1. 2 Stroke Husqvarna Motorcycles Made In Italy - About 1989 to 2014
    WR = 2st Enduro & CR = 2st Cross

125-200cc Is there a slow movement back to smaller cc bikes?

Discussion in '2 Stroke' started by firffighter, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. firffighter Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Estacada, Oregon
    Seemed like 5-10 years ago everyone who rode in the woods was on a 450 thumper. Heck, lots of guys on KTM 525's.

    But, the tide began to change 3-5 years ago with many moving back to 2-stokes.

    Now, I am noticing another progression among off-road guys who ride woods only. I have noticed 125/150 2-strokes and 250 thumpers gaining popularity.

    I have been reading some old school articles about John Penton and his theory of a small cc bike being superior in the woods and we even had a local group back in the 70's who cleaned up in the ISDT Qualifiers in OR/WA on modded XL185's.

    I had 2 KTM200's and they were a blast in the woods along with my highly modded KDX's. I then got a hold of a Gasgas EC250 and fell in love. I just sold it though because it was an '03 and I am ready for a new bike.

    I just bought my 15 year old a '07 WR250f and have ridden it 4-5 times. It is a very easy bike to ride and Yamaha has a nice little package with the aluminum frame, and with the free mods and a free flowing exhaust this bike does wonderful in the woods.

    So, I am looking for a new ride, but on the fence. There are so many great choices right now. I am 5'10" and 210lbs., so a 125/150 2-stroke makes me a bit nervous, but I think there are a ton of advantages for the riding I do which is 2-3 gears tight Northwest woods.

    I know a 300 2-stoke is the ultimate old mans bike and at 40, I am probably qualified in that catagory.

    I am just a trail rider, and do maybe 2 events a year (time keeper enduro and harescramble).

    So, is there a real movement to smaller bikes or am I just imagining things.

    And, what bike should I be looking at?
  2. NWRider Husqvarna
    AA Class

    I am 10 pounds less and a WR125 was enough for Oregon woods. Now I have the 150 and it is plenty. I am over 40 and find a small bore to take much less energy then a big bike for single track. I kind of feel like I am working all the time but at the end of the day I am not tired. I never get so beat I am in "survival mode" where with a 250 it happened towards the end of every long ride.

    But other then the group of NW guys buying 125/150 Huskies I have not seen a real return to small bores. I have noticed a return to smokers but it seems like they are mostly 250/300.
  3. firffighter Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Estacada, Oregon
    It just seems that the Euro manufacturers are going back to smaller bikes with KTM's 150xc. Husky of course has their WR125 and WR150. Gasgas has the EC125 and EC200.

    Dick Burleson had a nice write up in the mags about how much he loves riding the KTM150 and feels is is quite effective.

    With KTM's new 350sxf being successful in Euro GP and some success in Motocross maybe it will catch on.

    I've been watching the GNCC this year and Glenn Kearney has been doing very well on the TXC250 in the 450 class. Mike Brown is also doing great in the WORCS series on the KTM250 thumper.

    As far as my next bike, I am still on the fence as many feel the 300 is the ultimate NW bike, but some of you NW Husky guys rant and rave so much about your little 2-smokes it gets me to thinking.

    How do they do on steep, technical hillclimbs like at the Burn?

    That is the only place I ride that I would fear having the smaller bike as some of those climbs can zap larger bikes. Probably more technique than bike though.
  4. Dirtdame Husqvarna
    Pro Class

    Location:
    Escondido, California
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    07 TE 450, 11 WR300, 13 WR 125
    Other Motorcycles:
    2 KDXs, TXT280, KLX300, CR85, Hodaka
    I remember how in the early 70s, Penton 100s and 125s seemed to just sweep all the enduro events. The 125 class was usually the largest class at a weekend MX event, sometimes so many entries that there had to be two separate races run.

    :thumbsup:I like my 200 and 220 better than most of the larger bikes I have had (or still have).
  5. ARod2000 Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Georgia
    I have to agree, there is a movement to smaller bore bikes :thumbsup: I'm going from my Husky WR250 to a Yamaha WR290f in the next few weeks.

    I personally think 450's are no good for the woods, but some can certainly ride them well. But not most.
  6. firffighter Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Estacada, Oregon
    ARod,

    Just curious, why going to the WR290F?

    I would think the WR250 Husky would be a great woods bike.
  7. Jrmobb Husqvarna
    A Class

    Location:
    Simi Valley,ca
    Ive always wanted a ktm 200, but these days a plated bike is almost mandatory. Maybe someday with husabergs new fuel injected 2 smokes there might be one available. Also our open deserts make having a small bore only kinda tuff.
  8. oregonsage 4st Clerk

    Location:
    Wet Oregon
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    13 TXC310R, 84 CR250
    Other Motorcycles:
    XR650L
    I tried riding a 250 2 stroke a couple years ago and thought it was fine until I took it out in the desert. It was completely overwhelmed by the 450s in the high speed sections. This was disappointing. Back to a 450 I went.

    I now ride less in that kind of terrain, and wrestling a 450 all the time is a lot of work so my next bike is going to be a WR300. If I were a lighter weight guy I would give strong consideration to a 150. Throw in the higher maintenance on a high strung 4 stroke and a good 2 stroke makes a lot of sense. I still have a 610 for when plates are needed.
  9. firffighter Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Estacada, Oregon
    In our Central Oregon terrain, a 450 is king for sure. I just dont get over that way very often.

    The WR150 sure seems like it would be a nice fit for the West side, but the smaller cc's does conern me.

    Maybe Dwight will chime in here since he has been on the KTM 525, KTM 250 (bored out, I believe), modded CRF230 and now? Any Dwight?
  10. NWRider Husqvarna
    AA Class


    They do very well. Most of the really hard stuff is tight first and second gear climbs where the WR125 has enough low end that you do not have to keep it on the pipe. The soft power actually hooks up really well. On third and forth gear rocky climbs they take more skill as they need to be on the pipe. But I still was able to get up all that stuff, for example Wolf Point and Big Bertha. I have not had the 150 to any of those big hills yet but I expect it will make them much easier as this bike has a good deal more bottom. You can try mine sometime and there are quite a few other 125 and 150 Huskies in the area.

    I only enjoy technical and tight single track though. For faster and more open riding there might be better bikes.
  11. High places Husqvarna
    A Class

    Location:
    Kamas, Utah
    I picked up an 09 wr 125 3 weeks ago. Immediately ordered up the 144 kit & a keihin PWK 38 carb with a 52 tooth sprocket from Motosportz. Been riding up to 9500 ft in UT. So far I've tested this bike on steep loose rocky single track with very tight switchbacks and just about every nasty technical situation I could think of in our area. Im running trials tires front & rear in these conditions and the bike absolutely rips! All my riding buddies ride KTM 200, 250 & 300 2 strokes. I've only been riding for 2 years and was very exited that I could keep up with these guys on my 310 but since I've been on the 144 it seems like I have been waiting a'lot on these guys at each check point. I've been riding mtn. bikes for 25 years, maybe this is why I have taken to this bike so well...It rides so light and handles so well. My good friend and favorite riding buddy rides the KTM 250. He helped me put this bike together. We ride very well together and he is very interested in the 144 after seeing what it will do. Cannot wait until it cools down and I can take it to Moab and the 5 miles of hell.

    PS. 40 is not old!
  12. ARod2000 Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Georgia
    The Husky is a great woods bike but since Husky brought back the mid-size thumper I've been thinking I'd like a 3xx 4stk. 250f's have been too weak for me and 450's have been way to much. I like enduros so I'm thinking that bottom end power and traction will be nice.

    Who knows, I could end up back on a 2stk in just a few races:excuseme:
  13. ray_ray Mini-Sponsor

    Location:
    Philippines
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    08 TXC250, 010 TC250, 08 WR250
    Other Motorcycles:
    2012 TC250 Husky
    It seems 9 of out 10 reviews \ comments on all bikes I read about here and elsewhere on the web, complain \ focus on the weight of bikes ... Not sure why unless all the ~260lbs thumpers have left people wanting something that weights less ... It is all a little funny to me and easy to understand why the 250 2t was, and still is, the best bike for most riders ...
  14. Motosportz CH Sponsor

    Location:
    Vancouver WA
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    WR165 / CR250 / TE511 / 83 XC500
    Other Motorcycles:
    many
    Like everything it is cyclical. 2strokes used to rule, then 4 strokes, now 2 strokes are starting to be favored again and a shift to smaller CC as tech has brought engines more power per CC than we need for the larger displacements.

    I would like to see some retrotech happen. Light off road 2 strokes based on modern air cooled (maybe even enclosed with a fan) and very simple trail bikes with more reasonable prices.
  15. demi Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Cheyenne, WYO
    Husqvarna Motorcycle:
    '12 WR 300, '13 TC 449
    very interesting....I am most definately going small bore for 2011....was at my local dealer shooting the breeze and he had the the WR150, awesome looking bike. He said 3 CR150's are already spoken for, mine will be the 4th...I can't wait to ride one of these small bores again. Last one being an 06 125. Really looking forward to shedding some bike weight for the track, it will be for MX only at this point. Vet class stuff, I don't think I will lose anything by going this route. The trusty 510 will be my spare after this year.
  16. firffighter Husqvarna
    AA Class

    Location:
    Estacada, Oregon
    Great points.

    I do remember a time when you could choose between the KDX (175,200), the IT (125,175,200,250), the PE (cant remember size here) and Honda always had the XR. Later you got the RMX,KDX,WR.

    Now???
  17. Trailridernut Husqvarna
    A Class

    Location:
    Texas
    I was talking with my bike dealer 9~ yrs. ago about why he rode a 125 at his first ISDE(first of nine) and his response was "Power is evil"!
  18. Vinduro Husqvarna
    Pro Class

    Location:
    Mississippi
    I have been on them all and love big bores and small bores. In Vintage racing I have mainly been riding 100 & 125cc bikes. I rode XR600Rs for several years and many years on modified XR250 (315cc) and even Honda XR400 (441cc). I have been riding 4stks in modern racing since 1987 way before 4strokes became popular. I had been thinking of going to a WR250 Husky but with some encouragement from George Erl , I believe I may try a WR150 with a 175 (167cc) top end. I used to love riding 175cc bikes. About the weight and power of a strong 125 but with strong low end and midrange. Reason for that is that I am a low end / midrange rider. I don't rev unless I have to.
    I still have a garage full of small bore bikes. Kawasaki G5 / KE100, Suzuki TS50, Honda Penton 100, Penton 125, Penton 175, Hodaka 100, Hodaka 125, Sachs 100, DKW MC125, Hercules K100GS, Hercules GS125/6D, Hercules GS175/6A, Hercules GS125/7A, Hercules GS175/7A, Ossa 175 Phantom Enduro and Yamaha IT125. I have a few bigger bikes too but you can see that I have a love more small bores. I never liked 200cc bikes as well as 175cc or as well as 250cc. Not sure why but I think they felt confused. Too much to be a small bore and not enough against 250cc bikes.
    Dwight
  19. Vinduro Husqvarna
    Pro Class

    Location:
    Mississippi
    OH, I would love to have a Aircooled 2 stroke (not even a powervalve).
    My 1982 XC250 Husky is fast. I mean real fast. If I don't have a Husky WR150 by time our season starts I may ride my XC250 against the modern bikes. I have sent my Ohlins off to Keytime Motorsports to have Craig rebuild them in anticipation of this.
    Aircooled with large fins and Radial head stayed plenty cool and never boiled a radiator. I rode the 1979 ISDT on a PE175 Suzuki and 1981 on the worlds only PE125 Suzuki. I rode the 1982 ISDE on a Husky WR125 and was one of the 8 Americans to finish. I rode 4 ISDE on modified aircooled XR250s (270, 280, 300, & 315cc). Never needed or wanted watercooling.
    Dwight
  20. Eurofreak Husqvarna
    A Class

    Location:
    Western NY
    I've been downsizing for years. Here in the east the bigger bikes are hard to ride in the woods-tire you out a lot. If you like to drop your bike picking up 50-75 extra big bore lbs sucks.

    I just did Hancock on my WR250 and loved it in the woods and on most hills. Road sections buzzed me so bad my butt fell asleep. the weight difference between the WR and MY TE300 is very noticeable

    I like my WR more when the course is shorter. I wouldn't hesitate to ride a smaller bike-wish Husky made a 200! The GasGas bikes have or had counterbalancers-wish I could install one of those on the WR!