Most Reliable 2-Stroke for the Price

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by panmines, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. panmines

    panmines Member


    I am new to MB and I am working on my first build and was wondering if anyone would be so kind to give me a bit of advice. I got the bike, but can't decide what brand or type of engine to buy. I am looking for a frame mounted 2-stroke kit that provides reasonable reliability, so I am not concerned about high speeds or as much with cost. I choose not to go with a 4-stroke because I have several modding plans in mind I can only do with a 2-stroke. I am willing to spend up to $350 on a kit, but I was wondering if any kits in the $250-$350 price range were actually much better than the $150 kits on eBay. From what I have read on this and other forms is that at one end there are the lowest quality and cheapest kits that have the typical chinagirl engine selling at around $150, and at the other end, you can get a quality engine from companies like Morini or DeNardis for like $600 and up. The kits in between these two extremes, so I understand, are just the cheap chinagril kits people buy, then switch out the worst quality stock parts for better ones and then resell.

    I have searched through the vendor list thread on this forum and found that these mid range kits are sold by several vendors, Dax and Zoom Bicycles being ones with great reviews. Are there any other reputable vendors I should consider (GEBE is out of my price range).

    I also understand that buying a good kit is only half of what makes a MB reliable, the other half is the skill and mechanical expertise of the rider who builds and maintains the bike.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

  2. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Check out the upgraded kit. Should be plug n play no upgrades needed.
  3. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    As far as the two stroke kits are concerned, it is true that some kits do come with better quality components. There are also some engines that are slightly better than others, but for the most part they are all the same. The main problem with these engines is the quality control, or I should say the lack of it. These engines are built in factories in China where many of the workers do not wear proper uniforms or safety equipment, and some do not even wear shoes. They assemble the engines, start them to make sure they run, and throw them in a pile to be shipped out. That is all they do in the way of quality control. So as far as reliability is concerned, you may get a strong running engine, but there is at best a 50/50 chance of long term reliability. And when you start modifying the engine internally, you risk lowering that chance significantly. I'm not saying there aren't some great mods for these engines and they can't be turned into very strong machines, because they can. But if you're looking for some sort of guarantee of long term reliability, you won't get it with one of these engines. And when you compare the cost of a 2 stroke build to a 4 stroke, the 4 stroke build will cost more in the beginning, but save you money over time by running dependably. And there are some performance mods you can do with a 4 stroke depending on which engine you use. I am in the midst of a fully custom non-kit 4 stroke build right now, building from the bare frame up and also building my own wheels. The total value of parts will come to right around $900. But the engine I've chosen, a 99cc predator, has proven to be reliable. There are guys towing trailers with these engines, putting well over 10,000 miles on them. This is something I just don't hear about the two strokes. I'm not saying all two strokes, I'm saying the kit engines specifically. The non-kit 2 strokes can be very reliable, but there is no kit for them. You will need to be able to source some parts yourself, and fab others like the motor mounts. Now, if you don't have a lot of mechanical experience, I still recommend a 2 stroke kit for your first build. Just have realistic expectations about how long it will last and how dependable it will be. If you are using it for transportation, be aware that there will probably be days you'll be pedaling or catching a bus.
  4. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    avoid the pre-2012 kits without balanced cranks - other than that, the most reliable is the one best built & best taken care of
  5. QGolden

    QGolden New Member

    I am in sort of the same place as panmines. One does a bunch of research on engines, descriptions in virtually every ad leave a few unanswered questions. Using the "compare feature" on websites is of little value as it simply takes the existing questionable ad and lines it up next to another one. I've seen advertisements indicating chrome lined cylinders, and someone who claims to tear down, balance, re-bearing every motor, upgrades to SKF Bearings, yet their prices are not much different than everyone else's. I have rebuilt lots of motors in my time (not MB) and it should at least (imo) double the price of a "kit". Most advertisers all use one of a few standard pictures, yet when I ask a question about their product, their answer often indicates a description that conflicts the picture. "That package comes with a chrome muffler" the picture shows a black one. Or "no, we don't carry the poo poo pipe/muffler shown". Most (not all, but most) product reviews here and on other websites are anecdotal at best and are based upon a one-off experience, admittedly some of them are scary.

    It is easy for someone of my personality type, and I suspect panmines, to get paralysis of analysis from doing research. I don't mind mind spending what I need to, (just need to know what is fair) I don't mind doing some re-work or modding, I am fortunate as I have a lathe, mill, and a bench top CNC, so I can handle pretty much anything that I run into. (Just want to have some idea what that will be).

    I would like to support the vendors that support this site, but I do not see them here on these forums, answering questions, and taking responsibility for their product. (Admittedly I have only been here for a week, so I may be missing it). I do see some great folks like KC who have many builds under their belt, build bikes to sell (not kits) and always are here offering up help. I would like to see those folks hop in and say, "I like brand x because.........." That would help those of us who admittedly spend way too much time researching.

    My .02, your mileage might vary.
  6. The_Aleman

    The_Aleman Active Member

    I don't think there is any way to qualify what is "the most reliable 2-stroke for the price" when it comes to chinagirls. Their build quality is all over the place.

    It's a Chinese lottery. No matter who builds it, I wouldn't even put "reliable" in the same sentence as "chinagirl". Some people get lucky, most do not.

    If you want a reliable 2-stroke, get an industrial/commercial engine like a Tanaka or one based on a proven design like Dax's KTM clone.
    QGolden likes this.
  7. jhammondcpa

    jhammondcpa Active Member

    You should check out Matt Bzura at Matt now works a lot on the china girls and helped me thru the learning curve on my first build during the spring and summer of 2014. I have several hundred happy miles on that bike, with new carb, head, #41 chain and wrapped exhaust system. In December 2014 I bought my second bike at Phantom-bikes and am now running a 4 cycle china girl. You can see a lot of my work on both machines on this site and some finished bike videos at my YouTube site: Either way you go, you will find some good times and good friends. Good news is the 4 cycle prices are now about the same as the 2 cycles!

    J Hammond
  8. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    the best chinese 2 strokes that were specifically designed for motorized bike use is by a long shot the screaming roo engines.
  9. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Never heard of a screaming roo engine, got a link or are you being funny?
  10. panmines

    panmines Member

    I did a two second google search and this is what I came up with I see that they replaced the bolts with allen head ones and they claim that they have the "only computer balanced handcrafted 66cc engine". They currently don't have an engine for sale because they are still designing the 2015 one.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  11. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

  12. Jwestie15

    Jwestie15 Member

    If you have a bench top can search the forum for China girl cad a guy has done all the modeling work for you cut some cases from literally any other peice of aluminium

    Edit: sorry for digging up a 2 year old thread