The Aprilia RS250 was my introduction to the quarter-liter two-stroke sportbike class. I didn’t even get into motorcycles until the late 1990s, by which time two strokes were completely gone from the sportbike scene here in the US. But, as an avid reader of the British biking magazines, I saw them mentioned time and again in such glowing terms. Sure, there were performance differences between the Honda NSR250, Yamaha TZR250, Kawasaki KR-1, and Suzuki RGV250 that loaned its engine to the Aprilia, but as a group they pretty much set the standard for light weight and handling. Bikes today still aspire to be so simple, purposeful, lightweight, and engaging.
As I mentioned, Aprilia didn’t design the RS250’s engine, they borrowed a perfectly good one from Suzuki. Aprilia claimed a host of changes the RGV250’s engine, but mostly they didn’t mess things up, since the two-stroke v-twin was already a solid choice: tuning parts were readily available and it was capable of making competitive power. Instead, Aprilia focused on the bike’s frame and swingarm, in the process creating a hybrid machine with sublime handling, Italianate looks, and good parts availability for maintenance and tuning.
I prefer the looks of the first-generation RS250, but the updated styling seen here is still a winner and the partially-digital dash, while looking decidedly retro today, was pretty cutting-edge at the time, with an analog tach and digital speedometer, as well as a lap-timer function.
This one also includes passenger pegs and that hideous pillion pad that grows like a tumor from the top of the sloped tail section. The only bike with an uglier solution might be the biposto Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000. These little two-strokes make generally terrible two-up mounts, but at least the earlier version of the bike looks like they put a bit of thought into making the bike capable of carrying two in a pinch, without murdering the sleek lines…
From the original eBay listing: 1998 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
MADE IN ITALY !!! Collector’s Bike-Antique. This model has won a lot of world championships! Aprilia Racing spirit super fast supersport bike antique. The Ferrari of motorbikes! Aprilia sells replacement parts for this bike till now. 250cc racing two-stroke with 0-60miles or 0-100km at 4.3 seconds, the bike it is, like it was bought, no modification was made because it is already powerfull. These engines produce 300 atmospheric horse power (without turbo or supercharger) at 1000cc when they have racing carburetors and exhausts. The bike has the manufacturer’s upside-down racing forks and the manufacturer’s GOLD Brembo brakes!!! It only needs new battery.
WARNING: SHIPPING NOTICE : I CAN HELP AT THE SHIPPING PROCESS. I CAN PACKAGE THE BIKE IN THE SAME BOX AS THE MANUFACTURE SHIPS IT. ALSO I CAN FIND FOR YOU A SHIPPING COMPANY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE TIME FOR IT AND GET READY ALL THE LEGAL PAPERWORK. THE BIKE IS SOLD WITH THE LICENSE PLATES READY FOR ROAD USE IF YOU LIKE OR WITHOUT THEM IF YOU WISH TO RIDE IT IN THE TRACK-COURSE. THE SELLING PRICE OF THE BIKE IS THE SAME FOR BOTH CASES. SHIPPING COST IS THE BUYERS EXPENSE. IF THE BUYER WANTS TO COME TO ATHENS FOR THE PACKAGING AND SHIPPING THIS CAN BE DONE (i will escort him/her from the time that will arrive to the airport) IF THE BUYER WANTS TO RIDE THE BIKE TO THE DESTINATION COUNTRY, IF THE COUNTRY IS NEAR BY, THIS CAN BE DONE ALSO, ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
The bike has 13,600 miles or 22000 kilometers. The indication of distance made from the bike on the display is in kilometers.
Used by riders such as Valentino Rossi, Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri, Jorge Lorenzoand, Loris Capirossi in MotoGP races.
The Aprilia RS250 is powered by a modified Suzuki RGV250 (VJ22) engine which is prepared by Aprilia, changes include a revised ECU, Aprilia-designed expansion chambers, barrels and airbox. The twin 34 mm flat slide Mikuni carburettors inside.
The frame is a cast twin spar aluminium/magnesium alloy with thin-walled monocoque reinforcements, with the engine as a fully stressed member manufactured by Benelli for Aprilia. The banana swingarm is made out of the same polished aluminium alloy as the rest of the frame. The reason for the swingarm’s banana shape is to allow the expansion chambers to run unobstructed under the engine to improve ground clearance in turns.
The forks are 41 mm Showa inverted units and are adjustable compression and rebound, the rear suspension is a Sachs mono-shock which is adjustable for preload,compression and rebound. The front brakes of the RS 250 are Brembo dual 298 mm discs with Brembo Oro four-piston calipers. The rear brake is a single 220 mm disc with a Brembo twin-piston caliper.
The front & rear rims are lightweight, 5 spokes, cast aluminum rims are 3.50×17 up front (3.0×17 on the older models) and 4.50×17 out back that require tires of 120/60×17 and 150/60×17, respectively.
The RS gauges feature a digital instrument panel that gives the rider a variety of information. It will display maximum and average speed readings in kilometers or miles per hour, an adjustable rev limiter warning zone indicator,water temperature in choice of scale, battery charge indicator, a clock,and a chronometer that can remember up to 40 lap times.
Note that this bike is currently in Greece, so I’m sorry for the let down if you’re… Somewhere other than Greece. When we first spotted the listing, the price was a jaw-dropping $50,000 which raised a bunch of questions… Fortunately, the seller realized that might be a bit out-of-line, considering current RS250 values, and the listing currently shows a Buy It Now price of $12,000 which is much more reasonable. Mileage isn’t exactly collector-bike low, but it looks well maintained, aside from the broken left-front turn signal. It otherwise appears to be in good condition, a nice example of an appreciating two-stroke sportbike.