The Japanese locked horns in a techno crazed 250 shoot-out. Kawasaki upped the stakes with their new KR-1S in a bid to oust Suzuki’s glorious RGV from the 2-stroke top spot
Click to read: Kawasaki KR-1S owners reviews
Click to read: Suzuki RGV250 owners reviews
It’s not a difficult year to remember, as I was busy screaming from pillar to post in a frenzied quarter-litre rampage, oblivious to the rights of fellow road users as I was practising the art of scratching on my first brand new motorcycle. Whilst working in a shop the previous year flogging Arais and Alpinestars, I had the opportunity to swing a leg over the most captivating machine I’d seen since the 350LC a decade earlier.
A now-defunct motorcycle mag had popped in for a cuppa on a slow afternoon and lent me the keys to a press test bike. Seeing my first RGV in the flesh was an unforgettable moment and I was adamant that I had never seen anything quite so beautiful on two wheels. The ride too was a surreal experience, and one that cemented a split-second decision. I raised the £3,299 within 24 hours and took delivery of F888 RLO the following month.
The tiny tearaway has lost none of its beauty and remains the race-inspired, hard-edged weapon that won Suzuki so many admirers. As disillusioned die-hard superbike riders continued to cock a snoot at the super-light stinkers, the true adrenalin junkies defected to one of the most single-minded and impractical examples of a road legal motorcycle ever released.
It was as though the design department had been briefed to create a limited edition homologation special that could be de-frocked of its lighting and sent into battle at Grand Prix level. In fact, the motor, if not the entire bike, was inspired by and based on half of the then-current V4 500cc GP unit. Take a look at the bike without its bodywork and you’ll see what I mean. The sculptured exhausts and curved radiator, the exposed power valve pulley wheel, the tiny carbs both slotted in behind the rear cylinder. This was the real deal then and still looks sharp today.
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Posted: 29/02/2012 at 20:34
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