Posts by tag: SP

Honda June 25, 2017 posted by

Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

Some motorcycle enthusiasts are looking for a perfect, time-capsule example of their favorite bikes. Me? I’m glad perfect examples are out there for collectors, but I want something I can ride and enjoy without being worried that a tip-over or low-side or just a few extra miles on the odometer will destroy the value of some pristine collectible. Today’s Honda NSR250R SP is a little rough around the edges, with some scratches and scuffs, but it seems like an honest bike, and very solid mechanically.

The NSR250 featured Honda’s familiar 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a six-speed “cassette” gearbox that allowed owners [or pit crews] to rapidly swap out gearsets to suit different race tracks. Obviously not all that useful on a road bike, but still pretty slick. The NSR may have sucked fuel through a set of carburetors, but it used a very sophisticated PGM-III system that controlled the bike’s ignition based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection.

This particular NSR250R is the desirable MC21 version of Honda’s agile two-stroke, as indicated by the asymmetrical “gull-arm” aluminum swing arm that curves on the left-hand side to clear the exhaust’s expansion chambers to maximize cornering clearance. The swingarm looks very trick, but helps make the MC21 a little bit heavier than the MC18 that preceded it. Dry weight is still under 300lbs, so even the bike’s artificially-limited 45hp will move the bike out smartly, although I’d definitely check with the seller to see if the bike has been de-restricted, as anyone outside Japan will want the bike’s full-power available.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

20,441 Miles (32,898 Kilometers) This is a Very Rare only 900 made Last Model MC21 SP. Mostly original and unrestored.  Perfect opportunity for a budget minded MC21 SP for restoration. All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. OEM Fairings have hairline scratches and cracks. upper fairing has a broken section near the mirrors and the lower fairing has a section cut out near the expansion chambers along with a couple dents on the fuel tank near the stay, included close up pictures featuring defects. The Red on the tail fairing doesn’t match each other exactly also. No respray or rattle can. Red Magtek wheels are in excellent condition. Otherwise straight from the factory.  Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title as a 1992 model MC21-1070*** “Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements.”  Imported into the States through all legal channels. EPA and Declaration papers provided.

Bidding is up to $6,500 with about 24 hours left on the auction. If it stays in that neighborhood, it’s on the low side for an MC21, but that’s in keeping with the less-than-perfect condition. This example is obviously not perfect as described by the seller, but is claimed to be mechanically in good working order. If you’re buying one of these and worried about sourcing parts, that may be a weight lifted. Even if you end up on a quest for a perfect set of original bodywork, you can at least ride your machine in the meantime, and this looks like it’d be pretty nice from ten feet, certainly a good place to begin for a restoration. Personally, I’m okay with replacement bodywork, as long as the frame and everything else are clean and straight. Get a decent set of Rothmans replica bodywork from the internet, spend the weekend fitting it, and then ride your little smoker with no fear of destroying a priceless, pristine collectible.


Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale
Yamaha January 31, 2017 posted by

Top of the Heap: 1996 Yamaha FZR400RR SP

Another “direct from Japan” offering available on ebay this week is a FZR400RR SP model. RSBFS has only seen one of these bikes come through our pages, way back in 2011, and I urge you to read Ian’s excellent coverage on the model in question. The last bike we saw was a UK spec machine, while this one resides in its home country of Japan. What you need to know: When it comes to Yamaha 400cc machines, this was the top spec, ultra rare edition of the FZR set. Everything else is simply from the stone age.

1996 Yamaha FZR400RR SP for sale on eBay

The march of progress is inexorable; yesterday’s breakthrough is tomorrow’s antiquity. That is especially true in the cutting edge world of performance motorcycles. What was spectacular 21 years ago is still enchanting today, but not likely as mind-blowing as it was then. Still, starting with the basic Fizzer 400 – widely regarded as a handling gem even today – and going whole-hog “price is no object” mad in the R&D facility produced what was essentially a Fizzer on crack. Meant for the track, the RR SP model featured some tasty carbon, solo saddle, fully adjustable suspension, bigger binders, modified intake, flat slide carbs, special exhaust and more. Nothing was left on the R&D table when Yamaha called it done.

From the seller:

VIN: HK31A-102176
Year: 1996
Mileage: 40,385km (Meter is changed to Aftermarket. Real mileage is unknown)
Condition: Running well. Body work has scratches, cracks and touch up paint.

Front fork,Triple clamp and Top bridge TZR250R 3XV of up side down forks
Carbs FCR32
Meter Aftermarket
Front brake caliper Brembo 40mm
Ignition coil UOTANI SP
Front wheel 17*3.00 Rear wheel 17*4.50
Winkers, Tail light LED

Shipping : We’ll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface.
We’ll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it’s charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you’d pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they’re not included there.

My research indicated that 1994 was the last of the 400s from Yamaha, yet this is listed as a 1996. Maybe one of our super-sharp readers can help fill that gap for us. Regardless, numbers are very low for the RR SP model, and limited to the few countries in which they were released (hint: the US was not one of them).

The seller is offering to crate the bike and ship it world wide, and will include some importation paperwork. The rest will be up to you, which may be difficult depending upon where you live. Those in the US should consider this carefully, as nothing is more tragic than purchasing a bike that cannot be used legally. However this would make for a very potent track-day weapon, so there is that angle to consider. Check it out here and remember: we may not see another one of these for another six years! Good luck!


Top of the Heap: 1996 Yamaha FZR400RR SP
Honda November 11, 2016 posted by

Rothmans Replica: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale


All of the quarter-liter two-stroke sport bikes of the late 80s and early 90s are pretty desirable, but Honda’s v-twin NSR250R is both one of the best-known and most popular. Power was a modest 45hp, but the NSR could be de-restricted for additional power safely, if not always easily, since that factory output was mandated by government decree and not because of any sort of mechanical limitations. This earlier MC18 version of the bike lacks the later MC21’s cool asymmetric “gull arm” swing arm and the MC28’s heavy, but very trick-looking single-sided unit, but I really like the slightly chunkier lines and that solid-looking aluminum box-section swingarm. It could also be that MC18s are a bit more affordable than those later bikes, and much easier to import and register than a late-model MC28…


We’ve featured bikes from this seller in the past, and they appear to be one of the companies that’s recently begun importing these little sportbikes on a regular basis, turning them from “rare sportbikes” into “uncommon sportbikes.” But even though these two-stroke sportbikes aren’t quite the unicorns they once were here in the USA, the NSR250 has a bit of cachet the TZR and RGV seem to lack, and that Rothmans design makes this one of the best-looking race replicas of all time.


From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250SP MC18 for Sale

Up for sale is 1988 HONDA NSR250SP MC18 rare 2-stroke sports! The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. 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. According to frame# this bike is SP version.

Speedometer looks HONDA genuine parts and shows 24600km = about 15400miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Will needs new tires and fork seals. Has HONDA genuine fairings and MAGTECK wheel. But has hairline cracks and chips and scratches and under fairings are looks repaired by FRP and repainted. Have hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as 28 ages.

And then, feel free email me for more info on this bike!


More pictures are available for your viewing pleasure here. The seller also includes a video of the bike being started here. It’s not in flawless condition, with some wear and a couple deep scratches on the fairings, so this one might be more of a rider than a display bike. Bidding is up just north of $3,000 with a few days left on the auction and active bidding so far.



Rothmans Replica: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale
Suzuki September 2, 2016 posted by

Untitled: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP for Sale

1996 Suzkuki RGV250 R Front

Unlike modern, small-displacement machines like the Ninja 300, the Suzuki RGV250Γ “Gamma” is a high-performance machine in miniature, not a sporty-looking commuter based on a very basic platform. Emissions legislation meant we never officially got any of these little rippers here in the US, but the 250cc class really took off in the mid-to-late 1980s and saw absolutely fierce competition between the four major Japanese manufacturers before interest waned and legislation finally killed the class off by the late 1990s. Other than the Aprilia RS250 that used the very same engine, the 1996 Suzuki RGV250 was basically the end of the line for two-stroke performance motorcycles, as the VJ23 that followed lasted just two years.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 L Fairing

This 1996 VJ22 bike was the last year of the 90° v-twin engine, as the short-lived VJ23 that came along in 1997 featured a 70° v-twin that likely improved packaging, although Suzuki claimed improved power as well: 90° is ideal for smoothness, but on a four-stroke it ends up being hard to effectively fit into a compact wheelbase. That’s obviously less of a problem for two-strokes with their very compact heads, but performance margins in the class during this very competitive period were razor-thin and changes that gave even a small advantage were taken very seriously.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 R Fairing

In any event, Suzuki claimed 60hp from the 249cc twin and the surrounding motorcycle otherwise followed the template set down for the quarter-liter class: aluminum beam frame, six speed gearbox, proprietary power valve technology, expansion chamber-clearing curved swingarm, and sub-300 lb weight. In spite of their power valves the Gammas, like all of the 250cc sportbikes were highly-strung, with narrow powerbands that made heavy use of the slick gearboxes mandatory. The snarling exhaust notes and giant-killing performance left a lasting impression on the motorcycling community, and many of the Japan-only models have become highly venerated by motorcycle enthusiasts who’ve ridden them, raced them, or only know them by reputation and endless combing of the internet for information to flesh out their two-wheeled fantasies…

1996 Suzuki RGV250 Cockpit

This RGV250Γ is the higher-spec SP model that should feature a close-ratio gearbox and a dry clutch to go with the fully-adjustable suspension at both ends of the bike, although buyers should be sure to do their homework to verify that this is, in fact, the real deal. It looks like you can see the dry clutch peeking out from behind the fairing on the right side of the bike, so that’s a good sign.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP for Sale

Located in Santa Ana, California. This bike is in very good condition for it’s age. Engine runs good, but could use a light carb clean. There are a few minor scratches on the fairing. Bike has only 6529 KM = 3917 Miles on the clock. The solo seat pad will be included with the bike. Also included is a new set of air filters. Bike is sold with a bill of sale only. I don’t have a title for the bike. Look at the pictures carefully and ask questions before you bid. This is a USA only auction. Again, this bike is sold with a bill of sale only, no title.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 R Side

Obviously, the lack of a title will be a problem for many buyers, but as always: your mileage may vary. If you’re looking to collect or display, this example isn’t perfect, but looks like it could be pretty close with a bit of work and, if you want to build a two-stroke race or track bike, none of that will matter anyway. The later versions of the two-fiddy Gamma, especially ones in SP trim, are pretty rare and desirable here in the US, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if this one finds a home without much trouble in spite of potential problems titling and registering it.


1996 Suzuki RGV250 L Side

Untitled: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP for Sale
Suzuki October 31, 2015 posted by

Quarter-Liter Gamma: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ SP VJ21 for Sale

1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP R Side

Unfortunately, today’s tasty little two-stroke Suzuki RGV250Γ SP is short on photographs. It’s another of the raft of recent imports from Japan, and details are scarce, but the price may have you reaching for your mouse anyway.

The RGV250Γ replaced the RG250 in 1988, swapping out that bike’s parallel-twin for a more modern v-twin that eventually found its way into the Aprilia RS250, although Aprilia made a number of changes to their version. On paper, the new baby Gamma looked very much like its rivals from Honda and Yamaha, like they were all peeking at each others’ essays during final exams…

1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP Dash

Nestled in between the spars of a lightweight, aluminum beam frame, the little 249cc, 90° v-twin made about 55hp and was mated to a six-speed gearbox. Front wheel was 17″ although the rear was a slightly inconvenient 18″ in size. This bike is claimed to be an SP or “Sport Production” model and should also feature adjustable suspension front and rear.

The headlight on the RGV is mounted flush in the fairing and looks less like an afterthought compared to something like the Honda RS250R and I particularly like the text on the tail section: considering the GSX-R “Slingshot” bikes were named for their carburetors, I’m guessing this is simply a marketing link to those models as opposed to a reference to any mechanical specification. It’s also good to know this is a Real Sprinter bike, not just some fake knock-off…

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ SP VJ21 for Sale

In 1988 Suzuki released two stroke V twin racer replica.

At that era, Japanese economy was too good, so they released

new model more often than every year.

This is SP model, so it has adjustable front and rear suspension, 

close ratio 6 speed transmission and solo seat cover.

Ran when I transport from Tokyo to Yokohama.

I just received it and not check yet.

I’ll take pics and inspect it and add info.

13977 Km = 8714 miles

Was very clean when it left Japan but I found a scratch on right side cowl.

Other than that, this is very clean. Still shining.

Had no leak but found fuel under petcock.

Please see pics.

Real SP model are very rare, I should start with $5000… too late..

1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP Clean

It’s worth noting that the shot of the left side does show fluids spilled down the frame which have been helpfully cleaned off in the close up. The question is why you’d photograph a bike you plan to sell before cleaning it. Really this listing could use a few more shots, but I think we’ve got enough to tell that this is a decent, well-used example of a rare, collectible model: the paint is shiny and the plastics are scuffed in places, but not cracked, and all the important bits that make the bike stop and go appear to be in good shape.

Bidding is currently up just north of $4,000 with a little more than 24 hours left on the auction. If you’re a collector, this probably needs a good bit of work to get it into shape, but everything’s there and a fresh set of fasteners and a touch up of some brackets will do wonders for the appearance. If you’re a rider, well the cosmetic wear and tear shouldn’t bother you too much. Assuming the bike runs as advertised, this could be a good buy.


1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP L Side

Quarter-Liter Gamma: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ SP VJ21 for Sale
Honda October 16, 2015 posted by

Rothman’s Edition: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP MC18 for Sale

1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans R Side

If you’re in the market for a high-performance, quarter-liter two-stroke, then this is the one to have. As cool to look at as it is to ride, Honda’s NSR250R is a two-stroke race replica splashed with one of the most evocative paint-and-graphics combinations of the modern era, made ever so sexy by the dangerous, forbidden-fruit taint of a tobacco sponsorship.

1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans L Side Front

The NSR250 followed the same formula as everyone else in the class, with a nearly square, liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin that displaced 249cc’s and put power through a six-speed gearbox. In this case, the box was a “cassette-style” arrangement that would theoretically allow racers to change ratios quickly at the track. Which sounds pretty cool, but is largely useless for road riders, unless you don’t believe in using your clutch and need to rebuild your transmission regularly…

1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans Clocks

With a dry weight of under 300lbs and 45-60hp depending on tune, these are fast, nimble motorcycles that stress handling over straight-line power. They look and handle like big, four-stroke sportbikes, but are very compact in person, and feature a host of weight-saving and weight-centralizing tricks to maximize performance. According to two-stroke fanatics, every serious motorcyclist should try one.

So who’s got one I can try out?

1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP MC18 for Sale

Just imported through U.S. Customs, this 1988 NSR 250 SP R4J comes with a clean and clear street legal title ready to be transferred into your name in your state. A great page for some overview history on the NSR250 is www(dot)nsr-world(dot)com/history/ . The SP model is a Honda factory built street legal Sport Production version of the desirable NSR250 model and comes in Rothmans paint trim and factory upgrade Magtek magnesium wheels. This bike is showing 10,620 original miles (17,091 kilometers) on the odometer so it is a clean, lower mileage bike that presents well. The fairing bodywork is original with original paint and the seat is in good condition. The pictures show 2 scratches on the lower right belly pan and 3 scratches on the left muffler. This is a 25 year old motorcycle with 11,000 miles so it isn’t perfect; you have to expect paint wear and the normal scratches and chips and cracks on the bar ends and levers and fairing mount points. The windshield needs polishing to be perfect too. The tires have good tread, gauges are clear and bright, factory turn signals are straight and the exhaust tips are in good condition too. All in all a good used 250SP with original paint and Magtek magnesium wheels – where else are you going to find one?

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 two-stroke streetbike. This motorcycle 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. You will not need my US Customs documents and EPA documents to transfer title but I will include them in the sale of this bike so you have documentation your NSR SP was legally imported.

The seller has posted a number of other desirable little Japanese-import two-stroke sportbikes recently and, as always, includes a video of the bike starting and running.

1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans L Side Fairing

Standard caveats apply: be sure to check your local laws regarding registration if you plan to run this on the road. But now that bikes like this are at or past the 25 year mark, it’s becoming much easier to import and register them. And even if you can’t run this on the street, a careful restoration would make this a very cool display piece!


 1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans R Side Front

Rothman’s Edition: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP MC18 for Sale
Sport Bikes For Sale October 5, 2014 posted by

World Traveler: 1990 GSXR400RR SP in the UK


Spanning the globe to blog the best rare sportbikes… the thrill of discovery!.. the agony of your bank balance!.. the drama of last minute bidding on ebay!…!

Okay, depending on your age you read the above and either heard Jim McCay or Gerald Butler in your head. The point is that this site is dedicated to blogging about rare sport bikes, whether they are rare due to technology, production, age and/or location. For this particular post I think we have found something that fits all 4 criteria, a Japanese market GSXR400RR SP that is located in the UK, not Japan.

For people who aren’t old enough to remember, during the late 80s/90s Japan motorcycle manufacturers had to deal with strict horsepower restriction laws.  Japanese buyers also expected top shelf tech in their bikes, including upside down forks and race replica design.  This resulted in Japanese manufacturers creating bikes solely for the Japan home market that were 400cc or less but had the top shelf tech included.  Meanwhile in the UK there was a similar great demand for smaller displacement bikes but demand far outstripped supply. This caused a wave of “grey market” imports, including huge numbers of top shelf used japanese model 400cc bikes coming into the UK.


1990 Suzuki GSX-R400 SP for sale on eBay UK

This particular 400cc bike is an uber rare 1990 GSXR SP, which was really a production racer with different suspension and gearing from the standard 400cc GSX-R.  To compete in production racing, the manufacturers produced SP (Sports Production) versions of their sports bikes. These usually had fully adjustable suspension, close ratio gearboxes and a single seat but interestingly, didn’t have more power due to Japanese motorcycle manufacturer’s power restriction code.

The GSX-R400 SP model had slingshot carburetors like the bigger 750, polished chrome silencers, a curved/race radiator and Tokico 4-cylinder front brake calipers.  While to the casual eye it looked almost identical with the standard GSX-R400, the front suspension was different from the standard model, it didn’t have passenger foot pegs and you could spot a rear suspension gas reservoir peeking out from under the seat.   Also the SP version had a single piece rear fairing cowl/tailpiece.


Now before you go and start checking your bank balance, there are some things to consider.   The GSX-R400 was probably the least popular of the 400cc machines for a good reason; the other manufacturers bikes were simply better. Consider the following review on VisorDown;

…The GSX-R was never the fastest 400…it was decidedly retro… Below 8,000rpm the little pistons are thrashing up and down the cylinder giving it all they have while the bike seems to be virtually crawling along but at 8000 RPM the whole bike’s character changes from a buzzing noise box to a fairly rapid machine. It’s an almost identical experience to riding a race rep two-stroke. At first amusing, then irritating and frustrating….

….It feels the lightest of the four. Flicking the Suzuki through the corners takes virtually no effort and even at a standstill the bike’s weight seems to disappear. But this doesn’t make it a pleasant bike to corner. The GSX-R lacks the balance in a bend of all of the other three – it’s a case of aim it at the exit and hope all goes well…this could be due to our tester having a tired rear suspension but I wouldn’t rule out the simple fact the chassis is a bit crap….


So whats this one worth?  To be honest, I don’t know.   Asking price is 2500 GBP which seems a bit high for a 1990 bike with fairly high mileage. Overall it looks reasonably clean but the pics aren’t exactly high res nor are there a lot of them.  Also, grey import bikes have a reputation for poor condition due to the limited parts availability which would also impact new owner costs. Lastly, if this really is an SP model (which should be verified before purchase), its reasonable to assume its been ridden aggressively at some point, either in Japan or in the UK.  So perhaps it would be best purchased by someone looking to ge a jump on their winter project effort or perhaps interested in getting a good first racebike for someone on a budget. Of course if it was me, I would do a full restoration on it and then just enjoy it 🙂


World Traveler:  1990 GSXR400RR SP in the UK
Honda May 20, 2013 posted by

Canadian Smoker: Honda NSR250R MC21

Toronto, Canada – 8,200mi — $5,743 BIN


The Honda NSR250 is one of my favorite bikes. Oh how I wish I could own one (minus all the DMV/insurance red-tape). With a light weight 2-stroke engine, full-twin spar aluminum frames, dual front discs, and race-inspired riding position, these bikes are the real deal for hooligan GP fun on the street.


This bike comes to us from the two-stroke loving land of the north. The bike is claimed to be a 1994 model and an MC21. Though the photos indicate it is an MC21, the claimed year would put it at an MC28. Maybe things in Canada don’t coincide completely with the importing of these bikes. It is also claimed to be an SP (dry clutch, trick suspension, etc…), however this bodywork is not OEM Repsol livery.

From the seller:

HONDA NSR 250R MC-21 SP 13,200km 1994

250CC, Two Stroke, Dry clutch, Liquid Cooled, 90°V-Twin Cylinder, 60HP unrestricted power, Kick Start, 6 Speed Transmission, Gull Arm aluminum frame, Front and Rear Disk Breaks, racing handlebars and footpegs, Carbon fiber mufflers, Braided front and rear brake lines, 78cm Seat Height, 132Kg dry weight, 16Litre Fuel Capacity.Low insurance, Dunlop tires, new fork seals, new battery, Certified.
Visit to see more JDM bikes for sale.

I wouldn’t consider this bike a collector by any means. It is too far from stock. Having said that, this could potentially be a kick-ass bike to ride. Which is exactly the reason we all love motorcycles. The joy comes from the ride. I will say that this bike could use some vetting in order to determine what exactly you are getting into. Feel like taking a look, check out the ad here and make the call.