Posts by tag: Two Stroke

Aprilia June 27, 2015 posted by

Two-Stroke Race-Rep: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

2000 Aprilia RS250 L Side

While Europeans have always been neck-deep in the whole Moto GP-thing as embodied by bikes like the Aprilia RS250, here in the US where flat-track and drag-racing are king, fans of whippy two-stroke race-replicas had to work a bit harder to get their fix, at least before the advent of the internet... But even US motorcyclists are generally familiar with the RS250, even if they've never heard of the Suzuki RGV250 that donated it's engine and transmission.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Front

Introduced in 1995 and styled to mimic Aprilia's dominant 1993 race bike, the RS250 was kick-start-only and powered by a two-stroke 90° v-twin cribbed from the aforementioned Suzuki, but tuned to produce a claimed 60hp. The powerband is short and spiky, even with modern two-stroke technology to plump up the mid-range, meaning you have to work the gearbox to make fast progress.

For those new to these little snarly beasts, it's important to remember that, while 60hp sounds unimpressive, that's coming from a mere 249cc's and motivating a bike that weights just 309 pounds dry. And it's that light weight, not the power that really makes the RS250 so much fun.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Dash

While many four-stroke bikes will leave you for dead in a straight line, the RS250 can run rings around them in the corners in the hands of a skilled rider, giving them true giant-killing potential. Everything on the bike is optimized for cornering. Take a look at that famous, funky "banana" swingarm: it was designed to allow room for the bulky exhaust expansion chambers to tuck in close and give good cornering clearance on the exhaust side of the bike.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Rear

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

I have for sale a ultra rare 2000 Aprilia RS250 , this is not a Challenge Cup bike, this one came from the factory roadworthy, 17 digit VIN, and clean title, this bike came from Japan to the U.S in 05/06 I have some history paperwork on it , from Japan , it then went to a museum in Wisconsin and that's where I got it from, any questions u can email or text or call 919-413-5185

The bike has 10000km/6000miles on it, brand new tires and chain.

The seat has a little tear in it, and one exhaust can has a scratch on it, and that's the only thing wrong on this bike.

It's worth noting all the cool stuff this seller also has in their collection, judging from what you can see in the background... holy hell, this guy has a Magni Sfidia! I'll wait while you all Google that. Wow, that's a serious bit of exotica, right there.

Anyway, back to the Aprilia.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Front Wheel

The bike isn't perfect, but looks just slightly used, not crashed: that scrape on the exhaust looks more like a moving accident than a low-side. Also, I'd be looking to replace those stock bits with some little carbon tubes anyway. The original listing also includes a couple pictures of the Japanese documentation. Obviously, it's a really good idea to check with your local DMV before purchase, to make sure there won't be any hassles

As I've stated in the past, I much prefer the earlier RS250's. The dual seat on this era bike looks awkward to me, incorporated into the downward-sloping speed-hump, and an RS250 is a pretty unlikely passenger-carrying bike anyway.


2000 Aprilia RS250 R Side

Two-Stroke Race-Rep: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Sport Bikes For Sale June 21, 2015 posted by

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Front

Yamaha made a name for itself in the US building giant-killing two-stroke parallel twins that powered the RD and later RZ models like this 1985 RZ350. The 347cc engine reatured liquid-cooling and made over 40hp stock, with plenty more available with careful tuning. While Honda largely focused on their heavy, but very sophisticated two and four-cylinder CB motorcycles, Yamaha's whippy little two-strokes terrorized backroads and race tracks all over American and Europe, creating a cult following that persists to this day.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Side

Two-strokes have never lacked top-end power, but their light-switch power delivery left something to be desired for street riders and, in th 1980's Acronym Wars, the "power valve" was born. Yamaha's version was, of course, known as the YPVS that used a computer to adjust the exhaust ports. The "Yamaha Power Valve System" plumped up the midrange of the raspy little two-stroke, meaning you could have your cake and eat it, too. Assuming you didn't mind a little blue smoke in your eyes...
1985 Yamaha RZ350 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

The 1985 Kenny Roberts Edition RZ350LC offered here is one of the quite rare leftover models with revised graphics that somewhat resembled the 1983 UK versions, but with gold rims and the Kenny Roberts signature, originally sold as an RZ350NC2 in California only from late 1985-6. It has been owned from new by only two enthusiasts and has been very tastefully modified with an original 1985 full fairing and Corbin Gunfighter single seat. Mechanically, the hugely desirable Pro-Design Cool Head was installed for increased cooling, and a Toomey exhaust.

The bike runs exceptionally well. It starts easily, idles well and has great power delivery. It shifts through all gears perfectly with a good clutch. Suspension feels taut and the brakes work very well, front and rear. Cosmetically the bike is in good condition with the usual scuffs of a bike with 17,000 miles, that is 32 years old.

The bike comes with a clean, clear California title and a substantial box of spare parts, including stock fairing, original exhaust pipes, turn signals, etc.

These are not bikes for the inexperienced or faint-hearted, with huge wheelie-popping performance on tap when the revs rise.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Pipe

This particular RZ350 features a very stylish full-fairing that I've seen on several bikes for sale recently. I'm not sure if it was a factory option or not but, painted to match, makes for a very nice machine with light weight and bike-bike style. Parts availability to keep an RZ running should be no problem, but the included spare parts is just icing on the cake.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Engine


A price of $6,900 means you're looking at the higher-end in terms of pricing for these, but it looks like you're getting a well cared-for, thoughtfully-improved, and very practical classic for your money.


1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Rear

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Aprilia June 19, 2015 posted by

Road-Legal Two-Stroke: 2001 Aprilia RS250

2001 Aprilia RS250 L FrontBuilt between 1994 and 2004, the Aprilia RS250 has justifiably developed a cult following among dedicated corner-carvers and track rats. It's the quintessential "giant killer," wrapping an impossibly lightweight frame and sleek bodywork around a very compact, 250cc powerplant yanked straight out of Suzuki's RGV250, with brakes designed to stop a much heavier motorcycle. That means you get sexy Italian bodywork and handling in a sub-300lb dry weight package, with Suzuki's vast engineering knowhow and easy parts availability. Which is great, considering you'll be needing new pistions every 6,000 miles or so...

2001 Aprilia RS250 NoseIt wasn't all that long ago that Grand Prix motorcycle racing at all levels featured dirty, dirty two-stroke engines. But with those emissions-unfriendly powerplants rapidly falling out of favor all over the world in favor of durable, eco-friendly four-strokes, the two-stroke has seen a rapid decline. And although track days are more popular than ever, most people buying sportbikes will never see a race track, making two-strokes pointless for those motorcycle fans as well.

2001 Aprilia RS250 DashBut it's a shame: although the wider powerbands of four strokes have given rise to a whole range of tire-spinning riding styles in Moto GP, two-strokes are notoriously difficult to master, and their explosive, Jekyl/Hyde power delivery gives riders the satisfaction of achieving speed through skill, instead of a heavy right wrist.

2001 Aprilia RS250 L RearThis one looks to be in very good condition, with only minor cosmetic blemishes, and includes the very nice set of carbon-kevlar Arrow pipes, tucked in close under the stylish "banana" swingarm designed expressly to improve cornering clearance for the expansion chambers.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

For sale is a very nice factory street legal 2001 Aprilia RS250. 5500 Miles, Mototek 316cc kit, Barnett clutch, Arrow Exhaust system. Comes with manuals, touch up paint kit, tank, side fairings and front fairing OEM decal kit. Other spare parts as show in the photos. Motorcycle runs great.

Minor cosmetic blemishes…Championship decal on tank is missing a small section (comes with OEM replacement decal). Right hand lower fairing decal is not perfect (comes with OEM replacement decal). Scratch on top of tank. Gouge on left side of swingarm probably from swingarm stand. Some scratching on the frame near kick start and left side. See photos.

2001 Aprilia RS250 PipesMany RS250's in the US are untitled track bikes, so the fact that this example is road-legal is an added bonus. Although really, unless you live next to some really twisty roads, you're probably better off trailering your RS250 to trackdays, rather than riding it around town where its potential is completely wasted.

2001 Aprilia RS250 L FairingAs I've stated previously, I actually prefer the looks, graphics, and more traditional gauges of the earlier bikes, but you can't argue with the function of Aprilia's forward-looking dash seen here that includes a lap timer. The later design is a bit of an acquired taste: it looks like a retro-futuristic 1980's movie, and the kickstart only adds to the vintage two-stroke race-rep charm.

2001 Aprilia RS250 TailThe Aprilia RS250 is on my short list, although I want a pure track bike, which will hopefully keep prices below this one. With only a couple days left, there are zero bids at the starting price of $8,700. While that's on the higher side for RS250's, it doesn't seem out of line, especially for a road-legal bike.

What do you think?


2001 Aprilia RS250 R Front

Road-Legal Two-Stroke: 2001 Aprilia RS250
Yamaha June 4, 2015 posted by

Alloy-Framed Race-Rep: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R

1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side Front

From a styling standpoint, motorcycles of the 1980's were going through a bit of an awkward, adolescent phase... But continuing with that analogy, major growth and changes were occurring under the skin, and Japanese race replicas like this Yamaha RZV500 featured all sorts of wild, innovative technology.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 R Side

Yamaha's GP bike for the road pulled out all the stops and featured liquid-cooling, 50° between the V4's cylinder banks, a pair of crankshafts, magnesium cases, a balance shaft,  YPVS powervalves to boost midrange power, and the obscene-sounding Autolube oil-injection system to keep the smoker spinning happily. The factory claimed 88hp from the cutting edge engine.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 Cockpit

The rest of the package was no less sophisticated, with a six-speed gearbox, anti-dive forks, and a rear shock slung under the engine to allow space for the rear cylinders' expansion chambers, with a 16" wheel up front and an 18" hoop in the back.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side Rear

Designed to compete directly with Suzuki's RG500Γ, the RZV500 was never actually imported to the US because of the two-stroke engine's emissions output, but many have found their way down to us from our friendly neighbors up north across the Canadian border. This particular bike was originally the Japanese-market version that had the much lighter aluminum frame but was detuned to 64hp. Happily, the seller rejetted the bike and fitted the headers from the UK's version, the RD500LC.

And check out those vented brake discs! I wonder how hard it is to find replacements for those...

1984 Yamaha RZV500 Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

Take that tax return and put it into something that’s going to go up in value while you ride it, like this 1984 Yamaha RZV500R! That’s right kids, this is a factory-produced GP replica street bike. Inspired by the dominating YZR500s of Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson, and manufactured during Lawson's 1984 World Championship-winning season, this 2-stoke, liquid-cooled, 500cc sport bike duplicates the configuration of the factory team's YZR500 Marlboro Yamaha GP machines.

This bike is a blast to ride. A firm kick and the mighty reed valve, GP-derived, twin crankshaft V4 fires instantly and settles into an idle that I can only describe as an army of angry hornets. Put on your favorite helmet and gear and next thing you know you’re channeling Roberts, Lawson, or Rainey while giving the beans to a genuine, GP-derived V4 2-stroker the likes of which will never be seen again. The 500cc engine has some torque to get you going, but really comes alive in the 6-10k rpm range. The engine was completely rebuilt in 2008 by well-known RZV/RD/RZ engine specialist Wilson Performance of Lee’s Summit, MO at a cost of $4000. It has done little mileage since. I have receipts for the work, which included Wilson’s “Blueprint” rebuild plus “Phase 1” performance tuning. To see what is included in the work, click here. In summary, the performance build included new RZV Performance cranks, new Wiseco pistons, port and gasket matching, plus a lot more. 

The paintwork is very nice, although there are a few nicks, scratches, and rock chips; all decals are cleared into the paint, the base of which is a pearlescent white. The bike is clean, but not show clean. The stock magnesium wheels were professionally refinished and the Dunlop Aeromax tires are in very nice condition. The oil tank leaks some from the level sensor. The upright foam seat bolster has some worn spots around the edges (see pix). There’s some surface corrosion on some bolts here and there. I have tried to describe and photograph anything that really stood out on the bike condition-wise, but this is now a 30+ year old motorcycle with some light wear and tear, so I cannot be held accountable for every single scratch, chip, crack or ding.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 R Tank Detail

Apparently, this bike was up for auction previously, and the seller indicates that the auction was ended early because he'd incorrectly listed the year of manufacture, although he also freely admits to having ended other auctions in the past due to a "change of heart." Well at least he's passionate about his bikes, and it sounds like he knows his stuff!

Like Suzuki's Gamma, these are very desirable bikes and, if you're looking for a bike that's likely to continue to appreciate in value, this one's a good bet. I'm not the biggest fan of the styling, although you can't argue with 500cc's of snarling, two-stroke V4: they ain't pretty, but it's hard not to love the truly epic cacophony of that engine...


1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side

Alloy-Framed Race-Rep: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R
Harley Davidson May 29, 2015 posted by

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Front

Today's Harley-Davidson RR250 may be new to most of you. We don't get the opportunity to feature Harley-Davidson motorcycles on this site too often, unless we're talking about throbbing pushrod v-twins hiding in quirky Buells. And all the "boat-anchor" jokes aside, Harley has plenty of racing heritage, although mostly outside of what interests most of us: roadracing. But back in the 1970's, Harley took advantage of its partial ownership of small-bore specialist Aermacchi to mount a successful Grand Prix racing program.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Side

These bikes were basically a pair of Yamaha dirt bike engines welded up, and that kept running costs very reasonable and should make parts relatively easy to source today. The resulting motorcycle was actually lighter than the Yamaha's TZ machines and proved to be very competitive: starting in 1973, Harley-badged Aermacchi two-stroke parallel twins won three 250cc championships in a row, and bikes were raced as late as 1978.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

Harley Davidson RR250

Gran Prix Year 1977

Bimota Frame

Water cooled

Twin Cylinder

Ex-Official Machine

Fully restored

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Front

The listing is obviously very spare, and doesn't tell us much about the bike. Does it run, or is it intended as a display piece? If it's an "ex-official machine," were there any notable riders or successes?

The bike is located in Rimini, Italy, but that's no surprise, since there weren't too many opportunities for these bikes to race in the US. And since it's never going to be registered for road use, importing it shouldn't be too difficult. Regardless, it looks like it's in excellent physical shape, so collectors can be sure it'll look great displayed in your living room.


1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Side

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale
Suzuki May 26, 2015 posted by

RGV SP in USA: Suzuki RGV250 SP

Relisted from earlier in the year, now with a $600 price reduction.


Always a favorite here in RSBFS, the Suzuki RGV 250 debuted in 1988 and was redesigned in 1991 with upside down forks, a GP style banana swing arm and a 17-inch tire.  Another design followed in 1997  and each generation of the bike was denoted with a V20 series code, with the 1998-1991 version often referred to as a V21, the 1992-1996 versions as the V22 and the 1997 onward as V23.  More detailed info about the changes in the RGV250 over the years can be found here.

This particular RGV250 looks to be completely stock except for possibly the exhaust canisters.  Overall it looks to be in incredible condition for an almost 20 year old bike.  The seller indicates that not only is the the highly desireable SP version (which means it would have a dry clutch and close ratio gearbox) but that it also has a US title which is tough to get for the 250cc two stroke bikes.

UPDATED: It seems this might be a relist from a previous RSBFS post, check out this post.  Also, the seller indicates this is a 1996 which would seem to make it a V22 series bike but multiple comments seem to indicate its a V23.


1996/1997 Suzuki RGV 250 SP for sale on ebay

Here is what the seller has to say:

Here is your chance to own a modern classic-grey import Suzuki RGV250SP

  • Only 8251 kilometers showing.
  • Clean California title with new registration.
  • Just a few minor marks from normal use and few scratches from a small fall.
  • Starts on the button and runs great.
  • Tires are nearly new Bridgstone BT016's.
  • Bike needs nothing.
  • The only minor issue is fuel weeping from the tanks seam near the fuel tap. 


At this point normally I would be asking "Is this bike worth the $11,500 10,900 USD asking price?"  But a quick review of previous 1996/1997 RGV 250 SP's on RSBFS gives the answer; yes.  The asking price is right in line with what these bikes have been going for over the last two years.

To be honest, if I could afford it I would be sending the seller an offer myself.   I suggest anyone who is seriously interested act fast because these tend to go quickly (pun intended).


RGV SP in USA:  Suzuki RGV250 SP