When the sound of motocross
changes for just one day
Don’t mourn the two-stroke. It’s not going anywhere. We can get as morose as anyone when it comes to the good old days of premix,
fouled plugs and smoky start lines, but we know the real story. The dirt
bike world is still full of two-strokes. KTM and Husqvarna have almost
20 of them. Yamaha won’t stop making them, and companies like
Beta, Sherco and Gas Gas are selling record numbers of smokers.
The motocross world, though, is going through a two-stroke
drought. That’s why the MTA Two-Stroke World Championship presented by L.A. Sleeve and STI (try saying that in one breath) exists.
The race gives Glen Helen Raceway the opportunity to sound like
1997. The bikes can be new or old, but they must be of the non-thumper persuasion. It’s a chance for some of us to revel in the atmosphere that permeated the end of the 20th century and for others to
discover something that might just surprise them. The Two-Stroke
World Championship is a weird blending of two different eras.
THEY NEVER LEFT
Don’t confuse this with vintage racing. Classic, Vintage and
Evolution events are dominated by older gentlemen reliving their youth.
That scene is about swap meets, networking with other tribe members,
special tracks and rolling back the years. That’s great, but that’s not
what happened at Glen Helen last April. The MTA race took place on a
modern track with young riders racing for a pro purse. They rode hard,
went fast and looked good. There was an element of nostalgia, but
there was also an air of discovery. Many of the riders there were riding
two-strokes for the first time and loving it. Some had purchased new
machines just for this race. Others found and restored older bikes.
Many will continue to race the same bike throughout the coming year.