250 Words:  Two-Stroke Versus Four-Stroke

250 Words Two-Stroke Versus Four-Stroke

November 8, 2011 5:00pm
The thumper has taken over motocross, leaving only the die-hards to keep the flame alive on the fringes. However one perfect two-stroke versus four-stroke racing battleground remains, one many may not realize.

The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series includes a Lites Pro class, dubbed XC2, and unlike the Lites class in supercross or the 250 class in motocross, the rulebook allows for both two and four-stroke 250s to race side-by-side. It’s worth noting that 250 two-strokes race against 250 four-strokes at the Red Bull AMA Amateur Motocross National at Loretta Lynn Ranch, too, but even in those classes, it seems like a good 30 four-strokes line up against a dozen two-strokes.

The woods races in GNCC are different. Two-strokes still have a significant place off road, and the XC2 Lites division seems to be the perfect, level playing field. This year’s XC2 Lites Champion is Steward Baylor, a kid from South Carolina with a KTM support ride. He rode a 250 two-stroke to the title. Baylor won six of 13 rounds. Another KTM two-stroke rider, Jesse Robinson, scored a win as well.

Steward Baylor won the XC2 class on a KTM two-stroke.
Photo: Shan Moore

But 250 four-strokes won the other six races, with FAR Husqvarna’s Jason Thomas and Andrew DeLong each snagging a win, and Obermeyer Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn taking three wins on a YZ250F. So that’s six wins from 250Fs, and seven (and a title) for the 250Ts.

Interestingly, Ashburn won Friday’s penultimate XC2 round on his 250F, while Baylor clinched the title on his two-stroke. With the title decided, Ashburn decided to switch it up and ride a YZ250 two-stroke on Sunday, and he led again before eventually fading to third, saying the two-stroke wore him out. “I know which bike I’ll be racing next year,” he said after Sunday’s race.

But Baylor will be back next year and he’ll stick with the two-stroke. In one small venue, the battle continues.