We were all sad to see the two-strokes go. The last of the fire-breathing 500 GP machines were parked at the end of the 2002 season, and in 2010 the 250s were supplanted by the 600cc four-strokes of Moto2. Finally, at the beginning of this year, the screaming 125s were silenced, replaced by the booming staccato of the single-cylinder four-stroke Moto3 machines.
We’ll surely miss the smell of premix, but gearheads can’t help but be excited about the new four-stroke machinery being produced by KTM and Honda, machinery that is now available to the public. Honda made its NSF250R available earlier this year, and KTM has just announced a derivative of its championship-winning Moto3 machine. The RC 250 R production racer was unveiled earlier this week, and is said to be available via special order from dealers. (Click here to view the press release.) There’s no word yet on price, but if Honda’s $28,000 NSF is any indication, it’ll be expensive!
The NSF and RC herald the return of the factory-prepared production racer, and a direct connection between the factory’s race department and club racers. However, it’s unlikely we’ll see these will become as pervasive at the two-strokes they replace, if only because the price of admission is so high. But for those with serious racing aspirations (and budgets), these four-stroke singles may provide just the kind of stepping stone that Honda’s RS125R and Yamaha’s TZ125 have served as for decades.