Two-stroke answer to rising crosser costs

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This immaculate Kawasaki KX500 hybrid is one motocross racer’s response to the rising costs of four-stroke off-road competition machines. Chris Place, 21, hopes the blend of an easily-fixed two-stroke engine and modern chassis will enable him to compete on a knock-down budget.

Built from a 2008 KXF450 chassis and a 1994 KX500 two-stroke, the KX500CF (for Custom Fabricated) was built in four months.

Place told MCN: “There’s a lot of Honda CR500 hybrids, but hardly any KX500s. But the KX has a more usable power band. The engine itself is a phenomenal piece of kit – the single-cylinder two-stoke produces so much power.

“Two-strokes are leaving the motocross scene, with all the manufacturer research going  into four-strokes, but they cost the best part of £1000 to repair. You can pick up a two-stroke for a fraction of the price and if you seize one, you can repair it for – at most – £400, And you can still be competitive with them.”

“The two-strokes allow people with great skills to ride and compete for a fraction of the cost. There’s only one company I know of that build competition KX500 off-roaders and then charges near £12,000. You can’t take them on the road, they’re dedicated competition bikes, so it’s an awful lot of money. I built mine for £6500. Plus I’ll know exactly what has gone wrong if it ever does.”

After riding the bike for the first time, Place said: “It was just phenomenal. I’ve never been on something like that in my life. At first it overwhelmed me a bit. I’ve ridden 450cc four-strokes, but two-stroke power is so much more snappy. I’d never ridden a bike that accelerated like that before.”

“No jump was an issue. – every one I hit I cleared – and coming out of corners it just sat on the back wheel all the while. It’s so light – the stock KX500 frames are steel, whereas this is an aluminium beam – and with so much power, it’s just the perfect combination.”

The bike is being used in two-stroke competitions and will be sold by the end of the year. Contact if you’re interested.

Read the full story in this week’s issue of MCN (October 26). Don’t miss out, subscribe today from just £1 per issue.

Dan Aspel

By Dan Aspel