By Paul Fenn

Contributing Editor

After work last night, I put in several hours' research on the woefully under-discussed topic of two-stroke motorcycles. I recalled the mesmerizing freedom of not so long ago that the two-banger conferred upon its riders for endless misconduct (even thinking that for Halloween I might dress up as a Yamaha YZR500, but then this is Toronto, and I'd almost certainly be arrested for disgracing our boulevards with such an affront to peace and good order).

All this began yesterday

Standing on the steps of my wife's shop, talking on my phone, a properly tweaked RD350 screamed past me with maximum commotion, very briefly eliminating the possibility of conversation. As its eau de deux temps wafted into my nostrils like some fine Japanese cologne, a tsunami (apologies for that dirt-cheap but fully intended pun) of emotion-laden memories crashed agreeably into me.

And it continued into this morning

It was as if by divine spark that the notion of International Two-Stroke Appreciation Day spontaneously shot off my two index fingertips and appeared on the screen (I'll blame it on the strong Sumatran coffee of which I down a litre each a.m. to scour the carbon off my own befouled plugs).

I'm thinking November 1st

For us northern captives, November One signals the death of the empyrean riding months, and becomes the time motorcyclists are forced to think the unthinkable. So what better way to raise our middle digit in final defiance to the commencement of our saddest time of year and have a final blowout before surrendering to the cold realities of our planet's journey around the sun? And it works doubly well, because our compatriots in the southern hemisphere, just now coming into their warmer months, can also celebrate, but in reverse.

So without further twaddle

From 2011 to eternity, November 1st shall henceforth be acknowledged as International Two-Stroke Appreciation Day. True, it's a little late to organize the meet-ups, parties and BBQs necessary to do complete justice to such an emotional sacrament this close to the date. But let us all take note of the notion, and gesture in any way we can, seize the day and raise a glass of something - preferably highly aromatic and steaming and annoying to your neighbours - in memory of a down, but not yet out, species - the feisty and fiercely beloved two-stroke motorcycle.

H2 750 Image:

MTX 125 Image:

RD350 Image:

Vespa Image: ?

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