RIVALS Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em...
Mid-’80s two-stroke goodness at its very finest
SUZUKI RG250 Gamma
By the time the TZR came along, the early-’80s RG was getting long in the tooth, but it’s still a quick bike, with a 115mph top end and about the same peak power as the Yam. The TZR out-handles the Suzuki with ease though.
HONDA NSR250 MC16
If the TZR was sharp like a Stanley knife, the 1987 NSR250 was sharp like a new scalpel blade. Heavily based on the firm’s Grand Prix bikes, it featured Nikasil-plated barrels, a cassette gearbox and a twin-spar ally frame.
Japan got the KR-1 in 1988. We had to wait a year - but it was worth it. 130mph and over 200bhp per litre weren’t to be sniffed at. Fast, light, harsh and a bit fragile, its main problem was lousy build quality.