Originally posted in July, this NSR is back on eBay. Links updated. -dc
This is actually a very nice NSR250R SP in Rothman's livery, a road-legal version of Honda’s 250 race bike that obviously includes all the necessary lights and signals to keep you looking suitably responsible. The little 250cc two-stroke v-twin pumped out about 45hp as stock, but up to 60 when suitably de-restricted. Which, when pushing a bike that weighs under 300lbs dry, would make it quite the surprise for much bigger machines, considering the snarly little leaf-blower noises and heavy smoke dripping out of the pipes.
If you’re not familiar with the Rothman’s name, they were a premium tobacco manufacturer that sponsored Honda’s GP motorcycle racing efforts between 1985 and 1993. Their stable of brands also included Players and Dunhill, two other brands famous for their motorsports connections.
This is a very slick little machine, but presents a serious problem for someone like me. It’s way too nice to beat up on the track, and without a title there's not much chance of you using it on the street, unless you live in a state with a very permissive DMV. So this one looks to be a collector's item, forever doomed to sit in an office, garage, or museum, never to turn a wheel in anger...
From the original eBay listing: 1994 Honda NSR250 Rothman’s Edition
The MC28 SP bikes represent the fifth generation of Honda 250 two-strokes. They were significantly upgraded from the fourth generation MC21s throughout the bike. The memory card “key” is very slick, the bodywork also had been upgraded for sleeker aero dynamics, and better looks to match the all new single sided swingarm (PROARM). While there were previous versions of the Rothman’s edition, the MC28 SP was the last, and only 1,500 were made. Finding a 1994 Rothmans MC28 SP is quite rare and expensive due to the limited numbers. This is the real thing, not aftermarket bodywork on a plain 250. Check the VIN as well as the official part label on the tail section in the photos.
Bike comes with a limited edition Rothman’s embroidered jacket; size 52 Euro. It also comes with a 1994 NSR250SP Parts Manual (Original), Part # 11KV3RJ5 (in Japanese), code #; D 200.2005.01, 142 pages. You can also see more information about NSRs and an English language service manual at nsr-world.com.
With no valid title, I’m curious as to how this picked up as many miles as it has. The laws regarding what constitutes "road legal" varies from state to state and who knows? Maybe you live in a state where this kind of thing might be doable. I’ve spent most of my life in New Jersey and California, and neither place has a very friendly DMV.
Honestly, I'd be tempted to buy this little dinger, put the beautiful original bodywork on the wall of my office, throw on some Airtech race plastics, put all the road equipment carefully in a box, and ride the living hell out of it.