It was the most advanced production bike on the planet for a while, here’s what it might look like today.
The late 70s and early 80s was a great time for two-stroke fans. Small, lightweight, and simple, they offered more performance-per-pound, more thrills and more smokey exhausts than the equivalent four-stroke motors.
Many technological advances were made on small-bore strokers and the one that had more than its fair share was the little RG250 Gamma. Essentially a water-cooled X7 the RG introduced the box-section aluminium frame to the world of production bikes and showcased a whole load of other things to brag outside the chip shop with. Deca-piston brakes, a 16-inch front wheel and styling to make the heart melt.
The fact that it barely made 30bhp in the narrowest of power bands hardly mattered. It handled as well as it looked and it looked oh so good, especially compared to the competition. A surprisingly effective frame-mounted half fairing, GP-style expansion chambers, a box-section swingarm and faired-in indicators front and rear meant it outclassed the bigger, faster Yamaha RD350YPVS in the style stakes, if not in actual performance.
By 1988 it was all over for the parallel twin RG. In the fast-paced world of updated models the bike was left behind by Yamaha’s TZR250 which made better, and more accessible power. The successor was no slouch though – the RGV250 had moved the game on again with a sophisticated V-twin motor, beam frame and 17-inch wheels.
The simplicity of the RG didn’t go unmissed though and even today it enjoys a cult following with modified bikes (usually with a 350 YPVS engine) being popular. In a parallel universe, two-strokes still exist and the RG250 is still in production and looks like this.
With an honest 45bhp motor, this digital koncept uses a modified Gladius and uses modern 17-inch rims to wear the latest tyres. No anti-dive gimmicks are needed in the thick USD forks while Brembo continue to be the brand of choice for brakes. A thick banana swingarm might be overkill but if you stick the 350cc big bore kit in for that 70bhp upgrade you’re going to need it. The styling is a blend of Mk1 and Mk2 handsomeness while the Mk 3 provides the sleekness. The slippery footpegs are replaced by grippy adjustable rearsets – that sort of thing should be standard fitment on every motorcycle. While there’s an electric start button there’s also a kickstart for full nostalgia mode. Ring-ding-ding!