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Honda posted by

Very Polished: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP Rothmans Replica 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.

You are not looking at a Honda NSR250R Rothmans Replica. Sure, it’s shaped like an NSR250R, but if you look a bit closer you’ll notice something a bit… off. Someone’s gone a bit crazy with the metal polishing wheel and, in the process, created something that will surely inflame the comments section. Please try to be polite…

The stock NSR250R frame is welded up from cast and extruded sections, and the main spars are a bit shiny, compared to the cast bits, but they generally don’t have this bike’s mirror-like sheen. And the swingarm and fork lowers don’t generally look like they came from the JC Whitney parts catalog. In the 80s and 90s, polished frames were a bit of a thing, and plenty of Japanese sportbike owners added a personalized touch to their rides by adding a bit of bling. Bikers like shiny things… Unfortunately, collectors are a different breed, and tend to like their bikes very stock.

All NSR250s were powered by Honda’s liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin, and the lightweight Magtek wheels suggest this is a genuine SP, although I can’t see a dry clutch in the pics. Certainly a real SP or “Sport Production” Rothmans Replica would be at the high-end in terms of desirability for the NSR250, but all that polishing is going to be tough for many two-stroke fans to swallow.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans Replica for Sale

This Is a 2-stroke race replica v-twin made for the Japanese market and sold in Japan. It runs perfectly, doesn’t leak any fluids, and functions as it should. Starts on 1 or 2 kicks hot or cold. Oil injection works. Leakdown is excellent. All lights and gauges work. Speedo is in km and reads 36072. There is no horn. All fluids have been changed. All wear items,(brake pads, chain, sprockets, tires) are in excellent condition.

 It has been heavily optioned/modified with the following: 

  • JHA pipes
  • Real Balance rearsets 
  • Steel braided brake lines
  • NHK steering damper
  • HRC De-restrictor box 
  • Complete wiring, coils, PGM II ECU out of MC21 model
  • Curved larger radiator from MC21 model
  • Shorai lightweight battery
  • Carbon fiber clip-ons
  • Billet upper triple clamp
  • Front forks rebuilt with cartridge emulators

Buyer pays shipping, will help with crating and delivery to a local shipper for a reasonable fee.

The seller has a starting bid set to the tune of $9,000 and… I have a bad feeling he’s not going to get many takers: too many unanswered questions. While many purists may balk at all the bolt-on farkles, they don’t bother me. They’re not my taste either, but easy to change: you can either spend a bit of time tracking down factory, or at least period-correct bits. Or just some anodized black bits. But however solid the bike is mechanically, it’s going to take a particular buyer to overlook that frame, since you’re going to have to do some pretty serious work to get it looking stock.



  • When if ever I want to sell my RGV vj22 please don’t put it on this site.You guysdo great work but you know what they say “if you got nothin good to say” See you at the Rock Store,Kirk

    • If you do ever post your bike for sale, just drop us a line. You wouldn’t be the first person to say exactly that! Our readers can be… a little critical at times. We can always keep it off the site, or block comments from a post.

  • We have watched your 2 stoke knowledge progress since you arrived, Tad. That post irked me a bit too. Just constructive crit. No problem. We are all family!

    • No problem! You mean the dry clutch thing mentioned by the seller? Honestly, I can walk around a room full of weird bikes and tell you a little bit about all of them, but I don’t consider myself an expert on too many specific models. It’s honestly amazing how much conflicting information from otherwise reputable sources is out there on the interwebs. There are folks who get seriously into one particular make or model and I’m always happy to get criticism or more accurate information, especially when it’s presented constructively.

  • Is it fair to crack on the post. If you have a bike that’s worthy it should sell itself despite what the poster puts down. If you give enough information the story will right itself.. On another note is a fake rothman’s worth any extra or or not. Thanks

  • My first question to the seller would be if it’s ever had the top end rebuilt since the mileage is on the higher side. At 24k miles that’s 14k over the usual recommended top end interval in the service manual at 20k it recommends a crank.

  • I own the bike, and it’s a genuine SP, but you are clearly showing your ignorance, because Mc18 Sp’s didn’t come with a dry clutch. The frame and swingarm polishing is the way it was imported from Japan in 2015, as is the Jha pipes, rear seats, Mc21 radiator, electrical, steering damper, and HRC de-restrictor box. In other words, this is a hot-rodded NSR, and has been used, but there’s not a scratch on it now that I have completed a leak-down, full tune-up, full fluid flush, and cosmetic restoration. If you know anything about Japanese bike guys, you know they are fanatics about mods and maintenance. Yes, the plastic is non-original, but this bike is not a candidate for restoration anyways, so there you go. Still has the japanese-made dunlops on it. I have owned many NSR’s, and this one is closer to a RS250 than a NSR. So please, get off your high horse and realise I know what I have and am not trying to fool anyone into thinking this is an original un-restored Rothmans NSR250R SP.

    • Eh, I’m not sure that getting one detail wrong really qualifies as “showing my ignorance” but… [shrugs] I’d have suggested you be more upfront about the non-original bodywork, but I definitely didn’t accuse you of trying to misrepresent the bike: I thought your listing was honest. It looks very clean and a great rider, but not original and sometimes our readers get a little sensitive about that kind of thing. Personally, I LIKE this kind of stuff: originality isn’t my particular “high horse” as you should know from reading my posts.

  • No worries, man. Polished frames aren’t my cup ‘o tea, either, but that’s the way it came, and I tried to be faithful to that. A little scotch-brite work would have it looking a little more stock finish. This is a really great bike and i won’t be unhappy at all if it doesn’t sell. I think people who know NSR’s know what they are looking at. This is a true JDM hotrod made for track days and riding hard…and i hope it goes to someone who wants to flog it and have some fun, it doesn’t belong in a collection or stagnant.

  • Weird bikes? …..Special would be more PC.

    • I’ve defended the Bimota Mantra a couple times. Most people would say that calling the Mantra “special” is being kind…

  • Auction ended with no bids.

  • Tad- I think you are pretty dead on with your commentary, and I’m speaking about all the machines you have commented on. When it comes to JD bikes no one is an authority and your always at the mercy of technological information that has been passed too many times to count. I myself have been dealt with the greys since 1992 and you have been pretty spot on and I think you have the pulse of what the market demands and the desires of the collectors

    • Thanks, I really do appreciate that. As you point out, it can be tricky to sort through what little information is out there, and I bet most of it has been passed around like the message in a game of “telephone”: weights, power figures, specifications, etc. Always happy to get feedback from actual owners!

  • Prices on these little 250’s are going through the roof.I have no idea why I love mine so much,maybe it’s a forbidden fruit type of thing!

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