Top 10s

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

5. Honda NSR250 (MC28)

A perfect example of a company getting some GP branding on the right bike at the right time! Honda’s stunning little NSR250 is another from the RS250 era of two-stroke GP racing – and another that includes the then de rigueur fag sponsorship – but come on, it looks so damn good!

Never officially imported into the UK – although many came across as grey imports – the bike featured a tiny V-twin, gorgeous single-sided swingarm and even yellow number boards on the nose and the tail unit.

As with any modern(ish) era GP replica, prices have climbed steadily over the past ten years or so, with mint examples of this GP racing jewel now changing hands for upwards of £10k.

4. DR Moto

Not a road-going machine but still, a stunning example of MotoGP spec engineering that you – well some of you – can go out and buy.

The DR Moto is a spec-it-yourself trackday machine that runs Yamaha’s cross-plane crank R1 engine at its heart. Putting out around 200hp and with billet everything and adjustable all-sorts, the bike is designed to deliver as close as you can get to a MotoGP experience without the $1m pricetag.

3. Ducati Desmosedici RR

The daddy of the 90s superbikes, the Desmo’ as its known was on most teenage petrolhead’s wall – I think I had two on mine actually!

Based on Loris Capirossi’s MotoGP Ducati, the Desmo’ was a literal racebike with lights, mirrors and reg plate. Zero in the form of creature comforts but packed with thrills, sublime handling and the best exhaust note this side of pitwall.

With just 1500 made and a price tag of around £40k, the Desmo’ was one of the most exclusive and expensive bikes of the 90s, with decent examples now changing hands for over £75k.

2. Suter MMX 500

Another trackday (and occasional race series) weapon here in the form of the swiss built Suter MMX 500.

Built buy Moto2 frame and race bike builder Suter GP, the bike borrows heavily from the Moto2 machine but uses an Suter built, V-4 two-stroke that puts out an eye-watering 195hp.

Couple that to a bike that weighs just 127kg – about the same as a Honda CB125R(!!!) – and you have one serious trackday weapon.

1.  Honda RC213V-S

We won’t go into detail here about Honda’s road-going GP clone. You’ve probably read it all before. Suffice it to say that the fact it’s so incredibly similar to the race bikes belies the enormous effort that must have gone in to make it road legal and pass emission tests. Perhaps the power is disappointingly low in stock form (something that could also be said of the NR750 and the RC213’s great-grandfather, the NS400R) but it can be easily unleashed to give performance that’s as close to the MotoGP machine as the styling is. But what really makes the RC213V-S stand apart is the fact it’s built alongside the race bikes, by the same team of people. That hand-welded frame alone is a work of art that no mass-produced offering can ever hope to rival. Is it worth the money? If you’ve got enough of it, the answer is clearly ‘yes’ as Honda isn’t struggling to find buyers.

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