Hasegawa Honda RS250RW 2009 WGP 250 Racing Champion
By Jon Fincher
I’ll admit it: I’m not a huge racing fan. However, that said, whenever I can, I love to watch World Grand Prix motorcycle racing. There’s something visceral and compelling about seeing racers leaned over in a turn, dragging their knees over the candy canes through a turn only to have them open the throttle on the exit and go from 50mph to 150mph in a few seconds. No roll cages, no advanced crumple zones, and nothing between them and the road but a hockey puck and some leather. I’ve modeled a few race bikes in the past from another model maker (Alex Criville’s 500cc Repsol Honda’s from 1998 and 1999, and Kenny Roberts 500cc Yamaha from the 1980’s), so it was with great anticipation I opened the box on Hasegawa’s entry into the race bike market.
In years past, WGP racing was divided into distinct classes, divided by engine capacity. From 1990 through 2009, the 250cc class was the stepping stone to greatness, and the place where champions were born – riders such as Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, and Max Biaggi were champions at 250cc before making their mark on the 500cc circuits. For the 2010 season, WGP removed the 250cc class replacing it with the new Moto2 class, which specifies a 600cc four-stroke engine to replace the two-stroke 250cc engine used previously. This kit represents the 2009 bike run by Hiroshi Aoyama, who won the 250cc championship that season.
Opening the Box
Most interestingly for this writer was what was lacking in the kit – chrome. There are no chrome parts given at all. The frame and front forks (what would normally be chromed on a race bike) were molded in white and grey plastic, with instructions to paint them “Shine Silver”. I think I like this approach – most chrome is too shiny to be realistic. While painting natural metal finishes can be tricky, the intricacies of the frame pieces make this an easier task than, say, an airplane wing or automobile hood.
The bike frame has molded-in weld lines with detail so fine, I couldn’t see it immediately – I had to run my finger nail along it to feel it. Once painted, a fine black wash over this will add instant depth and realism to the welded frame pieces.
Instructions and Decals
Paint colors provided are in GSI Creos and Mr. Color numbers. I would suggest using http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/colorcharts/stuff_eng_colorcharts_gunze.htm for color conversions to other systems. The painting instructions given throughout the kit are very well done, and the final painting suggestion (for Hiroshi Aoyama’s 2009 season bike) are extremely detailed and complete, but appear easy to follow.
My heartfelt thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample.