by JohnNicholas on 10/06/2009
Motocross rules all over the world are a mess. In some areas of the USA you can race a 250 two-stroke against a 250 four-stroke, in other areas, the rule is a 125cc two-stroke against a 250 F and then in others a 144cc two-stroke is allowed to compete with a 250F. What is the best way?
The USA is not the only country with this personality complex. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Great Britain, are all running differing rules as well. Although in many countries they are working on changing those rules to allow a modicum of fairness for the two-stroke.
It would be so simple to make these rules uniform all over the world, why doesn’t this happen? The reasons have been explored on this site many times. Unfortunately there is no easy answer.
KTM believes in the two-stroke. In fact, last year over 40% of KTM’s total sales was made up of two-stroke machines. The tide seems to be turning. Reports from all over the world show that two-strokes are re-emerging in force at the local races.
For those areas of the country and world that allow a 144cc two-stroke to compete in the 250F class, KTM has the purpose built machine just for you. The KTM 15o SX.
This is the perfect 125cc machine, because it revs just like a 125, but has more low-end and a few more horsepower. This “extra” power allows a Novice or Amateur level racer a little more power to correct something like a wrong gear selection when exiting a corner. It also has enough power that it’s not completely over-powered by the 250F. In fact a really good or expert racer should be quite competitive against the 250F’s on many tracks.
Of course, the most important aspect is the fun factor. This area is the one area that the four-stroke just does not fulfill. They run and respond like tractors, with about as much excitement. Certainly some have discovered that it is easier to ride a four-stroke fast. But you can get the same kind of smooth power delivery with a same sized two-stroke by de-tuning it to the four-stroke style powerband.
Brown Dog Wilson did a bike test/impression of the KTM 150 on the Motocross.com web site which is an excellent read. My favorite quote is ” I have never had so much fun riding a bike before.” read the blog post here. KTM 150 Impression.
In the November 2009 issue of Dirt Rider there is a test of the Enduro version of the bike called the 150 XC. “It is a 125-sized bike in weight and feel with a boost in power to make it more appealing for those who might be comparing it to a 250F.”
As Jimmy Lewis describes, “The 150 has so much more gusto than a 125 it is hard to describe, since the feel and excitement of the orange bike is all 125 goodness just a bit faster… It has a lot more torque than a 125 and will bog along and build power into the midrange much more proficiently… But the whole time it is fun. Fun because you are making go-fast sounds and you feel like you are riding great because the sounds tell you so.”
The folks over at Dirt Rider magazine are great believers in the two-stroke. Please support those that support the two-stroke. Get a subscription to their fine magazine.
Check out this video of a 2009 KTM 150 at a practice track.