RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
Third up in our Fanciful Friday series is “Buying a Moto3 bike”. Why the heck this subject? Because Moto3 bikes are awesome. The Fanciful Friday series is not just about powerful superbikes, fast riders, dreamy scenarios and rare, expensive or limited edition items.
In this series, we also write about really cool things. Things, situations and scenarios that are awesome because they are different. Or just have an attitude we love. The latter is one of the reasons why we love the little Moto3 bikes. Let us tell you a bit more about why “Buying a Moto3 bike” deserves a spot in our Fanciful Friday series.
Most Moto3 bikes are made by KTM. The Austrian brand is well know for its feisty machines, both big and small. Think of their very popular MX bikes, but also of their famous Duke-series. And just look at the design of those feisty Moto3 bikes. Aren’t they cute?
Moto3 bikes are the bikes that are raced in the Moto3 class of the World Championship in racing, but also in other race cups like the Northern Talent Cup. KTM provides most of the bikes for these championships and cups. But you will also find bikes of Husqvarna, Gas Gas and CF Moto (which are technically all KTM’s too..) and bikes that are manufactured by Honda.
A Moto3 bike is a 4-stroke engined bike with a cubic capacity of 250cc. By the official rules, the cylinder diameter is limited to 81mm and the engine revs are restricted to 14.000 rpm. The bike weighs at least 80 kg and has 60 hp. The maximum speed of a Moto3 bike is 240 kph.
In the Moto3 Championship, everyone rides with the same electronics and the engine cannot cost more than 12.000 euros. Every rider has just one motorcycle, just like the Moto2 riders. The minimum weight of both rider and bike combined cannot be less than 152 kilos. And the maximum age for riders to compete in the Moto3 Championship is 28 years of age.
Imagine riding one. That must be big fun. Flat out, everywhere. Or almost everywhere. It that something you can do with your 180 – 200 hp sport bike? Don’t think so! Buying and riding a Moto3 bike might make less sense for the really tall riders among us. Sorry about that! But since I’m only 5.3” tall (1.68m) I got overly excited by the thought of racing a mini sport bike.
Buying a Moto3 bike is no easy thing to do by the way. There are hardly any bikes available. Most of them remain in the hands of the manufacturers or teams. Not so strange, since the build-up cost of a Moto 3 bike is quite high. Think of an average of 500.000 dollar per bike. This includes accident cost. Lots of technology and information that these bikes provides remains within the team or within the company that acquired the bike in the first place.
But if you do find one you can actually buy, they cost you a lot of money. A Moto3 bike made by KTM can easily cost you around 45.000 euros.
It that a bit above your budget? We get that. Join the club! Luckily, there are some other options. I know they aren’t all technically Moto3 bikes, but they do resemble similar features. That means being a lightweight, small bike with a playful amount of power.
First up is the Honda NSF250R. The Japanese Moto3 bike costs around 28.599 dollar. This little fellow is powered by a single cylinder 4 stroke 249cc engine. It is needless to say these bikes are specifically designed for racing purposes.
With a seat height of only 72.9 cm it is perfect for short or young riders with a racy preference. And it only weighs 84 kilo. 84! Can’t make that tight turn? Just pick it up and turn it around. It is that lightweight. With a fuel tank of 11 liters you do have to fuel up quite often. But hey, it doesn’t take too long either. So no loss there.
And with its 25.5 kW or almost 49 hp you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun. The original NSF250R that participated in the Moto3 World Championship was succeeded by the NSF250RF in 2014 and has been ridden in the Championship ever since. And quite successfully so.
Another manufacturer that produces Moto3 look a like bikes is Moriwaki. The Japanese manufacturer Moriwaki builds 300 cc mini sport bikes. Sadly, it is quite a challenge to get your hands on one of these as well. Funny fact; Sir Mamoru Moriwaki is the son in law of Hideo Yoshimura, known for his famous company that creates exhausts, frames and other performance parts mainly for sport bikes.
The Moriwaki MD250H uses quite a few Honda parts, like the front fork, the engine, rear suspension, wheels, brakes and radiator. So it is kind of a semi Honda. The engine is a 249.4 cc single cylinder 4-stroke. With a 7 liter fuel tank you have to fill up even quicker. But hey, taking a little brake more often doesn’t hurt anyone. Especially when you use this bike as a fun second training bike.
You can find a used one for around 7.000 euros. A new one costs about 11.699 dollars. It’s developed to suit riders aged 12 – 16, but who says a tiny adult can’t have fun with these as well? We think we could.
One of the bikes I get very excited about, is the aprilia RS250 SP (did you expect anything else?). This baby version of the RSV4 looks like a stunning little gem. The design is awesome, something that’s almost always on point with the Italian brand. And the weight of approximately 100 kg sounds like big fun.
It has only 28 hp, which might sound like nothing with todays standards. And yes, even for a 250cc bike, that’s not much. But you know what would be really awesome? To replace the stock engine with a 250cc 2-stroke engine. Imagine that! How much fun would that be?! A 2-stroke 250cc baby RSV4. Just not with a V4. An RSV2 if you will?
They cost less than an actual Moto3 bike. The production is handled by Ohvale, the Italian manufacturer of mini bikes. They have made mini bikes their expertise, so they will probably know what they are doing. You can get your hands on one for around 9.700 euros. Will we keep our eyes on this one? You bet we will!
Long story short; if I would have the opportunity to change bikes and ride a Moto3 bike on track instead of an 150 – 200 hp rocket, then I would! I definitely would. Of course, one could also opt for a ‘normal’ 300 cc sport bike. But the design and tech of those Moto3 bikes or bikes that resemble similar features are what make them so much fun. And very, very interesting to look at. Or drool at.
And that is why buying a Moto3 bike deserves a spot in our Fanciful Friday series. They are hard to find and cost you a fortune. But they are so much fun too. And can you put a price on fun? Okay, for 45.000 euros you can and due to that, buying a Moto3 bike is way out of our league. But that is what Fanciful Friday is for. To dream about nearly impossible things. And make it possible, if only just for the moment.