Now that our VFR400 was proving a reliable runner, it was time to get our NSR250 restoration project under way. The existing road fairing were in tatters and barely holding together. So we decided to base the NSR’s restoration on the iconic Rothman’s livery raced by the likes of Spencer, Gardner and Doohan.
Stripping off the fairing and getting down to the guts of the bike, it was duly noted that our bike had most likely been a track bike in a previous life. Unlike our RGV and VFR which were bought as track bikes, the previous owner once had the NSR registered, however, we could see lock wire drilled holes on the gearbox oil drain plug, brake mounting bolts and lock wire around the throttle/brake grips. These are pretty much sure signs of an ex-race/track bike.
For this reason alone, it was important that prior to any track appearances we would need to get to the heart of the 2-stroke and inspect both barrels, cylinder heads and pistons for wear and tear. Other to-do items include rebuilding the brake calipers, replacing seals and gaskets, new fork oil, new fork seals, flushing out the coolant system, replacing the sprockets and chain and general inspection of the power valves.
In the picture above, you can see that the MC21 is fitted with the PGM3 which was known to be taken from the legendary RC30 superbike only now being utilised in GP250 by official HRC NSR’s. Inside the metal box is the ECU which controls both the timing of the RC Valves, air correctors and ignition advance to give outstanding low end tractability. Remarkable the PGM-III features a true 3D ignition and a different map for each cylinder. Very impressive technology for a bike that was being sold for road use. In fact the famous Gull-Arm rear swingarm was copied from the RS250 of Luca Cadalora, as was the frame design. Those guy’s at Honda even kept the mounting point for a steering damper – which we didn’t have…yet!
Cosmetics wise, we would need to send the red wheels away for white powder coating and our fuel tank would also be sent away for a lick of Rothman’s blue, white, red and gold paint.
So with the all the overwhelming road gear removed and getting down to the bare bones, it was obvious to see how simple these machines really are. We were definitely proud owners of a very special piece of Honda history. But how long would it take to get this project moving and out to track and unrestricted where Honda Racing Corporation had ultimately designated it to be?