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Aprilia RS250

Published: 16 September 2001

The RS250 had the biggest difference in times between the riders and generally felt the least capable. Being geared for around 40mph less than its nearest rival, it expectedly lost out most down the main straight. But take that away and, as our data shows, it’s one amazingly capable. Bike. It posted the fastest times through the chicane and was a whisker off being the fastest bike, on average, through the scary, unsettling left hander that threatened to whip each riders’ tyres away from underneath him.Everyone had secret admiration for the tiny battler.

Smith: " Because it’s so small and agile, you hardly need to brake. You get on the anchors much nearer the bends, which is a hell of an advantage. It allows you to sneak in underneath other riders. I liked it. "

Hill: " It’s perfectly suited to the twistier tracks. Three Sisters is a good example. It would slay everything bar a good 400 4-stroke around there. "

Crutchlow: " It might lap slow here because it’s down on top speed, but it’d go well at Cadwell or Mallory. I think they’re under-rated. "

King: " I’m more used to big fours, so this was a bit of a revelation. It surprised me but at turns one and three, the two fastest ones on the circuit, I went quickest on the RS250. It was also mustard through the chicane. Tops. "

Farr: " I was brought up on a diet of RDs, RGs and even the odd X7, KR-1S and RGV, so I loved this bike from the start. I struggled to get my head round the chicane section all day long – it’s so unforgiving if you make a mistake – but the RS flew through it compared to the other bikes. For me, at that point on the track, only the GSX-R600 was anywhere close. And that was three quarters of a second off the pace. It’s too buzzy and revvy and a bit of a pain after getting used to big 4-strokes though.

OVERALL: The bike for ultra-twisty circuits. A clear winner at Three Sisters, for example.

Fasttest lap: Smith 1:20.00. Hill: 1:20.00. Cruthchlow 1:27.00. King 1:30.00. Farr 1:26.00. Average 1:24.6.

Max Spd: Smith 121.7mph. Hill 115.3mph. Crutchlow 115.1mph. King 113.6mph. Farr 115.3mph. Average 116.2mph.

Mid T1: Smith 73.0mph. Hill 71.7mph. Crutchlow 71.8mph. King 56.8mph. Farr 74.0mph. Average 69.46mph.

Mid T2: Smith 48.0mph. Hill 46.8mph. Crutchlow 41.6mph. King 42.0mph. Farr 43.3mph. Average 44.34mph.

Mid T3: Smith 109.5mph. Hill 105.0mph. Crutchlow 97.87mph. King 86.7mph. Farr 101.6mph. Average 100.1mph.

Mid T4: Smith 68.0mph. Hill 67.8mph. Crutchlow 63.37mph. King 59.3mph. Farr 65.0mph. Average 64.7mph.

Chicane: Smith 9.6sec. Hill 11.0sec. Crutchlow 12.39sec. King 12.01sec. Farr 12.0sec. Average 11.4sec.

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