Aprilia RS250 - Classic Italian Motorcycles

The Aprilia RS Family

The Aprilia RS250 was one of those pocket-rocket motorcycles popular in the nineties. With styling copied directly from Aprilia's Grand Prix race bike it still looks good today, more than a decade on. It also comes with a couple of smaller relatives, the Aprilia RS50 and Aprilia RS125.

The RS50 is good for over 60mph in its unrestricted (non-UK) form and the RS125 can get close to 100mph, again in unrestricted form. Both bikes are single cylinder 2-strokes with 6-speed gearboxes, and high quality chassis and suspension parts.

A late Aprilia RS250
A late Aprilia RS250 | Source

The RS250 - A Two-Stroke Screamer

The Aprilia RS250 was actually powered by a Suzuki engine that first saw the light of day in 1989. A screaming 249cc V-twin with a six-speed box but that got Aprilia's own exhaust system bolted on to it rather than Suzuki's. The Aprilia also had a slight weight advantage over the Suzuki, but you're only talking a handful of pounds, or kilograms depending on which country you are in. The out-sourcing of engines was pretty common for Aprilia who used the Austrian Rotax 650cc engine in the Pegaso trail bike, the same basic engine that BMW also used in their BMW F650. (Although that changed with the move from screaming two-strokes over to big 4-stroke V-twins at the end of the nineties.)

The RS250 has almost 65bhp which may not sound like much compared to a Bugatti Veyron with 1,001bhp, but it is over 250bhp per litre on a bike which weighs around 140kg. And the Bugatti is 16 times the capacity, multiply 65x16 and you get 1,040bhp, and that is without quad-turbos and a million-plus price tag. And the slightly revised RS250's in 1998 actually got a small power increase to closer to 70bhp.

The engine is quite peaky and really comes in to its own above 8,000rpm, but the RS250 was eventually killed by European emission laws in 2003. However, there are still quite a few being used both on the road and on track days by avid fans. And the handling is well up to track days with high quality suspension components like Showa upside down-forks and a twin-spar aluminium chassis, and twin Brembo four-piston brakes at the front to stop it.

The Aprilia RS250 is a motorcycle which would absolutely smoke an old bike like the Honda CB400F, and quite possibly the old six-cylinder giant the Honda CBX1000

Technical Specs Aprilia RS250

Capacity: 249cc
Type: 2-stroke 90 V-twin
Bore: 56mm
Stroke: 50.6mm
Compression Ratio: 13.2:1
Dry Weight: 140kg
Gearbox: 6-speed
Max Power: 64.3bhp @ 10,400rpm
Max Torque: 40Nm @ 10,750rpm
Max Speed: 130mph

An Aprilia RS250 from You Yube

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