Fast Bikes - - SUZUKI RGV 250 -

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.

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