£3500 APRILIA RS250

249cc | 55bhp | 810mm seat height

MCN - - BUYING BIKES -

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.

Buyer beware

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

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