Posts by tag: ATAC

Honda January 7, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Honda NS400R

While the world was off building 250cc and 500cc two strokes, Honda went their own way. Sure they built 250cc repli-racers (and even 125 and 150cc varietals). But when it came to the big two stroke, Honda took a cagey direction and built a mini hot rod. Emphasizing all the great points of a 250cc in terms of size and weight, Honda created a unique 400cc entry based on a V-3 configuration (just like their GP bike). The result was a bike not as powerful as the Gammas and RZs of the time, but more lithe and flickable than the bigger beasts. And although it was ultimately out-gunned on the top end, the NS400R could hold its own when the going got fun.

1985 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

While a V-3 engine configuration might seem odd, it was actually a stroke (pun intended) of genius. Laying the two front cylinders forward and the single rear cylinder upright, the frontal area of the bike could be made as narrow as a parallel twin. And while both the Gamma square four and the RZ V-4 could boast similar stats, the NS single rear cylinder allowed the frame and bodywork to narrow considerably – a boon to both ergonomics as well as aerodynamics. The reed-valve triple also made due with a single crankshaft, which kept mass and rotational weight down when compared to rivals. The Honda power exhaust valve – dubbed ATAC – mellowed the power delivery of the bike, but like all two strokes nirvana is best discovered up near the top of the tach. With an aluminum chassis to maximize the benefits of the V-3 weight distribution, a front anti-dive fork holding a GP-inspired front wheel, and bodywork mimicking the race-only NS500 GP machine, the NS400 was considered the most polished of the large-bore two stroke set. Typical Honda fit, finish and reliability pervade the machine and the riding experience.

From the seller:
Reluctantly selling my 1985 Honda NS400R
Freddie Spencer inspired, 3 cylinders, 2-stroke, 72hp rocket
JDM spec, imported directly from Japan by me
Registered in California (current plate, registration and clear title)

More from the seller:
Complete frame-off restoration
Rare Rotthmans racing scheme
Only 10,700kms (6,700 miles)
Very rare and the US and even more with CA plate/title
Many parts powder coated, refurbished, too many details to list
All original fairings repainted to original specs
Looks and runs amazing

There is a LOT to like about this particular NS. First off, it has the rare Rothmans race livery, as opposed to the more common red/white/blue/yellow color scheme. It wears OE fairings, however they have been repainted. Thanks to what looks like a total refurb this bike is clean, clean, clean (just look at those pics!). For even more pics the seller has posted before, during and after images here. And while the rest of the world might not care, the California title is a nugget that is not to be missed. Here in Cali, two strokes are pretty much verboten – making this gem a bit of a unicorn. And chances are very, very good that a California title will enable reciprocity with nearly any other state of the Union. With importation and titling taken care of (a major headache for most), this restored NS400R is waiting for a new owner to ride off into the sunset.

The bigger two strokes continue to rise in value over the years. The Honda NS400R is a very unique offering in this segment, and not as popular in numbers as the big RZ/RZV, nor as popular with collectors as the Gamma. And while some of this can be attributed to the more diminutive stature of the 400 (think Dani Pedrosa instead of Cal Crutchlow), the limited years of production (1985-1987) likely have much to do with it. It you are in the market for a classic two stroke from this era, do not discount the magnificent NS400R. And when it comes to specimens, today’s example is one of the best we have seen in a long time. Check it out here, as this auction is going quickly – as is the bidding. Get your hand in today, before this one is gone. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1985 Honda NS400R
Honda October 3, 2018 posted by

Jersey Strong: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

The New Jersey Turnpike, in spite of being the punchline for a million jokes, is actually a marvel of modern efficiency, an engineering feat that allowed commercial traffic to flow more easily through state to points north and south. But there are just too damn many cars in Jersey for the traffic to flow these days, and the engineered straight-line qualities that make The Turnpike a great commercial road make it a horrible road for motorcyclists, unless pinning the throttle to the stop is your thing. And today’s Honda NSR250SP is pretty much the worst bike for that kind of riding.

With just 249cc worth of two-stroke power on tap, sustained high-speed runs, or high-speed runs in general are pretty much out of the question. Sure, it’ll do 130mph flat out, but it’s tiny and, at just 288lbs dry, it’s pretty obvious the NSR250R wasn’t designed for that kind of riding. Fortunately, you don’t have to go very far in New Jersey to find the kinds of roads the little two-stroke is perfect for: it’s not called “The Garden State” for nothing, and it can be a beautiful place, once you get clear of the seemingly ever-present congestion. And deer: they’re everywhere. Luckily, this lightweight machine has triple disc brakes to pull the little NSR up quickly, should one of those things leap or just wander out into your path.

Power came from a slightly undersquare liquid-cooled two-stroke 90° v-twin with bore and stroke of 54 x 54.5mm. Two strokes are mechanically simple, obviously pretty dirty, and the bike still uses carburetors, but the NSR is in every other way a very sophisticated machine. Honda’s PGM-III system controlled ignition advance and the RC valves based on information supplied by throttle and gear-position sensors. The six-speed gearbox was a cassette-type to ease gearset changes trackside, although that’s more of a theoretical benefit than a practical one for most owners. The SP or “Sport Production” version seen here added a dry clutch and lightweight Magtek wheels, along with adjustable suspension at both ends. In between the standard R and the SP was the mid-level SE model that lacked the SP’s magnesium wheels for a reduced cost.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

1991 Honda NSR 250 SP

9913 Miles clean New Jersey title 

Fresh fluids (coolant, gearbox, 2T and brake fluids)

Rust free tank

All original plastics

Bike does have some light scratches on the side fairings, broken tab on the belly pan and broken piece on the front upper fairing. Please take a close look on the pics for better description of the condition. Everything else is in really nice shape including the frame, subframe, fork, tank, wheels and tail piece. Please feel free to message me for any inquiries. Thanks for looking

The Buy It Now for this NSR250SP is $9,800 which seems reasonable, considering some of the more outrageous asking prices we’ve seen for NSR250Rs, especially the higher-spec Sport Production model. The bike isn’t described as being perfect, but seems like a clean runner, and that Jersey title is a nice extra: when it comes to grey market bikes, The Garden State isn’t the easiest DMV to navigate.

-tad

Jersey Strong: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale
Honda September 27, 2018 posted by

Cutting Edge: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale

Not too long ago, all kinds of weird and wonderful sportbikes from the mid-1980s were available for reasonable sums. Until recently, they weren’t really old enough to be considered classics in terms of styling, and they weren’t even close to modern machines in terms of outright performance or handling. It probably didn’t help much that they’re just plain weird to modern sensibilities: consider Honda’s NS400R, with its two-stroke V3, anti-dive forks, odd middle-of-the-road displacement, and the slightly awkward, upright styling common to bikes of the era.

The 80s saw the Japanese brands finally come into their own and race and showroom success, combined with a strong economy, saw experimentation across the industry. Not all of it worked, of course, but that’s beside the point. The bodywork of the NS400R seen here hid a liquid-cooled, 90° two-stroke V3 engine meant to evoke Honda’s Grand Prix racing machines that used a similar configuration. The bike featured a six-speed gearbox, Honda’s ATAC powervalve system, electronic ignition, TRAC anti-dive forks, a Pro-Link rear suspension, Comstar wheels, and radial tires that were considered very cutting-edge at the time.

Weight was very light, at just a shade over 400lbs wet and the bike’s claimed 72hp means performance is a match for the RG and RZ, in spite of the NS400R displacing just 387cc. Why the smaller displacement, when an NS500R would have made for a more authentic Grand Prix experience? Well, regulations in the bike’s home market meant significantly increased costs for 500cc machines: Suzuki actually sold an RG400 for Japanese two-stroke fans, and Yamaha detuned their RZ500 to meet power restrictions. Faced with the prospect of a detuned 500 or the need to sell two different models, Honda simply created one, very refined machine with their NS400R, but the perceived performance deficit hurt sales.

It’s a shame: handling was superlative and the bike is often mentioned as a forgotten gem of the era. Of course, prices for bikes like the Suzuki RG500Γ have been rising rapidly over the past few years, dragging Yamaha RZ500 prices along with it, and the NS400R has been sucked into their wake. Two strokes are long dead and gone, and fans of smoky, lightweight sportbikes have been snapping them up quickly, especially really nice, low-mileage examples like this one.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale

Very nice condition. Runs great. 1509 original miles [2429 kilometers]

This is not 100% OEM. The two main items that are not OEM include the:

  1. Bodywork: brand new aftermarket bodywork (OEM bodywork included)
  2. Brand new Jim Lomas expansion chambers (OEM exhaust included).

Carbs ultrasonically cleaned, rebuilt and jetted. Also synced with Motion Pro carb balancer.

When fitting the Lomas chambers I pulled the cylinders to inspect them. No issues and still see cross-hatching in the Nikasil.

  • New base and head gaskets and ATAC gaskets.
  • New clutch (metal and friction plates)
  • New chain/sprockets 
  • New air filter
  • Fresh antifreeze
  • New spark plugs
  • New rubber boots from air box to carbs
  • Rebuilt fuel petcock
  • New regulator rectifier
  • Tires are in great shape

Everything works like it should. No leaks at all.

I’d be curious about the condition of the original bodywork, if it’s not the stuff in the picture shown off the bike. If it was an original Rothmans, why the replica bodywork? I’m not implying anything shady on the part of the customer. Honestly, I’ve said forever that if I got something weird or rare, I’d personally source aftermarket panels and paint them up, then store the originals safely away, but it’s not clear that this is what the seller has done. Either way, it looks damn nice, and the seller helpfully includes a recent video of the bike. And, while the NS400R was sort of languishing, forgotten and a bit unloved compared to the Gammas and RZs for a while there, prices have begun to move steadily upward, and the seller is asking a $7,700 Buy It Now price for this one.

-tad

Cutting Edge: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale
Honda October 5, 2012 posted by

Silver Surfer: 1984 Honda NS250R MC-11

For Sale: 1984 Honda NS250R MC-11

Update 10.5.2012: Originally posted last November, this bike is back on eBay. Links updated. -dc

For such a rare bike, this is the second 80s vintage NS250R in this color scheme to be posted on RSBFS in a few months (see Doug’s excellent post on a similar bike HERE). Designed in an era where rounder, more bulbous shapes were utilized, this NS250R was the hottest small-bore bike we couldn’t get in the US of A. Nearly 30 years on, how does it stack up?

With full fairings and a windscreen to encourage tucking in (with only 45 bhp on tap, a tidy aerodynamic profile is encouraged), the NS250R pre-dates the more famous and collectable NSR250R series bikes by a few years. Still, the engineering might of Honda bleeds through and through: Aluminum perimeter frame, aluminum swing arm, Astralight wheels front and rear (17″ and 18″ respectively), TRAC front fork, triple disc brakes and the ATAC system (Honda Automatic Torque Amplification Chamber), which modified the volume of the exhaust chamber to boost low end torque. And of course there is the kickstand fairing; slightly more than a gimmick, and probably the best known feature of the bike.

From the seller:
Super rare, first year production MC-11 in great running condition and in surprisingly good shape. This bike has a unique history of previous owners which includes Hall of fame formula 1 racer Mike Baldwin, award winning stunt-woman Christine Ann Baur, and Superbike champ Thad Wolff before I acquired it for my collection. I assume the bike was used for street riding as it is street legal and not set up for racing, all gauges and lights work good as does the charging system, gauges and handlebar switches in excellent condition with no fading. It is missing one front turn signal which I have not replaced. I bought an after-market set but did not install them as they are not perfect matches to originals, they go with bike as does a new set of fork seals.

This bike appears to be in original condition with only 7,324 miles on it. The speedometer reads in kilometers (11,789 km) and there is extensive writing all over in Japanese, this bike was shipped here from Japan many years ago and was not sold in the U.S.

Bike fires right up and shifts great through all 6 gears with no clutch slippage at all. The gearbox is a close ratio 6 speed and the top speed is rated at 121 MPH which is unbelievable for a 250 cc street bike, it is so fast I believe it will really do it.

Over all this bike is in very good condition and appears to run fantastic, I have only put about 30 to 40 miles on it in the two years I have owned it, it always fires right up.

Bike has a California license plate and was last registered in 1997 and comes with a bill of sale as the Pink Slip was lost.

I am selling this bike because I am drastically reducing my collection and this bike is just too rare to put miles on it, it belongs in a collectors living room or museum.

While I don’t enjoy staring any flame wars, I do bristle when sellers indicate that something should be in a museum rather than being ridden. This particular bike, patterned after the 250cc GP bike that brought Freddie Spencer 2 titles in the same year (both 250 and 500), really deserves to get out and ridden. Unfortunately, a close look at the pictures indicates somebody did just that – and poorly. The right side looks like it’s been rashed, and the HRC sticker on the right side tail looks suspiciously different (larger) than stock. Is it covering something? Careful buyers will want to ask some questions.

On the plus side, this is a very rare motorcycle that will not likely fetch huge dollars – making it an affordable collector. The last one we posted sold for a mere $3,100, which is low bucks for a mini-GP smoker these days. For more information and your chance to bid on this silver rocket from the 80s, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!

MI

Honda August 19, 2011 posted by

Hold on to your leg warmers: 1985 Honda NS400R

For Sale: 1985 Honda NS400R

We have seen a number of these rare birds on RSBFS (click here to search the RSBFS archives), but nowhere near the numbers of the twin cylinder Honda 250s or the 500cc RZ/Gamma set. You see, this NS400R is an odd bike in many ways, and that generally kept interest low – which is a real shame. In the end it was emissions, not interest, that kept the NS400R out of the United States. Still, with an odd-ball displacement (400cc vs 500cc), odd-ball configuration (V3), and lack of importation into the US, the NS400R is not the most loved of the two-stroke coveting set.

For those wanting to be different, the NS400R is a great place to start. With peaky two-stroke power (59 hp stock), mini-GP bodywork, sharp and responsive handling thanks to light weight (about 350 lbs), the NS400R might be everything you dream about in a canyon carver. Back in 1985 it sure was – except that it was missing a cylinder and about 100cc on the competition.

From the seller:
THIS I A VERY RARE GOOD RUNING NEW TUNE UP CARB CLEAN TIRES BATTERY BIKE RUNS GOOD 3 CYLINDER 400 CC FAST BIKE WE HAVE FLORDA TITLE READY TO RIDE SERIUS BUYERS ONLY

Given the relative rarity of these models, one has to wonder how this one got in such forlorn condition. What is left of the paintwork was intended to celebrate Freddie Spencer’s championship livery (he won both the 250cc and 500cc classes that year) – this is a very sharp color scheme when found in original condition such as this one. Unfortunately this bike got a little beaten up along the way to the auction, and is not exactly in what we would call “pristine” condition. It certainly doesn’t help that the seller has very little to say about the bike – except that it has a Florida title and has approximately 16,000 miles on it.

In a proper state of tune, the NS400R is a fantastic machine. It has some innovative engineering tricks such as the ATAC (auto-controlled torque amplification chambers) exhaust servo to boost low-end torque. Aerodynamically, the bike is very sound and complete, right down to the little fairing attached to the side stand. All in all, this is a very desireable model to own and ride.

This particular example is available at auction right now. There have been no bidders with a $4,000 opening, so if you act quickly you might get yourself a deal. For more info and pictures, click on the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!

MI