Are Two Strokes Legal?

Riding a two stroke dirt bike is an experience on its own. The easy wheelies, crazy torque and raw power are just some of the crazy features you will only find in a two stroke bike.

Two strokes are not illegal in all 50 states provided its chassis is road legal. However, after the release of the United States Environment Protection Agency, in 1996, this bike became less popular. Many famous bike manufacturing companies therefore stopped making them.

Were two strokes dirt bikes banned?

Many people believe that the use of two stroke bikes is illegal and that the bikes were banned. However, the truth is, there is no statewide prohibitions on these vessels. In 1996, The United States Environmental Protection Agency published a rule that is famously known as “gasoline marine final rule”. The rule was meant to establish hydrocarbon emission standards that were to be applied on 2006 gasoline marine engines.

These rules covered the gasoline marine engines and outboard engines used in jet boat applications and personal watercraft. All these engines were mandated to meet the EPA emission standards the new rules however exempted engines manufactured before 2006. This means that the bike riders were not included in this rule as it only talks about personal watercraft and new outboard engines.

Between two strokes and four strokes, which are better?

Although the two strokes and four strokes engine have their own advantages and disadvantages, the four strokes are definitely better. The fact there is a single consumption of fuel in every four strokes, this makes the four strokes easier and most common. However, if you decide to consider the weight and the speed of the two, the two strokes will definitely win.

Despite the great transformation over the years, there are two engine designs that have remained to date. These are the 4-stroke and the 2-stroke gasoline powered combustion engine designs. You might have heard these terms before but you might not understand the difference between them and how they work.

There are many differences between two strokes and four strokes, the main difference is in their operation. There are 2-strokes piston completion in every revolution when using a 4-stroke fuel combustion. There is one exhaust stroke and one compression stroke and there is a return stroke following the two.

In a 4-stroke engine, there is no need of pre-mixing the fuel and the oil since it features a separate oil compartment. However, when using a 2-stroke fuel combustion, the cycle will be completed in just a single piston stroke.

Are 2 strokes bad?

Two strokes gasoline powered combustion designs are not bad. The two strokes dirt bikes might have several disadvantages but at the same time, they have many advantages. Some of these benefits include:

  • When in need of an engine that runs at a higher RPM, the two strokes is a perfect choice for you. The engines not only run on a higher RPM but they are also more powerful.
  • A two stroke engine are easy to fix thanks to their simple design. In place of valves, these engines have ports.
  • The repair cost is much cheaper compared to the 4-stroke engines.
  • 2-stroke engines are cheaper compared to the 4-stroke engines thanks to their much simpler design.
  • A 2-stroke engine has a unique, high-pitched “buzzling” sound and it is significantly louder. Although this might be a downside for some riders, for others, it is what keeps them going.
  • 2-stroke engine are lighter in weight. This means, they are easier to ride even for beginners.

Does Honda make two strokes anymore?

It was very frustrating for Honda users when they stopped making the two stroke bikes. For a long time, Honda users have been hoping day and night that the manufacturing of the 2-stroke dirt bikes would begin to no avail. Although Honda felt that 2-stroke dirt bikes were no longer in demand but what they didn’t know was that this was going to greatly frustrate their users.

2-stroke engine dirt bikes were said to be causing a lot of pollution in the air. This is the reason why many famous companies including Honda stopped manufacturing them. The Honda CR 85, 125 and 250cc got out of the market in 2008 while the CR 500cc 2-stroke dirt bikes were removed from the market in 2001.

There are many reasons why Honda fans are looking forward to the return of 2 stroke dirt bikes into the market. One of the reasons is because they are cheaper than the 4-strokes dirt bikes. At the same time, they find them more fun to ride as they are lighter in weight, more powerful and move at a higher speed. There are rumors that Honda are planning to bring the FI 2 strokes in the market soon.

When did Yamaha stop manufacturing two strokes?

Just like many other famous dirt bike manufacturers, Yamaha also made their own 2-stroke engine dirt bikes. But in 2011, they decided it was time for them to discontinue the manufacturing of their Yamaha RX-Z model. This dirt bike had been in the market for 26 years as it was introduced in 1985. There were many advantages of having it the market but on the other hand, there were many pros against it.

What started off as rumors in 2009 was later proven to be true in 2011 as the distribution of these two stroke dirt bikes came to an end. It is not very clear what led to this decision but there are speculations that there was no market for them.


There are many reasons why many companies stopped the manufacturing of two stroke dirt bikes. The main reason however is about the air pollution issue. However, after a few years, it has been confirmed that 2 stroke engine dirt bikes are not responsible for the air pollution. This might be the reason why many companies are now re-considering their decision and want to bring these bikes back to the market.

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