Two Stroke

2022 Engine Buyer's Guide

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Hirth

Hirth F-23.

Hirth fans are getting used to a change in the German engine’s presence in North America. Longtime distributor Recreational Power Engineering in Ohio has sold new engine importation, sales and distribution to Northwest UAV in Oregon. Phil Yager is the boss at Northwest UAV and can be reached by email or (503) 843-6845 Ext. 126.

The Recreational Power Engineering name and website are also moving to NWUAV; that part of the sale should be transparent to customers who should continue using the same web address. Furthermore, Matt Dandar, longtime Hirth importer in Ohio, is staying involved for a year to provide spare parts, engine repairs and customer tech support.

As for the powerful, precision-built two-stroke engines themselves, they are still built by Hirth in Germany and unchanged for 2022. They are typically offered with or without a gearbox (with many gear ratios to choose from) and could have other important options such as adding a centrifugal clutch to the drive, an electric starter or oil injection or electronic fuel injection. (We’re displaying the base engine for each model in our charts). Furthermore, there can be tuning differences within an engine model line, meaning power and torque peaks can be selected between “high” and “low” options depending on if maximum peak power or maximum cruise fuel efficiency is more valued. Lower-power Hirth engines are air-cooled; larger engines are water cooled. Naturally, like everyone else, Hirth raised prices this year, plus normal Hirth lead times are four to six weeks to accommodate their batch-built business model. Add more to that as long as the world’s logistics are a mess.

Rotax

Rotax-582 engine
Rotax 582UL.

Last year the news from Rotax regarding two-stroke engines was all such legacy powerplants had been dropped save the 582UL. This year the news is the 582UL has been dropped, and so ends an era. Actually Rotax has an unspecified but apparently numerous inventory of 582s, so they’re still for sale and won’t run out immediately. Likewise parts support for the engine should continue for some years.

Pricing is $5785 without the required gearbox but including the carburetor and exhaust. The B gearbox, which can handle roughly twice the inertial mass at the propeller as the E drive, offers one gear ratio and no starter for $1102. The other option is the E gearbox with four ratios available and electric starter attached for $2364.

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Maufacturer/ModelDriveHorsepowerWeightPrice
BRP Rotax
582UL inline WC twingeared65 hp @ 6500 rpm, carbureted104 lb w/o radiator, w/ E gearbox and exhaust$5785 w/o gearbox $6887 B drive $8149 E drive
Hirthand recpower.com
F-23 opposed twinbelt drive50 hp @ 6150 rpm71 lb, free air w/ starter, exhaust$6312 w/ electric start
3202 inline twingearbox55 hp @ 5500 rpm79 lb, fan cooled w/ starter, exhaust; opt. gearbox adds 19 lb$6218 recoil start
3203 inline twingearbox65 hp @ 6300 rpm79 lb, fan cooled w/ starter, exhaust; opt. gearbox adds 19 lb$7045 recoil start
3503 inline WC twingearbox70 hp @ 6500 rpm79 lb, wo/ radiator, w/ starter, exhaust; opt. gearbox adds 19 lb$7876 recoil start
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Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.

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