Posts by tag: RGV250

Suzuki June 15, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!

In the glorious 1990s, big tobacco made motorsports run. Cigarette sponsorship was everywhere, and every major series and team was titled by a cancer stick hawker; The Winston Cup, The Camel GT series (as well as the Camel AMA Supercross and Camel Trophy events), Marlboro McLaren, Marlboro Ferrari, Marlboro Penske, Mild Seven Benetton, Rothmans Williams, Benson & Hedges Jordan, John Player Lotus, 555 Subaru Rally, Silk Cut Jaguar Group C just to name a few. On the bike front, you cannot ignore the Rothmans Hondas, Skoal Suzukis, Smokin' Joes Hondas, Gauloises Factory Yamahas, and many, many others. Of course in the world of RSBFS, the one that really matters is the partnership of Lucky Strike and Suzuki. Which brings us to our bike: An original 1996 Suzuki RGV250V VJ23 Lucky Strike.

The RGV series was a popular and successful one for Suzuki. Using a liquid cooled v-twin to replace the earlier, parallel twin RG models, the RGV provided more power in a slimmer package. The results were impressive on the racetrack (so much so that Aprilia licensed the VJ22 powerplant for use in their own bikes), and translated tolerably well to the street. Suzuki RGV models are some of the most popular of the import two-strokes we see on these pages. So while RGVs may not be uncommon, this specific variant - the factory Lucky Strike livery - is very rare indeed. Just over 100 of the VJ23 "V" series were released for export as Lucky Strike models. There were an additional ~240 LS "T" models created for the domestic home market. To find a clean example that is not a fake Lucky Strike (cheap body panels are available) is a tough chore. Buyers need to be very careful, scrutinizing chassis numbers, SAPC versions, and other details such as exhaust chamber part numbers to ensure that they have 1) a VJ23 to begin with, and 2) the holy grail of the RGV lineup, the Lucky Strike Edition.

From the seller:
1996 (97 model) Rgv250v
Factory Lucky Strike
One of 119 in this scheme, these were the last of the vj23 line.
This was originally exported to China and is one of three that I own.
The full power bikes were quoted at 55ps in the sales brochure not 70.
This is unrestored except for the fact I've renewed all chassis/wheel brgs and consumables like carb rubbers.
Brakes and forks have been overhauled.
Engine is fine and has perfect compressions
Only non or parts are the carbon cans/nitron shock/brake lines
All oe parts are included,;seat/rear pegs/original shock/hoses/OE cans
Recent chain/sprockets
This bike needs nothing.

Price: £16,000 (plus shipping)

Contact: tasswipe@icloud.com

Like most Japanese bikes, there are a couple different variants of each model depending upon the intended market. Japanese home market bikes will always be restricted to a lower output due to licensing regulations. Bikes destined for Western Europe (specifically Germany and Italy) had a mid-grade output specification. Bikes headed to Canada and Australia usually were full-power examples, and where the higher HP numbers were quoted.

This seller is extremely knowledgeable in this model. While doing some research in the past, I came across some of his wisdom on a RGVs site, and I refer to it now and again. This is a good thing when it comes to very rare machinery; with Lucky Strike fakes pretty common, nobody wants to plunk top dollar down for any less than genuine. Fortunately, this looks to be a verifiable article from the factory. It is the last gen of the RGVs and probably the most desirable of the models. As such, it can command market price. The seller is looking for 16,000 GBP, which equates to approximately $20,400 USD at the current exchange. Drool over the pictures a little bit; your computer won't mind. Then contact Alan at tasswipe@icloud.com if you are looking for a centerpiece for your collection. Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!
Suzuki June 14, 2017 posted by

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale

The quarter-liter sportbikes of the 1980s and 1990s might look virtually identical on paper and offer very similar performance, but they all managed to have their own individual character, although that may have been down more to marketing and brand loyalty than any distinct differences. In any event, the Suzuki RGV250Γ had a reputation as a bit of a wild man and may been less refined than the Honda NSR250, but these little machines were all about snarling and snapping and adrenaline anyway. The VJ21 version of the bike seen here didn't have any of the usual acronyms on the fairing, but it does offer "REAL SPRINTER SLINGSHOT" performance. "Slingshot" typically refers to the GSX-R that used Mikuni semi-flat slide carbs that look like a slingshot in cross-section, although I've yet to find a good pic that really shows anything that looks like a child's toy hiding in there... I'm assuming the RGV used similar carburetors to earn that text printed on the tailsection.

Otherwise, the RGV stuck close to the class formula, with an aluminum beam frame, a liquid cooled, 90° two stroke v-twin with power valves and backed by a six-speed gearbox. The later VJ22 had the very desirable banana swingarm, although that also increased weight over the VJ21 seen here. Front wheel is 17" and the rear 18" as was common for the class at the time.  With a sub 300lb dry weight, the 50-ish horses are plenty to move the RGV along at a good clip, assuming you beat the little bike mercilessly.

And that's really the point of the RGV: it was an angry little machine that required and rewarded abuse to make good progress. Tiring for sure, but plenty of fun of fun and, if you love to attack the back roads, bikes like the RGV are your willing accomplice. This example has been freshly imported and is in original, slightly worn condition. The seller includes a video walkaround of the bike here.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ21A for Sale

The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. NO TITLE. We don't know how to get a title: please ask DMV

Start engine. Original Cowl. Switches and lights working. Oil leak on front fork. No battery. Some scratches and rust  So look carefully all pictures and video. Some touch-up painting. This motorcycle is 29 years old. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. 20,456 km (12,710 miles)

Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. You can check Your Shipping Cost. (Item in Carson, CA now. Our Zip code 90745)

If anyone wants to come see the motorcycle. Please contact me.

I can pretty much tell you what the DMV will say, at least here in California: "Sorry bub. No title for you. Have you seen the great number of very nice race tracks we have where you can ride your for-off-road-use-only motor vehicle?" Obviously, this is not a pristine, collector-quality motorcycle in its current state, but it is straight, with relatively low miles. It'll obviously need some attention if you plan to actually ride it on the road, but that shouldn't surprise anyone shopping for a 1980s motorcycle. We've see plenty of Honda NSR250s up for sale over the past couple years, but the RGV is still pretty rare around here. Is this slightly worn example worth the $3,500 starting bid? There's not much time left on the auction, so it might be a good time to jump in if you've been looking for an RGV and have bags of cash lying around to bribe that guy you know down at the DMV...

-tad

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale
Suzuki May 25, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

 

Today's Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250 is part of the rare and weird collection that the seller has been liquidating over the past few weeks. It may not be museum-quality, but it has obviously been well cared-for and would make a great weekend rider, assuming you live somewhere it can be titled. Rare and desirable here in the USA, Suzuki's RGV250Γ was basically the GSX-R of two-stroke sportbikes: it was fast, a bit wild, and ubiquitous in markets where it was sold new.

But here in the USA, these little Gammas are extremely difficult to find. Go looking for a Honda NSR250 at any given time, and you'll likely come up with at least something. But RGVs are pretty few and far between, in any condition. In fact, here in the US, the closest many of us may have come to the RGV is the Aprilia RS250 that is much more common and uses the same engine, with some minor tuning and cosmetic differences. 

The 250cc two-stroke sportbikes of the period seemed cut from the same cloth, although each managed to have its own character: light and stiff aluminum beam frame, liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel or v-twin engine, some form of power valve technology, a six-speed gearbox, sub-300lb dry weight, and lots of proprietary acronyms plastered across the fairings. In this VJ22's case you'll note "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the 55-ish horsepower 90° twin's meager midrange. Earlier VJ21s had 17" front and 18" wheels, updated here in the VJ22 to a pair of 17" hoops that should give a wider choice of modern rubber. Weight for the VJ22 was up a bit over previous models, largely owing to that beautiful but complex and heavy asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that left space on the right-hand side of the bike for the bulging expansion chambers that fed those sexy shotgun exhausts.

From the seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

Saved the best for last! This will be the last Suzuki RGV250 up for auction. The honey hole is drying up quickly.

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A with only 8,780 kilometers (5,455 miles) on the odometer. This RGV runs like the day it was new. I don't know the service history but it sure pulls like its been de restricted. Speedometer has been changed to a 300KPH clock so actual mileage is unknown. We see lots of these 250's with speedo's changed from the stock 180kph clocks to 300kph. This RGV has scratches throughout the bike. Tank looks like new. Mirrors and front fender show sun fade. The lower center V-fairing behind the front wheel has a broken tab and has a crack that needs to be fixed. Bike has great curb appeal and looks very nice. Bike comes tastefully upgraded with after market pipes and stingers, aftermarket levers and grips and steel braided brake lines. All fairings are 100% OEM Suzuki factory.

Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a Bstreet motorcycle for road use.

Scratches and scrapes throughout. Now there's an honest assessment from the seller, and should give potential buyers a good idea of what to expect here: it's clean, but definitely a used motorcycle. Those Brembo front brakes don't look original but should be a worthwhile upgrade. The levers and grips maybe not so much, but those are easily changed to suit your taste. It isn't perfect but, as stated earlier, might make a great weekend rider or a rolling restoration. You'll have to source parts from overseas, but the internet is a wonderful thing and most of what you need should be available to keep an RGV running.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale
Suzuki May 16, 2017 posted by

Vape Machine: 1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike

NO RESERVE - That is an ironic term considering that it covers both the auction as well as Suzuki's intent when designing the motorcycle. The RGV250 has risen to legendary status among riders and collectors due to its performance and balance (even Aprilia agrees, having purchased VJ22 power units for their own RS250 models). With a two stroke v-twin engine, aluminum chassis, upside down forks, asymmetrical banana / gull swing arm and racer bodywork (and riding position), the Gamma is what two stroke riders pick to ride.

1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike for sale on eBay

Today's bike is a VJ22 model incorporating commemorative Kevin Schwantz Team Lucky Strike livery. Lucky Strike bikes are reasonably rare in the world of Gammas, as they were produced in low numbers and only for limited markets; they were also not produced every year. As all Gammas are grey market bikes in the US to start with, the LS model (even though cosmetic only) is an extra bit of topping on what is (now) a street-legal registered motorcycle. Things just keep on getting better and better.

From the seller:
Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1992 Suzuki RGV22A Lucky Strike with only 10,809 kilometers (6717 miles). HIGHEST BIDDER WINS!

Just had a bath and ready for its photo shoot! This RGV250 two stroke runs like a raped ape, just like the day it was new. Its been serviced and ready to go with a new battery and new fluids. This RGV has been well loved and well ridden. Lots of scratches, rubs and notorious boot marks lol, but NO cracks in the plastic, NO broken tabs & NO dents in the tank. This bike would make an excellent candidate for restoration, or just wring it out as a weekend knee scratcher. Bike comes equipped with OEM mufflers and OEM stingers and the dry clutch sounds awesome. Suzuki owners manual, Suzuki drivers guide, first aid kit, Lucky Strike onboard tool kit and two keys. This RGV250 comes with a Utah State title and is titled as a motorcycle for street use.

One thing that jumped out at me is the dry clutch. Regular edition VJ22s do not come with this race-bred bit of trickery. The dry clutch is an Sport Production item (the SP model also included a close-ratio gearbox), which could either mean that the base bike is an SP, or the clutch was a retrofit to a standard LS-branded bike. I'm sure there are Gamma-pedia types reading this now, and I welcome you to chime in on the comments; let us learn from your collective wisdom. Other than that discrepancy, this appears to be a solid, imported smoker; there are requisite scratches from use over the years, but otherwise this is seemingly unmolested (i.e. OEM chambers and stingers, rear fender still attached).

The seller has listed this as a No Reserve auction. That means this bike is definitely going home with someone when all is said and done. The opening ask was a paltry $1,500, but there is good interest in the bike and the price is climbing quickly. While this is a titled and registered motorcycle in Utah, that does not guarantee your state will be as willing or complicit. As always, RSBFS recommends you check with your local constabulary prior to purchasing something not officially imported into the US (i.e. if you live in California, consider this an excellent track day steed). Check it out here, and thank you for smoking.

MI

Vape Machine: 1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike
Aprilia April 8, 2017 posted by

Teutonic Two-Stroke: 1995 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

Suzuki has a long-standing relationship with the smaller Italian brands, providing their well-engineered powerplants to the likes of Bimota, Cagiva, and Aprilia. It makes sense: big companies may have excess production capacity, and it's practical for smaller companies to purchase powerful, reliable, thoroughly-developed engines and transmissions and instead focus on frames and styling. In the case of the Aprilia RS250, they used Suzuki's two-stroke v-twin from the RGV250 that competed against Honda's NSR250 in the hotly-contested quarter-liter sportbike segment.

Specs for the bikes in the class look virtually identical at a glance, a case of convergent evolution. While some machines like the Yamaha TZR started out motivated by parallel twins, by the time the class was legislated out of existence they all used liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin two-strokes with some form of powervalve, and they all produced a strangely specific 45hp... Distinctive, asymmetrical "banana" swingarms featured prominently as well, and created space to fit the required exhaust expansion chambers for maximum power, while still allowing extreme lean angles. All of those features can be found on the RS250, although it appears at first that Italian tuners went to work modifying it with a much higher claimed output than Japanese rivals. But the reality is that the Japanese bikes were hobbled by home-market legislation that limited their power output well below what was possible, something that didn't apply to Aprilia.

So performance was on par with bikes like the [de-restricted] NSR250, with surprising power, agile handling, and a dry weight in the neighborhood of 300lbs. But while the Japanese bikes are handsome and certainly look great in race-replica graphics, the Aprilia has unmistakable Italian style, and the sculptural, polished frame that makes the simple beam units from Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha look like crude, industrial extrusions. I'm a big fan of this particular bodywork and color combination, and I think it's one of the very best-looking bikes of the 1990s: balanced and aggressive without being cartoon-y, with just a splash of garish color. And I like the earlier dash seen here, with that added-as-an-afterthought speedo and idiot-light section that looks easily removable for track day excursions or racebike conversion.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

This is a used RS250 2 stroke. This bike was purchased by a Marine in Germany and shipped back via plane to the USA. It has 10,280 miles or 17,000 kilometers. Bike has a fresh change of oil and carbs have been taken apart and cleaned. Bike is currently running and has great compression. I have all the keys and manuals. I have every single document to convert to a US title. I also have some spares. (please see photos) There are minor scratches on the bike from normal wear and riding. A very clean and well preserved RS250...

The photos provided by the seller of this example are decent, but it's had to get a real sense of just how nice it is. There are some graphics/logos missing from the tank and bodywork, so maybe a nicely repainted set of plastics? Mileage isn't museum-quality low, but that just means you should get out and ride it! As the seller mentions, the bike was imported from Germany [see: post title] at some point, and it apparently doesn't have a US title as yet. As always, do your research before buying, as titling these kinds of imports will vary significantly from state to state: there's a very good reason you see so many Oregon and Nevada plated cars and bikes running around Southern California...

-tad

Teutonic Two-Stroke: 1995 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Aprilia March 20, 2017 posted by

Never Been Kissed: 2004 Aprilia RS250 Challenge with ZERO Miles!

Update 3.20.2017: Back on eBay after first being on RSBFS in August 2014 for $11k. Current bid is just under $7k reserve not met. Links updated. -dc

I’ve always loved the look of the Aprilia RS 250, but I’m only a recent convert to the stink and rattle of two-strokes. Well, technically, I’m a hypothetical convert, since I’ve yet to actually ride one. For many riders, their very first experiences on two wheels involved quasi-legal antics on dirt bikes, but I’m the only gear-head in the family, and bikes were strictly verboten growing up. I'm also biased against them: after spending years in LA working late-night jobs, there’s nothing I hate more than the tinny wail of a leaf blower at 8am so I sure didn’t want my motorcycles to sound related to those hateful things.

2004 Aprilia RS250 L Rear

But while I still don’t think they make a very pretty noise, the light weight and tinny, chainsaw shriek of bikes like the RGV and Gamma have become increasingly intriguing for me. There’s something strange and exotic about them, and I’m pretty sure the RS250 would be a great place to start.

2004 Aprilia RS250 Dash

Aprilia’s little road and track bike used a modified version of Suzuki’s RGV250 motor boosted to 60hp and featured classy, generally subdued race-replica paint schemes that have aged very well. Although those 60 ponies come on in a typical two-stroke rush that keeps you dancing on the shift lever, the bike’s very light weight and amazing handling make that a joy, rather than a chore.

2004 Aprilia RS250 Gearshift

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Aprilia RS250 Challenge for Sale

Brand new, zero miles, mint condition from the factory. I bought the bike for my collection. It has been properly stored and the engine has been fogged once a year with CRC Marine engine fog. It should be noted that this bike is not street legal. It has no turn signals, brake lights, or headlight. THIS IS A RACEBIKE THROUGH AND THROUGH. It would make a great addition for a serious collector, or perfect for your local track day. This bike may be the last of the great two stroke RS250s with zero miles. The bike comes with the very detailed factory manual and the factory spring tuning kit.

2004 Aprilia RS250 L Front

This bike presents a bit of a problem. The RS250 Challenge is a tool for going fast, a full-on track-rat race bike. So what do you do with this one? Seems a shame to abuse it on the track, but what else to do with such a focused motorcycle? Display it? They’re great-looking machines, but they’re meant to be ridden, and with no title, making it street-legal is not an option without some serious DMV shenanigans. And then there’s that whole “zero miles” thing again…

For collectors, it won’t get any better than this: a hermetically-sealed time capsule limited-edition bike that actually runs. For riders? Well, we’ll probably go sniffing around elsewhere for a bike we won't feel guilty about thrashing.

-tad

2004 Aprilia RS250 R Rear

Never Been Kissed: 2004 Aprilia RS250 Challenge with ZERO Miles!