Racing fans naturally gravitate towards sportbikes that feature graphics and colors associated with their favorite racing teams. Since those designs are often chosen for their visibility over any concerns about taste, it's rare that a design stands out for being both striking and classic. It's a shame that some of the most memorable and iconic color schemes in racing history were those designed for tobacco products, but it's hard to argue with the good looks of today's Rothmans Replica Honda NSR250R.
This MC21 NSR250R was powered by Honda's familiar 90° liquid-cooled 249cc two-stroke v-twin with a six-speed "cassette" style gearbox that allowed for quick gearing changes at the track. Obviously not something that's all that useful on a roadbike, but still very trick and cool. The updated MC21 version of the NSR250 wasn't just a restyled MC18, it was an extensively redesigned machine. It used a distinctive gull-arm swingarm to allow the expansion chamber on the right side of the bike to tuck in close for maximum cornering clearance, while the carburetors were controlled by Honda's very sophisticated PGM-III system that used a three-dimensional map based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection to adjust the RC valves and ignition timing for excellent flexibility compared to rivals.
Power output was bang-on the government-mandated 45hp, but that still gave the sub-300 pound [dry] machine plenty of pep and more is available with de-restriction. How much is available? Well, how much do you want to spend, and how long do you want it to last between rebuilds? This SP version added a dry clutch and an uprated rear shock to the mix for even more performance, exotic, rattling noises, and exclusivity: just 1,500 NSR250R SPs were sold during 1991, making this a rare machine in any market, let alone North America, and this one is in superlative shape.
From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250 SP for Sale
Immaculate 1991 Honda NSR250 SP w/ 5,000 miles from Moto2 Imports
Available only from Moto2 Imports, this fully restored 1991 NSR250 SP two-stroke is our nicest machine to date! Beyond a standard R model, this SP features fully-adjustable front and rear suspension, trick dry clutch, and a close-ratio gearbox. A complete service and safety check has been performed by our partner Speedwerks. The electronics have been de-restricted and the engine makes full power. All gaskets have been inspected and engine compression & leak down tests were performed with no issues. New tires, chain, battery, brake pads & spark plugs. Carburetors cleaned, rebuilt and re-jetted. Fuel, oil and coolant systems drained, flushed, & refilled. All other mechanical & electrical systems checked and operating properly. Fairing and tank were just resprayed and are of the highest quality - see Hi Res images. Expansion chambers have been ceramically coated and aluminum wheels freshly powdercoated (Magteks available). Bike starts/runs/operates flawlessly. Additional pics and video available upon request. You will not find a nicer NSR. With just 5,000 original miles, you can bid with confidence on this amazing machine.
All Moto2 bikes are legally imported and come with a clear US title with the proper 11 digit VIN (frame number and title match). Buyer will receive the US title, Bill of Sale, Customs and importation paperwork, and a copy of the original Japanese title. Feel free to ask any questions about this bike. Moto2 Imports provides post-sales support including spare parts for our bikes now and in the future. We sell and ship globally. Visit our website for more information.
The asking price of $9,299 seems very reasonable, considering the ever-upwards trend of prices for these grey-market two-strokes in general and the fact that is is both the coveted Rothmans Replica SP model and in exceptional condition. Sure, the paint isn't original but, considering the apparent quality of the work, that might not be a bad thing, and the bike has obviously been extensively reconditioned. If you've been waiting to add one of these to your collection, you won't find one nicer outside of a museum.