In the 2004 MX2 World Championship, it was Ben Townley on a KTM 250SXF against Tyla Rattray on a KTM 125SX. It was a two-stroke versus four-stroke battle for the World Championship. Ben took a chance with the 250SXF in spite of it being a prototype bike. KTM was late to the four-stroke race as other manufacturers already had a proven 250 four-strokes in the class. The 125cc two-strokes just weren’t cutting the mustard.
KTM had so much success with the prototype KTM 250SXF that KTM wanted to race the bike in the USA the following year. To do so, they needed to mass produce the bike to meet the homologation requirements. The KTM 250SXF was put into production in 2005 allowing Nathan Ramsey to race the bike in the 2005 Supercross season.
Ben’s choice to ride the unproven thumper allowed him to win eight MX2 races in the 2004 season— as well as the 2004 250 World Motocross Championship.
Tyla was just underpowered with the 125SX against a sea of four-strokes. He did, however, win three races that year on the smoker and placed second in the 250 Championship. The following year Tyla traded in the 125cc two-stroke for the more powerful 250SXF. The day of the smoker was dead in Europe after 2004.