Snaf­fle a stro­ker now

Why Aprilia’s RS was the firm’s finest hour

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

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

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