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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are all here for the love of 2 strokes, be it Vintage Street machines, Dirt Bikes, ATVs, Snow Mobiles, Jet skis, mini sprints....Or just anything that goes a ring ting ting.
We all come to love the 2 stroke engine for one reason or another.
So what's your story? What got you started? How did you get hooked?

For me it happened one fall day in the hills of West Virginia. My cousin came in and unloaded his yz250, an older twin shock 2t bike he called bubbles, and a fast trail/ semi-mx built Banshee.

I was 13 years old and weighed all of maybe 75lbs. The YZ was his baby, it got special mix gas that the banshee and bubbles didn't. I watched him ride and was blown away by the sound and seemingly unreal power it had, I watched and drooled for the whole evening.
The next morning I heard the bikes fire up and went running down to the shop , but was too late they already headed out to the 560 acre family property littered with haul roads, explorer trails, logging trails etc. It would be three hours before they came back I waited.
He got back about 3 hours later , like kids do I begged to go riding, finally after dinner he agreed, and let me saddle up on the banshee.
He made me follow him out the main drag, and I basically had to watch him , run big dune sized climbs, and such.
After about 5 minutes he was done I followed him back and begged to keep riding.....
After the be careful speach and such I was off
After the first corner I gassed it, and shifted at the edge of the band where one might shift a four stroke, I was only 13 and had mostly ridden utility quads..without even hitting the band I though it was fast. Got to the 150 yard long hillclimb where I had seen him jump the top and went for it.
About halfway across the field leading to the hill, something happened right before I was to shift to fourth, I hit a big bump lost traction and suddenly it launched , I had already shifted by the time I realized what happened. But this time I was ready, as I neared the base of the hill I held it down on fourth, halfway up I caught fifth, slinging big clumps of dirt and grass behind me.
My first trip across the crest of the hill might have got me five feet of air and maybe 25 feet of leap, my grin widened. At 13 and 75lbs that banshee might have well been a rocket ship.

30 minutes later my cousin shows up to look for me and finds me topping the hill in an off chamber section fifth gear tached hard (I didn't know it still had another gear). About the time I hit apogee at 20 or so feet high with the bike 45 degrees sideways, I see him out of the corner of my eye.......too late I was busted, managed to land somewhat flat on the left rear. I thought for sure the axle would break or bend.....and by the look on cousin Chris's face he did to.
Once I got stopped, he rode over bitchin' and cussing at me, but once he saw that my perma-grin was still wide he made me vow to never tell my mother (who was constantly overprotective and worried ) what had happened...

From that day on I was hooked the sight, smell, sound of the 2t machines made me happy. volunteered to weed eat the yard, went on every wood gathering trip, snuck rides on the Kawasaki 660 Intruder in the Winter, and begged my parents for a dirt bike.

Since I have logged thousands of hours on ATV's, Built every engine I came across, from muffler mods and carb tweaking on 2t powered yard and woods tools, to intake, exhaust,timing and ignition mods on my little cars as a teen, to now porting , and building quad, dirtbike and saw engines.

It has become quite an obsession, besides a 2t Scrambler for the wife, a 250r, rz350, a B-shee, yz250 and a nitro motor conversion for my rc heli now top the wish list.

I am sure plenty of you have more and better stories of your 2 stroke moment, the one you remember vividly like it happened yesterday, even though it was years ago.

Let's hear them.

1,500 Posts
What Next ?

Wow; I can’t top that storey but here’s my intro
My first experience with a 2 stroke; in 7th grade my father bought me a Simplex kart from the Meier & Frank department store. The power on my kart was a 2 ½ HP Clinton model A490 2 stroke engine. After driving around the local high school parking lot for a few hundred laps, dad took me to the closest local Kart track in Damascus Oregon. I’ll continue the storey over the

weekend; I’ve got a room full of cylinders to bore & sleeve to keep the lions away from my door because I’m so far behind with my 2 stroke cylinder repairs.
PS: don’t be shy about the first ride; I’m sure most of you can top my story
The Clinton engine had a bushing on the main lower connecting rod, so this type of engine was called a “bushing class”. As I now think back on this engine; the cylinder head needed to be removed & replaced with a lathe turned custom job. If somebody ever brought in an A490 engine, I’d love to build another engine with the knowledge that I’ve learned over the years.
In the late 50’s 2 stroke engines were in the Wild West technical years. Cross scavenged cylinders were becoming obsolete & the Loop Scavenging was the hot deal. West Bend & McCulloch first came out with the Looper’s. GEM V reeds Boost & 9 porting were the hot items. What a time for a young lad to be interested in a machine shop career. Owning a good lathe & a Bridgeport mill were all that I could think about.
1966 & my 18th birthday, high school behind me, what next? Go down to the Post Office & join the Navy. 4 years later; out of the Navy & back to the shop. Dad started me out at $4.00 per hour & life was great. In the 70’s I had some money saved from the Navy. I purchased 2 Kwik Way cylinder boring machines. I drove around town & offered TIG welding & cylinder boring to cycle dealers at wholesale prices.

That was the beginning of Small Engine Machine Works Inc. Fast forward 46 years, Now retired; www.smallenginemachineworks.com my domain name. The floor is buried with cylinders to bore & sleeve.

64 Posts
Twas 1998. I was servicing a friends parents house and he had a 88 Suzuki 4x4. He let me ride it. What fun!!!
The next weekend I had me a Suzuki 4x4. So I beat on that for a while, took the daughter about everywhere we could go. Tried jumping off this lil lump to get across a ditch. Not so good of idea. After 2400 miles a buddy asked if I'd like to ride his 250R, which I did. I got of the R and traded my 4x4 for the 250R right then and there. HOOKED!!!
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