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Tiny Four: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale


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

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“When it rains, it pours” seems to apply to cool motorcycles. Haven’t seen a GSX-R750LE in a long time? Suddenly, four or five examples come up for sale. I’m not sure why: maybe it’s that folks hoarding them with an eye towards eventual sale suddenly see a demand for them and want to get in on the action? Or maybe individuals who’ve stashed them away from new are all of a certain age and are looking to liquidate their collections as they get older and less able to ride? Whatever the reason, we’ve seen a number of small displacement, grey-market sportbikes like this Honda CBR250R MC19 come up for sale recently in excellent condition, so if you’ve a hankering for tiny fours, take a look!

250s have long been associated here in the USA with learner bikes and hypermiling commuters. Generally powered by economical twins and singles, they offer low cost and high reliability, with racy styling, garish graphics, and names that link them to bigger, more capable sportbikes. But in countries where engines with greater displacement are disproportionately expensive to purchase heavily taxed, or limited by licensing laws, small inline fours like this one wrote a fascinating, if short, chapter in motorcycling history.

At a glance, the specifications look like they could come from a typical race-replica: liquid-cooled inline four, six-speed gearbox, 337lb dry weight… Then you get to that displacement: 48.5mm x 33.8mm for just 249cc. The claimed 40 horsepower is shockingly respectable although the 18,000rpm redline speaks to how hard you’ll have to work to access it. This example has a bit of wear around the edges, but nothing you wouldn’t expect from a well cared-for, but nearly 30 year old motorcycle.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

For those of you that missed the Kawasaki ZXR250 sale, you get another chance for an exciting 250cc grey market Honda sport bike. This will be the last 18,000 RPM screaming 250cc inline four I will be selling. From the Honda room, comes a very special 1988 Honda CBR 250R MC19. This CBR has an inline four cylinder engine that revs to the moon and redlines at 18,000 RPM’s. Its a blast to ride! This CBR is a one owner bike with only 310 kilometers (192 miles). Completely stock condition just like the day it rolled off the assembly line. Every fairing and component is 100% original stock Honda. Bike has never fallen over or been down. This CBR has a few scratches here and there from moving around the garage but shows like new. Bike is in very nice original condition and shows light patina throughout.   Bike has been serviced with new oil, coolant and filters have been serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Bike comes with Utah title in my company name and will be presented to the new owner.

With just 192 miles on the odometer, this one is certainly worthy of being put on display. Bidding is up to about $2,400 at the time of writing, with plenty of activity. The usual titling issues may apply if you’re in a state with a strict DMV, so do your homework if you plan to do more than display this sweet little machine.



  • Nice bike – but a lot of scuff marks on frame (from boots perhaps) considering “only 192 miles”. The triple tree looks suspiciously corroded too. Hmm.

  • Red flag city on this one, pass…

  • Don’t insult buyer’s intelligence with sales lines like: “This CBR has a few scratches here and there from moving around the garage but shows like new. Bike is in very nice original condition and shows light patina throughout.”

    Corrosion, corrosion, CORROSION, everywhere. Even the clear anodizing on the frame has failed- is that considered “light patina”? Shows like new? Sounds like a cartoon line from Disneyland…

  • Shows like new? I don’t think so! The frame looks terrible.

  • “This CBR has a few scratches here and there from moving around the garage but shows like new”…typical dealerspeak. For the layman, that translates to a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

  • How could this one only had 310km? It looks like it did at least 5 times that. Still though, I’m looking forward to seeing the seller puts those GSXR400 on the market.

    • True – all in all this is quite an interesting collection that is being broken up.

  • Yup it’s pretty much called speedo cable disconnected the entire life of the vehicle and hooked up now to say it only has 192 miles. Uhhhh….yeah right. Not with that kind of wear on the frame, triple clamp. Please…..

    • Or better yet, the bikes was a race bike converted back to street use, then sold as stock/low mileage back In the day – 🙂

    • Under further observation check out the ignition lock. For a bike that only has 310K or 192 miles, how has the paint worn off of the ignition lock itself for ignition on/off etc? That was one hell of a lot of ignition cycling with the key in only 192 miles. I guess the rider turned the bike on and off each time they came to a stop light. Well let’s go to the wheels. in 192 miles the rider must have been in a sandstorm along with the rest of the bikes frame. Maybe the rider took the plastics off and was in the naked stage of life. Good thing the rider kept his plastics somewhat nicely protected at home while out riding the bike. Oh and he speedo cluster looks suspiciously cleaner than the rest of the bike. I guess that’s because the rider must have used some high quality UV protectant and trim protectant that kept it in that condition. Yeah that’s it.

  • This dealer is White Knuckle Motorsports in Utah.


  • This is originally a Japanese bike…it is very possible it sat outside in a yard being blasted by saltwater for its entire life…

  • On behalf of RSBFS I communicated with the seller regarding this one:

    “The bike came from a reputable dealer in Japan that guaranteed the mileage was original. The brake pads and rotors have been Mic’ed and show no wear. The oil filter appears to be original. The tires appear to be original along with the chain and sprocket.

    The Japanese dealer said that the bike was used as a display demo for decades, which may help explain the corrosion and some of the wear (people climbing on & off), but doesn’t explain everything. However the Japanese title and registration did not show any contrary odometer statements or anomalies.”

    Corrosion is nothing new when we look at Japanese home-market imports. Whether this bike had a secret life before being transplanted to the US is another question. The seller does not know, but the overall condition (outside of the noted areas) does not make that a foregone conclusion.


    • Except triple clamps and ignition switches look this way from riding, not displaying. So if this an unsold demo riding bike then the mileage is still not honest since it still appears that the speedo was disconnected.

      Brake pads, oil filters and tires are an easy swap.

      A 100 mile bike would be perfect – this bike is not perfect.

    • “The Japanese dealer said” is a page from the well known seller’s excuse book. Say what you want and blame it on the last guy if anyone questions it. You can’t hide wear and tear due to actual use. You can’t hide deception either. Fools and their money.

  • Yeah I’m sorry getting on and off a bike doesn’t put wear into the side of the frame like on this bike. That’s caused by a high ankle racing boot. Amen RC45. I don’t have a problem with the bike. But as mentioned before don’t try to pull a bunch of Tom Foolery on prospective buyers. Advertise it normally, but don’t put it in a pedestal of being unmokested or in this case extreme low mileage with demo days and salt in the air.

  • SOLD for $6,000. Congratulations to the new owner of this unique machine!


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