2015 Brilliant Bargain Two-Stroke Motorcycle !

Old bikes are big news: fun to ride, joyous to work on and a shrewd investment, too. That’s great for owners, but less so for buyers. Surely all the bargains have gone? Well think again. There are plenty of wallet-friendly classics out there, just waiting to find a place in your shed. Here’s our pick of the bunch for the Two-Stroke 250cc Class !

Suzuki TS250

Suzuki TS250

1970s trail bikes are brilliant: stylish, easy to ride and maintain, yet very affordable. There are many to choose from, too – both two and four-stroke – but we favour Suzuki’s TS250. Launched in 1969, the TS got really good by the mid-’70s, with a high-level pipe for extra ground clearance and the choice of a high or wheel-level front mudguard, before the updated Hustler model of ’77 and the final – and excellent – ER from 1980.

The air-cooled TSs pre-date the tall MX-inspired trailies that became the norm from the mid-’80s, so they’re good for short and tall riders alike. A tidy TS will draw a crowd and raise a smile every time – and one can be in your shed for under a grand. Try that with a Honda XL250 Motosport...

Suzuki TS250 Specs

Engine : Air-Cooled, Piston-Ported, Two-stroke, Single Cylinder
Displacement : 246 cc
Max Power : 23 HP @ 6.000 RPM
Weight : 128 Kg
Top Speed : 78 mph

Price :

Needs Work : £700 - £1100
Rider : £1200 - £1800
Minter : £1900 - £2200

Aprilia RS250

Aprilia RS250

The Aprilia RS250 is blessed with Italian good looks (well, the MK1 is, anyway), is powered by a tweaked RGV250 VJ22 motor, and comes already in full-power form – unlike many Japanese imports. But best of all, these Aprilias can still be had for considerably less than the Honda equivalent.

Admittedly there are some RS250s out there with try-it-on price tags but, if you’re prepared to hunt around and barter, you can get one for £3500. On their day, they’re still good enough to flick the bird at much bigger machinery when straights are in short supply.

Aprilia RS250 Specs

Engine : Liquid-Cooled, Crankcase Reed Valve, Two-stroke, 90° V-Twin with SAEC
Displacement : 249 cc
Max Power : 70 HP @ 11.500 RPM
Weight : 141 kg
Top Speed : 125 mph

Price :

Needs Work : £1300 - £1600
Rider : £1800 - £3000
Minter : £3500 - £4000

Kawasaki KR-1 (KR-1S)

Kawasaki KR-1S

The Kawasaki KR-1S remains the fastest production 250 ever. Even so, mint KR-1s can still be had for £3000, and equally tidy KR-1Ss are out there for not much more. Compare that to the £5000-plus now commanded by Honda NSR250s.

Ok, so the handling is more angry than that of the Honda and the ride isn’t as sweet as an RGV, plus the styling isn’t as beguiling as the 3MA or 3XV Yamaha TZRs, but a KR will leave your senses fizzing. There are no frills, and nothing to shield you from the mayhem of what these Kawasakis do when they convert fuel into forward motion. But that’s what makes them so good.

Kawasaki KR-1 (KR-1S) Specs

Engine : Liquid-Cooled, Crankcase Reed Valve, Two-stroke, Parallel-Twin with SAEC
Displacement : 249 cc
Max Power : 55 HP @ 10.500 RPM
Weight : 123 kg (131 kg)
Top Speed : 131 mph (135 mph)

Price :

Needs Work : £1300 - £2000
Rider : £2500 - £3000
Minter : £3500 - £4200