Prices of this legend are strengthening all the time – so you really need to dip in now if you want one, but more of that later.
This is perhaps the most popular of the 250 strokers, thanks to Suzuki’s strong brand showing in 500cc Grand Prixs at the time with Kevin Schwantz: it didn’t matter that the 250cc RGV wasn’t doing so well in that class.
Demand for these (and the earlier VJ21s 1988-1990) is high and the bikes make great restoration projects and the basis for many a good special – normally with an RG500 square-four two-stroke engine slotted inside those ally beam rails. Thanks to Suzuki’s foresight, the Vintage Parts Programme still sells parts for them, and
although prices sometimes can be a bit salty, at least they’re still available.
Again, these machines were popular racers: probably the most popular of this lot, so spares are out there – as are ‘raced and rallied’ machines. From an aesthetic viewpoint, you really want the ‘banana’ swingarm equipped RGV250N from 1991-1992, the model tested here was the one using the later, braced ‘arm.
Issues? Well, not many – but this is a bike that does need looking after, treating with good two-stroke oil and plenty of TLC on the engine and chassis. We at Classic Motorcycle Mechanics regularly carry rebuild features (see our Dec 2018 issue) on the motors as they are that popular –
don’t forget that the motor later found a home in Aprilia’s RS250 race-rep stroker.
We mentioned prices. Well, currently they are very strong. Even knackered ex-race VJ21s and 22s will start around £2000 now as projects. And then there’s everything in between, rising to around £7000 for a low-mile, very good condition machine. Expect to pay extra for the SP models dotted around the RGV’s history and the factory-finish race-replica Lucky Strike and (VJ21) Pepsi Suzuki schemes.
The 1996- on VJ23 was all-new, with a 70 (not 90- degree) V-twin two-stroke motor and was grey import only for the UK. Pricier still, if you can find one…
SLOW. Obviously, it’s Boothy, not the bike.