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Middleweight Two-Stroke: 1987 Honda NS400R for Sale

1987 Honda NS400R Faired

I have a contrary streak in me a mile wide and sometimes I like being different just to be different. I've owned Saabs and Alfa Romeos, both of which feature some really interesting design features that offer up alternatives to conventional thinking, although they don't always work as advertised... And to me, the Honda NS400R is a bit like that.

1987 Honda NS400R L Engine

A middleweight two-stroke with a liquid-cooled, 90° V3 that put 72hp through a six-speed transmission, one might reasonably ask, "Why a V3?" I'd assume it was marginally narrower than an inline triple for better aerodynamics: Honda isn't known for doing things "just because." But the truth is that I don't really care if it's actually better. I just want a two-stroke V3 motorcycle.

1987 Honda NS400R Dash

If you're looking for a typically wild, two-stroke ride, this might not actually be the droid you're looking for. Strangely, Honda did everything possible to un-stroke-ify the NS400R: water-jackets quieted the mechanical racket, and power-valves combined with bigger displacement to provide a modicum of midrange power.

1987 Honda NS400R L Rear

These were a bit of an odd duck when new: not as lightweight and visceral as the 250's, and certainly not as lethal as the big 500cc fours. But they were blessed with what some claimed was the best handling of the era, and if you're into weird engine configurations, I dare you to try and find another two-stroke V3 running around anywhere.

1987 Honda NS400R R Side

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Honda NS400R for Sale

1987 Honda NS400R, MC-19, 3 Cylinder, 2 stroke, 34,000 KM, Brand New Paint and Windshield, Runs Great, Clean Calif. Title and Registered. 

So there's a bit of a mystery here. Is that the same bike in the first photo? It looks a bit sharper and cleaner than the other pictures... And that front mudguard doesn't match. The seller claims that it "runs great" which is a good sign, considering these can be a bit of a pain to obtain parts for. But if it has "brand new paint" it might be a good idea to show some pictures of said paint. Or does it mean he has brand new paint in cans, not yet applied to the bike?

Questions like that don't appear to be discouraging potential buyers: bidding is up north of $3,000 with the Reserve Not Met. Fairing off, it looks pretty dusty and I'm wondering how much more this would sell for if they'd bothered to clean it off a bit before listing it...

-tad

1987 Honda NS400R R Rear

6 Comments

  • Looks amazing…you are right Honda did everything for a reason. They had to go 4-stroke….CBR 600 was the “replacement” for America. Otherwise we would all have had one of these.

  • An expansion chamber directly under the fuel tank and seat – now there’s something you don’t see every day. Good for you lads in the northern latitudes perhaps?

  • First photo must be a different bike, or Post “New Paint and Windshield” although if it is why the dirty pics form pre paint? Different Tires too but they are not listed as “new” in his ad. To many questions….

  • Great example of how not to market a rare bike. Make buyers guess if the lead picture is the bike for sale or not, if not, why was it included? And a ONE sentence written description? I’ve seen better, less confusing, more comprehensive listings for fork seals!

  • Note the mufflers in the first photo with bodywork are polished and don’t match the original finish ones shown without bodywork. The amber color of the turn signals doesn’t match. Looks to be a Canada DOT signal on the naked bike and dark amber Japan market ones on the complete bike. Front fenders are mismatched as mentioned above. The two tone fender is constructed from three parts where the red fender is one piece. Different fenders, not just paint. I wonder if he plans to use China parts to sell it with “new paint”? I am of the opinion that there are two different bikes being shown.

  • The first picture is what the bike should look like when completed. For sure a different bike. Hope the 22 suckers, er bidders, have found out the story of the missing body work in the pics.

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