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Fresh Off the Boat: 1989 Honda NSR250R for Sale

1989 Honda NSR250R R Front

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.

1989 Honda NSR250R L Rear

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.

1989 Honda NSR250R R Fairing Detail

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.

1989 Honda NSR250R Cockpit

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.

1989 Honda NSR250R R Rear

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.

1989 Honda NSR250R Dash

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…

-tad

1989 Honda NSR250R L Front

11 Comments

  • Beware of the “U.S. title”, your state D.M.V. may not agree, or care. Cool smoker even if it does probably need a set of rings and a hone…

  • “, I doubt these are much worse for wear than the majority of GSX-R’s of the same era.”
    That comment made me laugh.I don’t doubt you have no idea what you are talking about.
    You guys have certainly missed the boat on the 250cc/500cc two-stroke boom of the late eighties/early nineties,but if you start bringing in thrashed old smokers like these expecting a quick an easy refresh like a GSX-R,you are in for a world of pain.These bikes are throw away item,like a BIC disposable razor.

  • “……probably need a set of rings and a hone.”

    Hilarious!!!! And another $5000 worth of parts that are…..NLA!!!!!!

  • seller sure does have a vivid imagination. hope he finds a willing sucker ERR bidder with more money than brains. a reasonable price imo would be near 5k. not derestricted and thrashed with now where near the parts support of an rs/rgv? no thanks

  • 5 K in parts? Now that is hilarious! These gray bikes are worth exactly what someone (me) is willing to shell out for them… If they don’t tilt your kilt, then bully for you, BUT, try finding a new 2 smoker over 50 cc’s for the U.S. market, ain’t ‘gonna happen. It seems like if the damn thing ain’t a mint multi color tutti fruitti diesel with 750 hp, it’s shit to most readers, and again, meh, whatever. I love these little bikes, and really, that is the only thing that really matters, now, isn’t it? On with the show!

  • We had a guy here in Toronto Canada importing these bikes for about 2 years his inventory rarely lasted more than 4 months but since the nuclear blowout he has no longer imported. Bottom line if its a good price and you don’t mind wrenching these bikes can be enjoyed for what they are. I don’t mind the comments when the owner says original and people critique. but a bike like this it is what it is

  • nuak jdm all his bikes were restricted and its a massive pile of BS red tape to import them legally (aka able to get a legit U.S. title) unless they are over 25 yrs old. the epa is killing fun here in the states every manner possible.

  • It doesn’t matter what documentation you have, you wont be able to register it here in California, Even if its already in your name from another state. Having to deal with grey market since 1990 ,To register it here ( California ) you will still have to have it inspect by DMV, EVEN if you to mange to come up with the carb stickers and such, the 11 digit vin will kick it right out and even if you get through the first stage ( and you can even ask DMV ) they have to send your paper work to Sacramento for them to approve it and that never happens. Also its not just that its a 2 stroke, you cant even get an NC30 registered here anymore.

    • I think that the NC30 might have been exempted due to being on a special list. Might be worth a check see, but I recall seeing that bike on the Cali exempt list.

      Joel

  • Here! Hear! I have a honda cr 250 with a plate! The fact is the title is worth the same as the bike. That is the allure. An rz 350 is about the only liquid cooled 2 stroke that is not a royal pain in the ass to plate, especially in the golden (brown) state. 2 stroke forbidden fruit will command a premium price, and rightly so. Vin #’s kill your chance at the dmv counter, so…

  • Joel, your always good at these issues and on top of the red tape, so I would have to yield to you and say you might be right

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