Posts by Category: Honda

Honda August 20, 2017 posted by

Legal Smokers: Two 1982 Honda MB5s

The early 1980s were an interesting time for motorcycle enthusiasts. Big changes were in the air, and all manufacturers were scrambling to develop disruptive models in the search for performance and sales; think of the groundbreaking Ninja 900, GSX-R 750, V45 Interceptor, and the Turbo era bikes, to name a few. Riders and drivers across the US were still reeling from the energy crisis, and many commuters were in search of cheaper forms of transportation. Enter the Honda MB5 - a 50cc motorcycle meant to appeal to beginning riders as well as commuters the world over. In the US, the MB5 was officially imported into all 50 states and is a one year only model (it had nearly a 10 year run in Europe). While not the usual diet for RSBFS (likely more toy than trick), there is no doubt that the MB5 is a rare machine and a curious footnote for two stroke enthusiasts.

Two 1982 Honda MB5s for sale on eBay

1982 was the key year for the Honda MB5 in the US. Colors included the red/blue scheme as seen here, as well as a black/red model (the latter being the more rare of the two). The mighty 7 HP power plant consisted of a single cylinder, 49cc air cooled two stroke engine that included a counter-balancer to lessen vibration (a good thing, given the 10,500 RPM operating range). Fueling was simplified via oil injection (no more mixing oil with the gas during fill ups), and maintenance was simplified via CDI ignition (no points - which was still a relatively advanced concept by 1980). Power was transmitted via a wet, multiplate clutch through a 5-speed transmission. The whole package was complimented by Honda "ComStar" style wheels of 18" diameter, a decent instrument cluster (speedo, tach, warning lights), and a front disk brake. Rear suspension is handled by a conventional twin-shock arrangement, the shocks being "laid down" to appear more like a single shock setup. For street legalities, the MB5 includes a compliment of headlight/taillight plus turn signals.

From the seller:
I present here a pair of my MB5s, always garaged indoors away from sunlight and dampness when not ridden, red/blue, which to the best of my knowledge are all stock w/ original paint that is not sun faded, both w/ low orig miles, emits very little exhaust smoke at idle and when screaming thru the 5 gears at 9500 rpm, are generally 2nd kick Hondas and 1st kick when warm and note that the non rack bike is needing tires, a flasher, a front brake switch and a battery strap.

All D.I.D rims are clean and not pitted, have good clean gas tanks, frame, handlebars, non faded speedometer/odometer and tachometer gauges, seats w/ bright logo, no leaks on the exhaust pipes undersides and paint that matches all the components. The 1 side stand will remain on the bike w/ rack which I’ve added.

The engine(s) revs up to 9500+ rpm without missing a beat and winds back down holding a steady 1400 rpm idle, have cooling fins w/ rubber dampers that are all intact and w/o cracks. Better yet, although simple, are that both bikes have both working lo and hi beam headlights… 1 is a Stanley original while the other is a Sylvania Halogen replacement I was fortunate enough to find. Sometime back I had installed flash-to-pass switches on the bikes to prolong beam life but have removed them. I will remove my 3rd or Borg eye LED and rear LED lights.

By the mid 1980s gas prices had dropped back down to (if not below) normal levels. The need for a 75-100 MPG commuter vehicle abated - especially one that came with the limitations of a 50cc slightly-bigger-than-a-scooter two wheeler. As a result, most MB5s were either completely thrashed by young teens with aspirations of Spencer, Roberts or Lawson (don't ask me how I know), or otherwise abandoned to the gods of rust and neglect. Finding one in decent condition is difficult due to the relative rarity; finding a pair in decent nick is a rare occurrence indeed. Both of these bikes appear to be in better than average condition, with one of them sporting the rare, Honda accessory luggage rack.

There may be no substitution for cubic inches, but this pair of 50cc machines deserves better than obscurity. Like many attempts by Honda during this time, the MB5 only lasted a single year. Yet these were blessed with typical Honda craftsmanship, and reliability of the one-lunger is far better than your average 1980s mechanized machine. More for fun and curiosity than something that you would likely use on a daily basis, this duo of MB5s will be selling together. Opening ask is a pretty reasonable $3,535 (a fair price for one MB5 is good condition) - with no takers as of yet. Check it out here, and feel free to jump back to the Comments on 50cc machines. Did you spend any time on a tiny smoker? Let us know, and good luck!!

MI

Legal Smokers:  Two 1982 Honda MB5s
Honda August 17, 2017 posted by

Smoker’s Cough: Well-loved 1987 Honda NSR250R

We don't often post bikes this hammered well-loved here at RSBFS, but this one caught our eye. Ignore, if you will, the mismatched tires, the forgotten seat upholstery and, well, the rust. What we have here is an example of the 1987 Honda NSR250R that you could actually ride.

1987 Honda NSR250R for sale on eBay

Tires are cheap, and so are chains, sprockets, oil filters and gas. With the same attention you'd give any used bike, you could end up with a light-weight, momentum-loving two-stroke wonder that you can really sink into a back road, or park at a bar without worrying about its pristine, original Rothmans graphics.

Powered by a 45-horsepower 249cc two-stroke V-Twin, these things will move when you can get them on the pipe and keep them there. With no electronics of any kind and old, conventional forks, the ride, though quick, is a reminder of a different time, with acceleration and grip levels that pale in comparison to anything modern.

The seller says this one starts and runs "okay," which means it needs attention, and could use a cosmetic restoration. We'd hold off on the latter, but to each their own.

From the listing:

Very cool little NSR250R. This is a complete motorcycle. It does start and run okay, but could do with a cosmetic restoration. The plastics all look good except the windscreen. Any clarification ask me three two three three five two four zero nine two. This bike has VT registration but not a title. If the buyer pays for it, I am happy to get the motorcycle titled in Florida.

The Buy-It-Now is set at $4,000, no doubt with a discount for its condition, but the seller says a Florida title will cost you, which pushes this machine squarely into the steep category. Demerits aside, it is a unique example of a fantastic bike that we think has memories yet to make.

Smoker’s Cough: Well-loved 1987 Honda NSR250R
Honda August 17, 2017 posted by

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R

The Honda NS400R is a bit of an odd duck in the annals of rare bike collections. Bigger than a 250 but lacking the brutal thrust of the 500cc smokers, the V-3 two stroke is neither fish nor fowl. Nearly all other two strokes are apples to the NS400R orange. With typical Honda flair and technology, the NSR is finished to a very high standard and offers a more evolved package than the competition. Instead of focusing solely on the HP game, Honda polished the edges and created a softer sport bike. But make no mistake - the NS400R is quite capable of madness in the canyons when piloted by an experienced rider.

1986 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

To make a NS400R, imagine taking a parallel twin and 90 degree V-twin power plant and stuffing them together in the same case. Retain two cylinders up front, and one in the rear (for packaging). Beef up the single cylinder moving parts to compensate for only having one piston rather than two (to quell vibration), toss in some power valve and exhaust chamber wizardry (ATAC system) and bolt it all to a six speed gearbox. Slide that contraption into a sweet aluminum perimeter frame, bolt up a trick TRAC anti-dive fork and Showa rear shock, and drape it in aerodynamic bodywork with intricate detail (even the kickstand has a freaking fairing!) and you've got another Honda masterpiece.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a very rare beast which was sold new in Calgary Alberta Canada and I am the second owner. This bike has sat in a collection for over 20 years and has been started regularly and kept up the way it should have been. I took bike out and have put 250 klms on the machine and worked flawlessly as it should. Everything is 100% and factory Honda not aftermarket ebay panels. These bikes are climbing in value extremely fast and are not going to stop that's for sure.

The only flaw in the bike is a small hairline crack forming by one of the bolts on the faring. I am putting this up for sale this one time for I have found a brand new on in the crate still. Bike is perfect needs nothing at all and is currently located in Alberta Canada with a clear title and can be crated up professionally to ship for an extra charge.

This two owner bike is definitely interesting. The seller does not note the model year, which I sussed is an '86 due to the "G" digit in the provided VIN (not to mention the big "1986" on the VIN plate). The bike looks clean and is claimed original, but no notes of maintenance or refresh on the running gear - a potential issue for a 31 year old bike with 15,534 on the all kilometer clocks. Certainly it has not set the interwebs on fire as of yet; only a few bids and far below $2k with a reserve in place.

If you are in the market for a NS400R - and there is really no reason you should not be unless you are no longer breathing - this could be your next ride. The bike is located in Canada, meaning that importation awaits US buyers. While that is a negative in this case, it should not be all that surprising considering that Honda never imported these to the States in the first place. You are past the 25 year mark at this point, so for states other than the one at the bottom left of most US maps, it might not be that big of a deal. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and share your thoughts: is the NS400R too big, too small, or just right? Good Luck!!

MI

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R
Honda August 16, 2017 posted by

Single-Sided Sportbike: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale

The later NC30 version of Honda’s VFR gets most of the attention, due to the fact that the style and specification so closely mimics the iconic RC30 at about half the cost, but this earlier VFR400R NC24 still makes for an appealing and attention-grabbing ride. The NC24 was sold in 1987 and 1988 and featured a 399cc V4 with gear-driven cams, although it had a more conventional 180° crank instead of the later bike’s 360° “big bang” firing order that helped give that later bike its distinctive character.

The 60hp produced by the V4 was modest but very flexible and the gear-driven cams added a characterful whine to go with the precise cam timing that prompted their inclusion. The VFR400R was light at around 350lbs dry and handling was predictably excellent. The bike's endurance-racing design brief is clearly reflected in that ELF-designed Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm, here secured by four nuts [hidden by a plastic cover] instead of the later NC30's genuine single nut.

Styling is fairly conventional, apart from that swingarm and high-mount exhaust. The bike has a single trapezoidal headlamp instead of twin round units found [for most markets at least] on the later NC/RC30's, making this earlier VFR a bit of a bargain, considering the engineering and heritage on display here. This one is a fairly recent import from Japan and comes with a Washington State title!

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale

Directly import from Japan, BDS Auction.
Honda VFR400R
1987 year
First generation with: single rear Pro-Arm system.
Model NC24-10006460
9526km- approximately 6500 mile original!
Excellent condition , new battery, oil filter, spark plugs.
Has clear WA Title!!!
No Trade!
We are a licensed dealer and importer of Japanese vehicles.
Have been importing since 1996!

The seller also includes a video walk-around and startup of the bike. The little V4 seems to fire up pretty easily, once the cameraman remembers the choke, and the bike makes a nice, exotic whir. $5,900 seems reasonable for this bit of Honda history: everything works and, although there is some of the expected surface corrosion on a Japanese import, the bike looks very complete, with low miles and tons of cool engineering detail.

-tad

Single-Sided Sportbike: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale
Honda August 16, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1996 Honda NSR250R SE MC28

When it comes to competition - performance AND style - you simply cannot beat the 250cc two-stroke market. Designed both for capturing regional buyers where licensing regulations restrict capacity and to bolster the corporate image of the company related to GP racing, the quarter-liter smoker is one of the more focused sporting machines you are likely to find. All of the Big Four competed heavily in these 250 battles, and the result is an aging crop of razor-sharp racers that collectors lust after. Never officially imported into the United States, any of these grey-market interlopers are rare. Fewer are in clean, corrosion-free condition. And even fewer have a title for road use Stateside. This 1996 Honda NSR250R ticks all the right boxes. Read on!

Featured Listing: 1996 Honda NSR250R SE MC28

The Honda NSR250 series has proven to be one of the more popular models for importation. Part of this is due to age: the original 250 racer was born in 1985, while the street bike emerged in 1987 and therefore slides under the 25 year old rule for US imports. Unlike the Suzuki Gamma, Honda stuck with the same basic format throughout the model run; all NSRs are 90 degree vee twins. For the next decade or so, Honda continued to ramp the hyper-factor on what could only be referred to as a "racer with lights," finally closing the door on the model in the late 1990s due to ever-tightening emissions regulations, changes in racing classes, and improvements in four-stroke technology.

Today's Featured Listing is the vaunted MC28 variant of the NSR250R. This bike is still a bit newer than the 25 year rule, and therefore more rare to find imported and titled in the US. The MC28 is pretty trick by 1996 standards - check out the single-sided swingarm. While other manufacturers were implementing "banana" style arms to help the right-hand side pipe tuck up tighter for better cornering clearance, Honda did away with the right-side arm altogether, improving the tire changing experience and the style all in one fell swoop. The MC28 also introduced Honda's PGM-IV electronic ignition. This programmable ignition mapping system took input from the throttle position, gear-selection, and RPM to create specific ignition sequences for each cylinder. This system also took control of the exhaust valve, ensuring optimum settings for peak power. In short, the MC28 refined the two-stroke tuning experience and made it as simple as using a key card.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a rarely seen Honda NSR 250R SE Repsol edition MC28. This bike is the cream of the crop. There are only 9,102 kilometers (5,656 miles) on this beauty. This NSR is in mint condition with only a few nicks and handling marks. Bike passes for new condition. Comes equipped with very tasteful and expensive mods: Ethos Design full exhaust system with carbon fiber mufflers, Tyga rear sets, Tyga carbon fiber front fender, heel guards, air intake and carbon fiber dash surround. Engine is completely stock. Fairings 100% original OEM Honda. The upper cowling is fiberglass FRP made in Japan. Very nice finish and is prized in Japan for high quality. The rest of the fairings are genuine Honda OEM.

Bike is ultra clean and very well cared for. Tires are very fresh and the bike runs like the day it was new. Full service with carb tune just completed. This is the bike everybody wants in their collection. Bike needs nothing! No problems, no stories, no excuses. This Repsol comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use. Comes with one key card.

This particular MC28 looks fantastic in the classic Mick Dohan Repsol livery. And to compliment an already great machine, this one appears to have quite a bit of the Tyga catalog thrown its way to boot! The Ethos full exhaust is icing on the cake. Unlike much of what we see imported out of Japan, this bike is a cherry rider that looks clean and collectable. This is a bike you can park in your man cave with pride, yet begs to be taken on a canyon-carving session on the weekend. The seller is an avid collector, is well known to RSBFS readers, and has garnered nothing but positive feedback according to readers who have become new owners of some of his bikes. Check it out here before it's too late. This one has had TONS of internet interest and will be going to a new home soon. If you lust for an NSR250R, this may be your best chance to realize that dream. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1996 Honda NSR250R SE MC28
Honda August 14, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – As New 1996 Honda NSR 250 SP !

Update 8.17.2017: We have been notified that this exceptional bike sold in just 48hrs! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Rarely can I sit for a 90-slide show, slowly fading between pictures. But our featured listing for today caught me doing just that, savoring each close-up of this museum-quality 1996 Honda NSR 250 SP.

 

Too recent to be imported to the U.S., the 249cc twin was intended for the home market, and the Sport Production variant for knowledgable fans of Moto GP and the marque.  The 249cc twin was made from 1984 to 1996, the final three years with PGM-IV electronic control of ignition and exhaust valve timing, and top speed regulation.  All MC28's had 40 hp,  dual 276mm front brakes, 17-inch wheels and Pro-Arm rear.  The SP had fully adjustable suspension, dry clutch, and magnesium wheels.  And of course the Repsol livery in celebration of Mick Doohan's championships.

 

The second owner has cared for if not curated this NSR, with just 1,900 miles, it looks better than showroom.  Since 2006 he's ridden just a few miles, but arranged Califonia road registration, a great value for the next owner.  Click - here - for the Photobucket Gallery, and the seller has this  to say about the bike -

Much of the graphics are decals can become brittle or blemished over time, should they get scratched or scraped they can easily peel or become permanently marked.  The decades I have been an NSR enthusiast I can’t recall a time I even heard of an MC28 in this condition for any price, with California registration on top of that.  With 1000 Repsol MC28’s produced they were for the domestic Japanese market only, the majority spend their time exposed to the elements in Japan.

Seeking a serious collector who is specifically looking to add this model to his or her collection in an exclusive transaction.

 

1996 found Honda in the midst of a five-year romp in the Moto GP 500cc class, and had won the 250's in 1991-92 with Luca Cadalora aboard.  A lot of the 250cc Grand Prix learning was transferred to the MC28, and while there was plenty of competition, the Honda reviewed as the best balanced and had better build quality.

 

Most often I lament that special bikes are left on the dais for only visual enjoyment, but in this case preservation seems the best course. 

-donn

Featured Listing – As New 1996 Honda NSR 250 SP !