Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Derbi GPR50: The best of what’s left

2011 Derbi GPR50 2011 Derbi GPR50 2011 Derbi GPR50 2011 Derbi GPR50
All right, it's no RS250, but at least the GPR50 still gives kids a chance to experience the joys of two-stroke motorcycle engines. Rock on, Derbi!

Two-strokes. Those glorious smoke-spewing fire-spitting contraptions that have now been consigned to the annals of history. Gone, but not forgotten by those who grew up riding one. For anyone who’s ever ridden the nuts off a Yamaha RD350LC, Honda NSR250, Kawasaki KR-1S, Suzuki RGV250, Yamaha TZ250 or Aprilia RS250, two-strokes will probably live on forever in some corner of your heart.

Anyway, while they may live on in our hearts and minds, two-strokes are no more in the real world – they’re all gone. With the possible exception of tiny, 50cc two-stroke engines that somehow manage to cling on to life in some parts of Europe. Spanish manufacturer, Derbi, for example, recently announced their new GPR50, which is fitted with a liquid-cooled single-cylinder carburetted two-stroke engine, mated to a six-speed gearbox. Derbi claim the bike is the most advanced machine of its kind, in its segment.

And while today’s teenagers aren’t very likely to have heard of the likes of Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey, they’d probably still think the Derbi GPR50 is pretty cool. The little tyke is, after all, fitted with bits like a twin-spar chassis made of die-cast aluminium, 17-inch light-alloy wheels, 41mm USD fork, Ollé monoshock and 300mm brake disc at the front, with radial mount callipers. With a kerb weight of just 110kg, we’re sure the little GPR50 will all but fly with a lightweight, 14-year-old rider aboard the machine.

All right, so all the great two-stroke motorcycles are gone forever, but thank god the Derbi GPR50 lives on – at least kids today can still get a glimpse of what two-stroke motorcycles used to be like.

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