Top ten Grand Prix replicas

They could be road bikes or even just factory-built track only weapons – whatever the case, here is the top ten

Top ten Grand Prix replicas

TUCKING your head behind the bubble of a MotoGP as it screams down a track at 200mph is something only a select few people get to experience. They are generally either super rich, super talented or super lucky!

But there have been a few occasions when motorcycle manufacturers have given Joe Public the chance to feel almost the same sensations our race track heroes have felt.

So, without further ado, here is the top ten GP replica motorcycle you could own…

10. Aprilia RS 250

Back in the mid-nineties, the RS 250 was every young motorcyclist dream. It had the looks, the blue-haze that followed it everywhere and it had that Winchester paint job that made you want to bite the back of your hand.

With the Noale factory still churning out the bikes until 2002, the RS250 was a true hero of the 250GP movement, with pukka examples now changing hands for around £10k.

9. Suzuki RG500

Built in a time when sportbikes had loads of power, doughnut sized tyres and brakes that were generally awful. The RG500 was the road-going version of Suzuki’s 1984 RG500 Grand Prix machine and shared the engine layout, liquid-cooled two-stroke square four, and some of the suspension design and geometry.

With about 100bhp in tap, the performance in a straight line by today's standards seems a little insipid, but what the RG500 lacked in brawn, it more than made up for in lightweight and nimbleness.

Well sorted or totally original examples can today change hands for well over £10k – not bad money for a bona fide GP legend from the 80s.

8. Yamaha RD500

Another bike from the two-stroke era, that shared many of the GP races with the RG500 in ninth spot. The RD500’s V4 engine was based around the same block and internals as the unit in Kenny Roberts’ YZ500 GP bike.

The motor boasted twin crankshafts, the YPVS system and four silencers – two external and two mounted inside the seat unit. What’s not to love?

As with most 80s era two-strokes, the values of the RD500 have climbed steadily over the years – as have those of the whole ‘RD’ family of bikes – with clean examples nudging the £20k mark.

7. Honda NR750

Technically not a GP replica but it was using GP tech so we’re letting Honda’s NR into the club on this one!

The father of the NR750 was the NR500 GP bike, which was built to try and end the reign of the two-strokes in GP. The oval-pistoned V4 engine – effectively a tiny V8 with its pistons mounted in pairs, right down to having 32 tiny little valves – was Honda’s last-ditch attempt to beat two-stroke rivals without abandoning the firm’s traditional preference for four-stroke engines. It tried to make two-stroke power levels by revving twice as high, but still couldn’t touch them. Honda dropped the idea and turned to the NS500 stroker, but the NR idea lived on – for the super-rich anyway!

6. Ronax 500

If you squint this could be the Honda NSR500 GP bike from a distance – and that’s probably not an accident! The Ronax is perhaps the ultimate evolution of the 500cc two-stroke, with road legal versions of this bonkers bike coming in at €100,000 plus VAT. Beneath the skin is a full-fat, twin-crank 499cc two-stroke V4, with fuel injection and around 160hp. While that may not sound like much in today’s world of 200+ bhp uber-bikes, the machines 145kg weight will give it a power-to-weight ratio that’ll give the Saturn-V rocket a run for its money.

Head to page two for the top five >>>