smile on your face and leaves you antsy to get back out on the trail.
Now with all of that said, there are a few key factors that can help you make the decision. Here we go, the thumper vs. screamer argument settled once and for all:
- Smoother, more linear power delivery
- Sounds cooler in my opinion :)
- Better on more wide open trails (desert, flowy singletrack)
- No pre-mix
- Stalls more easily
- Requires more maintenance (will need a top end sooner than the 2Ts)
- Better dual sport bikes if you want to make it street legal
- Snappy, quick throttle response
- Better on tight, technical mountain or woods singletrack. Also, the better option for hard enduro
- Lugs better in low RPMs and more difficult to stall
- Depending on the bike, will require pre-mix gas (TPI bikes are the exception)
- Easier to maintain (doesn’t need top ends as often as the 4Ts)
- More options when it comes to trail/enduro bikes
Hope this helps you make the right choice. Good news is that dirt bikes are dirt bikes, so it’s hard to make a wrong decision. Just get out there and have fun, ride something that puts a big ole smile on your face, rinse and repeat!
- Leave a single track