Does my 2 Stroke Smoke Too Much?

2 stroke motorcycle, 2 stroke smoke2 stroke motors smoke.  That’s where the nickname “2 smoke” came from and it’s just part of the joy of running a stroke.  The rest of that joy comes from getting a lot more power out of a similar displacement motor but that’s a story for another time.  Today we’re going to talk about 2 stroke smoke and if you can use it to determine whether you’re getting the right level of lubrication in your engine.

2 strokes smoke because the oil is mixed in with the fuel.  If you’re getting smoke out of a 4 stroke engine it usually means it’s running too rich meaning there is more fuel than can be burned in the amount of air in the cylinder and you get incomplete combustion.  On the other hand, a 2 stroke motor has oil in the combustion chamber by design which won’t burn completely leaving you with smokey exhaust gas.

Before we get into whether or not your 2 stroke is smoking too much, it’s worth pointing out that the type of oil you use can play a role in how much smoke you’re seeing from your tailpipe.  For example, PJ1 Silverfire Smokeless 2T Injector Oil is a low ash formula designed to virtually eliminate carbon deposits on engine parts and can be one of the best ways to reduce the amount of smoke you’ll get.

Since the type of 2 stroke oil you run plays into how much smoke you get, it can be difficult to say just by looking at it how much smoke is too much.  What we’re really looking to determine is if our engine is getting the proper lubrication without going overboard on oiling.  If your engine requires premix, start by running a tank mixed at the manufacturer’s recommended concentration then checking your spark plug to see what’s going on during combustion.  You can then replace your spark plug and increase or decrease the mix slightly to see the effects on how your engine is running.

If you have a motor with direct oil injection it’s also a good idea to start where the manufacturer recommends oiling.  You can do a similar experiment with direct oil injection by increasing and decreasing the oil amount and checking your spark plugs to get an idea of what’s going on.  Lastly, you can measure the oil used per gallon of gas used when you refill your gas tank to get an estimate of the oil to gas ratio your engine is using to help dial in your mix.

Whether you’ve got a direct oil injector or you’re premixing your oil, PJ1 Silverfire Smokeless 2T Injector Oil will work in your bike.  If you are happy with the amount of oiling your engine is getting but are still getting too much smoke, PJ1 Silverfire Smokeless 2T Injector Oil is a great solution.  

Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash