LANGEN TWO STROKE (2022 - on) Review
- Beautiful handling
- Dramatic fuel-injected two-stroke motor
- Hand-built exclusivity
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
It’s been over a decade since two-stroke road bikes dropped out of production, which is why the £33,600 Langen Two Stroke arrived as a sight for sore eyes when it was unveiled at the prestigious Salon Prive event in September 2020.
Its stunning handcrafted frame, carbon fibre fuel tank, beautifully machined metalwork and promise of limited-edition exclusivity means that it’s caught the attention of those with an eye for the finer things in life.
Meanwhile, the intoxicating mix of its modern, fuel-injected 75bhp 249cc V-twin two-stroke motor, high-quality chassis and 125kg all-up weight has got stroker fans frothing.
Limited to just 100 units, the made-in-Wigan super-lightweight naked is already in high demand, so you’ll have to get your order in quickly if you want to get your hands on one.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
For a bike as lightweight and agile as this, the unshakable chassis is nothing short of miraculous. There’s not a hint of a headshake, wallow or weave even when riding hard on some less than perfect roads. In fact, the whole package is a triumph of handling prowess.
The frame is made from a custom-specified 1.5in 7020T6 aluminium tube, that’s been laser cut, 3D bent and immaculately welded together. It also features some bonded connection points, a nod to Langen boss Chris Ratcliffe’s former life as lead engineer at CCM.
The steering is swift, easy and accurate without being twitchy, likewise the Ohlins RWU fork and K-Tech twin-shock rear provide firm control without any hint of harshness.
Hear the Langen running here:
⏱️ Spend #60secondswith the beautiful sound of the Langen Two Stroke. Read all about the British firm in this week's issue of MCN available from all good newsagents and supermarkets, the Bikes Unlimited app and in print or digital here: https://t.co/WiM18aXPmk pic.twitter.com/p55gWNSkLK— Motor Cycle News (@MCNnews) April 29, 2021
Even the classic-treaded Dunlop T100 tyres have surprised with their dry-weather grip, if perhaps being a bit lacking in feedback. Although, with sealed spoked wheels (120/70-17 front; 150/60-17 rear), the world of sticky tubeless tyres is your oyster.
Hel radial calipers grip the twin Brembo discs with just the right amount of feel and power to provide sublime stopping performance. Being exempt from Euro5, by way of being type-approved under SVA regulations, means there’s no ABS – but with front-end feel as good as this you’ve got oodles of control should an emergency arise.
The brake rear, too, provides enough modulation for mid-corner tweaks and low-speed confidence. But care needs to be taken when performing tight turns as the Langen has almost race-bike levels of steering lock which could catch out the unprepared.
The six-speed gearbox is an absolute joy to use, combining positivity with a mechanical smoothness that would put Suzuki in the shade. Simply slice through the cogs the clutchless, old-school way (no quickshifter here) for perfect engagement every time.
The only blot on its copybook is how difficult it is to find neutral when coming to a stop, a symptom of the ‘box’s race-track origins; the trick is to snick into neutral while the bike’s still rolling, but it’s easier said than done and is a little annoying.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The engine is the same 249.5cc unit from the Italian Vins Duecinquanta sportsbike and makes a claimed 74bhp @ 11,500rpm. It’s a 90-degree V-twin but is mounted in an unusual forward-facing position, which Langen say allows the most direct routing for airflow into and out of the engine.
The Langen also features Vins’ electronically controlled fuel injection and patented oil-injection system, whereby ECUs control the amount of fuel and oil for any given rpm.
The fuel is finely misted into the air intake where it gets inducted into the billet aluminium crankcase via carbon fibre reed valves before getting sucked into the combustion chamber. Oil is also injected separately directly into the crankcases from a reservoir beneath the fuel tank cover.
Moving the Langen off from a standing start takes a ridiculous amount of clutch slip, thanks to the combination of tall first gear and lack of low rpm power, which could take some owners a bit of getting used to. But when the Two Stroke hooks up it reveals a surprising amount of mid-range drive.
This is no fragile, hollow wasp, all sting with no venom. There’s an unexpected wodge of shove from 4000rpm onwards, helped in part by the twin servo-assisted exhaust valves and, say Langen, hundreds of hours on the dyno.
The punch it delivers between 4000rpm and 9000rpm is nothing like any of the 90s 250s. It’s smooth, easy to exploit, effective and utterly grin-inducing. Revving cleanly, the throttle connection feels good too, with a true wrist-to-engine union that’s accurate and gives ‘good jetting’ feeling. At this part of the rev range it’s impressively smooth. But it’s a different matter when you poke the powerband...
Venturing beyond 9500rpm, the Langen switches personality. From here up to its 11,500rpm redline things get aggressive.
The powerband kicks in hard and the throttle response is much more switch-like and harder to manage. The whole bike becomes electrified as the higher rpm sends vibrations through the seat and pegs, which aren’t present at lower revs. It only takes a sniff of throttle opening at this rpm to get the front wheel to lift.
Yet this dual character from the engine gives the rider options; short shift through the wonderfully precise and positive gearbox to stay below the ‘wild zone’ and instead surf on that intoxicating buffer of two-stroke torque, rolling on and off the throttle using the modest-but-surprising amount of engine braking to zip between bends.
Or figuratively roll up your beach towel and get ready to whip the buttocks of the school bully by revving it out and keeping the Langen’s tacho needle way up high. It’s a truly manic kick-you-in-the-pants power delivery, a fairly raw one at that, but one that’ll make any two-stroke fan’s heart skip a beat. Or two.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Build quality is spectacular, with every component beautifully made and looking pristine. All the parts are high quality and the majority are made in the UK using British craftsmanship. In terms of reliability, during our test this prototype developed a problem with its charging system, which Langen say was a known fault will be rectified for the production version.
In terms of servicing, forget everything you know about modern four-stroke service intervals, as high-performance two strokes are a completely different beast. With almost the same power and performance as a 250GP bike (which require fresh pistons every 300-400 miles and a new crank every 1000 miles) you’d expect the Langen Two Stroke to be heavy on servicing.
But not so, say Langen, who tell us that servicing is every 1800 miles. During which, the gearbox oil is replaced and the pistons and rings inspected. Langen don’t anticipate the need for any top-end replacements at that point, but obviously this remains to be seen.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Langen Two Stroke sits in a class of one. There’s nothing that can match its exclusivity, performance, or proposition.
Yes, £33,600 is a lot of money, but in terms of the craftmanship, materials used, and the quality it offers, we think it represents good value. Especially when you consider the price of 90s strokers or 250GP bikes these days...
The cockpit is a basic but beautiful place to be. Above the machined metal of the top yoke, nestled inside the carbon-fibre cocoon of the headlamp cowling, sits a simple tacho.
The speedo is displayed inside a small digital panel within the rev counter and is a little difficult to see. Scrolling through the screens via a push-button provides information on trip, running time, fuel and top speed.
The tacho’s face also offers a handful of warning lights – low fuel, neutral and engine management. Being brutally honest, the LCD display is out of kilter with the rest of the bike’s high-quality fittings and appears slightly cheap by comparison.
There are no electronic rider aids, nor a quickshifter. But it does have electric start and LED lights.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, two-stroke, V-twin|
|Frame type||Aluminium trellis|
|Fuel capacity||14 litres|
|Front suspension||Ohlins 43mm ‘right way up’ forks, with custom springs. Compression, rebound damping and spring preload adjustment|
|Rear suspension||Twin bespoke K-tech Piggyback Razor shocks. Compression and rebound damping, spring preload and length adjustment|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm Brembo discs. HEL radial billet calipers|
|Rear brake||265mm disc. HEL radial billet caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||150/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£47|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||74 bhp|
|Max torque||74 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
Revealed in 2020 – limited run of 100 scheduled for 2022
Owners' reviews for the LANGEN TWO STROKE (2022 - on)
No owners have yet reviewed the LANGEN TWO STROKE (2022 - on).