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Honda posted by

What Smokes And Has Six Cylinders? Two 1986 Honda NS400R’s Of Course


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

What Smokes And Has Six Cylinders?  Two 1986 Honda NS400R’s Of Course

Update 1.22.2012: These bikes are now available on eBay. Links updated. -dc

Here is a little something for those of you that like package deals. It isn’t very often you find an NSR400 for sale so keep reading because the seller is offering two plus some spares. Let your mind run wild: one for the street, one for the track, restore one, part one. It’s all up to you.

From the seller:

I picked up these bikes for my brother but he’s too deep in projects and too wed to big bore four strokes so I would like to sell them. I’m too big and not a rider and as neat as these are, I’m not putting one or both in my living room.

The original plan was to detail the nicer of the two, a ‘7’ (out of 10, and maybe an ‘8’ given its vintage) and upgrade the ‘5’ for use as a track bike. Both bikes start right up on the first kick or two.

The extra wheels allow for fitting a VFR 1000 17×3.5 on the rear in place of the stock 17×2.5. The original 17×2.5 rear goes to the front, replacing the narrow 16-inch unit. This allows fitting newer, bigger tires. There are enough parts to do this to both bikes.

The other upgrades are an NC30 rear shock, a spare set of carbs that can be bored out, and a set of CBR250RR forks, calipers and brackets, and CBR600 discs and a front spindle to suit. Lastly, there is an NSR 250 front fender to complete the package.

There is also a brand new set of tires for the stock wheels, a pit stand, and a cover – I think that’s everything.

The bikes are in Maryland. Both bikes have Oregon titles. All the parts except a pair of wheels and the extra set of carbs are also in Maryland (those three items aren’t pictured).

What were you doing in 1986?  Honda was rolling these two off the production line.  Both bikes have some mileage/km’s on them (30,093 and 17,776 respectively) and your usual wear and tear.  Shoot the seller an email for the specific needs on the bikes.

Here are the spares included:

Carbs (above)
17inch Front and Rear Wheels (above)
Front 17inch Wheel
Rear Spokes (for 17inch Wheel)
Rear Hub (for 17inch Wheel)
Rear Bolts  (for 17inch Wheel)
Solo Cowl
Pair new CBR600FM Discs
CBR250RR Forks
Calipers & Brackets
Front Spindle
Front Mudguard
NC30 Rear Shock

The Honda sometimes get left out of big bore two stroke discussions but I think you can argue it is the rarest.  I’ve yet to see one in person.

If you are saying to yourself, “here is my winter restoration project”, here is what you are aiming for.  If you’re like me it would be the Rothmans Edition.  I think you are only a few stickers away.  You have to love the Japanese with their English slogans:  “Hello! Good Rider”.

Freshen them up and you will be the envy of many.  Be sure to check below for all the close up pictures the seller supplied and the seller would be more than happy to answer your questions about the bikes.



  • No deal here in buying two and some odd and ends spares. Again another 2-stroke offering of over priced and tired bikes.

  • +1 – Ridiculous price for two of the least desirable, slowest and poorest handling of all the NSRs. Buy an MC18 – 28 for less money and have 3 times the bike. JMHO – Joel

  • Agree. Such a pretty Honda model, but so disappointing to actually ride. No low end- expected that, hmmm then no mid range, finally a little burst or zing of top end and it’s over. Almost a quick bike, but certainly not a fast one. Feels very much like an ’84/’85 VF500 Interceptor to ride as far as brakes, suspension, ergonomics, etc. go.

  • Is this on eBay? Is there a link to the advertisement? Thanks.

  • Sorry, interested parties can contact the seller at this email: my.e-po-box@hotmail.com

    I’ll add to the post.


  • OK, yes they do have a few kms on them and may not be worth the asking but as for least desirable, poorest handling and slow OMG you young blokes dont know how to get the best out of a bike. We are talking `85 here and what a fantastic quik steering little bike they were. Short course, these would give an RG500 etc a real run. Don`t try and compare these with a 28 that were released 10 years later. Honda were at the top of their game and went ahead in leaps and bounds in those years.

  • Joe R, Joel, and JasonB,

    Hi gentlemen, I’m the seller. I haven’t heard such vitriolic dissatisfaction from NS400R owners, but you are certainly entitled to your opinions.

    I will point out that the extra parts are not “odds and end spares.” The parts were purchased as a group for a specific purpose – a proven way to upgrade the bike’s handling a bit and maintain the classic aesthetic.

    These bikes are not that common. That factors into the pricing.

    They aren’t for everyone, and clearly not for you guys.

    Enjoy your rides, as I anticipate someone will enjoy these.


    Your comments are more in keeping with what I’ve heard from riders of these bikes.

    You post also prompts me to highlight that the mileage figures are in miles, not kilometers. Thanks.

    Cheers all,


  • Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the clarifications on the parts and mileage. As for some of us spewing vitriol, I think we were rather tame and, in my case, gave a very accurate description from much experience riding these bikes. What I think we were mostly saying is that we believe that your price is too high. that’s just our opinion and that’s part of what the comment section is about. You are correct in that the right person will definitely enjoy these bikes, but I wish you good luck at that price.



  • Hi Joel,

    Thanks for your reply. It may be that my price is too high. I certainly encourage, and will consider, reasonable offers.



  • Dear Bob,

    I must apologize for those sad misinformed riders who condem a great if not misunderstood sport bike. I guess if the factory doesn’t make it then it must suck. Who want to ride a bike that looks like all the other bikes on the road.

    These little bikes are extremely well made and with a little inguenuity and old fashioned hotrodding this little bike is a real sleeper.

    To start with there are big bore kits available that will bring it up to 487c and 3 stages of porting to help it really breath. MC16 carbs open from 26mm to 28mm and if your really gutsy there are 32mm carbs available.

    Programmable ignitions are available, as are USD forks and larger brakes. There is a wide tire conversion so as to get some modern rubber on that thing ( which looks to be already started ).

    Replace the chambers and silencers to shave some weight and increase performance. As well as a
    The look from that R6 as he gets passed on the outside is so totally worth it, and when you dog that Gixxer up the twisties and he finds out you’re on a “400” that is when your glad you’re not driving the same old same old bike everyone else is.

    So while your riding your LED lit, IPod video screen watchin, thumpin speaker riding “sportbike”, we’ll be out there riding them like they were supposed to be.

    I’ll never give up mine….

  • […] nsr 400's in maryland https://raresportbikesforsale.com/wha…0rs-of-course/ i was just poking around and found these […]

  • I had a brand new in NS400R in 1989, one of the last a brilliant bike, I stuck DEP silencers on it as soon as it was run in, and that improved the sound no end, the standard cans make it sound like 3 mopeds! Went to the Isle of man on it still running in, it was perfect for the IOM, and had a good old dust up with a RG500 gamma over the mountain, easily outcornering him on the NS….amazing bike it handled so well

  • I owned one in HRC colors. It was a real exotic bike and I absolutely loved the look. The performance was a real let down especially owning 3 RG500’s. I also owned anRZ500 and can tell you that the Honda was a great handling bike. Much better than the RZ and on par with the RG, but the RG had so much more motor that it actually felt like it would out handle the NS. In the end I sold the NS400R knowing there was very little support from Honda and parts are extremely hard to find. There were only 412 or so sold in Canada and it cost more than the RG or RZ back in 1986. It was a tough sell convincing buyers to buy a 3 cyl 2 stroke when they could have bought a 4 stroke interceptor 500 cc for about 2K less! The RG500 is the the best of the breed hands down. The NS400R has the novelty factor going for it.

  • Good stuff Joe and may I say you are one lucky man to ride all the big two strokes.

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