Posts by tag: Grey Market

Honda March 17, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: 1992/1993 Honda CBR250RR for Sale

Update 3.18.2016: VIN confirms this is a MC22. -dc
Update 3.26.2016: Sold for full asking price. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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Today’s CBR250RR is another one of those grey market oddities, a bike that’s extremely rare here in the USA, but not considered particularly exotic elsewhere. Built from 1990 through 1996 and nicknamed the “Baby Blade” for obvious reasons, it was a small-displacement stepping-stone bike for riders before they moved up to a larger bike like a 600. But unlike here, where learner bikes are quickly discarded or skipped entirely by riders who foolishly think of 600 supersports as “starter bikes,” these are high-quality, sophisticated machines, a far cry from the relatively crude CBR300 of today.

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Instead of that bike’s simple and torquey single-cylinder engine, the CBR250RR used a 249cc liquid-cooled inline four that made 40hp and would rev safely to a shrieking 18,000rpm. Backed by a six-speed gearbox, the package was good for over 100mph. It wasn’t as light or as raw as an equivalent two-stroke, but it offered up a far more refined and durable experience. A 250 two-stroke is really its own thing, and the CBR was intended more as a high-quality learning tool before moving on to a larger CBR600 or 900.

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Today’s featured listing is either a 1992 or 1993 model and looks like it’s in very good, mostly original condition.

From the seller:
Honda CBR250RR for Sale

It’s a CBR250RR.  It’s titled, but the year doesn’t coincide with what year it probably is.  I believe it’s a 1992 or 1993 model.  When I originally picked it up, I had my mechanic go through everything.  The only major thing was cleaning the carbs, adjusting the inlet and exhaust valves and spot welding the exhaust can where the springs latch.  We removed the heat-wrapping that was there also.

It’s essentially stock minus the full exhaust (stainless steel).  There doesn’t seem to be any distinct markings on the full system, so I am unsure which brand it is.

The front cowl is ABS, the side fairings are fiberglass and the rear tail is OEM.

I bought the bike with 8,1XX kilometers and it’s currently at 12,7XX kilometers.

It’s been a weekend street bike, I have several other bikes that I ride in my rotation, this one is the one I’m willing to let go for greener pastures.

I do have the manual for the bike, it’s in Japanese.

Bike is currently located at Speedwerks in Delaware.

Will pay for anyone who wants a pre purchase inspection done.

$Price: 4,700 or best offer SOLD.

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These are difficult machines to put a price on. Their origins are relatively pedestrian, although they epitomize what Honda has always done, offering up engineering sophistication to buyers at all levels. And although they were always intended as entry-level bikes, they provide performance and handling not generally found in this type of machinery here in the US. For riders who subscribe to the “Slow Bike Fast” philosophy, these represent a pretty ideal balance of performance. A similar experience can be had on Honda’s CB1 for less money, but the 250RR is just that much cooler and more unusual: you’re definitely going to pay a premium for rarity with a bike like this, but for fans of small bikes with stratospheric redlines, it’s hard to beat a 250RR.

-tad

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Featured Listing: 1992/1993 Honda CBR250RR for Sale
Honda February 16, 2016 posted by

Fresh Off the Boat: 1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

1989 Honda NSR250R R Side

Honda’s NSR250R was, until recently, unicorn-rare here in the United States. But a number of companies have sprung up to scrounge decent examples in Japan, where they are far less hard to come by, then ship them over here where they sell for a premium. Certainly, many have been truly thrashed by young knee-dragging hooligans, but there are nice examples to be had as well. And when the alternative is not having an NSR250R… Well maybe taking a chance on one of these little grey-market beasts is worth the gamble.

1989 Honda NSR250R Rear

With a nearly square 54mm x 54.5mm bore and stroke, the 249cc two-stroke in this MC18-II used carburetors but was otherwise very high-tech: Honda’s Automatic Torque-Amplification Chamber used a butterfly valve to vary expansion chamber volume to increase the midrange and their PGM-II ignition system was exceptionally sophisticated, creating a 3D map based on throttle position and rpm and modifying the timing in response. Mated to a six-speed cassette-style gearbox, and slotted into an aluminum beam frame, the entire package was the perfect weapon to battle the other quarter-liter contenders.

1989 Honda NSR250R Dash

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

1989 Honda NSR250 two-stroke! This is the street version of the legendary world championship winning NSR250 and NSR500 MotoGP racers. The bike is in excellent condition, both physically and mechanically with only 8,900 miles. This bike was purchased in Japan and imported through US Customs and I can provide all documentation to support its legality. The bike will come with a US title that is transferrable. Bike will be available for pick-up / delivery on March 1st.

With a Buy It Now price of $6,500 and under 9,000 on the clock this looks like a relatively clean example. Obviously, titling may be in issue in some states, but you could certainly buy it and display it, or turn it into a track-day bike.

1989 Honda NSR250R Top

Our commenters seem to feel that keeping these little two-strokes on the road is difficult, but from what I’ve seen, parts aren’t too difficult to come by if you’re prepared to plan ahead and order stuff from overseas… Or pick up some parts bikes: $6,500 is basically chump change when it comes to collectible bikes. I mean, you could have three for the price of your average Harley!

Anyone who has experience experience living with one of these care to weigh in? Are these really as hard to keep running as people seem to think?

-tad

1989 Honda NSR250R L Side

Fresh Off the Boat: 1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale
Honda November 26, 2015 posted by

Have Prices Peaked? Very Clean 1990 Honda NSR250 MC21 for Sale

1990 Honda NSR250R MC21 R Side

Although the Honda NSR two-stroke sportbikes were by no means “starter bikes” and were very high-performing motorcycles, they were still relatively affordable and often bought by riders not flush enough to afford the taxes on bigger bikes. Basically: young hooligans bought them. Because of this, nice examples are pretty thin on the ground in their home markets.

The recent flood of affordable “grey market” Japanese two-strokes here in the US offers up our first real opportunity to sample bikes that still get the British motorcycle press all dewy-eyed and nostalgic. Unfortunately, caveat emptor is the order of the day, since many of these little nippers were thoroughly thrashed when new.

1990 Honda NSR250R MC21 L Side

The NSR250R featured a 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin backed up by a six-speed cassette gearbox and, from the factory, these were limited to 45hp by Japanese regulations. But there is plenty of additional power waiting to be unleashed by a US owner and, with a sub-300 lb dry weight, this could certainly embarrass many bigger sportbikes in anything but a straight-line race.

This MC21 wasn’t just a continuation of the earlier MC18, it was a ground-up redesign and featured a banana or “gull-arm” swingarm, PGMIII electronically-controlled carburetors, and 17″ wheels at both ends, making tire choice a bit easier today. Although the bike used carburetors, the PGM system created a three-dimensional ignition map for each cylinder, based on throttle-position, revs, and gear.

1990 Honda NSR250R MC21 Gauges

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda NSR250R MC21 for Sale

I am selling my 1990 Honda NSR 250R MC-21 two stroke motorcycle. For those unfamiliar with this bike, it is the street version of Honda’s legendary 250cc Moto GP race bike, the NSR250. Despite it’s small displacement, this is not a beginner’s motorcycle! The two stroke engine is very powerful for its size and the bike weighs in at less than 300lbs. On a twisty road, it will leave larger displacement bikes in the rear view mirror. Plus the sound, feel, and power delivery of the two  stroke engine is unlike any four stroke motorcycle. The MC-21 model was brand new in 1990, and was a huge step up from the earlier MC-16 and MC-18 models. In addition to new body work and the super sexy gull-arm swingarm design, the MC-21 utilized the PGMIII ECU from the RC30 superbike, giving it true 3D ignition. Suspension was upgraded and the rear wheel diameter was decreased from 18″ to 17″ to fit the most advanced tires. The bike is in overall great condition, with 11,117km (<7,000 miles) on the clock. There are a few minor scratches on the bodywork (see pictures) but no other significant damage. The bike kick starts from cold on the first try and runs/revs very smoothly.

Honda never sold this bike in the U.S. as the EPA banned most two stroke powered road vehicles in the ’70’s. As such, they are extremely rare. There are a handful of these bikes in the U.S., some here legally, and others illegally. In general, two strokes less than 25 years old are still banned by the EPA, so use caution if you are looking at a similar bike that is newer than 1990. This bike was imported legally by myself directly from Japan, and I have all the US Customs paperwork to verify its legality. I also have a clean and clear Virginia title in my name, which has an 11 digit VIN that matches the bike’s frame number.

Photos: The first seven photos show the bike from various angles, front & rear tires, the speedo/odometer in km. The remaining photos show the following marks & scratches: left front fairing, right lower fairing, right upper fairing, left lower fairing, right seat fairing, left seat fairing, and right handle bar.

1990 Honda NSR250R MC21 Front Fairing

This bike isn’t in showroom condition, but looks very clean and appears to start easily and run well from the included video. There’s a bit of surface rust on some of the fasteners and some scuffs at the edges of the bodywork, but nothing jumps out that should scare off potential buyers.

There are just four days left on this auction, with no takers yet at the starting bid of $5,000. Considering these were virtually unobtainable just a few years ago, has the market been flooded?

-tad

1990 Honda NSR250R MC21 Rear

Have Prices Peaked? Very Clean 1990 Honda NSR250 MC21 for Sale
Suzuki November 17, 2015 posted by

Baby Gamma: 1985 Suzuki RG250 for Sale

1985 Suzuki RG250 R Side FrontAlthough it lacks the lean and crisp looks and GP-specification of the later RGV250, the Suzuki RG250Γ Gamma makes up for it with classic styling that closely resembles the bigger RG500. The paint scheme on this example is very subdued and the low, shorty pipes are strangely modern, making for a surprisingly contemporary look considering this bike is more than thirty years old.

1985 Suzuki RG250 TankManufactured from 1983-1987 and weighing in at just 286lbs dry with a lightweight aluminum frame, anti-dive front forks, and a pair of tiny front discs, the RG250 wasn’t some primitive, stripped-out learner. The 247cc engine was a water-cooled parallel twin with perfectly square bore and stroke and featured Suzuki’s AEC or “Automatic Exhaust Control” to beef up the midrange. This sophisticated engine was backed by a six-speed gearbox, something that was still fairly uncommon in the mid-1980s.

1985 Suzuki RG250 CockpitOriginally restricted to just 45hp for the Japanese market, the new owner may well want to get this little Gamma modified to unleash its full potential, but that should be a far easier task on this early example than it would be on a later bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG250 for Sale

Just imported from Japan through U.S. Customs, this 1985 Suzuki RG-250 comes with a clean and clear street legal title ready to be transferred into your name in your state.

Your new RG-250 is showing just 6436 original miles (10,358 kilometers) on the odometer so it is a low mileage bike. The original bodywork is intact with original paint and the original exhaust is in good condition. This is a 30 year old motorcycle so it isn’t perfect; you have to expect paint wear and the normal scratches and chips and cracks on the bar ends and lever ends and fairing mount points; please see the right and left lower fairing scratches as an example. Surprisingly the foot pegs and gear change/brake levers are nice with the only scuff I can find being on the front brake lever and front turn signal. And those are too small to see in the pictures.

I suspect this was a well cared for and inside stored bike as the windshield is clear and bright and the paint presents well and the seat is in good condition. The gas tank does has one very small ding on the right side of the tank at the top (barely visible in the pics). The tires are Dunlops with good tread but the front tire should be replaced for riding. The seat is in good condition with no scuffs or tears anywhere. The signals are original and the exhaust is original and in good condition which is rare for a 30 year old used motorcycle.

Here’s your chance to own a titled Japan market only Suzuki RG250 but don’t let this one pass you by. Someone is going to own this bike – why not you?

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 streetbike. This rare two stroke is not a grey market import, it has been imported through proper legal channels and is already titled in the USA and ready to be transferred into your name just like any other vehicle purchase and title transfer. You will not need my US Customs documents and EPA documents but I will include them in the sale of this bike so you have documentation your RG was legally imported.

The seller also includes a clip of the bike running and moving under its own power.

1985 Suzuki RG250 L Side RearI’m not sure if this is the original paint, but overall the bike looks to be in very decent condition and in far better shape than many of the recent two-stroke imports we’ve seen, with just some minor scuffing and general wear. While the skinny tires and 18″ wheels limit tire choice and track-day antics, the “baby RG500” looks are classic and if you’re able to register this where you live, this would make a fun back road bike and a great conversation piece at your local hang out.

-tad

1985 Suzuki RG250 R Side

Baby Gamma: 1985 Suzuki RG250 for Sale
Honda October 10, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

Update 2.19.2016: I have received word from the seller that this bike is sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

1989 Honda CBR250R R Side

Well, I knew these Honda CBR250Rs existed, but I’ve never seen one for sale before. If you’re thinking, “Oh jeez, so what? It’s a four-stroke 250. A learner bike.” Keep in mind, this is a 250cc four cylinder. Although sportbike redlines have crept ever higher over the past couple decades, a genuine 18,000rpm redline [I’m looking at you, Yamaha R6…] is still pretty impressive, even today. And learner bikes with cutting-edge specifications really just don’t exist anymore, which is a real shame.

1989 Honda CBR250R MC19 for sale on eBay

1989 Honda CBR250R L Side Front

Produced between 1986 and 1996, this was primarily intended for the Japanese market although, like so many other bikes, many have found their way into other markets, particularly where such things aren’t so heavily regulated.

1989 Honda CBR250R R Side Rear

With a set of gears in place of a cam-chain and a six-speed gearbox, this is a pretty sophisticated package. And with a respectable 40hp pushing just 350lbs wet, there’s plenty of performance to grow into: if you grew up somewhere with a tiered licensing system, this very well may have been your dream bike!

1989 Honda CBR250R Clocks

Thankfully, the seller includes a video clip of the bike in action that includes some static drive-by footage and some nice onboard as well where you can really hear the engine. I’d buy this just to listen those gear-driven cams scream!

1989 Honda CBR250R L Side Fairing Detail

This example isn’t in perfect shape, as you can see from the dried, cracked instrument surround. But it is otherwise very clean and it looks well-looked-after, something that can’t be said for every entry-level sportbike.

From the Seller: 1989 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

1989 Honda CBR250R MC19. 14,478 Kilometers (8,996 Miles) Just imported into the united states from Australia. It is a lightweight sport bike with a six-speed gearbox and a 250 cc, four-cylinder, four-stroke engine capable of revving up to 19,000 rpm. This bike is 26 years old so it’s not perfect, Please see pictures. I have gone thru the bike mechanically and everything works as it should. Turn signals, brake lights, horn, High and low beams, radiator fan, Shifts and revs to redline perfectly. I just serviced the front brakes, they needed attention. Tires are in fair condition. Perfect bike to restore or just leave it and thrash it around. Bike has USA Title ready to transfer into your name. Bike is sold as is. Buyer responsible for shipping.

1989 Honda CBR250R Cockpit

These aren’t especially rare in Japan, so I can’t imagine that spares would be all that difficult to obtain if you’re okay waiting for them to ship. All in all, this would make for a pretty cool conversation-starter at your local bike night. Good luck to buyers and seller!

-tad

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Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale
Honda July 2, 2015 posted by

Pocket Rocket – 1988 Honda NSR250R

1988 Honda NSR250R on eBay

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The Honda NSR250R should be on everybody’s bucket list of bikes to own and ride before they die.  There’s nothing that makes you feel like you’re living your GP dreams quite like screaming to redline and feeling that 2-stroke powerband change your perception of 250s in an instant.   While 45hp might not seem like a lot (OK, it’s not)… there’s much more to this bike than just horsepower.  For starters, the NSR tips the scales at just 315lbs wet.  So next time you’re at the gym, pick up 135lbs and realize that’s how much LESS the NSR250R weighs than a typical 600cc sportbike.  With it’s light weight, attention grabbing powerband, narrow frame and short wheelbase, you begin to understand why these little 250s are a force to be reckoned with when the roads get twisty.  And then there’s the sound… that glorious, glorious sound.

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The MC18 model here is the second generation of the NSR250R and it saw significant improvements.  The carb is 4mm larger and the engine management is improved for better throttle response over the earlier model.  Honda also moved the engine forward and lower in the frame which makes directional changes that much quicker.   The fact that these little gems were never officially imported into the US means that customs paperwork and titles can sometimes be an issue… but all of the hard work is done here.  The seller states that it already has a US title, has new fairings and comes with a generous assortment of spares.  So if you’re looking for a hassle free 2-stroke 250, now might be the time!  You can check out the auction here: 1988 Honda NSR250R on eBay

From the seller:

Very clean Gray Market Street Legal 250ccTwo-Stroke Sport Bike. Imported from Japan in June of 2000. All stock. Runs, idles, rides and stops as it should. Very strong pull when it hits the power band. No damage, rust or corrosion anywhere. All new fairings and paint on tank. Also includes original fairings and many spare parts including brand new brake pads, extra rotors, calipers, fork assy, speedo and more (see photos). The spare parts are included with the sale.

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Pocket Rocket – 1988 Honda NSR250R
Honda May 22, 2015 posted by

Baby V4 in the USA: 1988 Honda NC30 for Sale

1988 Honda NC30 R Side

The Honda NC30 was officially introduced in 1989, although this one obviously slipped in under the wire as, according to the seller, it was manufactured in December of 1988. This was the first year of the smaller V4 to feature the iconic look seen here, with dual round headlamps to match the single-sided swingarm and overall look of the bigger RC30.

1988 Honda NC30 Fairing

Internally, this was also the first year for the 360° “big bang” firing order that has the combustion events occurring close together, instead of spaced evenly. This theoretically allows the tire to regain traction briefly between pulses, increasing grip, improving tire life, and making a much cooler noise as a bonus! Front tire was a 17″ with the rear 18″, making tire choice a bit limited today.

1988 Honda NC30 Rear Wheel

The little 400cc motor makes an underwhelming 53hp, although handling is another story and the NC30 is definitely about corner speed and momentum.

And the right side of the bike may be the good side, with all that single-sided-y goodness. But it always makes me worry that the un-photographed side hides some dark secret…

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NC30 for Sale

December 1988 Honda NC30 VFR400. This bike is one of the first off the production in Japan and I have a letter from Honda to prove along with it confirming its correct engine and frame numbers.

These were only ever made for Japanese market. Never sold here.

Legally imported and registered with a clean and clear title which I have in hand. I owned this machine in England where I used it and then legally imported it when I moved here.

It’s in the very rare seed silver.

Wheels are immaculate.

Good Bridgestone battleax tires.

Just serviced all with official Honda parts.

Air filter, oil filter, spark plugs, and oil.

Recent new front brake pads.

Absolutely no leaks anywhere.

All original panels no cheap reproduction.

Blue flame exhaust but also has its original uncut system included.

Has a black double bobble screen but also has it original screen (still has Japanese decal)

Recently fitted speedo converter when I moved here, Now reads in MPH rather than KMH

Other than the mentioned this bike is completely standard. Has the original rubber seals around the headlights, the infill panels between the panels and the frame. The drain pipes and hoses are in place along with the holders in their positions as they should be.

Renthal chain and sprocket set.

Spares include front discs (rotors)

Spark plugs 

Fork dust seals

Speedo cable.

Just a extremely clean and reliable bike for 27 years old. A iconic collectors bike. Not another forsale in the whole country that I can find.

I use the bike regularly. 

Nothing else looks or sounds like it.

1988 Honda NC30 Front

The NC30 was produced for the Japanese market, but some were officially sold in select European markets. Bikes did manage to find their way to North America by way of Canada and, in this case, individuals jumping through the hoops required to import them. In spite of their rarity and exotic specifications however, prices have been generally much less than the more famous 750cc version.

1988 Honda NC30 Rear

They’re far from fast bikes, but they handle beautifully and, if you’re looking for genuine Honda racing heritage with gear-driven V4 whine and your funds won’t stretch to an RC30 or RC45, this is a pretty good way to get a very polished piece of exotica you can actually use every day.

-tad

1988 Honda NC30 R Side2

Baby V4 in the USA: 1988 Honda NC30 for Sale
Honda September 13, 2014 posted by

Growing on Trees: 1990 Honda CBR400RR

1990 Honda CBR400RR L Side Front

These have been showing up for sale regularly of late, which is surprising, considering how rare they are! I’d imagine quite a few of these came down through Canada, where they always seem to get the good stuff…

Produced from 1988 through about 2000, the CBR400RR was a JDM “Japanese Domestic Market” product, never officially brought to the US and only available as a “grey” import. With four small cylinders and cams driven by a precise gears, instead of a belt or chain, twin discs up front and racy ergos, these do a very convincing approximation of the bigger 600 and 900cc machines.

1990 Honda CBR400RR R Side Rear

These were originally limited to 59hp due to licensing requirements in their home market, but these are very high-spec engines and can be tuned to produce more power. The phrase “learner bike” is usually applied to clapped-out 250 Ninjas and GS500E’s. But that simply reflects the level of “learning” required to pass the lax testing here in the USA. In countries where the standards are much more stringent, there’s somewhat less of a stigma attached, and the quality of machine rises significantly when you’re strictly limited as to what you’re allowed to ride at first, regardless of age or what you believe your skill-level to be…

1990 Honda CBR400RR L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CBR400RR for Sale

1990 Honda CBR400RR,  12,400 miles. New chain, sprockets, brake pads, and Michelin pilot tires. All fluids flushed and replaced. All coolant hoses replaced. Carburetor’s rebuilt and fuel lines replaced. Comes with new, replacement bodywork , still in the box. Titled, tagged and inspected. Can be ridden anywhere to its new home

As a bike designed for new riders, the suspension is fairly basic, but I’d imagine adjustable units from a CBR600 would fit with minimal modifications and a rear shock with more sophistication shouldn’t be too hard to source. Keep in mind that, while these are definitely real sportbikes, they are physically small, and a bit cramped for full-sized riders. I’ve got no experience with the CBR400, but I’ve spent some time around the CB1 that uses the same powertrain and can verify that you might feel a bit like the proverbial “monkey humping a football” on one of these if you’re over 5’9″…

1990 Honda CBR400RR L Side Front

Bidding is active and headed north of $4,300 with several days left on the auction. There are a few scrapes and scratches, and the pipe appears to be a generic item, but this looks to be in otherwise very nicely-maintained condition, with relatively low miles for such a practical, reliable bike.

Plastics might be hard to come by, although this one comes with a spare set, just in case! This should otherwise be easy to maintain and very fun to ride.

-tad

1990 Honda CBR400RR R Side

Growing on Trees: 1990 Honda CBR400RR