Posts by tag: Two Stroke

Honda September 22, 2015 posted by

Arizona-Titled Two-Stroke: 1988 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

1988 Honda NSR250R R Side

Here in the USA where torque, big, low-revving engines, and straight-line speed were the order of the day, corner-shredding 250cc race-replicas never stood a chance of being popular. But you always want what you can't have, so quite a cult has grown up around bikes like this little Honda NSR250R.

1988 Honda NSR250R L Side Detail

Powered by a reed-valve, liquid-cooled 90° v-twin two, stroke with a six-speed casette-style gearbox, these are a far-cry from the "learner bike" stereotype often applied to bikes of this displacement. But racetrack-bred handling and a slim powerband mean there's plenty of joy to be found wringing the neck of an NSR on a twisty road.

1988 Honda NSR250R Dash

Stock, these two-strokes were limited to just 45hp, although the MC18 is capable of another 15hp once de-restricted: with just 280lbs to push around, 60hp should make performance suitably entertaining. Improvements over the earlier MC16 included electronic PGM ignition, bigger carbs, and other updates to improve flexibility, something that's generally lacking in two-strokes.

1988 Honda NSR250R R Side Rear

Bigger brakes, wider wheels, and uprated suspension rounded out the package and although the passenger seat and headlight scream "practical transportation" they're largely ornamental and this bike is best for back-road blasts and track days.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

Up for sale is a legally-imported NSR250.   The bike was imported by me this year along with 2 other bikes, I have decided I don't need all 3 so here is your chance to get a very clean example of a 1988 NSR250 MC18.

The bike runs great, it has 9517 original KILOMETERS (title shows a miles, as that is how they measure here, but is in KM, which makes it about 6,000 original miles from 1988.   The bike is clean and has the original fairings which fared well over the years, but do have minimal cracks and scrapes.   The gas tank is very clean with no trace of rust inside.  The bike starts well and the oil injection works great, I have only used synthetic oil and the 2 stroke smoke is not bad at all.

As for performance, this is a blast.  Even though this is a 250cc it is NOT a beginner motorcycle, it puts out a lot of power in the high RPMs (for any of you who rode a 2 stroke are probably familiar with). The bike goes through all gears with no issue, all lights work, it is a good running cycle.

This bike is street legal in Arizona, all turn signals and lights work, etc.  The speedometer is in kilometers per hour, there are conversions available, however, I just used a free cell phone application to monitor speed.  Please check with your local DMV if there are any concerns regarding the speedometer cluster, etc.   A clear Arizona title is provided.

1988 Honda NSR250R Rear Wheel

The seller also helpfully includes a video of the bike running. 

These aren't especially rare in the UK and Japan, but few ever made it to these shores. With prices on sporty two-strokes low in their original markets and demand rising for them here in the USA where they represent tasty, tasty forbidden fruit, many are finding their way over here in less-than-stellar condition. This one isn't perfect, but minor cracks and bits of wear aside, it looks like a very solid example, assuming the reserve is set reasonably.

It'd be nice to know if the bike has been de-restricted and you should definitely do your homework if you plan to run this on the street: the Arizona DMV may be more permissive than your own.


1988 Honda NSR250R L Side

Arizona-Titled Two-Stroke: 1988 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale
Honda September 14, 2015 posted by

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...


1987 Honda NS400R R Rear

Middleweight Two-Stroke: 1987 Honda NS400R for Sale
Cagiva September 13, 2015 posted by

Rare Curiosity in the USA: 1986 Cagiva Aletta Oro S2 for Sale

1986 Cagiva S2 L Side Front

Cagiva's "Aletta Oro" S2 was designed to be a stylish, entry-level sporty motorcycle for countries where a "starter bike" is defined as something other than a 600lb, 883cc machine with no cornering clearance. The name translates as "gold wing" and the little bike offered up the usual light weight and nimble handling required to compete in the class.

1986 Cagiva S2 R Side Rear

This is no race-rep corner-carving two-stroke like Aprilia's RS250, and had comfortable ergonomics, oil-injection, a six-speed gearbox, and a convenient electric-start that set it apart from other bikes in the class. Interestingly, that little door in the right-side fairing doesn't cover the fuel cap. Instead it allows you to access the water-cooled bike's radiator filler. And that comprehensive dash looks like it was taken straight off the Alazzurra 650, something that can't be said about too many bikes...

1986 Cagiva S2 Dash

So while this was really never intended to be much more than a starter sportbike, it is still very cool and a far-cry from the Ninja 250s that passed for beginner "sportbikes" here in the USA. With 23hp and a sub-300 pound dry weight, it should be fun and very manageable.

1986 Cagiva S2 R Side Engine

This example isn't in absolutely perfect condition, with a few minor chips and scrapes and those aftermarket rear signals, but looks to have been well cared for all 2,500 miles, and the body panels appear to be in good shape, a serious concern when shopping for a weird budget bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Cagiva S2 for Sale

Up for sale is a clean, and very rare 1986 Cagiva S2 125cc motorcycle. We are a multi-line motorcycle dealership, selling new BMW motorcycles in addition to Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and a few other brands. This Cagiva S2 125cc is both electric start (although there is no battery currently installed) & also kick start too.  Motorcycles like these are getting rarer & rarer each year & a bike like this deserves to be part of somebody's Italian motorcycle collection!  This bike has not been started in the past 2-3 years, but was in great running condition last time it was on the road.

A hard to find and rare motorcycle like this needs to be preserved in this original condition.  This Cagiva has just over 2,517 miles and was previously registered in New Hampshire, which does not issue titles for motorcycles older than 1999.

1986 Cagiva S2 R Side

I'd expect parts to keep the engine running wouldn't be difficult to obtain in this era of eBay, although shipping times could have you waiting a while. Bodywork however, could be a pain and/or expensive to ship, so while this will probably prove to be a cheap buy, don't drop it or you might find yourself creating the world's first S2 "streetfighter..."


1986 Cagiva S2 L Side

Rare Curiosity  in the USA: 1986 Cagiva Aletta Oro S2 for Sale
Suzuki September 11, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing – 1985 Suzuki RG500 for sale in Australia

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 left

As new, unrestored, low miles, mint - we have all seen these phrases accompanying motorcycle classifieds.  Rarely does a factory GP replica survive 30 years with only 3,200 km. and without a mark.  The low number of owners might account for how this RG500 survived the decades in such condition.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right side panel detail

Inspired by their GP successes in the late 1970's and early 80's, Suzuki introduced the RG500 as a street machine for the 1985 model year.  Though production ended only three years late due ever-tightening emissions regulations, the 498cc, 93 hp machine is the stuff of legend.  Developed for racing, the square four two-stroke is a powerhouse, twin crankshafts with gears driving the primary shaft.  Despite Suzuki's efforts with its Automatic Exhaust Control, it's a peaky engine, starting to really scream as you cross the 6,000 rpm mark.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 binnacle

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 left engine detail

Around 350 lbs., the light weight helps make it a handler, assisted by staggered 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, and Full Floater rear suspension.  The aluminum box frame is welded to cast steering head and swingarm mounts which accommodate the footpegs.  There are four individual exhaust expansion chambers and mufflers, two under the seat and two next to the swingarm.  Dual 260mm discs ride floating buttons up front, and a 210mm disc in back.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right exhaust detail

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 left front wheel

Seeming to be recently rolled out of a 1985 showroom, there's no evidence of wear or corrosion anywhere on this RG500.  The 3rd owner states in the eBay auction:


20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right fairing

As close as could be to a 500cc GP Gamma for the road, there are accounts of Kevin Schwantz riding an RG500 from a English dealership ( after mechanics changed wheels, forks, and carbs ) in the 1986 championship TT at Assen, placing 2nd, and returning the bike to the showroom the next week.  Though an example like this seems to belong under glass on a fairly high pedestal, you could go through it and prepare for vintage racing, or title and register it for the road.  After transferring what appears will be pretty serious funds, the choice will be a great privilege.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right


Featured Listing – 1985 Suzuki RG500 for sale in Australia
Suzuki September 9, 2015 posted by

Very Clean, Ex-Rick Lance 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma R Side

Suzuki's RG500Γ is a perennial favorite here at RSBFS, and this looks like a very clean example with some cool period brake upgrades. Built between 1985 and 1987, the Gamma was the race-rep to have, with 498cc of displacement and fierce power delivery. While its 94 or so horsepower seems unimpressive today, the bike's dry weight was 50lbs less than Yamaha's rival RZ500 and put that power through a bicycle-skinny 120 section rear tire.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma L Fairing Detail

The RG500 used an extremely compact square four that was really more like a pair of liquid-cooled parallel-twins, each with its own crank. The two cranks were geared together and drove a six-speed gearbox to create an extremely compact powertrain that allowed the designers to effectively package the bike's weight for maximum handling.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma Dash

Power is virtually nonexistent below 7,000rpm, but comes on in a wild rush before the 10,000rpm redline, meaning you need to dance on the gear lever to keep things moving quickly. But that's part of the two-stroke appeal: a modern literbike and go quickly on a canyon road left in 4th gear, but bikes like the RG500 require constant involvement to ride quickly.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma Front Brake

This example is claimed to have been owned by Rick Lance, a well-known Gamma tuner here in the US, which bodes well for the maintenance of the bike, although I'm not sure how long the seller has owned it...

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Here we have a beautiful 1986 Suzuki RG500 with just 8400 km or 5300 miles ... 

This bike is a true credit to its former owner who bought it in 1989 when it was first imported in to the US from Canada by Rick Lance of Lance Gamma, it was his pride and joy for last 26 years! 

The bike starts up on the first or second kick
It sounds awesome and runs excellent
Everything works as it should
It has no leaks
Recently replaced Air Filter and Fuel lines with shut off valve from Lance Gamma
New Battery, Spark Plugs and New Front Brake Pads
Stock Engine with Lance Gamma Jet Kit and Expansion Chambers
It has a rare Spondon Front Brake Upgrade with Lockheed Calipers
Clean California Title
Rear Seat and Handbooks included
Toolkit Untouched

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma R Side Detail

In any case, the mileage is very low, and it looks to be in extremely original condition. While modern wheels and tires certainly improve handling, most owners want these things to be as close as possible to how they were when they rolled off the boat, with the possible exception of some nice expansion chambers, assuming the original pipes are included.

It appears to have the much-coveted California title as well, so all you well-heeled bike collectors in the Los Angeles area check this one out.


1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma L Side

Very Clean, Ex-Rick Lance 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Yamaha September 1, 2015 posted by

So Fresh and So Clean: Unrestored 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored R Side Front

Yamaha's RZ500 was known in some markets as the RD500LC, but by any name, it was one of the weirdest and wildest sports machines ever built. The twin-crank, liquid-cooled two-stroke V4 featured a set of torque-boosting YPVS powervalves and standard Autolube oil-injection so riders could worry less about premix and more about handling what was one of the most heart-attack serious bikes of the period.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Lower L Fairing

A six-speed gearbox put power to the 18" rear wheel that had its motions damped by a rear shock mounted under the engine, Buell-style, because the rear expansion chambers needed somewhere to live.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored R Side

Forks of course used an anti-dive system that seemed to be required equipment for virtually every 1980's Japanese sportbike to help keep the front wheel in contact with the road.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Clocks

Although power-to-weight ratio meant the bike was For Professionals Only, the RZ was surprisingly civilized: the engine used a balance shaft that was intended to reduce vibration and allow the frame and brackets to be more lightly constructed, saving weight, but also had the side-effect of making the RZ smoother than Suzuki's RG500. Unfortunately "civilized" sort of defeated the purpose of the whole exercise, and performance nuts generally prefer the wilder RG.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Rear Wheel

The seller claims that this is "probably one of the nicest you'll find," and from photos it certainly looks that way. Head on over to the original listing for additional photos and plenty of close-up shots.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Selling my 1985 Yamaha RZ500. I am the first registered owner. This bike was purchased new by JO-CO Motors Yamaha in Overland Park Kansas for one of there employees. They had to pick it up in Canada since the RZ500 wasn't sold in the US. He put 4,450 miles on it before he parked it in 1988. I bought it from him in 2009. He had never titled it. I went thought the necessary steps to get a clean MO. title in my name. So I am the first registered owner. He told me the motor would have to be torn down and inspected sense it hasn't been started in 21 years. The upper crank bearing sits dry and could seize from not being oiled. I contacted Bill at Wilson Performance an expert with RZ500 and he said the same thing. I took the motor to him on 11/09/2010 and he did a top to bottom rebuild. There was nothing wrong with the motor other than the upper crank bearing. I have receipts for all the work he did. He finished the motor on 8/18/2011. Bill was very helpful getting it dialed in. It start's on the first kick and run's perfect.

Now on to the bike:

It's probably one of the nicest 500 you'll find. This bike is "unrestored". Nothing has been refinished or repainted. There is no rust in or on the tank. Even the tires are original. It shows 7566 KM which is 4698 miles. I have the original exhaust, Manuals and spare parts. It has a rare steering dampener and the fox shock on the rear end. 

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Lower R Fairing

Having just seen one for the first time in the flesh over the weekend, I was surprised how small they are. The styling is pretty bulbous when seen in photos, but it's all very compact and purposeful when viewed in person. And while the Yammie may have lost out when directly compared to the Suzuki RG500 in terms of outright peformance, these are still extremely collectible and have very dedicated fans. More refined, but still pretty raucous when compared to modern four-stroke fours, the RZ offers up plenty of performance and thrills for fans of 1980's hardware.

If you're a Yamaha fan, or a vintage racebike fan, you should head on over to and check out the TZ750 currently listed there.


1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored L Side

So Fresh and So Clean: Unrestored 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale