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McGrath’s Ultimate Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke Shootout!


McGrath’s Ultimate Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke Shootout!

Two-strokes are more popular than ever these days and finding an old premixer on Craig’s List and restoring it is all the rage. As a rider who raced both two-strokes and four-strokes during the peak of his career, Jeremy McGrath got the itch to mix some gas last summer and found an old Kawasaki KX500 for sale and scooped it up for a great price. After completely rebuilding it, The King headed to the Mammoth Mountain MX with it and had a blast racing on the infamous High Sierra course. Unbelievably, the bike has sat dormant since then in the corner of Jeremy’s race shop, so a couple of weeks ago we talked him into taking the KX500 and his 2019 KX450 out to Cahuilla Creek MX Park to do a back-to-back comparison on the pair of big bores. Which do you think he went faster on? Watch and find out!


Chase Curtis

Chase Curtis is an avid motocross and MTB rider, and he has been editing moto videos for a mere two years. He's also the Swapmoto Race Series on-site photographer and reporter. When he finishes college, he will join the SML staff full time.

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  1. Mike Miller November 2, 2019

    I think the two stroke beat the four stroke Two Strokes are lighter more RPMs end result more speed

    1. Andy Simondet November 2, 2019

      I agree. Lighter, faster, simple to maintain. Harder to ride which capitalizes on mistakes and makes for better competition viewing.

      Jeremy has the credential to say he would’nt race the 500 in the 450 class, and I think it’s because 450’s are easier to ride so I don’t have the credential to disagree. Having said that:

      I find four stroke racing boring. No sound or smell beats the two stroke. You need more skill to ride one. Having said that:

      Motocross peaked in the 70’s and is experiencing a decline. When everything reaches electric levels I think it will be over.

      There is so much renewed interest in two strokes for good reason.

  2. Rickey 5 November 2, 2019

    Corporate greed at work. The MSRP on these new 4 strokes is almost double what the last gen 2003ish smokers were. Yeah….four strokes are easier, but racing at its highest tier isn’t supposed to be ‘easy’. Look at the old turbocharged F1 cars. Same deal. Taming the sport down. I doubt we’ll see a full field of two strokes except at special events like Straight Rhythm or local events.

    That being said…I seriously hope the Japanese are taking note here, because two strokes are alive and well. And disappearing fast. Let’s go Kawasaki, Honda and Zuki. Force Team Blue to put some effort in and bring back the smokers.