Progenitor of motorcycle racing champions till 2010, the Aprilia RS250 with its two-stroke engine was dominant on track and road for more than a decade. Now, Aprilia has released the 2020 Aprilia RS250SP in four-stroke guise at a price of 9,700 euro (RM45,307).

The catch is this, the RS250SP is for racing purposes only and is designed to compete in a national series called the Italian Sports Production Championship, designed to provide riders with an entry path into top flight motorcycle racing somewhat like the Spanish CEV race series. However, with much of the world either recovering or still in lockdown from Covid-19, it is likely the championship will be pushed forward to next year.

Launched online, the RS250SP is developed by mini moto manufacturer Ohvale and only takes the engine from Aprilia. In this case, the liquid-cooled, four-stroke 250 cc power plant is a single-cylinder, producing some 28 hp.

As is expected for a racing only motorcycle, the RS250SP makes no accommodation for road-going sensibilities like mountings for lights, turn signals, registration plate or mirrors. In terms of size, the RS250SP is much like a road-going 250 except it only weighs 105 kg, about the same as a 100 cc kapchai.

While the price of the RS250SP might shock some – the Yamaha YZF-R25 retails at RM19,998 – the cost is reflected in the components supplied. These include Andreani racing forks, Ohlins monoshock, Brembo brakes, SC exhaust, Marchesini wheels along with racing slicks and aluminium frame.

Malaysian riders are familiar with the two-stroke Aprilia RS250 – the author’s first review for was the 2009 Aprilia RS125 – from years ago and there is a loyal fan base in this country. Based on the Grand Prix 250 class before it became Moto2 in 2010, the RS250 was the springboard for many of the race champions we know today, including Valentino Rossi, Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marco Melandri and Manuel Poggiali.