With pre-1990’s vehicles becoming easier to import than ever, there’s a strong market for slightly thrashed 250cc two-stroke sportbikes here in the US. These weren’t especially uncommon overseas but bikes like this Honda NSR250R are about as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth here.
So while some might be annoyed at the opportunists cashing in by rounding up slightly worn machines in Japan then shipping them to two-stroke starved enthusiasts here in the US, I say, “Bring them on.” As long as you know what you’re in for, and are prepared to possibly put in some work to bring a worn, but basically complete sportbike back to life, I doubt these are much worse for wear than the majority of GSX-R’s of the same era.
The NSR250R was powered by a 249cc, liquid-cooled two-stroke 90° v-twin that featured Honda’s ATAC torque-boosting system to beef up the characteristically weedy two-stroke midrange. The cassette-type six-speed gearbox is a nice feature, although basically wasted for street riders except as a bragging point. 1989 saw the introduction of the MC18-II R5K version of the bike that used higher-mounted exhausts, a torque arm for the rear brake caliper, and minor updates to the bodywork to keep the bike looking fresh.
Bigger news was the introduction of Honda’s PGM-II electronic engine management that was very trick for the period, featuring race-bred technology but with more road-oriented tuning.
This example has been freshly imported from Japan and seems to be a solid runner in decent cosmetic shape. Many 250cc sportbikes here in the US have led pampered lives as collectibles, but this has clearly been used as intended.
From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda NSR250R for Sale
Just imported through U.S. Customs, this 1989 NSR250r comes with a US title ready to be transferred into your name in your state.
This NSR250 is showing just 12,176 original miles (19,589 kilometers) on the odometer so it is a clean, lower mileage bike that presents as a cared for bike. The fairing bodywork is original with original paint and the seat is in good condition too. This is a 25 year old motorcycle with 12,000 miles so it isn’t perfect; expect the normal scratches and chips and cracks on the bar ends and levers and fairing mount points. The tires have wear but the front has a season of riding left, mufflers are good, factory turn signals are straight and the exhaust tips are straight too. All in all a good clean used 250R with desirable dual seat option and aftermarket Dog Fight R exhaust and Magtek wheel upgrades.
I can get great shipping rates (anywhere in California for $300 as an example) so don’t let the cost of shipping keep you from owning this collectible Japanese two-stroke streetbike. This motorcycle is already USA titled and ready to be transferred into your name so US Customs documents and EPA documents are not needed but I will include them in the sale of this bike so you have documentation this NSR was legally imported.
The original listing also includes a video clip of the bike in running condition.
While some might be annoyed at the opportunists cashing in by rounding up slightly worn machines in Japan then shipping them to two-stroke starved enthusiasts here in the US, I say, “Bring them on.” As long as you know what you’re in for, and are prepared to possibly put in some work to bring a worn, but basically complete sportbike back to life, I doubt these are much worse for wear than the majority of GSX-R’s of the same era.
With “grey market” imports like this becoming more common, I wonder how long it will be before pricing on these little two-strokes becomes very reasonable, especially for those who buy ones that have been in the US for a while…