2012 Derbi GPR 50
2012 Aprilia RS4 50
Registration is still something I have yet to figure out. I have some ideas on this, but those depend on which bike I end up getting. For most of the choices I’m really not sure. For type of bike I’m pretty much set on sport bikes. I am a fan of the lighter is better concept. I don’t expect that I'll seriously look at anything larger than a 250cc two stroke. But I'm not totally opposed to the possibility if something comes along.
Most of my bikes are two strokes. So I know that they can be a handful, and the scary proposition is that most of the two strokes that I’ll be looking at will likely be 25 years, or older. If I can find something viable I’ll probably have it shipped home afterwards. That's one of the things I wasn’t too sure about with the ST2 because oddly enough, it wasn’t old enough! 1993 is the cutoff. It could be a 94 model if it was manufactured in 93, but that's about it. As for budget, the less I spend on the bike the more I can spend riding around.
Another possibility would be to find a place to store the bike and then go again in 2019. I know a place like this in Germany that will store a bike for around 200€ per year. That’s a great deal!
When I first started planing this adventure no one gave a hoot about the strokers. They were very affordable. But now as you say the prices are just going crazy. I think this has a lot to do with the 25 year law that is finally allowing these bikes to cross the ocean (legally). The 250 Replicas are arguably the finest bikes that Japan ever produced for the mass market. Even today most of the stuff they offer doesn't measure up.
The top three bikes of interest currently would be an RGV250, TZR250, or a very early RS250 Aprilia. I think the RS was first sold in 1995 so if I went with one of those it would have to be stored in Japan for at least a year, possibly more before I could ship it to the States (legally).
I would also jump at one of these (which was actually my original plan)—2011 Derbi GPR50 if I could find one. They are only 50cc, but I know very well how to mod them, and I’ve done a lot of miles on the older versions. But this route requires that I have a place to do some rather invasive wrenching on the bike, as it would require a number of upgrades for this adventure.
There is a sister bike to the GPR that I might also be tempted to get. Actually there’s a pretty good chance I might go with the Aprilia RS4-50 version of the bike, because there are still some of these for sale in Japan. I know these bikes don’t qualify with the 25 year rule, but there are different rules for 50cc bikes.