We were in the market for a Honda NSR 250 shortly after buying the NC30 VFR 400. Once the VFR project was well on the way, Al and I were in constant discussion on how cool it would be to have a 2-stroke racer alongside the VFR. After all, we were 2 riders with only one track bike – we had to bring balance back to the force.
Honda NSR250’s are a rare find. Even rarer to find a good example. Nevertheless, we were continually searching ebay and Bikesales websites in hope that one would show face. Plenty of NSR150SP’s on display, but even the fancy Doohan inspired Repsol colours cannot hide the fact that the 150s are for first timers – I should know, it was my first bike!
Our search carried on for weeks with no result. Just as a tease, ebay returned pages and pages of NSR250 spares, from top end rebuild kits to fairings in all your favourite retro racer colours. One guy was actually selling a NSR in parts which you could buy in separate listings to build your own bike from the ground up. Amazingly majority of those parts were listed as *NEW*. We did the math and that option would cost in well over $7000. Tempting and probably the most rewarding project of all, but we had our wire wool and we were prepared to make the old new again.
So as the search went on and on we basically gave up on ever finding one in the immediate future. In my mind, I just wanted to ride a 2-stroke at the next track day. If it wore a Honda badge then it would be like winning the lottery! On the other hand, if it were a Suzuki RGV250 then it would be more like winning the meat raffle. After all the RGV250’s were so much more popular here in Australia, spares were common as well. We had to be realistic, so when I told Al that I had found a VJ22 RGV250 selling for $1800, he agreed to come out and inspect it.
The RGV we inspected was in reasonably good nick for a track bike. It started on the first kick and the engine sounded like a healthy smoking 2-stroke should. The seller did warn us that the front forks were way to soft for the track and needed immediate attention. Apart from that, the bike had been totally reliable and ready to run at the track. So without further or do, we made him an offer which he accepted. Sweet we own a 2 stroker.
Funny that though, just over 2 months later – two NSR250 MC21’s appeared on ebay and were ending roughly around the same time. Yes we were still looking, how couldn’t we? One NSR was located in Adelaide and it was obvious from the description and photo’s that this was a very fine looking bike. Very clean and very original. Al called the seller and agreed on a price. He also confirmed that shipping to Sydney wouldn’t be a problem either. Just before we confirmed the buy, the second NSR 250 MC 21 SE listed and it was in Sydney. The SE’s were more raced spec’d which had the improved adjustable front forks and sweet sounding dry clutch.
I was convinced that the Adelaide bike would not sell prior to the listing end date giving us time to inspect the SE. I think Al was more than happy not to gamble losing on the Adelaide deal as it was pretty much ours if we wanted. But I asked him, what’s one day? We might regret giving up an SE over a cleaner standard version. My instinct was completely wrong. Al went to inspect the SE and was disappointed in the owners maintenance of the bike. It hadn’t been run in a long while and the fairings were barely hanging together. Whoops – the Adelaide deal was already sold to some other treasure hunter.
Al said he hated me, but insisted that he would still be my friend. Okay – so now we had to enter a bidding war with the one NSR left on ebay. Well what do you know? We lost the bid for that one too. We were bidding to the very last second having passed our agreed “most we would pay for it” In fact the NSR never hit the reserve price. The other bidder was interstate and he had outbid us by a couple of bucks. So we pitched one last effort by calling the seller whom Al had already met during the inspection. For the seller it was easier to close the deal with us rather than organise the shipping to Melbourne. At last, we owned a NSR 250 SE. You bewdy.