RUNNING ON EMPTY: MR. KNOW-IT-ALL

Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I’m sure this topic has been beaten to death, but figured I’d ask anyhow. On a two-stroke bike, is there any harm, no matter how small, in allowing the carburetor to run dry? Thanks.
Ken
via [email protected]

I have to tell you, Ken, I nearly shot the huevos rancheros I was eating for breakfast out of my nose when I read your missive. As Neil Young crooned, “Tell me why?” Of course, there are a myriad of ways that something can get damaged. The engine can get lean, depending on how hard you’re into the throttle. That would make seizures a possibility. You could run out of gas on a jump-face. That is never good! You could be 20 miles from your truck and have to walk back, which is not an appetizing thought. In general, though, the top end of  a modern two-stroke is much more durable than you’re giving it credit for. The oil film on the piston and in the bottom-end will survive the  10 seconds or so that it takes to power down. Of course, you could monitor your fuel consumption and make sure that this doesn’t occur. 

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