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All the Toys: Honda NSR250

Honda NSR250 R Side

Here’s one from Craigslist in South Carolina, a Honda NSR250. The NSR250 was a roadgoing two-stroke v-twin sportbike that’s been largely forgotten here in the Land of “Bigger is Better,” where two-strokes have long since vanished from the road. But among those in-the-know, they’re much sought-after by collectors and fans of the two-stroke Moto GP era, and riders looking for a light, fast track day machine that stresses finesse over brute power.

Honda NSR250 R Side Front

250’s are often associated with the derogatory “learner bike” epithet, but it’s obvious at a glance that this is no commuter or toy: triple disc brakes, aluminum frame, and single-sided swingarm scream “high-performance” and the six-speed cassette gearbox obviously offers no real benefit for a street bike… The NSR’s little 249cc v-twin featured about 45bhp stock, but can be tuned to make as much as 60 without breaking a sweat, and that makes for a potent package in a bike that weighed in under 300lbs dry.

Honda NSR250 L Side Rear

In addition, this example features a host of tasty, high-spec upgrades to the bike’s components, swapping in lighter, or higher-performing items to increase racetrack prowess, although it still has road-legal lights and signals. It looks to be in great shape, but there’s a bit of a fly in the ointment… From the original Craigslist posting: Honda NSR250 for Sale

Honda NSR250 titled and street legal in SC. Bike is in very nice condition, but it is not 100% original so I am pricing accordingly at $8500 obo with SE wheels and stock credit card PGM, or $10.5k obo for SP wheels and PGM with stock and HRC credit cards w/ other HRC upgrades:

1) Titled in SC as a 2008 ASVE NSR250 w/ an assigned VIN# different from the original. That means the bike was reassembled in 2008, and I could not use Honda’s name. This has nothing to do with salvage, so everything is perfect with the paperwork, and both VIN’s show on the bike and coincide in the DOT computers in TX and SC. I originally titled it in TX in 2008, and then moved to SC in 2010, and titled it in SC in 2014.
2) Frame is not original 1995 SP since original frame was altered by first US owner in Washington State, therefore I have a different frame that does not have the ’95 SP series VIN #, but I suspect it was a ’94 or ’95 frame.
3) I sold the original SP forks and it now has SE forks on it. They look great and were rebuilt recently.
4) I do not run oil injection and I do not have the parts, but they are available on ebay cheap.
5) 1995 SP Dry Clutch Motor is fully rebuilt with less than 50 miles on it. It is awesome, pulling small power wheelies in partially restricted mode/stock carbs in 1st and 2nd gear. Wiring is stock and not spliced yet.
6) JHA aftermarket pipes with Tyga silencers
7) HRC airbox with Hi-Flo reeds, stock carbs, and Uni-filters
8) HRC single core radiator, hose, lower head conversion, and overflow system with no thermostat – continuous flow and works great
9) Penske Rear Shock that was rebuilt/sprung by Thermosman
10) Very nice 1995 SP bodywork with an excellent OEM spare upper fairing
11) 1995 SP Tank was repainted with original OEM decals and then cleared over – looks very good.

Honda NSR250 Dash

The list goes on, and includes modifications and updates. Those modifications destroy the originality a bit, but it uses appropriate, high-quality parts that should improve performance and look very trick… Unfortunately, the price seems a bit on the high side, considering those title issues that the seller mentions. Whether or not this will present a problem for you will depend on where you live and your intended use: many state DMV’s have relatively lax rules, but the iffy status could cause problems if you try to register it in someplace like California or New York… So, caveat emptor.

Of course, if you buy this as a track bike, a role for which it should be ideally suited, you can sidestep that whole problem.

Honda NSR250 L Side Front

So: a great-looking rider, not a collector. A really, really nice “bitsa” as the Brits say. If your local DMV doesn’t object to the funky title, this will be the perfect tool to terrorize your local back roads. If they do object, sell the lights and street bodywork on eBay, fit some lightweight panels, and have yourself a grand old time passing much bigger machines on the brakes and in the corners at your local race track.


Honda NSR250 L Side


  • I am no 2-stroke expert and far too tall for this bike , nonetheless I think it is pretty neat and clean . Looks like a lot of fun ! I leave the experts to chime in on it .

  • How much call me 954 809 8596

    • Mike; I am starting at $8,500, but first I need to know what you want in a bike like this, and then it can be tailored to suite your needs. If you want a museum piece that is 100% stock, this is not the bike for you. This bike is a refined package of some originality and tasteful upgrades/refurbishment that are reliable and will give you riding pleasure and a lot of attention for years to come. Looks like you live in FL, so transferring the title will be easy. Since I live fairly close by, delivery and a day of support is not out of the question (my parents live there). Also, I back up my builds and support the buyer for many years if they need anything. My NSR customers span many states and countries, and I have tons of parts available here, as well as access to a lot of parts that are unobtainium. I look forward to speaking with you.

  • Owning a 96 NSR 250 SP for years and ridden RGV, TZR etc., Im always hesitant about two strokes that have been broken down and rebuilt, They are like airplanes , very precision machines and always need to be checked . I sat with Steve Bigansky one day just to replace my injector and could not believe how much thought and mechanical knowledge goes into it, Yes its just one plug and 2 bolts to install but there were many adjustment to be made, I feel If it was original and untouched it might be worth the price but when it has too many stories and too many hand worked on it and changing parts etc., not to mention the frame change and now a suspicious VIN number to and CHP officer. I wouldn’t be that brave to thrown my leg over it and start throwing down on the twisties but it is a nice bike

  • Another greedy idiot trying to gouge people. I’ll pass

  • It does look good, and they are very fun to ride, but my days of plunking down good cash for cobbled together bikes with questionable documentation are long since over.

  • Since I am the seller, an ex-racer, rider, and builder of these NSR bikes for 15 years, I’d like to sound off a little bit.
    1) I’d like to thank the website for choosing my ad to post. I am very grateful and honored, since I read the site daily.
    2) I disclosed everything in the ad, and that honesty is worth something regardless of price. My prices are always negotiable. Taking a Gas Monkey approach in a buyers market is not necessarily a bad thing. Buyers need to have some nuts, bargaining back with a reasonable bid, and then we will get to where everyone is happy.
    3) I set my bike up ready to ride or race, therefore it is solid 100%. I am also an engineer and worked with NASCAR, Indy Car, Formula 1, MotoGP, etc, so my very experienced sponsors, mechanic friends, and I know what we are doing.
    4) Many of you are correct, in your state this may not be the bike to go try to get a title transferred. But there is no mystery to how I got it titled, and it is 100% legit in at least 2 states. Some of you 2 stroke guys need to move to states that let us keep our freedoms(GA, TN, NC, SC, AL, MS, TX, AZ, VT, OR, ID, WA) that some other states have taken away from us (NY, CA, CA, CA, and CA).
    5) Being called bad names on this website is not necessary. I encourage the naysayers to give me a call and a chance to be personal vs reading an impersonal ad. I think you may change your mind on some of the negative opinions. If not, bring your bike out to the track or road with me, and show my bike and I how much better you are. Maybe I will learn something which I can take into account on my next build?

    • Hi. Love the bike. I read you are located in SC. I’ve got a 93 NSR 250 that I’ve had for About 8yrs. I’m located in SC as well. I read a little about your background & knowledge. I would like to contact you if possible. Thanks, Brad Spoolintsi97@gmail.com

  • I live in SC and super interested. How do we make this, my next purchase happen?

    • Gennaro; Go to the craigslist ad in Greenville, SC (go to motorcycles and search NSR250), and send me your contact info. I have 3 parties interested since it hit this website, so a SC buyer may get preferential treatment. My family and I thank you very much for your interest.

  • awesome bike. this bike is one I would love to own and ride. Collectors that don’t ride might as well collect pictures of motorcycles or the minichamps 1:12 models of cool bikes. Supply and demand, nice 2 strokes are getting more rare by the day and demand will continue to drive the prices up. Good luck with sale.

  • We should respect gary’s opinion. But to be honest, seller described the bike really well. I admit these sellers which are telling true in the listings and seems to be fair and kind.
    nsr250man, you have my respect.

  • Its funny you mention NY, yeah it does suck mainly due to the politicians that think they can run the state like they are emperors. I have a street legal 2t I ride whenever I can here but am moving to TN to be closer to familay ASAP

    • Shad; I used to live in NY and had a 1992 RGV 250 SP, but that was long ago when we could pull of tricks like that. Moving to much lower cost of living places tend to make people happier, and less apt to call people idiots on a website which my kids read all the time (I respect the opinion, but it could have been stated differently). Other than that, I think TN is a wonderful place and being close to family is always important. Stay safe riding, and hope to see you out in the mountains or at the track.

    • “nsr250man”: a very polite response to a somewhat less-than-tactful comment, so thanks for helping to keep things civil! “916” had it right: everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it never hurts to be respectful, especially when the seller is clearly making every effort to accurately represent the bike.

  • This bike is what it is–maybe not original, but should be a blast to ride. I have an MC18 and there is nothing better in the canyons. The problem is that the MC28 does NOT simply require a different card to fully derestrict. You have to use an entire race loom (big $) or a seriously customized one–bigger $ and I don’t even think JHA or whoever it was is making them anymore. This is not a simple wire-jump like earlier ones.

    Freak, I’m 6’3″ 235. The NSR wiuld be a nightmare for long rides or on the highway, but you don’t even think about it when you’re in the twisties.

    • Adam; Thanks for all of the comments. I would like to make 1 clarification. The bike is currently setup with a stock harness and stock PGM IV with the stock card so it is RESTRICTED. But I have the racing harness available with a different PGM IV with the 010 and 030 cards, and I have a modified stock harness which allows the racing cards to be used on the street (I carry these parts i nmy stock). Therefore, if somebody wants to track the bike they can install the race harness (if they buy the PGM IV with HRC cards in the price of the bike), or I can pull the current street harness, put in the modified street harness, and they will get full hp on the street. I worked with a number of people years ago de-restricting these bikes while still running lights and turn signals, so I know it works (4 of my bikes run like this). That being said some other nice functions get lost when doing the harness mod like speedo, odo, trip odo, Neutral indicator, and sidestand indicator. But for the hp increase I will take those functional losses any day.

  • Always one of my fave bikes and paint schemes. Well done to the owner for keeping his diplomacy where I would most likely not. When I sold my Aprilia RS250 cup bike I made a small profit. Guess that makes me an idiot/ bad guy???? One can’t fault him for trying to recoup some of his time and energy invested and this is a capitalist market where supply and demand reign supreme. It’s not rocket science here- “Supply” on these is obviously super low and strong “demand”- this is one of the best two stroke sportbikes ever made. If he was asking $10,000 + I think he would be taking the “Gas Monkey” approach personally. If you can’t afford it -Learn to negotiate. I live for it and makes it that much sweeter when you tell the story of how you got the bike.

    So if he gets his asking price, good for him I say. Maybe he needs to put a kid through college. Or he may take that profit and invest it in another classic sportsbike that we can all appreciate later on this site. Either way good luck with the sale and thanks for the extra background on the bike.

    • Yeah, I actually think the NSR250 is one of the best-looking bikes of the era. And although this one’s very not-original, the changes should improve the bike and it’s pretty obvious the seller knows what he’s doing. Honestly, I’d say forget the title issues and just put some nice track bodywork on it!

  • It seems any 2 stroke referenced on this site seems to bring out all the mouth-breathing little punks(you know who you are) that can only spout bile. These little troglodytes more than likely still live in their mommy’s basement and can’t even afford a scooter.
    Thus, they bad-mouth everything they can’t have/afford and try coming off with the “holier than thou” attitude.

    The bike although nice, is not brand new-which is a good thing as any potential owner would be afraid to ride it if it were. If you see a bike posted here you don’t like/or agree with its pricing-save your crap opinion and move on to the next ad!!. .

  • For me, the puzzle of understanding how these grey bikes are restricted and engineering a work around is most gratifying. My ’99 SPR is my 4th TZR. I like the sophisticated injection system and the other street features, so to add power I used pipes and foam filters. I also notched the woodruff key for a little more advance. I did a few other little tricks sourced from years of trial and error. I use ethanol free fuel as well. So here at 5 to 7 thousand feet in altitude I make around 55HP, which is fine. The joy is in the cornering speed!
    I have owned and raced two 3XVs and a ’90 3MA SP. I wish I had held on to that one even though it was unreliable.
    I have admired the fit and finish of those NSR’s. I covet the KR1. It was basically unrestricted. To get around the Japanese compliance tests, the factory purportedly warmed the dyno room to 110 degrees :).

  • I’ll throw my 2c in here as well. I purchased one of nsr250man’s bikes last year, I could not be happier with it. Very clean, well set up, new or good-as-new OEM bodywork. Most important of all, have a blast riding it!

    • Thanks Iron City for the kind vote of confidence. The bike is being sold this Saturday to a very nice guy and his son from Dallas, TX. I know he will be surprised how clean the bike is, and how well it runs.

      Again, I appreciate RSBFS running my ad, and allowing the peanut gallery to chime in. I have learned a lot from this experience and I would not trade it for anything.


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