Featured Listing – 2014 BMW HP4 Competition Limited Edition
Featured Listing – 2001 Ducati MH900e
Featured Listing – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R 1100
Featured Listing – 1996 Suzuki GSX-R1100W!
Featured Listing – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 1100 with 590 miles!
Featured Listing – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition!
Featured Listing in Portugal – 1982 Suzuki RGB500
Featured Listing – 1997 Suzuki RGV250/SP VJ23 by Speedwerks
Featured Listing – 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Ago #170 of 300 !
Featured Listing – 1985 Suzuki RG500 Gamma!
Featured Listing – Rare Collection of Signed MotoGP Helmets!
Featured Listing in Portugal – 2002 Yoshimura Suzuki Tornado S-1
Featured Listing in Portugal – 1995 Honda NSR250 SP / MC28
previous arrow
next arrow
Honda posted by

No Reserve Import: 1989 Honda NSR250 MC18 for Sale


This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side Front

Styled to resemble the RS250RF race bikes, the Honda NSR250 used a gorgeous aluminum twin-spar frame, triple disc brakes, and a whole host of lightweight, mass-centralizing tricks you’d normally expect to find on bikes with a much larger displacement. The NSR250 was motivated by a liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin with two carburetors and Honda’s ATAC “automatic torque amplification chamber” system that boosted midrange torque for road-riders. Bore and stroke of the 249cc machine was a slightly undersquare 54mm x 54.5mm and the bike was restricted to 45hp from the factory. Of course simple tuning could easily unleash another 10hp or so and turn the claimed 288 pound [dry] machine into a real rocket that required extensive use of the cassette-type six-speed gearbox.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Rear

This bike doesn’t feature the highly-coveted Rothmans design, but the silver, red, and grey colors suit the bike and still manage to look period-appropriate. Some race-replica paint schemes are positively lurid and that makes sense on the racetrack, where sponsors are paying for maximum visibility but, on the street, the more shocking graphics are a bit… Youth. Like a big ADIDAS logo on a fluorescent polo shirt or something. If you’re into the race-rep look, go find some aftermarket fairings and fit those for a budget and keep the originals for when you sell.

Full disclosure: I would totally rock a Marlboro-liveried TZR250.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side

As is generally mentioned in the comments of these posts: some parts required to maintain NSR250s are becoming more difficult to find or are even NLA from Honda directly. I’d imagine that, given the popularity of these sports two-strokes and the number manufactured, someone will pick up that ball and run with it, but until then you should be prepared to hunt around the internet for leftover OEM parts, folks liquidating their collections, and clearing out their garages. Or just stick it in your living room and make “ziiing-g-g-g… ZIIIIINNNGGGGGggg…” noises.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as 26 year old used bike. Speedometer looks HONDA genuine parts and shows 35,000km = about 21,900 miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are work fine. Electricals are all work but front brake switch is not working.

Has an original key. HONDA genuine fairings, not Chinese plastics. Have hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Will needs new tires and fork seals. Muffler silencer is loose so needs re-rivet.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Side Engine

Obviously, as we’ve stated before, you need to do a little homework before buying one of these recent grey-market imports. But if where you live allows this kind of thing, or if you’re looking for a cool track day machine, you might want to keep an eye on this one. The bike isn’t pristine but appears to have been well cared-for: garage space is at a premium in Japan and many of these bikes sit outside, unprotected, so surface corrosion and general wear is a real problem on some of these recent imports. In this case, there is minimal corrosion visible and very little rust, paint is still shiny, with just a few cracks the seller describes and some chipped paint on the tail. This is a no reserve auction so, depending on how high the bidding goes, this could be surprisingly affordable and make sense for collectors and riders alike.


1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Side


  • I cannot believe it’s been more than 20 years! I grew up in Japan, and my friends and I rode those bikes all the time back then. I had RGV250 of the same vintage, and among our little group of touge riders, we had a few different NSRs and TZRs. Those second generation NSRs were really advanced, with computer controlled carbs and stuff. It’s also a bit strange, because the torque curve is incredibly flat for 2-stroke motor, the computer thingy at work, and when you compared it to Gamma, it feels slightly underwhelming though not at all slower, just the feel of it. You really need to derestrict it to get the maximum joy out it, it really changes the character, and brings back the manic 2-stroke banzai power band. Those bikes are so much fun, really kind of hardcore. Now I look back, I’m amazed that those were even allowed on the street, but hey, good times, man.

    • We need a “Like” button.

    • 20? Almost 30 now. Amazing fun.

  • These bikes have the RC style power valve not that old pos atac from the mid 80s totally different types of setups.

    • Thanks for the clarification: I got overwhelmed by 1980s acronyms.

  • I wonder about the spare parts situation.

    • Re: parts

      Most stuff is get-able if you aren’t intimidated by sourcing from Japan.

      Cranks and OEM fairings are 1-year only and tough to find in good shape.
      Top ends are a bit easier.
      Some parts from the MC21 and MC28 will work–sometimes even stuff from bikes like the NC30 (VFR400).
      The rear wheel is 18″. There are pretty good tires from Bridgestone, but the 17″ MC21 rear is a straight swap and allows me to run about anything I want (Pirelli Supercorsas are my preference).
      Consumables like spark plugs, jet kits, brake pads, fork seals, and radiator hoses are easy.
      Tyga Performance has some nice aftermarkets stuff, including stainless expansion chambers with the most pornographic welds I’ve ever seen.
      Good quality fiberglass from Japan and cheap Chinese fairings are plentiful.

  • I have imported 4 of these NSR’s myself. I would be hesitant to buy one in the states without a title, you can easily import one with MUCH lower kilometers yourself and if done legally (with all paperwork) they are legal to ride on the street (depending on the local laws). Without the proper documentation showing it was imported, unless you do some funky stuff (register as wrong year, as they don’t have 17 digit vin, etc.) you can’t register them (and I would hate to get pulled over with something that bypassed the legality).

    Anyway, if anyone has an interest in importing one, I would gladly help with questions. Check out my website:

    Just last week I got two more bikes, a 1989 SP with 633 kilometers (incredibly low mileage and beautiful) and a 1990 MC21.

    Spare parts are easy to get, that I can help with that, there are a couple of companies that carry spares and ship to the states, along with Yahoo Auctions Japan (a friend and I know someone living in Japan who would be willing to buy and ship here for us).

    I might think about starting a business doing this, a friend and I have access to the Japanese dealer auctions, etc.

    Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any interest.

  • FYI.. I updated my website to show the new MC18 and MC21 I just got, scroll to the bottom if you wanted to see them.

  • In Washington state, you can register a shopping cart with an engine in it, BUT, in the “Golden (brown) State”, or Oregon for that matter, you will never, and I mean never get plates for anything over 50cc’s unless it has a camshaft… Or your girlfriend works at the DMV ;)……………….

  • I had issues with the first NSR I bought about 10 years ago, as it was imported in pieces and sold on Craigslist with no title. I tried to license it in Arizona to no luck, as they do not have 17 digit vins and no emissions decal, etc. on the frame indicating it meets the US requirements, so they denied me a title.

    With the import documents, it’s a breeze in Arizona. The only real challenges are:

    #1 Finding an MVD agent who knows what to do.. lol (downtown Phoenix location I have found to be the best).
    #2 Finding an authorized person to sign a certificate of accuracy for the title translation (AZ requires a college professor, a government official, or a couple other “Authorized” people to sign it). I got to meet the Arizona Japanese Consulate and found him to be receptive to sign that.

    Again, you need to have the Japanese de-registration certificate (basically a title from Japan). So, not sure what all documents this guy would give…. I am sure the ebay auction is without title due to California’s registration laws.

  • Absolutely the most fun bike I’ve ever owned.

Subscribe by Email

Get every post delivered by email! Your information will never be sold or spammed.

FB Like Box

Support Our Sponsors!

  • 1985 BMW M635CSi
    One of the things I love the most about the Euro M cars is their colors. While the bulk of the US cars boiled down…
  • 2012 Porsche 911 Club Coupe
    You might have a rare car, but do you have one of 12 rare? Well, technically one of 13 but I’ll explain that in a…
  • 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
    I don’t want to start celebrating yet, but it looks like the prices Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 are starting to soften just a bit. Don’t…
  • 1993 Porsche 968 Coupe
    The Porsche 968 just sort of occupies space in the world of Porsche. I don’t think anyone out there has them as their dream car,…