How to: Enjoy life with a two-stroke

Two-strokes are mag­i­cal beasts, but own­ing one re­quires plenty of TLC

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Get well lu­bri­cated

A four-stroke re­tains its oil, swill­ing it around in the crank­case un­til you change it, but two-strokes burn their main en­gine lu­bri­ca­tion. Most have oil in­jec­tion – just keep the tank topped up and the pump keeps it fed. Pre-mix re­quires you to mix oil with fuel at a pre­cise rate eg x-amount per litre of fuel added. High-per­for­mance two-strokes should be run on fully syn­thetic. Sim­pler mod­els are fine on semi-syn­thetic.

Don’t just get on and go

Warm­ing up is a cru­cial part of own­er­ship, more so than four-strokes. The ports in the bar­rel wall mean the metal ex­pands un­evenly, so it can de­velop lo­calised fric­tion and overly-tight tol­er­ances, caus­ing dam­age and seizures. The method of lu­bri­ca­tion by its na­ture is less ef­fi­cient too, so it’s cru­cial to get the bike up to 50 de­grees or so be­fore set­ting off and be­ing care­ful for a mile or two to al­low it to fully loosen up.

Gear­box oil

The other side of the lu­bri­ca­tion sys­tem re­quires its own oil – a trans­mis­sion-spe­cific oil is best, as it’s tai­lored to car­ing for the clutch and mesh­ing gears, though reg­u­lar four-stroke crank­case oil will do the job. The level should remain con­stant – any rise usu­ally in­di­cates coolant leak­ing in through failed seals. Any drop with­out an ob­vi­ous ex­ter­nal leak could sig­nal a failed crank end seal.

NEXT WEEK How to put your bike to bed

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