Two-stroke fever!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s funny how cer­tain mo­tor­cy­cles re­ally get un­der our skin. Or in the case of a two-stroke, un­der our skin, fin­ger­nails and into our lungs: if there’s a sweeter mo­tor­cy­cling smell than a fresh­ly­warmed up two-stroke, I’ve yet to smell it. It’s as good as cut grass… My own two-stroke ex­pe­ri­ences were lim­ited to a 125cc learner bike (ah­hhh the KMX125…) and an RD350 F2, but they left their own in­deli­ble mark on me: I al­ways have two fin­gers hov­er­ing over the clutch, for a start. I then got into four-strokes and never looked back, but per­haps I should. Peo­ple like reader Tim Part­ing­ton and our own Andy Bo­las love their two-strokes. Andy has a large num­ber in his col­lec­tion and this month we see his rare-ish Yamaha R1-Z. Tim, mean­while, tells us the jour­ney to cre­at­ing the beauty you see above. Steve Cooper For me the stro­kers I miss most are the race bikes. Even to­day in a time of 250bhp four-strokes with anti-wheelie, trac­tion con­trol and var­i­ous en­gine maps the bru­tal sim­plic­ity of a 180bhp 500cc two-stroke with only your wits and right wrist to con­trol it for my mind can’t be beaten. As a spec­ta­cle, we will never see their like again. Rac­ers think so too. CMM’S Stafford show guest Terry Rymer hit the nail on the head: “The Lucky Strike Suzuki RGV500 was the most awe­some bike and the one that wanted to hurt me the most: think of 180-190bhp in the weight of a 125 two-stroke, but a beau­ti­ful bike to ride when it went right.”

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Ralph Fer­rand Tim Part­ing­ton

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