10 BEST TWO-STROKE BUILDS OF 2020: TWO-STROKE TUESDAY

On this week’s Two-Stroke Tuesday brought to you by Decal Works we take a look back at our top ten 2-Stroke build of 2020. The year was insane and these machines are the products of that insanity. If you follow us on Instagram (@dirtbikemag) or on Facebook (Dirt Bike Magazine) you got to see them in every stage of the build process. We have bigger and better things planned for 2021 and can’t wait to share it all! Enjoy, if you want to see some of these 2-Strokes in action check out our YouTube channel DIRT BIKE MAGAZINE.

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The Yamaha YZ250 is a proven commodity in the two-stroke world and hasn’t seen very many changes to its powerplant since the early to mid 2000s. This is not because the Yamaha engineers are lazy; it’s just because the YZ250 is that good. However, as you know, the Dirt Bike magazine staff just can’t leave well-enough alone. If 250cc is good, then 300cc has got to be better, right? CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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Although TM has used a number of Kawasaki and Honda products on its machines in the past, we can guarantee the TMzilla will never see life as a production machine rolling off TM’s assembly line. But, this in no way stopped Ralf from making his dream a reality. The build started with a lot of time spent in front of a computer looking at various Craigslist posts for a decent CR500R donor engine that didn’t cost a fortune. This sounds way easier than it actually is. As a matter of fact, this might have been the toughest part of the entire project. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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The late ’90s to mid-2000s Suzuki RM250 two-strokes might just be the best used motorcycles out there. They feature a strong engine and a great handling package that makes the bikes fun to ride. This is probably why we don’t come across many for sale; the people who have them want to keep them. Thankfully, we met Ross Summers, a farmer from Tremonton, Utah, who had been able to purchase a 2004 Suzuki RM250 and was interested in doing a rebuild. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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The 200cc KTM has a very devoted cult-like following, and the fact that KTM stopped production of this model back in 2016 just fuels the fire of desire for some. Lendon Smith and Robert Lightfeldt, owners of Seat Conceptsin Idaho, are two such people. They decided to take matters into their own hands by building a modern KTM 200XC-W. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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There have been plenty of 500cc two-strokes from Husqvarna throughout dirt bike history. But, since the brand’s rebirth a few years back, it has shied away from two-strokes above 300cc. We teamed up with former factory Kawasaki race team mechanic Jonny Weisman, who now owns The Ride Shop in Arizona, to build a modern Husqvarna TC500CR two-stroke of our own. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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We will be the first to admit that sometimes we get carried away with our two-stroke rebuilds. It’s so easy to do. With this 1996 Kawasaki KX250, our main goal was to find an off-road bike that the average person could afford to not only build, but then ride on a regular basis. We teamed up with Moto One and Western Powersports in Boise, Idaho, to see if it was possible. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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We started our trail build with the last 300XC model to come equipped with a carburetor: the 2019 KTM 300XC. This machine was fairly well-received by the carbureted community as a whole but did have some issues. One major issue was the constant need to modify jetting specs in the Mikuni unit that came on the bike stock. KTM had fought this issue since changing to Mikuni in 2016, making niche carburetor companies like Smart Carb and Lectron very happy. Keihin carburetors were standard issue before that, and we are still scratching our heads at KTM’s decision to change. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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The Honda CR250R has got to be one of the most popular early-to-mid-2000s two-stroke machines to rebuild in history. One reason is that Honda sold a ton, and the other reason is the bikes all seem to be aging very well. We found what looked like a very clean machine on the used-bike market, slapped down some cash, and threw it into the back of the mobile command unit before the accounting department could tell us no. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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There’s no better project bike than a Yamaha YZ125. First, there are a million of them out there on Craigslist, eBay or any yardsale. Second, it’s been basically the same bike since 2005. You can find an 18-year-old bike and when it’s done, pass it off as a new one. In this case, we started out with a $1500 2006 model and handed it over to Colin and Vince at Faster USA.Their wheelsets have been featured on a wide variety of our project bikes in the magazine over the last several years, and on this bike, they got their hands really dirty building the entire bike. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

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The Ride Shop Dark Knight project is the brainchild of CEO Johny Weisman. At first glance you might not notice the blacked out Kawasaki KX500 two-stroke power-plant tucked neatly into a 2020 KTM chassis.  We worked with industry leading companies like Dubya USA, Boyesen, Dunlop, TM Designworks, P3 Carbon and a host of others to make this build happen. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE.

MOST POPULAR 2-STROKE BUILD OF ALL TIME

We couldn’t do a best of post without including one of our most popular 2-Stroke projects of all time! Here is another look at our Ransom Kawasaki KX500AF build.

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