"When it rains, it pours" seems to apply to cool motorcycles. Haven't seen a GSX-R750LE in a long time? Suddenly, four or five examples come up for sale. I'm not sure why: maybe it's that folks hoarding them with an eye towards eventual sale suddenly see a demand for them and want to get in on the action? Or maybe individuals who've stashed them away from new are all of a certain age and are looking to liquidate their collections as they get older and less able to ride? Whatever the reason, we've seen a number of small displacement, grey-market sportbikes like this Honda CBR250R MC19 come up for sale recently in excellent condition, so if you've a hankering for tiny fours, take a look!
250s have long been associated here in the USA with learner bikes and hypermiling commuters. Generally powered by economical twins and singles, they offer low cost and high reliability, with racy styling, garish graphics, and names that link them to bigger, more capable sportbikes. But in countries where engines with greater displacement are disproportionately expensive to purchase heavily taxed, or limited by licensing laws, small inline fours like this one wrote a fascinating, if short, chapter in motorcycling history.
At a glance, the specifications look like they could come from a typical race-replica: liquid-cooled inline four, six-speed gearbox, 337lb dry weight... Then you get to that displacement: 48.5mm x 33.8mm for just 249cc. The claimed 40 horsepower is shockingly respectable although the 18,000rpm redline speaks to how hard you'll have to work to access it. This example has a bit of wear around the edges, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a well cared-for, but nearly 30 year old motorcycle.
From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale
For those of you that missed the Kawasaki ZXR250 sale, you get another chance for an exciting 250cc grey market Honda sport bike. This will be the last 18,000 RPM screaming 250cc inline four I will be selling. From the Honda room, comes a very special 1988 Honda CBR 250R MC19. This CBR has an inline four cylinder engine that revs to the moon and redlines at 18,000 RPM's. Its a blast to ride! This CBR is a one owner bike with only 310 kilometers (192 miles). Completely stock condition just like the day it rolled off the assembly line. Every fairing and component is 100% original stock Honda. Bike has never fallen over or been down. This CBR has a few scratches here and there from moving around the garage but shows like new. Bike is in very nice original condition and shows light patina throughout. Bike has been serviced with new oil, coolant and filters have been serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Bike comes with Utah title in my company name and will be presented to the new owner.
With just 192 miles on the odometer, this one is certainly worthy of being put on display. Bidding is up to about $2,400 at the time of writing, with plenty of activity. The usual titling issues may apply if you're in a state with a strict DMV, so do your homework if you plan to do more than display this sweet little machine.