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No 250 2-Strokes in AMA MX 250 Class

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
After careful deliberation on a possible change in class structure, MX Sports, organizers of the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, has decided not to suggest any immediate changes to the AMA Pro Racing rulebook concerning the 250 Class and the placement of 250cc two-strokes alongside 250cc four-strokes.

MX Sports was considering a plan to make the 250cc Class a “true 250 class” by allowing 250cc two-strokes to compete against 250cc four-strokes, rather than keep the two-strokes in the 450 Class which has long been the practice. However, given the current state of the industry in the wake of the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that bans the sale of youth motorcycles and ATVs due to lead content, devastating the American motorcycle industry, MX Sports realizes that the focus of the OEMs right now must be on reversing this law or gaining an exemption for off-highway vehicles and ATVs.

"The attention and the resources of the OEMs, dealers nationwide, the aftermarket vendors, and every rider and enthusiast in the motorcycle industry should be on the CPSIA right now, not changing the rulebook right before the series starts," said Davey Coombs, vice president of MX Sports. "Rather than asking the struggling OEMs and teams to focus on developing a two-stroke in the next eight weeks for outdoor motocross, we realize that it is more important to address a much more urgent situation that has placed the entire motorcycle industry in jeopardy. Once there is some resolution to this issue, and hopefully there will be soon, we will reconsider the idea for 2010. In the meantime, we will be adding several 250cc two-stroke support races to the 2009 schedule."

Since taking effect on February 10, 2009, the CPSIA has had a debilitating impact on the entire motorcycle industry, especially in regard to motocross. A significant portion of motorcycle sales in the U.S. have been affected by the CPSIA ban and, as a result, MX Sports has postponed discussions regarding the integration of two-stroke and four-stroke motorcycles.

“MX Sports spoke to many team managers, riders, OEM and aftermarket representatives and found many voices both for and against the rule change,” stated MX Sports Director of Competition Jeff Canfield. “We realize this is a passionate debate among many enthusiasts, and we will continue to evaluate the situation with the two-strokes in the coming months."

"It was going to be difficult to make such a change in the middle of the season, given that there are also eight rounds of AMA/FIM Supercross to be run under the existing class structure,” added Coombs. “But the new challenges our industry is facing made it impossible. While the decision not to pursue a new class structure at this time will certainly disappoint some of our fans, we believe there are bigger issues to deal with right now; anyone who's visited a motorcycle shop since the ban went into effect on February 10, 2009, knows what we're all up against right now."

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Ren S. -Pres. of Revanche2strokes.com  December 15, 2010 12:30 PM
Sage rider, you are partly correct, when the twice displacement rule was inacted, it WAS more of a fair competition. This is where you are wrong, the 4 strokes got better, but so did the 2 strokes, they paralleled each other. But, the big 4 knew this would always be the case, so they made the AMA enforce a no leaded fuel rule with the 2 strokes, enacted a weight penalty for the 2 stroke, and didn't enforce the noise decibel rule for the 4 stroke. This was enought to keep the advantages the 2 stroke had, now nil. However, the 2 stroke still makes so much more power and is far more reliable and this would have been enough, until the real killer. This 2 stroke killer, was ( is ) carefully orchestrated and is nothing more than good old fashioned brainwashing. The big 4 who became known as the world dominator with the 2 stroke have got EVERYONE to "pit" the 2 stroke in racing, tests and on and on into battle with a machine that is twice the size, they don't bother telling you that it's advantages can read like a scroll, but everyone does it and it is seen as inferior because of it. The simplicity and lightweight and power that the big 4 used to tout are now "evils" that only the 4 stroke can overcome. AND, JUST ABOUT EVERYONE HAS BOUGHT THIS LIE!!!!
kev,Scotland -2 strokes rule  December 9, 2009 08:13 AM
I think the buying public,the weekend warriors,are all for 2 stroke but they don't care what we think.4 strokes are easy to ride but 2 strokes are so much better
Alex D. -250cc and 250cc: Big Diff.  September 22, 2009 07:53 AM
I believe that 250 two strokes and four strokes should be allowed to compete with each other. Lets not forget the basis of which motocross was founded on. The earlier racing days revolved around two strokes and now what we have left are just a few companies who want to continue making them, continuing the history of motocross. To be honest, if there are people who still want to race two strokes, more power to them because there shouldn't be anything to get in there way of doing so. I think that 250 riders can choose if they want to ride a four stroke or two stroke. There really is not that great of a difference, at least not great enough to give one an advantage over the other. And I don't understand the whole environmental concern because its not like the small population of two stroke bikes is going to dramatically increase the worlds greenhouse gas emissions (which i dont care too much about in the first place). Besides that, you cant really stop pollution anyway, its bound to happen because chemicals are everywhere and contribute to "polluting the air." I think that by allowing two strokes in races again will bring more competition into the sport and maybe influence the manufacturers to start production again.
Tim f -Let them race  June 29, 2009 10:12 PM
I really don't think there's a huge differnce in power 2 strokes are only fast in the power band. Four strokes have a lot of bottom and mid end. I really don't think the 2 strokes are much faster. I've riding both. 2 stroke 250 and a 4 stroke 250 should be a good race
Percy-('08 RM250) -2strokes vs. 4 strokes  April 14, 2009 03:24 AM
You’re right Tim B, they are just scared!!! Anyone who knows the principles of how a internal combustion engine works cannot argue that cc for cc a 2stroke engine whips a 4stroke engine, the only problem is the fact that a 2stroke is an animal due to its power band, and a 4stroke has more “smooth power”. Yes a 2stroke does pollute more but these tree “humpers” are a bunch of bullies for picking on the offroad bikes, there are so few of them I don’t think by stopping the 2strokes is going to make such a big difference I mean it’s not like a 2stroke off road bike is a house hold object, tree-humpers please go find something better to do and leave the 2stroke bikes alone!!! Rather go plant a tree than moan!!! And if this environment crap never interfered the 2stroke technology would have been far better than it is now and the 450’s would still be eating dust!!!
Hatmanslacker08 -Two strokes vs Four strokes  April 9, 2009 04:39 AM
Elimating the 2stroke from AMA racing is the biggest mistake yet. The best racing in American history involed the 2stroke any thing from the racing day's of David Bailey, Ricky Johnson, Jeremy McGrath etc to Travis Pastrana's Double backflip and it's not just that its the noise pollution and the sound of the thing's in my own opinion i think they sound like a Fart in a can
stefano -BAN THE 4 STROKE  April 8, 2009 09:16 AM
im italian and live in italy ... the two stroke land. I just say that the emotion that gives a 2 stroke, the 4 stroke can't give...4 stroke have no acceleration !! except 600 cc and more ,ok. but 125 cc 250 cc till 500 that now are no more in production, i mean come on ..the excuse they use is the polution.. i mean, come on, be serius ,there are nuclear plants , milions bilions of cars and industry polution, but them they can continue; and the bikes have to comformize ? get the hell away ! 2 stroke for ever, the emotion what a 2 stroke gives nothing gives !! not even a crapy ferrari
j.rader -2stroke  March 12, 2009 07:18 AM
dude it cost almost $70,000 dollars for james stewart to get his bike how he wants it bc 4strokes blow!! 2strokes are only a couple thousand to soup up.
SAGE Rider -More 2 strokes VS 4 strokes  March 6, 2009 03:09 PM
Cocoytv. You're right on the comparative output on current bikes as the typical 250 two stroke puts out about 25 to 35% more. The 50% is an engineering "rule of thumb" approximation based on similar states of tune. The reason that it's less in this case is that the 250Fs are tuned right to the ragged edge and the 250 2 stroke is not. If you made it more radical you could have as much 60 or so HP but it would be unridable because it would be so peaky. The smaller four strokes can be more radical because of their power characteristics. The good news is that there is no vast conspiracy to make a higher maintenance machine to get more of your bucks. I know, I worked in the industry a long time. The reason that they have short fuses is that the competition is so fierce they tune them right to the edge - and that is just stupid, not a conspiracy. Of course if they backed off just a tiny bit and made them more reliable, all you racers would go out and re-tune them into hand grenades with the pins pulled just to try to get a slight edge so things wouldn't change anyway. As for noise, same deal. The manufacturers don't make them loud, the riders do, trying to get that last little advantage with a loud aftermarket pipe. The reality is that in almost all cases, a bike that's closer to stock is competitive and peak horsepower isn't what get's you to the finish line first. I have a friend with a CRF450 that was a dyno monster with close to 55 hp, but it just spun in the dirt and lost tractability - and it was noisy as hell - 103 dbA. We just changed the muffer for a 94 dbA unit and it became faster. And here's the funny part, when two strokes became dominant in the 60s and 70s their biggest problem was noise compared to the four strokes!
Cocoytv -2 strokes vs 4 strokes  March 6, 2009 11:53 AM
Sage Rider, the pollution argument is irrelevant for off road recreational machines. The impact on nature that such a little number of vehicles make is also irrelevant. But what´s really hurting the sport is the noise issue on four strokes. In here there has been several track closed down for the noise they make. You are also mistaken on the power output. Today the difference between a YZ 250 F versus a YZ 250 is less than 10 hp. That´s not 50% less. The only reason for this 4 stroke invasion is the greed of the big 5 manufacturers (except Yamaha and KTM) for selling more expensive bikes that asks for a lot of maintenance and part = much better business for OEM´s.
SAGE Rider -Two Strokes VS Four Strokes?  March 5, 2009 09:34 AM
Tim 2 strokes fire twice as many times as a four stroke so they would make twice the power except that they can't control combustion quite as well so they usually make about 50% more - so no argument on the power output. Because they can't control combustion as well and because they have to burn oil, they aren't nearly as clean of course. If all internal combustion engines were 2 strokes, the planet would likely be covered by a blue haze. You don't have to be a tree hugger to not like that. I have owned several examples of both, and they both have special characteristics that I enjoy so through direct injection and other advances I hope the industry is able to keep the 2 stroke alive but it may be too expensive to do so. To have a fair race you need to have bikes that weigh about the same and produce about the same power, so you have to adjust the formula to make that work. When they first allowed about twice the displacement for four strokes the racing was pretty even, but the industry improved four strokes to the point that they gained an advantage. The problem for the four strokes is they went to extremes to get more power and killed one of the advantages that they used to enjoy - reliability. One of the bikes in my stable is an original 1998 WR400 and it has been as reliable as my car. Sitting right beside it is a 2006 CRF450R that has a single ring piston and minimum oil capacity that requires a lot of expensive maintenance. This is stupid as it doesn't even give a 1% advantage in return for cutting reliability in half. The first manufacturer that wises up and reduces maintenance on their 4 stroke bikes will take over the market. If it wasn't for my WR, I would be looking at getting a KTM300. The good news is that whether they have a 2 or 4 stroke motor, the bikes we have now are amazing! If you get a chance, try riding something from the seventies just so you can appreciate how far they've come.
Tim B -Scared  March 4, 2009 08:14 PM
They're just scared the 2 strokes will smoke the 4 strokes cc for cc. That could caused the manufacturers to go back to two strokes and the tree humpers would be pissed.