Click here for an CycleVIN Motorcycle History Report on this NSR250SP Rothmans. Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
In the mid-to-late 1980s, the small-displacement race replica market in Japan was booming. Legions of bright-eyed young riders were lining up to fork over their hard-earned yen for competition-derived road-legal runners like Yamaha’s TZR250, Kawasaki’s KR-1, and Suzuki’s RGV250. Manufacturers on the island were battling it out on the race track and in showrooms in an ongoing arms race to produce the most trick race bike for the streets. In 1985, Honda launched the NS250R MC11, laying the foundation for its line of quarter-liter oil-burners that followed. The NS featured a box-section aluminum frame and swingarm, disc brakes, full GP-style bodywork inspired by Honda’s RS250R factory race bike, Honda’s Astralight rims, and a liquid-cooled, 249cc, 90-degree V-Twin engine, two-stroke engine that made 45 hp (at 9,500rpm) and utilized the ATAC (automatically-controlled torque amplification chamber) power-valve system.
Constant competition led to quick improvements in the model line, leading to the MC21 generation that was unveiled in 1990. Timing of the RC Valves were now controlled by a PGM-III ECU, it featured the iconic Gull-Arm swingarm, close-ratio gearbox, and smaller wheel diameters, which dropped from 18″ to 17″. Performance enthusiasts were glad to hear that the “SP” model made a return, differentiated by the dry clutch, adjustable suspension, and gold Magtek wheels. 1990 SP’s had a Cabin Cigarettes livery, 1991s were adorned with a Pentax paint job, and 1992 brought back the legendary Rothmans scheme for 1,500 units.
This example is VIN: MC21-1061790.
The odometer shows 8,343 kilometers (5,184 miles).
Per the seller, “this is one of the original 1,500 Rothman MC21 SP’s Honda produced in 1992. This bike was a very low km original survivor that was imported from Japan in 2019 and received a pretty complete restoration in late 2020. VIN MC21-11061790 with the correct R8N subframe decal.”
“Many of these bikes did not survive the 90’s having been raced, tracked, and otherwise neglected. This bike still wears its original Magtek wheels that have not been refinished.”
“The bike was refreshed to be as original as possible so it is fitted with the nicest stock exhaust that was available, not de-restricted, 100% stock jetting, cylinders and cases are not modified.”
“Bike was legally imported via the 25 year DOT rule and legally registered with a clean non-op title in Arizona. This is one of the few original surviving ’92 Rothmans, and one of just a handful in the States.”
The seller acquired it two years ago and has put just five miles on it. The odometer shows 8,343 kilometers (5,184 miles).
In the seller’s words, the “bike was completely disassembled in 2020 and gone over in late 2020/early 2021. The engine cases, cylinders heads and carb bodies were all vapor blasted by Resto Cycle in Arizona. Most of the chassis hardware was re-zinced, all of the engine hardware and most every bit of carburetor hardware was also re-zinced. Much of the bodywork hardware is new OEM Honda.”
“The engine was rebuilt with a new OEM Honda crank, pistons, rings, bearings, every gasket, seal and o-ring is new. The cylinders were re-plated by Millenium Technologies. There is over $3,500 in just engine parts/work. The carbs are completely fresh, every seal, o-ring and carb part that could be replaced is new.”
“All of the bodywork was repainted using a reproduction decal kit to give it the most stock like appearance. Only the tank is clearcoated, as it came from Honda. All bodywork is original 1992 OEM and in exceptional condition with no cracks or broken tabs.”
“The forks have just been refreshed with new seals, fluid. New tires with literally no miles, but they are older date codes. The following new OEM Honda parts were also used on the rebuild:”
New chain slider, petcock, fuel line, carb rebuild kit, front brake reservoir, left and right grips, all tank rubber/grommets are new OEM Honda, various new OEM hardware throughout the bike.
“In addition, the bike has new reproduction foot pegs, oil injection lines, new chain, new plugs, every fluid is new synthetic Motul.”
Cosmetically, the seller notes a “very small scratch on tank as pictured, some discoloration on gas cap, few spots of corrosion on shift/brake levers and a few other small spots of chassis.”
Mechanically, the seller states that the “engine has 4 or 5 heat cycles on it, a few light miles put on it to gently break it in. Will need a few easy break in rides and a double checking of jetting to make sure it suits your local conditions. The rear shock is due to be refreshed.”
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California, this Rothmans SP is offered on a clean Arizona title. Have any SP stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the comments!