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Lucky Strike Replica: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23A for Sale

The 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23 was basically the last gasp for road-legal two-stroke sport bikes, and one of the most technologically advanced. Sure, Aprilia made the RS250 for a few years beyond that, but it was actually powered by the previous generation of Suzuki’s RGV250 engine, and the final examples weren’t even road legal in many markets. Earlier versions of the RGV250 were powered by the expected 90° v-twin, but the VJ23 was pretty much new from the ground-up, and was powered by a more compact 70° unit with slightly undersquare internal dimensions and a dry clutch for the six-speed transmission. Interestingly the new engine’s bore and stroke of 54 x 54.5mm match the Honda NSR250R’s specs exactly, and I’m assuming the increased torque contributed to the new RGV’s improved rideability.

Bodywork was completely new for the bike as well, and resembles the SRAD GSX-R of the period, all curves and bulges, with a functional ram-air duct in the fairing. The new VJ23 also featured an electric starter, a very unusual feature for a flyweight two-stroke, but very civilized and refined. Other revisions meant weight stayed basically the same as the outgoing VJ22, in spite of the starter. Frame was the expected twin-spar aluminum unit, along with the usual asymmetrical banana swingarm.

The biggest concern buying one of these desirable Lucky Strike race-replicas is… whether or not it’s a replica replica. It’s obviously pretty easy to buy new, pre-painted bodywork of varying degrees of quality from overseas, or even have a good-quality paint-job applied to standard bodywork yourself. How can you tell if it’s the real thing? As always, caveat emptor. Consult with an expert before parting with your money to avoid disappointments, especially at the $14,500 asking price.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23A Lucky Strike Replica for Sale

Up for sale is a genuine 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Lucky Strike with only 1,444 kilometers (897 miles). Just imported from Japan. Bike is in mint condition showing very little patina. Tank is perfect, upper and lowers are mint no scratches, no dings, no dents, no handling marks. Rear fairing has a few very light surface scratches or boot marks that don’t show up in pictures. All fairings are 100% genuine OEM Suzuki factory. Frame number confirms genuine factory Lucky Strike model. (Number 133 of 200 manufactured) Bike is completely stock. It’s in gorgeous collector quality condition. Runs like new. Comes with new fluids, carb cleaning and new Dunlop Sportmax tires. Comes with two keys and Utah state title. It is titled as a street bike for road use. This Lucky Strike will be the Crown Jewel of any collection! Please text 801-358-6537 for questions and pictures.

Keep in mind also that, if you plan to keep your collectible GP-replica bone stock, that these were intended for the Japanese home market and limited to just 40hp from the factory. This example was imported directly from Japan, according to to the seller, so I’d assume it is the limited power version of the bike. A few “export models” were made, just 360 or so of the 2218 VJ23s that were built. Either way, this was one of the most highly-developed two-stroke sportbikes ever made for use on public roads, and represents the very end of development for the breed.

-tad

18 Comments

  • I used to have one of these, though modded to full power along with jolly motor ti exhaust and valves.

    Crazy amounts of fun, and it easily embarrassed liter bikes on winding roads. what it wouldn’t do is keep up on flats, so a few pistons were holed.

    As parts were readily available, repairs were easy. Sadly I ended trading it fir a new R1, but to this day i have fond memories of the “tiny terror”, and the track days it saw.

    I hope who ever buys it keeps it stock, not many of these left in the world in this condition.

  • Damn, we need more of those. Why don’t we have more of those! The first bike that was my own was 1989 RGV250. At the time, that was the only mode of of transport that I had, so I rode it everywhere all the time, regardless of weather. It was great, life was so much simpler.

  • It has non stock clocks fitted,why on a stock low mileage bike?.
    240ish t model luckystrike s built
    Vin 100899-101246
    Some between 100899 and 101000 were blue /white
    Investigate well before parting with cash
    Also should have a colour code sticker under seat rail with g11 on it

  • Look at the eBay addy
    Vin is 100133
    This is not factory luckystrike

  • Wow did someone pay $14k for it ? I just finished my Honda RS125R street bike I guess I should sell it 😁

  • I own a real vj23 lucky v model. This bike is kitted up to look like a T restricted but the vin if true is not a real lucky. The ultimate is a real lucky v model. Cool bike but not sure what’s what

  • Your are the Man Alan. We 2t nutters are lucky to have you around. NHB

  • Alan is the best! Ultimate source on vj23s.

  • Guys I need some help,I am the purchaser of this bike,Is this a real Lucky strike VJ23,I bought this with the seller stating the vin was for a Luck strike VJ23.If it is not what would you guys value this bike at not being a real Lucky strike? Please if anyone can help me figure this out it would be much appreciated.

  • Listing says ended not sold. Looks like no one placed a bid.

  • This might be helpful

    http://www.rgv250.co.uk/index.html/articles/vj23-production-data-r21/

    • Thanks guys for weighing in on this. Appreciate you sharing your knowledge about this particular bike! These and the Rothmans bikes are easy to fake for sure, so every little bit of info helps.

    • I believe the forum post referenced is authored by Alan but I appreciate all the details shared here.

      dc

  • You would expect the seller to know what he is selling and verify his own facts, but then again, this is not the first instance of misrepresentation by this seller.

    • From what I’ve seen his collection has been very well received with many satisfied buyers. Im surprised to hear this perception.

      dc

  • Thank you to everyone who has shared information on this model. The knowledge and enthusiasm is much appreciated.

    For those who have had their comments moderated, I didn’t find value in your replies. Comments that are strictly inflammatory with no content to assist other readers just make for a hostile environment. I appreciate your understanding.

    dc

  • I’ve purchased a motorcycle from this seller, he’s a Kawasaki motorcycle dealer who imports motorcycles and photographs them in his basement as if in a collection…been there and seen it

  • A Real export factory deresticted Lucky Strike vj23 V, 1/119 made, I’ve seen sell for $20k. That being said, this JDM T model restricted vj23 with near perfect oem lucky strike bodywork and super low miles is worth $12-14k in my opinion. Still a very clean bike in near new condition. May not have the appreciation value, but I always believe the real value is in the experience you have while riding it.

Comment rules: Add something useful and constructive, and don't be a jerk. Comments that don't add value will be deleted. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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