Building the next generation of professional bikers and road racers isn’t a goal with a simple plan. The US professional motorcycle road racing scene has struggled in recent years, although things are improving. As with most long-term businesses, an entire thriving ecosystem needs to be in place with the right coaching, areas of practice, and tools to help them form. Just as students need pencils and books to learn, budding racers need the right bike, with the 2021 Ohvale GP-2 190 as an example available.
Minibikes are the weapon of choice for youth racing programs in European countries like Spain or Italy, giving children the opportunity to develop their riding skills on the kart track before sitting down on full-size sports motorcycles. And that’s for good reason: Very important skills like throttle control, cornering, track braking, body positioning and much more can be honed at safer speeds. It is therefore not surprising that the Spanish and Italian national anthems have been played most often on the MotoGP podiums over the years.
It’s no secret that some of our favorite MotoGP, WSBK and MotoAmerica stars first dragged their knees on Lilliputian machines, and still do – several have recently switched to Ohvale machines. Members of the pro paddock have surely been drawn to the racing body, inverted fork, radial mount caliper and a host of tasty CNC machined pieces that reflect their pedigree and purpose. The Ohvale is a far cry from the modified kid’s off-road bikes and supercharged Groms that regularly terrorize go-kart tracks.
And it’s on the surface. The designers of Ohvale take it a step further by replicating the pinion position, chain traction, drag and shift numbers of modern supersports, achieving a 53/47 front / rear weight bias common among sportbikes. today. In short, a real small-scale motorcycle.
None of this has gone unnoticed for American road racer Brandon Cretu, co-owner of Rise Moto, the exclusive importer of Ohvale to the United States, whose primary mission is to elevate road racing on the home front. . Since importing the right tools for the job, he has also been instrumental in the development of the MotoAmerica Mini Cup in four rounds. The Ohvale spec series coincides with some stoppages in the resurfacing MotoAmerica Superbike Championship schedule.
As a man with a well-heeled resume that includes multiple appearances at Isle of Man TT, Macau GP, Northwest 200, Ulster GP and 24 hour endurance races Le Mans and Suzuka 8 hours, he knows what it takes to make a career as a driver.
This brings us to the Ohvale GP-2 190. This is the most important minibike in the Italian brand’s range, with larger 12-inch wheels, a taller steel trellis frame and more spacious ergonomics. The GP-2 complements the smaller GP-0 range, including the GP-110, GP-0 160 and GP-0 190, which achieve the same training goals but are sized for the little ones.
The designers pulled and pulled the GP-2’s frame to create a more spacious motorcycle, providing more front-to-back room in the short 28.5-inch saddle, longer reach at the adjustable clips and added a certain distance between the seats and the three-position adjustable footrests. Geometric adjustments follow suit, with a 0.5 degree increase in steering angle, along with an aluminum swingarm that’s nearly an inch longer and repositioned to ensure proper chain traction.
Sure, it’s a perfect fit for my 5’10 ” dimensions, but not too different from the contortionism associated with fully-keeled sportbikes. Aside from the inevitable bear-and-bike comparisons, once you’re gone, it almost feels, well, normal.
Despite its clownish proportions, the GP-2 is not here to amuse you. It’s a push-button miniaturized racing bike ready to tackle any go-kart track in the country. Pitbike or toy, it is not; this tool will make any rider better at their craft.
The path to becoming a better rider begins with starting the air-cooled four-valve Daytona 190 single-cylinder engine. It puts out around 25 horsepower, although Ohvale doesn’t cite specific performance numbers and has an excellent Arrow full exhaust system that sounds baritone tune. Things stay old-fashioned with a Keihin 28mm carburetor that provides crisp fueling to the racing throttle, adding to its enthusiastic personality. Simple is the name of the game, and that bodes well if your team leader is you or your parent.
Bolted into a package that weighs just 157 pounds (dry), these ponies feel pretty fast on a tight, close kart track. As fun as this engine is, what it teaches is crucial. Basic throttle control skills are highlighted, as the Daytona 190 can wiggle and wiggle the grippy tires of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso scooter when they have decent lean angles, much like what happens on full size machines.
Neutral is at the bottom of the four-speed gearbox (N-1-2-3-4), the same as a MotoGP machine. This eliminates the long stroke in the middle of 1st and 2nd gears caused by the neutral positioning between them, as on most motorcycles. Our test unit didn’t have the optional EVR anti-dribble clutch, meaning downshifts required proper clutch feathering and rev matching or else you’d get a significant wheel jump. While the EVR unit resolves the situation correctly, having this skill in your bag of tricks is always a positive. Although the gear change is stiffer, press the lever with conviction and it won’t let you down.
The Ohvale GP-2 show star is a chassis that showcases the good, the bad and the ugly about your ride. At first, it’s a sensory overload. All your usual inputs or bad techniques that heavier, more powerful machines might hide are magnified on such a small machine.
Bad habits are immediately aimed at them; add too much weight to the bars by not distributing the weight between your core and your legs? The front end will protest loudly near the top. Accelerate or brake suddenly? Little Ohvale is busy, and here is your exit. Recalibrate, listen and learn what the GP-2 says and it easily fits onto the proverbial rails. My lap times on the optional Alfano GPS dashboard started to move in the right direction when I started to get it right.
While this isn’t generally considered a positive, bumping wheels up to 12 inches does add additional gyroscopic forces to the mix, introducing a bit more stability than the 10 inches on the GP-0. It also opens the doors for more tire options.
Suspension functions are handled by a USD 33mm preload adjustable fork and fully adjustable shock as standard. Meanwhile, I had a fully adjustable 38mm fork with Mupo internals at my disposal. Together, the suspension perfectly reflects the topography of the circuit for the driver. Beyond that, having an adjustable suspension allows the rider to begin to understand the setup of the bike or how geometry changes the behavior of the bike. Again, all the things that pushing runners need to understand.
There isn’t much of a difference between how you approach riding the Ohvale or a bigger bike when you sum it all up, and experimenting with techniques is what the GP-2 is all about. Of course, maintaining your speed in the corners is a solid approach for any lightweight machine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bury the front with the gentle J.Juan 4-piston brakes, like you would on a point. -and-shoot 1000cc bike.
In fact, I can attribute the Ohvale with strides made strides is in the braking department. Flirting with deeper braking or carrying more brakes to the top seemed more achievable at these more reasonable speeds. This point, as with countless others, I have translated it on every other bike I have been on since, especially when racing with my Kawasaki Ninja 400.
We should analyze what you get.
Our current US market isn’t exactly full of performance mini-bike options, unless you rewind the clock until the Honda NSR50 and Yamaha YSR50 reigned supreme, or grab a Kayo MiniGP MR150. , which provides context to the expensive starting MSRP of $ 6,499. However, compare the price to the booming world of motocross, where a 2022 KTM 85 SX will set you back $ 6,399, and you’ll quickly realize that the cost of a 2021 Ohvale GP-2 190 isn’t unreasonable.
Next year we will have Cameron Beaubier, Joe Roberts and Sean Dylan Kelly competing in Moto2, while Garrett Gerloff will represent America in the WSBK. Oddly enough, their social media profiles are showing up on Ohvale’s machines all the time.
Whether you are a professional racer, club racer or an avid enthusiast looking to hone your skills, spending time with the 2021 Ohvale GP-2 190 will improve you as a rider; this is obvious. Right now, there isn’t a more powerful training tool set than what Ohvale has in its arsenal – period.
Photograph by Karen E. Ott
2021 Ohvale GP-2 190 Specifications
- Type: Daytona horizontal single cylinder 4 stroke
- Displacement: 187cc
- Bore x stroke: 62 x 62cc
- Valve system: SOHC; 4 valves
- Refueling: 28mm carburetor (Keihin PE or Dell’Orto PHBH)
- Exhaust: Stainless steel with Arrow titanium silencer
- Start: kick
- Lubrication: Wet sump
- Transmission: 4 speeds (neutral down; reverse optional)
- Clutch: 6 wet discs (optional slip clutch)
- Final drive: Regina Gold Series chain
- Frame: tubular steel trellis
- Front suspension: 33mm inverted fork preload adjustable (38mm fully adjustable inverted fork optional)
- Rear suspension: Fully adjustable shock absorber with piggyback reservoir (Öhlins shock absorber optional)
- Wheels: Aluminum
- Front wheel: 12 x 2.50
- Rear wheel: 12 x 3.00
- Tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Scooter
- Front tire: 100/90 x 12
- Rear tire: 120/80 x 12
- Front brake: 220mm floating disc with J.Juan 4-piston radial caliper and steel braided line
- Rear brake: 180 mm disc with single piston D 25 floating caliper and steel braided line
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Seat height: 28.5 inches
- Fuel tank capacity: 3.7 quarts
- Dry weight: 156.5 pounds (without fluids)
- Colors: black / yellow; White Red; Blue / Orange; Gray / Orange
2021 Ohvale GP-2 190 Price: $ 6,499 MSRP
2021 Ohvale GP-2 190 Review Photo gallery