An interesting parallel to the 27.5 industry take-over.
I lightly mentioned this in another thread, but as I think about it more, the similarity I'm about to describe is pretty uncanny:
I grew up racing motocross and have worked in that industry most of my career. The EPA started threatening the motorcycle industry regarding emissions of the 2-stroke motorcycle. This prompted Yamaha to begin heavily developing a motocross bike with a competitive 4-stroke motor, thinking that this is where the industry had to go. All of the other manufacturers soon followed.
The bikes was heavy & awkward, but hooked up extremely well due to the smooth power delivery and torque.
They are now greatly improved, and have taken over the sport completely, with a couple exceptions.
The 2-stroke was (and is) very light, powerful, agile and most of all, insane amounts of fun to ride. They're dynamic and incredibly versatile under nearly any condition (26 anyone?).
Interesting part of all this though, the 2-stroke is making a very strong comeback at the amateur / regular consumer level. Again, because they are more fun, lighter and work great everywhere.
You can pretty easily compare the 27.5 and maybe the 29 to the 4-stroke, and of course the 26 to the 2-stroke. (there are parts of the equation that don't line up at all, but overall, it's not a bad comparison).
Meaning, the 26 may make a comeback once people realize what they are missing.
Just thought that was interesting and maybe an optimistic look for those that are distraught at the likely loss of the 26.
I had this discussion with Turner over in that forum a while back and completely agree with your synopsis.
Originally Posted by KGAmoto
What you aren't mentioning that has led many of us to go back to smokers is the maintenance expenses of the 4strokes is vastly more than a 2 stroke. Literally thousands of dollars over the life of the bike which is painfully short.
Even more telling is that in the Proracing ranks of XC racing that isn't wide open terrain the 2 strokes rules even with the guys getting paid to race.
All this is due to to one lone mfg (KTM) who continued to develop the engine type while all the industry fell into line.
Agreed. Love my two stroke for a variety of reasons not least of all is ease/cost of maintenance.
Originally Posted by chasejj
Regarding the 27.5 movement, it feels similar. I was an early adopter of 29ers and they were and are cool but every single time I went back to one of my good 26 bikes, I was reminded of how the 29ers just were not scratching every itch. That said, the improved rollover was addicting. I feel many have come to the same conclusion. The best platform for my riding preferences has been the mixed wheel sizes of 29/26. Today, most of the consumer base is looking at 27.5 as the happy medium - playful w/ rollover. Personally, my hunch is it's not the better choice but we'll see... anyway back on topic...
4 strokes showed us a new high water mark regarding smooth power and traction - just as 29ers showed us rollover advantages - both implementations have drawbacks/compromises
KTM kept at it and bikes, like my 300, have a nice balance of maintenance, traction/power delivery and two-stroke style "playfulness" performance
So will our market revisit some of the existing platforms to see how to gain rollover and handling advantages in one package? I hope so. Exciting and brave new world!
I have also used same analogy of 2 stroke is more fun, 4 stroke is better for racing. 2 strokes are not making a very strong come back at all... If you want to race motocross competitively, you would not ride a 2 stroke and manufacturers have walked away from them.
KTM are selling to a niche group and doing well at it. A question for mtb is, is 27.5 that different to 26...
There was a ridiculous article I read the other day on sram 1 x 11 that suggested 2 x 10 drive trains dropped chains all of the time.... This is a classic example of the industry buying into the hype and losing the plot. WTF is the author thinking?
I agree with Fat Fingers, 2 strokes have pretty much been done away with on the professional level. GP is 4 stroke across the 3 race classes. Didn't AMA do away with 2 strokes years ago on the 250/450 classes?
Not sure how it compares, but road racing has gone the opposite direction in wheel size - I think Kenny Roberts went down an inch to 17's when everyone else was running 18's. And now, where allowed, guys are running 16.5.
As with anything, you use what works the best for you.
Certianly wasn't referring to roadracing, and I can't speak to motocross but aren't 2 strokes still killing it in Enduros, Harescrambles and things like Endurocross? Curious.
On the performance trail riding side, most the fast guys I know ride 2 strokes or are considering going back but that's a pretty limited sample.
Darth L. Jackson - YouTube
Sorry, nothing to do with the OP or thread, but damn funny…
Not sure if I completely agree, but having raced motorcycles in a past life ( ironically, 'Enduros') I appreciate it.
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