Snaffle a stroker now
Why Aprilia’s RS was the firm’s finest hour
For a class – 250cc two-strokes – that no longer has any meaning, quarter-litre sports strokers don’t half have a huge following.
Part of that is because, until the 1983 learner law change, machines like the RD250LC, KH and X7 were THE learner bikes that a whole generation lusted after. Another is that, later, 250 GP strokers like Biaggi’s Aprilia or Harada’s Yam were often considered the most exquisite of all racers. Either way, there’s no doubt the road-going breed reached its peak with 1994’s Aprilia RS250.
In truth the cute Italian was a little late to the party. Machines like Suzuki’s RGV and Kawasaki’s KR-1/S (not to mention the exclusive, Japan-only Honda NSR250 and later Yamaha TZRS) had been around since the late ’80s. But the Aprilia arguably managed to combine the best of all their traits: seductive styling from a genuine racer (Biaggi’s); a polished alloy frame that was sculpted sex; top quality parts and the Suzuki V-twin motor from the RGV. Inevitably, it went brilliantly, too: handling and brakes that could run rings round anything and, of course, the Suzuki’s screaming, nigh-on 60 horses.
In 1998, when a change in domestic licence laws meant the Japanese had given up on their own Gp-rep 250s, it was updated and facelifted but the writing was on the wall and the RS was killed off in 2002.
A few years in the doldrums followed. Now, though, with prices of exotic Gp-alikes skyrocketing, the RS is back in demand. You can just about get one for under £5k – but not for long.
Authentic race liveries only add to the RS250’S appeal Fully-adjustable suspension as standard Stunning details everywhere you look