SUZUKI RM85: $4099
Long ago Suzuki was known as a two-stroke company.
Now the sole surviving example in the company’s line is
the RM85. It’s been around for years, but still has a reputation as the most beginner-friendly of the 85s with a torquey
motor and a low seat height. This year it gets black number plates, new graphics and a price that’s still one of the
best in class.
YAMAHA PW50: $1440 (2016 PRICE)
There’s still no better bike for teaching a young rider
how to handle a motorcycle. The PW50 has been schooling riders for over 30 years. It has a driveshaft, a tether and
a throttle stop that can be adjusted as the rider advances.
The only hint that the bike is somewhat dated is the lack of
electric start. Training wheels are optional.
TM ENDURO: $8495+
There are four different two-stroke off-road bikes from
TM. All share the same cult-like devotion to detail and
quality workmanship. The 125 and 144 have the same
chassis and mostly the same motors, but have different bores and strokes. The 125 is $8495 and the 144 is
$8845. The 250 is $8995 and the 300 sells for $9195.
TM MINIS: $6395+
TM is a small Italian company that makes some of the
most high-tech minis on the planet. The 85 motor has an
electronic power valve and an aluminum frame. There are
five configurations: standard 85 ($6395), Big Wheel 85
($6395), standard 100 ($6495), Big Wheel 100 ($6495), and
Full-Size 85 with an 18-inch rear wheel and a 21 front for
YAMAHA YZ85: $4099
Yamaha’s YZ85 was reworked a little over 10 years
ago and has gone unchanged since then. As a result, it’s
tied with the Suzuki for least expensive of the class. The
Yamaha is slightly larger and suited for older riders than
the RM85. It’s the only 85 that doesn’t have a power valve,
but still is competitive in the horsepower department.
TM MX: $8295+
TM hand-builds some highly specialized machines that
you simply can’t find anywhere else. One is the 300 two-stroke MX bike, which has a beautifully made aluminum
frame and a very powerful two-stroke motor with an electronic power valve. The fork is a KYB, and the shock is
made in-house at TM. The 300 is $8895, the 250 is $8745,
the 144 is $8495 and the 125 is $8295.
TWO-STROKE BUYER’S GUIDE
2016 model shown
2016 model shown