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Do 2 Strokes Have Rev Limiters? What You Need To Know

Do 2 Strokes Have Rev Limiters? What You Need To Know

Rev limiters are electronic brakes that prevent engines from revving beyond a specific limit. Still, engines come in different types, four-strokes and two-strokes being the most common. While there’s a consensus that four-strokes have rev limiters, whether two-strokes have these gadgets remains a contentious issue — so, do 2 strokes have rev limiters? 

Two-stroke engines do not have rev limiters since they don’t have springs. The piston goes up and down uninterrupted without springs, resulting in excess noise and reduced engine lifespan. Therefore, it’s best to avoid hitting the red line when driving these engines. 

The rest of this article will go into more detail on why two-strokes don’t have rev limiters. Read on for more information on this and a rundown of how these limiters work and their significance.

Do All Engines Have a Rev Limiter?

Not all engines have rev limiters. Four-stroke engines have rev limiters, while two-strokes do not. Four-strokes feature springs and valve trains that ensure the piston does not go beyond a specified limit during each cycle. 

In contrast, two-strokes don’t have these features, so their pistons move up and down as long as needed. 

Here’s a primer on the differences between four-stroke and two-stroke engines from YouTube:

What's the Difference Between 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke Engines?

In a nutshell, four-strokes have a rev limiter to prevent over-revving and avoid potentially breaking their valves, pistons, and crankcases. Still, there are several ways you can alter the way your machine accelerates and revs, including: 

  • Turbocharging or supercharging your engine: This method is most common among off-road bikes and dirt bikes. It uses an additional turbine and compressor to increase the engine’s power and RPM. 
  • Boosting: This method is common in most high-end race bikes. It involves using a larger volume of gasses through a pipe to increase the engine’s power. 
  • Changing the ignition timing: When installed on a high-performance machine, it can boost acceleration and provide more throttle response while limiting its speed. 

How Does a Rev Limiter Work?

A rev limiter works by having a sensor that measures the speed and RPM of an engine. Then it estimates how much power it can safely handle and sets the maximum power the engine can produce to prevent it from exploding or catching fire due to too much tension. 

Therefore, if your engine lacks this sensor, it will likely overheat and damage itself. 

Can You Over Rev a 2 Stroke?

You can rev up a two-stroke engine since they don’t have limiters that control the amount of RPM they produce. However, over-revving can damage an engine if done frequently, which is why it should only be done when necessary. 

Most notably, over-revving your engine could lead to the following problems: 

  • Damage to the engine due to too much power 
  • Overheating of the engine 
  • Engine catching fire or exploding 

How To Make a 2 Stroke Engine Quieter

As I mentioned, 2-stroke engines don’t have valvetrains. As a result, their pistons move up and down without hesitation throughout each cycle. 

Machines of this type are less expensive to build, but their lack of limiters also results in excessive noise – which can get annoying quickly (source).

Luckily, there are lots of ways you can make them quieter. For example, here are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of noise they make: 

  • Change your exhaust system. If your exhaust system is damaged, it likely won’t work as well as it should. Since this component reduces engine noise, replacing it with a new one can immediately change how your machine sounds, improving its horsepower and acceleration. 
  • Get rid of air leaks. Air leaks can result in an under-evacuated exhaust for each cycle, increasing noise and decreasing engine performance. If you notice air leaks, make sure to tighten whatever isn’t tightly connected or replace air-related parts with a new one. 
  • Add a silencer or spark arrestor to your exhaust system. If you have the budget, adding silencers or spark arrestors to your engine can help reduce its sound. For example, you could use this FVRITO Exhaust Muffler (link to Amazon). It’s affordable, durable, and effective at muffling engine noise. 

Note: Even if you take measures to keep your engine quiet, you should be mindful about how much power these engines can hand out. More importantly, make sure you don’t rev them too much, or they might get damaged. 

See How to Fix a 2-Stroke Exhaust Leak

The Benefits of Having a Rev Limiter on Your Engine

Now that you know how a rev limiter works and why two-strokes don’t have them, you might be interested in the benefits of having these limiters. 

Here are four advantages to using one:

Prevents Engine Failure

If you’re driving a four-stroke engine and push it too much, it can result in piston seizure and damage to the engine. That means that your machine might not last as long as it should, which is why a rev limiter works best for these engines (source).

Some engines can even explode or catch fire if pushed too much – and this new technology aims to stop such problems from happening again. 

Helps Drivers Save Money

It costs a lot of money to maintain and use a 2 stroke engine. That’s why most people choose to use a rev-limiter – so they don’t have to pay more for repairs, replacement parts, and other maintenance services. For instance, if you want your engine to last longer, then getting a two-stroke model that lacks this feature is a bad idea. 

Instead, opt for a 4-stroke engine model with a rev limiter. This way, you can save more money from the start and don’t have to worry about constantly adding money to your maintenance budget. 

Ensures Safety

A rev limiter can also ensure your safety. That’s because it limits the RPM to prevent engine failure or damage. Some machines are designed with very responsive engines that might result in accidents if you don’t have a rev limiter on them — which is why this feature is essential for most operators. 

Reduce Noise Pollution

Though it might not be an issue for some people, rev limiters can also help reduce noise pollution. That’s because they give out less engine noise when driven around. 

Because of that, you should consider getting one for yourself if you’re living in an area where noise pollution can be regarded as a problem. This way, you get to reduce the number of complaints from your neighbors. 

Final Thoughts

In sum, two-strokes don’t have rev limiters. Conversely, four-stroke engines have rev limiters to prevent the engine from overworking itself. In addition, this helps operators save money and ensures safety while reducing noise pollution in an area where that might be a problem. 

With that said, contact your local dealer if you’re looking for an engine with a rev limiter so you can get a machine to meet your specific needs.

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