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Blowing Smoke: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

I started reading the British bike magazines back in the late-90’s, when Suzuki’s TL1000S was busy making headlines for its wayward behavior and monstrous 115whp. My girl at the time was working at Tower Records in the San Fernando Valley, and every month, unsold magazines had their covers ripped off and returned to the publisher, while the bulk of the pages were simply thrown out. I got to dig through and take my pick.

2001 Aprilia RS250 R Rear

2001 Aprilia RS250 for sale on eBay

I’ve got dozens of old, coverless Brit biking mags lying around, full of filthy, irreverent language, “Page Three” style photo spreads, and pages of phone-porn and dating service ads in the back: so different than the sterile American publications, much more fun. So what if one month they thought a bike was “the tits” and two months later, the same bike was “bollocks”? I loved the attitude and insanity.

If the British biking press extolled the Aprilia RS250, then that was enough for me.

2001 Aprilia RS250 Tail

The Aprilia was powered by a heavily-tuned Suzuki RGV250 motor pumping out 60hp and wrapped in sleek bodywork patterned after their dominant 1993 250GP bike. Aided by light weight and a well-developed suspension package, featuring a distinctive “Banana” swingarm designed to allow the exhaust’s expansion chambers to be tucked up close to the centerline for good cornering clearance, with brakes that would stop a much larger machine, the RS250 is a corner-carving animal.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

What a smokin’ blast this bike is to ride – sorry, had to do it. I bought it with 8,500 miles on the odometer in January 2011 and am now parting with it because I need to make room in the garage for other toys. It currently has 13,456 miles with new pistons installed at 7,500 miles.   All miles I put on the bike are street miles with the exception of 1 track day. Other than the Arrow exhaust, Pipercross air filter, and clip-on risers, the bike is stock with oil injection intact and working perfectly. It starts from cold in 1 or 2 kicks, idles glass smooth, and has never been crashed.

This has a valid NY title, and that’s a plus: a big draw for RS250 shoppers is a valid title, and bikes with these command significantly higher prices: many were imported as track bikes with no road equipment, and if I remember correctly, some years Aprilia was only able to sell them that way, since they didn’t meet emissions standards. The RS250 was one of the first bikes to feature an onboard lap timer but there is no electric start, so you modern bike guys will have to learn to “kick it”. Or bump it I guess.

2001 Aprilia RS250 Dash

Not long ago, all of the top-tier racing championships were ruled exclusively by two-stroke bikes and, until emissions standards killed them, they terrorized the streets as well: two-stroke bikes’ characteristic smoke is as dirty as it looks, and they tend not to have modern standards of durability in terms of engine internals… The RS250 ceased production in 2004, and these always generate interest when they come up for sale. They have an impeccable reputation for being able to do “what it says on the tin.” No false advertising here: this is a track bike, with the barest concessions to road use.

I’m generally not the biggest fan of “smoker” noise and clatter, but these are gorgeous, exotic, and two-stroke multis always sound like a gang of chainsaw-wielding maniacs has been let loose on the track, which has to count for something.

-tad

2001 Aprilia RS250 R Side

8 Comments

  • Best bike magazines ever written. SUPERBIKE was $67 per year shipped to WI back in 1997, I saved every copy and still have them to this day. Imported a RS250 Chesterfield rep from Italy, WI DMV wasn’t likeing it. Fun bike, got alot of attention back in 97. They are starting to pop up now and then.

    • Yeah, they lavish a ton of praise on the RS250, then and now. Time comes to make a change to my stable, might see if I can get one, having never ridden or owned a two-stroke. Most of my old magazine copies are in pretty shoddy condition and obviously have no covers, but I reread them from time to time. I have a recent copy of SuperBike as a reference for that Laverda post I did the other day, since they profiled one very recently that was painted up all orange and silver… My favorite issue ever is of BIKE, an “all Italian issue” just chock-full of good stuff.

      “Butchershook”? Bit of Cockney rhyming slang there?

  • Great post! I started reading PB, Fast Bikes and occasionally Superbike back in the mid-90s as well. Cracking stuff, as they say! I love literbikes but I love these lil strokers too – “smoky, and they banned it”!

  • Having grown up on two strokes it kills me I never bought one of these in the 90’s, unfortunately my renewed love of them coincided with the recession and now prices that while are fair considering their appeal are out of my price range. The only good news is before the economic shit hit the fan I bought a 2006 GSX-R 1000 and a used 2000 RM 250 (you never lose the love of the noise and smoke).

    My question is why didn’t/doesn’t Aprillia make a 300 or 400cc four stroke version of this bike? The price point would be cheaper than the higher cc’s and anyone who owns said higher cc’s knows all too well the temptation of that much power at times leaves you pulling in the driveway happy to not have a ticket and also to have a license, plus not being able to use it’s true potential. It’s been said many times on this site the joy of wringing out a smaller bike without all those negatives, not that they are negatives but you know what I mean.

    • Where are they going to sell them?

  • Awesome.

    Love PB & Bike, love Aprilias, love 2-strokes. Trifecta!

  • This was such a fun bike to own and ride and I’m very happy to have ridden it at a trackday to experience such a different style of riding compared to my track-only GSXR1000. But, like the ’79 Lotus Esprit I once owned, I realized that it was time for someone else to enjoy this fine example of such a rare machine. Thanks to RSBFS for posting my bike and stirring the waters on the sale. If I ever have the opportunity to sell such a rare and desirable bike again, I will leave off the Buy It Now option on the auction!

    -Chris

  • Loved PB/Fastbike/Superbike. They lost my interest in the 2000’s with all the characterless cookie-cutter R1CBRZX10GSXR hyper bikes. But all is not lost–today’s Practical Sportsbikes is better than any of those ever was.

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