Dear MXA,
    In 2004 I jumped from a YZ125 to a YZ450F, and I’ve been on a four-stroke ever since. Now I’m back on a two-stroke, which my tainted memory tells me I was really fast on 10 years ago. But, it seems to flatten out on top (I geared it down a tooth and that helped). It almost feels like it’s wheezing on top. Is it me or is it my memory?

After riding a four-stroke for a decade , your memory isn’t rusty, it’s just that two-strokes and four-strokes are different animals. A 450 four-stroke can rev to 11,500 rpm, while a 250cc two-stroke doesn’t crack 10,000 rpm. In the 125 category, some modern 250 four-strokes rev to 14,000 rpm, while a 125cc two-stroke will do about 10,500 rpm in stock trim. Thus, a two-stroke always feels like it flattens out on top when compared to a four-stroke, because it does. A two-stroke makes its power lower in the rpm range and over a shorter span. A four-stroke churns out power from idle to the rev limiter. If you want to be a two-stroke guy, you need to ride it hard, shift at peak and never shut off.




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