Nov 13, 2010

Top 100 Motorcycles last10 year: 4 - Suzuki RGV250

Top 100 Motorcycles last10 year: 4 - Suzuki RGV250
4 - Suzuki RGV250  year 1997-89


From the RGV250K to the RGV250R (the officially-imported UK models) the liquid-cooled, two-stroke, 249cc 90°V-twin remained fundamentally the same. Although they made around 55bhp@10,500rpm, give or take, the motors didn’t have to push much weight along so the Suzuki was still blindingly quick. Like any fast two-stroke, despite the power valves, there’s not much going on at low revs, so you’ve got to keep it revving to get anywhere fast.  

Ride and Handling

Compared to the best sportsbikes of today, with their fat tyres, stiff frames and racing suspension, the old RGV250 can seem a bit ‘woolly’ by comparison. But, with a good set of tyres and well sorted suspension the Suzuki will keep up with the best of them on tight B roads. The beefy aluminium frame and swingarm is more than a match for the power on tap, so the trick with the RGV is simply never to let off for the corners! Later models handle better than the early ‘K’ and ‘L’ bikes, but are 11kg heavier (up from 128kg to 139kg) thanks mainly to the heavier ‘banana’ and braced swingarms.


The RGV is an unashamed lightweight no-frills package, there’s no electric start here, you have to kick it into life yourself. But in its day, the ‘M’ and ‘N’ models had lots of technology from 500cc Grand Prix, like upside down forks, 17” wheels, a braced ‘banana’ swingarm and fully adjustable suspension. Compare and buy parts for the RGV250 in the MCN Shop.


Left unmolested, well-maintained and fed with good-quality (read ‘bloody expensive’) two-stroke oil, RGV engines are pretty reliable. Any deviation from this can spell a whole world of trouble. The chassis parts are all well-built, but the overall finish is lacking, so unless fastidiously looked-after RGVs can look tatty very quickly. Stay well clear of ex-race examples.


Top speed        125mph
1/4-mile acceleration     secs
Power  56.6bhp
Torque 29ftlb
Weight 128kg
Seat height        766mm
Fuel capacity    17 litres
Average fuel consumption         30mpg
Tank range       112 miles
Engine size        249cc
Engine specification       Two-stroke V-twin
Frame  Aluminium beam
Front suspension adjustment     Fully-adjustable (M-R model)
Rear suspension adjustment      Fully-adjustable (M-R model)
Front brakes     2 x 300mm discs
Rear brake       210mm disc
Front tyre size   110/70 17 in (M-R model)
Rear tyre size    150/60 17 in (M-R model)

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