Posts by tag: 249cc

Yamaha May 13, 2022 posted by

King’s Livery – 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts

Hardly a week goes by that a new* RZ350 doesn’t pop up these days !  While not a show bike, this example shows the Kenny Roberts colors nicely and has a bunch of NLA period updates.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

Yamaha knew that the two-stroke legality wouldn’t last forever, but kept updating the 59 hp, 320 lb. model – and it kept selling.  Liquid cooling made conformance to EPA exhaust and noise regs plausible, and the Power Valve System made the torque band wider than before.  Slotted discs were sized for the middleweight mission, and the fairly conventional chassis sported an early monoshock rear end.

On consignment for a long time customer, this RZ has been on display so might need a little help re-awakening.  Vintage Toomey chambers, intake, and battery box are of interest – especially since the factory take-offs are included.  Matching left and right tank dents are stickered over, and the handlebar fairing looks to have led the way into a couple of close shaves.  But the finishes are in good shape and the fork brace is a nice addition.  Comments and a list of upgrades and spares are in the eBay auction –

The bike has been very well maintained and is in excellent condition for the year with low mileage and a slew of upgrades and spare parts that come with it! The bike runs excellent and the electric start works, but there is no battery in the bike, as it is stored correctly in a collection and almost never ridden. The factory power valves have been rebuilt by the owner. There are two small dents in the gas tank on either side from the handlebar switches on the bars bumping into the tank over the years which is very common on the bikes (they are covered by the bullet stickers you can see in the pictures). Aside from that, please refer to the pictures for the most accurate description of condition. Aside from the upgrades, this bike is numbers matching and nearly all original OEM, the paint and decals are original and the mileage is true and correct.

-TOOMEY PIPES (VINTAGE 80’S – NOT NEWER PRODUCTION)
-TOOMEY INTAKE (VINTAGE 80’S – NOT NEWER PRODUCTION)
-TOOMEY BATTERY BOX (VINTAGE 80’S – NOT NEWER PRODUCTION)
-FORK BRACE
-BRAIDED STEEL FRONT BRAKE LINE
-STOCK CARBS REJETTED FOR EXHAUST (ONE SIZE UP PILOT AND 420 MAINS)
-TWO SPARE SETS OF OEM EXHAUST (PICTURED)
-NEW SET OF SPARE TIRES (PICTURED)
-OWNER’S MANUAL (PICTURED)
-MANY MANY MORE SPARE PARTS NOT LISTED (PICTURED)
-MANY MORE TASTEFUL PERIOD CORRECT UPGRADES NOT LISTED

More red/white models are in RSBFS recent history than bumblebee’s, and for Yamaha fans of a certain vintage the signature model is the one to try for.  Those same fans might be surprised at the bidding with eight days left to run, and further that the reserve is still unknown.  But even though the model has had a nice season so far, no more being manufactured, and this one has a nice combination of miles, patina, updates, and spares.

-donn

King’s Livery – 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts
Honda May 3, 2022 posted by

Track Bike Tuesday – 1995 Honda NSR250 SP / MC28

Though a rarity on the road, smaller two-strokes are still a great track day solution, and the Honda MC28 is a great starting point.  A European builder started with a premium SP model, and went hurtling down the slippery slope from there !

1994 Honda NSR250 SP / MC28 ( Portugal ) for sale on eBay

Most elsewhere, the NSR250 had a long run and the MC28 was the last generation.  Tech and styling kept pace with racebike developments, though the powerplant was a fairly constant 249cc V-twin with a carbs and a legislated 45 hp.  Electronic PGM ignition and air controls kept exhaust as clean as could be and thwarted most tinkerers attempting to de-restrict.  All NSR250’s had a robust twin-beam alloy chassis, and the MC28 had the latest ELF-designed single-sided swingarm.  Big brakes reflected the track orientation rather than the light weight, and wheel sizes were both 17’s.

This MC28 looks wicked racey but so nicely finished and complete, it’s hard to believe it’s ever turned a lap.  Alloy pressings are polished and the race fairings fit well.  Premium components stick their logos out everywhere.  The PGM-IV hardware appears to be on the dash if not defeated, though information on the ignition system and a dyno sheet might be questions for the owner.  Notes from the eBay auction:

With only 4,375 miles or 7,000 km and year production 1995.
Originally a SP model, converted to a custom racing MC28.
Engine is 300cc, with VHM heads, Tyga 300cc cylinders, Wiseco pistons, HARC-Pro complete exhaust, modified carbs, Marchesini rims, Rear and front Ohlins suspension, big Brembo calipers, and a lot of Tyga parts. It has 2 keys.

Right up there with spending a Powerball jackpot, taking a newly commissioned lightweight racebike out is something many would like to try.  This owner has a couple of other excellent classics for sale, also at premium prices.  The builder wasn’t named in this auction, but the choice of donor bike, engine upgrade, and exotic parts look very professional indeed.  Will be interested to hear from the new owner if and when this NSR250SP sells.

-donn

Track Bike Tuesday – 1995 Honda NSR250 SP / MC28
Kawasaki February 27, 2022 posted by

Soul Survivor – 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S in England

Auction ended due to an error in the listing, but still worth a look – push “See original listing”…  Donn

Maybe because so much of the Kawasaki KR-1S came from the racey end of the gene pool, very few of them have made it to the new millennium.  This example has some miles but shows beautifully, and was on display before the seller decided to find it a new home.

1990 Kawasaki KR-1S ( England ) for sale on eBay

Kawasaki stuck with their parallel twin engine after most others had gone to Vees, maybe since their home market power limit of 45 hp was easy to attain.  In select other countries their tuning and KIPS power valve made 59 hp available, with more certainly possible.  Norms for the race-derived class are here, with extruded alloy chassis and six speeds to help keep the engine above 7,000 rpm.  Plenty of braking from twin disks and 4-piston calipers, and the wheel size is looking toward the end of the staggered era with a 17-inch front and 18-inch rear.  The KR-1S also had one of the lightest dry weights in the class, swapping ounces with Suzuki and staying under 290 lbs.

This central England owner states they’re number four, a fairly low number of caretakers for 32 years.  Looks great in the alternate green and black livery, and the Nikkon exhausts look purposeful if not as showy as a rarer metal.  Comments from the eBay auction:

First registered 14 August 1990
12k Mileage
4 Previous owners 
This has been in my house as a show piece and not used for a year, I put some premix fuel in and it fired straight up and sounded sweet (as all fluids have been drained for indoor storage)
These are the fastest street production 250 2-strokes ever produced
and not many are still here to tell the tale
Fitted with Nikkon race pipes give it that well known 90’s 2-stroke sound
Upgraded Fuel Tap
New Chain and sprockets 
Overhauled the calipers new pads and seals 
Original Kawasaki key fits all locks

Perhaps because Kawasaki wasn’t active in Moto GP then ( busy winning AMA Superbike and World Endurance Championships ), they seem to have barely pursued the segment and sold only 10,000 or so KR copies over the four years.  Add in the wide repute for quick steering and over-damped forks, and the few that were exported had little hope of a long life.  This one looks worth finding an agent to handle shipping and import, or plan on using some free time to chase paperwork.

-donn

Soul Survivor – 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S in England
Aprilia August 7, 2021 posted by

Black Max – 1995 Aprilia RS250 Mk. 1 Chesterfield

Aprilia had won two 125cc championships when Max Biaggi strapped on the RSW250 and took three consecutive 250cc crowns to affirm their competitive spirit.  Today’s RS250 looks excellent even with 13,500 miles.

1995 Aprilia RS250 for sale on eBay

After some poorly timed teething pains with their own motor, Aprilia sourced the engine / transmission combo from Suzuki, with “Aprilia” on the castings and their own heads, ECU and exhaust.  72 hp were available, though mostly above 8,000 rpm, with peak power at darn near 12,000 !  The alloy spars were beautifully crafted and matched the banana swingarm, shaped to let the exhausts by.  Twin four-piston front brakes would be overkill except for the absence of engine braking on a smoker and the RS’s supersport power.  The fairing is a good likeness of Max’s race machine, and the seat console looks to be carbon but might be faux.

This RS250 visited California in 2018 before the riding season really got going in its home Wisconsin, but looks to have benefited from inside storage all along.  Unfaired pictures show the beauty isn’t just skin deep, and the engine and suspension maintenance will pay dividends to the new owner.  Might not be too hard to find a couple of nicer signature decals.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Fantastic performance, suspension and brakes.  The bike has never been put down and the original fairing is in good shape.  The decals are not in perfect shape, but are in good condition for the age. The bike decals came originally on top of the clear coat, so after 26 years they have some sun fade, wrinkling and an occasional worn edge.  Garaged year round, heated not less than 60 degrees F. in fall, winter & spring.   Bike was on display at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, May, 2018.

All the usual service completed in spring and a new battery this year.

Top end rebuilt at 10K with Wiseco pistons and Boysen reeds

Front & Rear suspension serviced in 2017, new tires 2017

New Battery 2021

After market parts –

Nitron rear shock and spring, 2017

Arrow full exhaust 

Toby steering damper 

Turn signals

Owners manual, workshop manual, also a OEM tank decal replacement kit

Aprilia’s robust build wasn’t the lightest, but made for a terrific track ride with muscle to spare.  Highlights on the black bodywork bring out the best in the brushed aluminum frame and carbon highlights.  All of which – including the reserve – will disappear in the rearview mirror when the new owner gives a twist of the volume control.  

-donn

Black Max – 1995 Aprilia RS250 Mk. 1 Chesterfield
Honda August 5, 2021 posted by

Max Fun – 1992 Honda NSR250SE

From the sweet spot of a great 13-year model run, the NSR250SE is an epic lightweight – though only available here via the grey market.  Here’s a recent import with a great rider vibe.

1992 Honda NSR250SE for sale on eBay

Even though the NSR’s resembled the Moto2 machines, developments from the racing dept. were massaged by manufacturing engineers, and very few parts were shared.  Still, the basis was excellent, with the carbureted 249cc V-twin, alloy twin spar chassis, and MC21 developments like PGM-III engine controls and the asymmetrical swingarm.  The SE shared most of the rarer SP’s better components but saved yen with 17-inch Enkei wheels from the base model.

A little camera shy, this SE does look very good and sounds like it could be pressed into immediate service.  The owner does offer a cold-start video – here -.  The stainless exhaust is notable, and the windshield would seem like an easy R & R.  No word on any de-restriction, but worthwhile comments from the eBay auction:

Super Edition with 9,800 km on the clock. It has the adjustable suspension and the dry clutch, it might need clutch plates replaced soon if your planning to ride it a lot and or hard. Imported directly from Japan about 5 years ago and has a Florida title. Bike starts almost instantly even after sitting a bit, runs well. Everything works in terms of lights, horn, etc. It has a very nice Ethos exhaust system on it as seen in the pics. It has its wear and tear, scuffs, cracks, scratches, etc. from years in Japan, I repaired some areas on some of the fairing and touched up some areas decently, including the fairing mount and shifter linkage. It could be done better but I wanted to keep it original and I don’t mind minor blemishes. The windscreen seems to be original but has plenty of scratches. I put new tires on it when I got it but they were not top of the line, I knew it would spend most of its time sitting.

NSR250’s have been imported in all sorts of conditions and histories, since they were hot sellers domestically, and a low-mile creampuff is a rarity since production ended at the turn of the century.  But if the condition of this one checks out, and a reader on the lighter side wants a rider rather than a show bike, it might be worth the premium buy-it-now.

-donn

Max Fun – 1992 Honda NSR250SE
Honda June 15, 2021 posted by

Half a World Away – 1991 Honda NSR250R

A continent or two removed from the usual superbike competition, very lightweight two-strokes lessen the role of the right wrist in any performance riding.  Here’s a Honda MC21 ready for registration and rejuvenation.

1991 Honda NSR250R / MC21 for sale on eBay

The NSR250 went through four developments, with the MC21 being third.  All used the 249cc twin, just about square bore and stroke, legislated at 45hp in the home market, but closer to 60 ponies when de-restricted.  Though carburetted, the PGM-III underseat ECU controlled reed valves and ignition advance based on throttle and gear selector position.  Semi-adjustable forks and Pro-Link monoshock presumed a youthful touch on the seat, but triple disks were ready to haul you down from top speed.  Especially in replica livery, the light but full fairing channeled the RS250R racebike.

As presented, this NSR250R shows some 8,233 miles, but begs for more pictures and information.  The bodywork may be a replacement, but the red seat console seems to be an MC18 livery.  On a 1991 model the assymetrical swingarm would normally be seen, but this one is straight-legged.   The SP sticker might be just that, but might be worth pursuing.  Looks like a thorough going over will be required before and after bidding.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Early 90’s – complete bike – speedo shows 13.3k – imported from England a couple of years ago – went into my collection and been sitting ever since – I never rode it – bike is in good shape for age – but not perfect – no title – comes with import papers and bill of sale – if you know what your looking at – this is a rare bike that is getting harder to find.

Honda was in competition with the RGV250, TZR250, and KR1 for the home and limited export market, and the lead swapped around regularly.  Prices on restored or collector models justify interest in a semi-project like this, but it’s a slippery slope.  Add the importation/registration question to the list, though the racetrack is really the place for an NSR250R these days.  Unlike the road, nobody out there is on the phone.

-donn

 

Half a World Away – 1991 Honda NSR250R
Aprilia June 9, 2021 posted by

Your Inner MM – 2003 Aprilia RS250 Challenge Cup

Aprilia sought to win hearts and minds with its 250cc race series, and had some success though short-lived.  Today’s example is a barely used Challenge Cup ready for some club racing.

2003 Aprilia RS250 Challenge Cup for sale on eBay

Based on their RS250 street bike, the Cup came with Suzuki’s RGV engine, 72-odd hp depending on who asked, and their sculptural alloy chassis with even more exotically shaped magnesium alloy swingarm.  No hours converting it for racing were required, since it shipped with none of the usual DOT requirements.  It did come with oversized front forks and brakes, fully adjustable as was the monoshock.  No starter except your right foot, and the oil injection system was retained to avoid lubrication mishaps.  Despite the full-featured dash, lightness was baked in and it tipped the scales just over 300 lbs.

The Indy owner of this barely used Challenge Cup racer doesn’t say whether they or the original owner commissioned the MS Racing livery, but it’s the spitting image of Melandri’s 2002 championship winner.  Arrow exhaust, Woodcraft controls and saving original bodywork are all classy.  Nearly new at least as per the odometer.  Comments from the eBay auction:

About 1,750 km (1,100 miles) on the odometer. Original, clean/clear Texas title in hand. The bike is fast, in beautiful shape and needs nothing. I can find no indication that the bike has ever touched the ground anywhere but the tires. The paint is not perfect but is excellent and very glossy with only minor blemishes from being 18 years old. Overall, the bike is really clean and well sorted. It has been in my living room or garage every night of its life since getting here, on a battery tender much of the time. The bike starts right up and runs/shifts/brakes and rides wonderfully – no issues at all.

Not sure if Aprilia was advertising their name or hoping the RS250 would be imported legally, but their single-marque series ended after a few years ( as MotoGP got closer to a four-stroke Moto2 ) and their sales have done quite well.  As nice as it is to see a cherry racing machine, it does belong in the fray – and there’s still time.

-donn

Your Inner MM – 2003 Aprilia RS250 Challenge Cup
Suzuki April 26, 2021 posted by

We ID – 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23

Suzuki saved their best 250 two-stroke for last, with many updates for the VJ23.  Today’s RGV250 recently became easier to import because of its age but sparkles like a much newer machine.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23 ( South Africa ) for sale on eBay

A lot of interesting tidbits deep in the VJ23 specs, such as the narrower 70-degree vee, almost square bore and stroke, making almost all of the engine brand new.  The power valve and ignition are under electronic control, extending the mid-range powerband, and fresh air comes right through the frame.  41mm USD forks are fully adjustable, and brakes are actually 10mm smaller but still plenty for the under 300 lbs. dry weight.  Tire sizes are still staggered 17 front / 18 rear, and the ’96 came with electric start, somehow without increasing mass.

Coming from way off shore a pre-purchase look see will be tough, but the owner may not have factored that into his starting bid.  Luckily the photos are all one could ask, and the condition is too.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Thanks for taking the time to look at a unique rare piece of two stroke history.
This authentic full power V model is one of only 119 units produced.
The total number of VJ23,s ever produced is 2018 units (That includes the 119 V models).
Some of the features that defines it from the regular JDM VJ23 are:
  • Large black identification plate on the right side of the frame’s headstock.
  • 240 kph speedometer instead of 180 kph item.
  • Four teeth smaller rear sprocket (42 tooth instead of 46 tooth)
  • Light grey rear master cylinder cap instead of black.
  • Different exhaust and silencer markings.
  • Revised airbox lid.
She is in great mechanical and cosmetic condition. 
Both front and rear tyres have been replaced recently with a sticky fresh matching set of Pirelli’s.
Here’s what’s included in the sale:
  • Original full power factory exhaust pipes and silencers.
  • Pillion footrest hangers and pegs.
  • Pillion rear seat.
  • Tool kit.
  • Owners manual.

Since few stateside riders knew what they didn’t know, the RGV would live on the track and an occasional grey market import, until the market recently warmed up with the end of the EPA blackout period.  Not sure about CA, but 49-state registration shouldn’t take heroic effort.  Small parts for a big rebuild though, could take some time.  Nothing the new owner of this RGV should have to worry about anytime soon.

-donn

We ID – 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23