£3500 APRILIA RS250
249cc | 55bhp | 810mm seat height
The best and most up-to-date in terms of looks, handling and performance as it was still in production up to 2004. The MkIIs handle well and look great, but which one you buy really comes down to condition and if you prefer a Chesterfield Biaggi or Rossi rep. They are a wonderful package; the Aprilia chassis is stunning and the final version of the Suzuki RGV V-twin engine was a peach. This gives you a gorgeous little bike that is still capable of holding its own against bigger, more modern opposition on road and track.
Look out for the usual two-stroke stuff like noisy engines, excessive smoke and bad running. Also check to make sure the plastic petrol tank hasn’t swollen up to an enormous size. The bars will hit it and pinch your thumbs on full lock if it has. If the bike is not standard in any way, budget for a professional dyno set- up to make the most of what you have. Remember you only have 250ccs, so every gee gee counts.
Get that tacho nudging the redline and make out you’re a young Biaggi