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Honda posted by

Some Assembly Required: 1986 Honda NS400R


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

1986 Honda NS400R R Side

Honda’s NSR400R was a snarling, two-stroke middleweight from an era of unprecedented experimentation; a three-cylinder, triple-piped sportbike with cutting-edge specifications. The 1980’s must have been a very discouraging time for European and Italian manufacturers. While they were barely hanging on by their fingernails, Japanese manufacturers were in the throes of an era of funky, experimental technologies, trying out new formulas, and nothing was off-limits: unusual engine configurations, turbos, and active suspension were all tried, with varying degrees of success.

1986 Honda NS400R R Rear Suspension

The NSR400R wasn’t lacking performance or technology: the rattling heart of the little monster was a liquid-cooled, 90° V3 that put 72hp through a six-speed transmission. Power-valve technology beefed up the midrange power while water-cooling increased power and kept mechanical noise to a minimum, although the snarl from the pipes is undeniably that of a two-stroke. Anti-dive forks and modular wheels wrapped in radial tires completed the package.

1986 Honda NS400R Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

This is a rare Honda NS400R Rothman’s edition 2-stroke. We got this jewel  from a retired motorcycle mechanic. Bike is not running and engine will need to be redone according to him. Honda appears to be complete with a couple of things missing like keys, exhaust, mirrors, gear shifter lever, kick start lever, and coil cover.  Paint and fairing is nice with some scratches. Mileage is really low at  4,741 Km. Bike has a small decal with Japanese writing and No. 301 If someone can tell me the year or more info please feel free to do so and I will update the auction.  BIKE IS SOLD WITH A BILL OF SALE BUT If winning bidder wants a title we can obtain it at additional cost  just contact us.

1986 Honda NS400R L Fairing

Just two days left on the auction, with bidding just over $3,000 and the reserve not met. While this bike isn’t 100% complete, the bike is in cosmetically good shape, and the parts missing are fairly straightforward to replace. Those missing pipes might be difficult or possibly expensive to source… So why not go all-out and, since you’re going to have to rebuild the engine anyway, just have someone whip up a set of pipes with custom expansion chambers, all out of titanium while you’re at it?


1986 Honda NS400R L Side


  • Evidently the first buyer thought about it, maybe added up the numbers, and backed out of the deal. Not cool but maybe realistic.

  • I didn’t get the complete jyst of it , but I do know however that there are some guys here in CANADA with parts enough to have that thing ship-shape . They are still worth some decent bucks these days though not as much I know as RG500s.
    This will kill most of you : Just talked to one of my car mechanics today . He told me he just sold two RG500s and a pile of spares six months ago for 6K ! That friggin’ killed me already ! Not a 2-stroke guy ….but if the price is right for stuff !

  • Bottomless money pit right there. In this current state it is a junker project spares bike. The real ralue is in being parted out.
    Everything about it is an unknown. You cant even kick it over or check electrics.
    If the person buying this bike doesn’t have a pile of spares and many 1,000’s of dollars extra to throw at it, it will never run again.
    My top offer would be about $1500 and I have a pile of spares, 2 spare motors and bike slush fund I can dip into and it is in Texas so I would drive over and pick it up.
    This is one of those Buyer Beware sales.

  • RC45 is right. Buyer beware here. Unknown history and a vague description. There is a reason the previous winning bidder bailed on this one. As an NS400R owner (Canadian HRC model) I can tell you that sourcing parts is neither easy nor cheap. Nikasil cylinders means rebuilds are more complicated and costly than an uninitiated new owner might expect. Mirrors are unobtanium, as are many other bits, including several crank parts. EOM bodywork is scarce as are gas tanks. Cranks must be rebuilt, assuming you have the parts, as there are no new OEM or aftermarket cranks available. Only buy this if you know what you are getting into. Otherwise be prepared to dig deep into your pockets. A very sweet ride when well sorted. Excellent handling and braking. Lots of fun once you get past 7500 RPM and the ATAC valves close, but don’t expect a rocket. At only 387 ccs, and in reality far below the 72 claimed HP, it is a competent little bike, but one any serious 2T collector should own.

  • Looking closely at that bike I think those are empty engine cases. No oil, no chain (cause there ain’t no counter shaft to hook a sprocket to) and no crank.- not to mention how beat up those cases look.

    I think we will see the next sale fall through as well. I might drive down to McAllen and pick it up for $1000 just to get the tank and body work 🙂

  • if I had it I would try to dump it too….needs unobtainium part$…an arm and two leg$…sorry

  • I suppose that could be the flywheel in that one picture – but is does look like an empty void. I take back what I said about the counter shaft, I see it in the 1 picture. So those may not be empty cases, but its def. unknown condition engine – with no way to even turn it over to check if it is seized. Don’t see a speedo cable – may explain the low mileage for such a beat up looking bike 🙂 Still no response from the seller for the additional photos I requested.
    Over all an interesting looking sale going on.

  • The seller says he got it from a retired motorcycle mechanic. is that supposed to offer reassurance? I imagine that mechanic is having a good laugh right about now and thinking about how lucky he was to unload it on someone who obviously has no idea what the bike should look like.

    The actual mileage on that bike far exceeds with the speedo says. Not even close.

    A real shame to see the bike neglected like that. A bigger shame that someone would actually try to pass that mess along to someone else without being even slightly honest.

  • Reserve not met at $3500.00

  • A bigger shame that someone would actually try to pass that mess along to someone else without being even slightly honest.
    Welcome to ebay . . . . .

  • Up for sale again – BIN is now $4500.00 – seller still hasn’t provided extra pictures.

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