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R.I.P. the two stroke motor…

R.I.P. the two stroke motor…

Recently someone bought a newspaper article to our attention prophesizing the demise of the two stroke motor bike . It seems the days of the high-revving tinny sound of a two stroke engine are numbered, certainly as far as the road is concerned. Increasing demand for improved emission controls have pushed the two stroke engine to its design limit, leaving little margin for an engine that burnt its lubricating oil rather than storing it somewhere in the bowels of the engine.

And yet the range of two-stroke powered equipment continues to expand, despite increased competition from the rechargeable battery technology.

With a couple of small exceptions, our range of two stroke motors can be summed up in one of two words: ‘Stihl’ or ‘Husqvarna’.

Despite their weight advantage, many two strokes don’t have the best reputation for reliable starting, so we chose a couple of the most reliable brands in the market. Three years on and we’re glad we did.

The power output from a well-designed two-stroke motor allows these machines to be used in a number of different ways; imagine trying to handle a 20 kg hedge trimmer or chainsaw! Two stroke engines can work in any position, since oil flow is not a concern.

There is certainly some exciting developments on the lithium horizon, especially from our preferred power tool supplier Makita. The biggest challenge we see is ensuring any lithium battery is fully charged when it leaves the shop and continues to deliver full power for the commercial life of the battery.  Unlike a lithium battery, a two-stroke will just keep on going and going and going.

And while we might lament the loss of the noise of the two stroke motor bike and fondly remember the sound of a Suzuki TS185 accelerating out of the school parking lot, we’ll keep stocking the two strokes until something better comes along.

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