A bunch of former Ferrari F1 engineers have come together and created a fantastic two-stroke motorcycle that punches way above its weight. Vins Duecinquanta is the name, and Italy is the country of origin.
Two-stroke motorcycles have had a rather bumpy timeline of existence, compared with their four-stroke equivalents. These bikes were all the rage back in the eighties, with multiple victories, podiums, and consistent performance making them favorable for racing. The arrival of four-stroke motorcycles on the racing scene redefined the word ‘consistent’ and relegated the good old two-strokers to the back of the grid.
The smokers eventually died out entirely on account of the four-stroke machines delivering a better balance between performance, emissions, and reliability. Nowadays though, they are making a comeback and how. Suter Industries makes and races two-stroke Moto2 motorcycles. KTM and Husqvarna debuted fuel-injected two-stroke Enduro bikes this season. Manufacturers still widely use the two-stroke technology to make light, simplified and rugged motorcycles to take on challenging terrain with ease.
One such company comes from Italy and claims to make a quarter-liter smoker that can go head to head with strokers twice or thrice its size. the company is called Vins and is founded by a team of ex-Ferrari Formula One engineers. Vins made an appearance at the 2015 EICMA with a two-stroke, 100cc V-Twin powered sportsbike called Powerlight. For the next racing season, they have an even bigger bike, the Duecinquanta. The big word means Two-Fifty in Italian, and sure enough, the bike is powered by a two-stroke, direct-injection, 250cc V-twin powerplant.
The Duecinquanta is shod all over in carbon fiber, from the monocoque chassis, the suspension, right down to the entire bodywork. Vins is developing two versions: the Duecinquanta Competizione racing special with capacity bumped up to 288cc (Dueottantotto?) and a road going 249cc (Duequarantanove?) bike. The Competizione weighs less than 85 kg and pushes 80 hp out of its quarter-liter smoker heart. The makers claim the DQ Competizione has a top whack of 240 kph The road-going Vins is claimed to weigh not more than 95 kg, with the final power figures yet to be revealed. However, Vins is confident that it can touch 200 kph easily. Vins bikes are currently undergoing Euro4 emissions homologation.
The catch to all this two-stroke awesomeness? The road-legal Vins Duecinquanta costs almost $48,000. The Competizione is priced dearer at $60,000. While we cannot see these machines in every garage by the end of the decade, we can still support niche automakers like Vins who are keeping the smokers alive and modernizing them for the times to come. If that leads to the two-stroke machines of yore returning to form and dominating the world once again, who would refuse?