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Fresh From the Crate: 1989 Honda RS250

1989 Honda RS250 R Side

Here in the good ol’ US of A, 250cc motorcycles are generally lumped in with scooters in terms of the respect they get. And while scooters may be fun to ride, no one wants to be seen doing it. And two-strokes? Emissions legislation killed those by the early 1980’s so most Americans’ experience with smokers involves knobby tires and Renthal bars.

But if you’re a racing fan, or grew up in Europe, bikes like this Honda RS250 would have you drooling like a squid over a turbocharged Hayabusa with a ghost flame paint job. At a recent track day, I came across a beautiful Rothman’s NSR250R that attracted plenty of attention, although everyone gawking at it seemed to be speaking with a funny accent…

1989 Honda RS250 Engine

1989 Honda RS250 for sale on eBay

Make no mistake, the RS250 is no joke. It’s no learner bike, or inexpensive track ride: it’s a pure racing motorcycle, and needs the upkeep you’d expect of a GP machine. Powered by a nearly square 54×54.5mm two-stroke v-twin that snarled out over 90hp and weighed 223lbs dry.

1989 Honda RS250 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda RS250 for Sale

A truly unique opportunity!

This is a brand new, never ridden Honda RS250 Grand Prix bike from 1989. It has been kept in one owners collection on display from new. As the photographs show it is in exceptional condition apart from some age-related deterioration (tyres cracked etc.) and fading at places on the fairing where at some point it had stickers. The build quality of these GP Honda’s is stunning and as would be expected everything is totally original down to the original Japanese factory warning stickers!

This is sure to be a great investment as prices for GP 2-strokes continue to rise.

1989 Honda RS250 Clutch

While on paper it seems like this RS250 be comparable to more familiar RGV or TZ, the Honda is generally considered to be less privateer-friendly because of its very high state of tune, with a harder edge and a less-forgiving nature.

Of course, you may not be worried about riding this one, since riding it would basically ruin the fact that it’s basically a brand-new motorcycle from 1989…

1989 Honda RS250 Airbox

Bidding is up over $17,500 with a bit more time left on the auction. It’s located in the UK, but the seller is ready to ship the bike anywhere in the world.

-tad

1989 Honda RS250 L Side

13 Comments

  • Sometimes I wonder if this site is culpable of inflating the prices of bikes that us scavengers would somehow find on craigslist. This could be an example. You’d have to be smoking some real dank shit to offer close to 20 grand for this (awesome) bike. Real high.

    • Nah, I think we probably don’t have much to do with prices for bikes like this: people are always asking insane money for zero-mile bikes. They appeal to collectors, and collectors already know where to look for these and what they’re worth… Now if we’re talking about weird Guzzis and Triumphs and Honda CB-1s, that’s a whole different kettle of fish! Absolutely our fault if prices are going up on those.

  • I love these 2 stroke GP bikes and wish to have it and ride it. Or even to watch it.

    david: is the price really high?
    1. Aprilia RS250 – very common production bike (thousands and thousands produced) are valued at 7-10 grand
    2. This USED Honda RS250 (200 produced in 89) for check and little rebuild cost (not cheap) no less than 8-10 grand
    3. Here we have a brand new example of GP bike. I saw SOLD new 91 TZ250 for 17 grand 2 years back. Also I saw auction of new RS250 for 16 grand 3 years back.
    result: Not cheap, but I think the seller is realistic.

  • Kind of a shame, really. The real beauty in this machine is in the RACING. Not the looking. An Aprillia or TZ i nicer to look at. A 1192 TZ250 is a work of art compared to this. But, the Honda was a potent weapon in the right hands. Still is. If I bought it, I’d wanna ride it!

  • I’d have to go with Glenn ….I’d want to ride it (though I am way too tall for it !) . If it were a prettier , shall we say , bike such as an RC30 or NR ….maybe I could resist temptation of keeping it in the living room . However this begs you to take it out and stretch its legs out on at least some track days !
    I also think the price is decent for the age and the fact that the owner resisted temptation and kept it stored all these years . It will be interesting to see what the final tally is when the hammer falls .

  • It’s amazing just what these 250’s (Yamaha, Aprilia, and Honda) could do in a GP race. I’d love to tack on some lights and ride this bad boy around…rejetted of course.

  • “the RS250 [aka NSR250]” An NSR250 and an RS250 have nothing in common except they are both Honda and even then, the RS is built by HRC. I have both and can tell you that they are different animals. The true NSR250 that Kato raced was a twin crank bike like the Aprilias and was superior to the RSW250 that was raced later. Not the time or space to get into specifics. 2 stroke race bikes are bringing in about double the price in Europe compared to the USA, especially the 250s, so this price seems pretty in line to me. Since this bike is brand new, I am guessing that it is for a collector and will never be ridden.

    • Joel, thanks for clearing that up! I’ll update the post. Any good websites dedicated to these bikes you can recommend? I’m fairly new to the two-stroke race-bike culture and would love some schoolin’.

    • Information on factory bikes can be sketchy. They really don’t want any technical data getting out and that accounts to why so many of these beauties get the crusher treatment. As for NSR250 info, there is NSR World on the internet and it is a wealth of info along with a hugely knowledgeable follower base. My bike is actually a TSR250, talk about hard to find information, with a factory-supported RS250 kitted motor. Some of the higher end satellite teams had the TSR chassis, but got the RSW motor (good for about 5hp more) and full Ohlins and Brembo whereas I got the WP GP suspension and the kit Nissin brakes. Just a money thing and some well sponsored riders, like the Shell Advance Team, got the higher echelon gear. HTH

  • Joel: congratulation to your TSR250, which is really exotic racer in very low prodution- like Ducati supermono ?
    As you said it is important to mentioned that NSR250 (MC16-MC28) is common production street bike and RS250 is total GP bike. RS250 was production racer made from 84 and there were also the most exotic factory racers (3-5 riders per year) NSR250 made from 86. Is it right?

    • Not sure of exact years, but there is some Wiki info on the race and street bikes. My info comes from a higher up HRC employee from years ago and is very knowledgeable. My TSR is maybe 1 of 50 and was a top bike in the All Japan league back in the late 90s and early 00s. Hope to have it ready for the 2015 season here in Southern California 🙂 Cheers!

  • Function>form imo we’re not harley davidson now are we lol? How it looks isn’t nearly as important as how it goes

  • Listing has ended. Sold?

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