Two-stroke or four-stroke? This was the hot topic in the motorcycle world during the 20th century. Two-stroke bikes were considered rough, vigorous and agile, four-strokers cultivated, heavy and high-maintenance. From Friday 3 to Sunday 5 February 2023, the Bremen Classic Motorshow and its cooperation partner PS.SPEICHER in Einbeck will review this epic battle at the MESSE BREMEN exhibition site. Based on 24 carefully selected models, the special show „Four-stroke or two-stroke – a question of faith“ will demonstrate the development of this contest over the decades.
„In 1913, two-stroke engines gained the upper hand for the first time“, says Frank Ruge, Project Manager of the Bremen Classic Motorshow. „In that year, a two-stroke Scott unexpectedly won the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. At the time, this was the world’s most important motorbike race.“ The much larger community of four-stroke fans was shocked. Manufacturers felt they had lost face, their engineers felt challenged. This was the start of the competition between the two systems to dominate technologically and win customers‘ hearts.
The two-stroke engine with its double firing order and fewer moving parts was an attractive option for engineers and dealers. Low-cost production, low weight and good power generation on the one hand, but difficult lubrication, high fuel consumption and tricky gas changes on the other.
Four-stroke types demanded higher investment from producers and purchasers. Their advantages were smooth running and lower fuel consumption. But the downsides were greater weight, more complex maintenance and more expensive repairs.
Visitors to the Bremen Classic Motorshow will be able to follow the long journey of two-stroke engineering from the 1920 Scott Squirrel to the 1989 Yamaha RD 350 YPVS. The four-stroke types on show will range from the exemplary 1922 Douglas Boxer to the exotic 2003 Petronas FP1 superbike racer.
Between these two reference points, two-stroke and four-stroke bikes from all classes will be on show in Bremen: The Simson Star and Moto Morini Corsarino Mokicks will stand next to the barely known Moto Guzzi Galetto and the Progress Strolch. Also represented will be superbikes from the glam-rock era such as the Honda CB 750 Four and the Suzuki GT 750, the legendary „water buffalo“.
Sporty 250 versions with both drive concepts were already available in the 1930s. The lightweight BMW R 23 and the complex Triumph BD 250 (both dating from 1939) demonstrate how progress was driven in the 250 class. The 1958 Gilera 150 Rossa Super and the DKW RT 175 S underline the sharp contrasts between road models with sporty driving characteristics in the late 1950s.
And that’s not all: Visitors to the Bremen Classic Motorshow will be able to admire racing bikes, enduros, classic mopeds, young classics, scooters, superbikes and auxiliary engines for bicycles. The show will take place from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 February in the halls of MESSE BREMEN. The opening hours are 9 a.m to 6 p.m.
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Further information for editorial teams:
MESSE BREMEN · M3B GmbH
Bastian Mojen, phone +49 421 3505 – 445