The RUSI Classic 250 is one of the Filipino brand RUSI's best offerings in its lineup, and it's not difficult to see why. It is one good-looking café racer, and it doesn't disappoint when it comes to handling and performance, even on long rides. Here are some salient points you need to know about this budding neo-retro motorbike that's proudly assembled in the country.
(Image credit: rusimcgroup.com)
One of the Most Popular and Budget-Friendly Café Racers in the Philippines
Café racer enthusiasts with limited budgets need not drool over the pricier Japanese, European and Indian models. There's one attractive retro-styled motorbike humbly sitting in RUSI's stable, and that's the RUSI Classic 250. This bike has grown in popularity alongside RUSI's bestsellers such as the RUSI Neptune 125, Mojo, SS200 Gamma and the tricycle business favorite RUSI TC125. The RUSI Classic 250's 2020 iteration has been given some cosmetic changes to make it more visually appealing, but there was no markup in its price. For an affordable price of only PHP 80,000, who would not fall in love with this classic?
Boasts Specifications on Par with Leading Motorcycle Brands
It's time for skeptics to let go of their doubts, as many actual users have good things to say about this bike. In fact, the RUSI Classic 250 has made it high in Priceprice.com's best-selling motorcycles list in December 2020―proof that it is carving a niche in the local motorcycle segment. Let's walk you through some of the café racer's noteworthy specs:
The neo-retro bike stands 2,010mm long, 750mm wide and 1,000mm tall, with its seat height comfortable enough for both average-height and short-statured Filipinos. It tips the scales at 135kg, just about right for optimized handling and some speed.
Design and Styling
The RUSI Classic 250 has a café-racer-next-door charm. The more you look at it, the more you see its allure. After the facelift that the 2020 RUSI Classic 250 underwent, the bike looks sleeker and stylish than ever thanks to the grilles added to the housings of its single round halogen headlight, LED front signal lights, and rear signal lights.
The generous chrome of the old iteration was shed off and the body now has a matte black finish, with copper accents added to the shocks. The elbow of the exhaust pipe now has an extra canister at the middle, and the pipe is no longer chrome-plated or stainless; only the muffler shield remains chrome plated.
The clip-on handlebars, the retro-style teardrop fuel tank, the brown plush flat seat and the stainless grab rail of the previous model have not been tweaked. Neither have the dual sports tires.
There are three equally appealing color schemes on offer: Flat-Black, Titanium and Flat-Red.
Engine and Transmission
The RUSI Classic 250's mechanicals was unchanged from the previous iteration. It is still powered by a Euro 3-compliant 223cc four-stroke, oil-cooled engine paired with a 6-speed transmission.
Suspension and Braking
The RUSI Classic 250's suspension layout consists of an upside-down shock in front and a YSS double rear shock at the rear, which can adequately tackle bumps on the road. For superior stopping power, dual disc brakes clamp the bike's front wheel, while a single disc brake is fastened to the rear wheel.
This café racer from RUSI doesn't lag in terms of features. Controls on the right handlebar include the kill switch, starter button and parking light control, while on the left are the high and low light toggle button, signal light control, hazard switch and horn button. According to users' feedback, the RUSI Classic 250's horn sound is quite loud and strong, close to the sound of a car horn. The instrument gauge is semi-digital, with an analog rev per minute (rpm) counter combined with a digital screen whose backlight is changeable from orange to blue. The digital panel shows the speed, distance traveled, fuel gauge and gear indicator. The gauge also shows the signal lights and hazard indicators. The bike also comes with foldable footrests.
As with many café racers, the RUSI Classic 250 is fully customizable. The seat frame, handlebars, and other components can be changed to suit your style. Examples are raising the handlebars, changing the shocks to have a lower seat height, adding carriers and more.
The RUSI Classic 250 is one affordable and capable motorcycle not just as a fashion accessory but as a riding machine. It serves as an excellent everyday commuting companion that is a tad sporty and customizable. Many riders who've tried this café racer applaud its looks, engine, handling and performance whether on short or long rides. What's more, there are a good number of RUSI outlets nationwide and servicing is easily accessible.
RUSI is a major player in the Philippine motorcycle market, despite having drawn some flak for being associated with cheap China brand stigma and for copying designs of highly reputed motorcycle brands like Honda. RUSI motorbikes are manufactured in China, sent as parts to and assembled in the Philippines and re-badged with the RUSI logo. While there are detractors, feedback from actual users speaks otherwise. The fact that many RUSI motorcycles and tricycles in both metro and provincial roads are a strong indication that they perform adequately and have a good number of subscriber base in the local market. The RUSI Classic 250 is one proof of the local brand's capability to provide a reliable bike with decent performance, good features and an affordable price tag.