Small and rare sport bikes

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I just can’t get interested in most sport bikes. I hate how the mindset of dumb americans is “bigger is better”. For example… most dumb jocks think; “I want to get a motorcycle… of course I’m going to get a crotch rocket. A 600cc is lame. I’m going for the 1000 even though I’ve never ridden before.”

I’ve always been turned off to sport bikes. Maybe the above example had something to do with it. It wasn’t until the timeframe I was going to New Zealand that I started taking notice to some bikes we never had in america. Once I saw some of the small GP level sport bikes we never had, I thought they were so badass. In NZ I got to see a handful of these in person at a motorcycle shop that was right up the street from where I lived. I love how they’re all smaller than a modern 600cc sport bike. They’re all about the size of a cb450. Nice and light / nimble.

I’ve talked about some of them on here before, but I thought I’d recap. Most of these are from the late 80’s or early 90’s.


Honda nsr250r

– street legal
– never available in america
– 250cc – v twin – 2 stroke
– 60hp
– this thing is a full on street legal race bike. fucking sick. I wanted to get one in NZ, but they were too expensive.


Honda cbr250r

– street legal
– never in america
– made until 1996
– 250cc – 4cyl – 4 stroke
– 45hp
– 19,000rpm
– this is what I had in NZ. It’s faster than you think it would be. Super light and nimble.


Honda nc30

– street legal
– never in america
– 400cc – v4 – 4 stroke
– 60hp
– this little v4 with a single sided swing arm is so sick. I’ll take this any day over the fat bulky rc30 750 (which was available in america).


Honda rs250

– not street legal. race only
– I think you could get it to race in america?
– 250cc – v twin – 2 stroke
– 90hp… I think
– from my understanding this is a beefed up racing version of the nsr250r


Yamaha rz500

– street legal
– never in america
– 500cc – v4 – 2 stroke
– 88hp
– this thing is a fucking animal. imagine a v4 2 stroke. So nuts. Every year there is one of these at the Norton meet.


Yamaha tz250

– not street legal. race only
– I think you could get it to race in america?
– 250cc – 2cyl backwards configuration – 2 stroke
– 90hp… I think
– these are cool for a few reasons. I don’t know too much about it, but they made a couple different engine configurations. v twin and parallel twin.


Yamaha tzr250

– street legal
– never in america
– 250cc – 2cyl – 2 stroke
– 50hp
– Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS) which raises and lowers the exhaust port depending on the rpm of the engine is pretty cool.


Yamaha fzr400r

– street legal
– available in america?
– 400cc – 4cyl – 4 stroke
– 60hp?
– I don’t know much about these but I assume it’s yamahas answer to the honda nc30

12 responses to “Small and rare sport bikes”

  1. Jim says:

    Ask and you shall receive:

    A Yamaha FZR400R for sale in Newark. $1200, well worth the asking price.

    Ed, if you want to split it you can have it on Mon Wed Fri Sun, if I can have it on Tue Thurs and Saturday

  2. Adam says:

    I love the Yamaha paint schemes on all the older sport bikes.

  3. Mike says:

    I think you’re referring to squid mentality, which unfortunately dominates most of the sport bike culture. For the intelligent sport bike rider – electronics & rider assists are much more appealing. It just so happens that the S1000RR/HP4 is kind of spearheading that movement. Most fast riders use 600’s anyway, and burn the guys on liter bikes. Unless they’re blasting on the atlantic city expressway with their hommies, busa style.

  4. Jules says:

    There are a few of these models available in Canada also.

    If you ever get to ride a late 250cc 2 stroke road bike, then do so. Its an experience you wont forget.

  5. Doug says:

    I had a 1990 Yamaha FZR400RRSP for a number of years. I was a japan only bike. I had it imported from England in a bunch of boxes. I ran it on the street for quite some time using a dealer tag and I then converted it for track day use only. What a blast it was to ride. I eventually fit a YZF600 motor into it. Unfortunately life took over and the bike ended up sitting more than being used. Sold it to finance a bathroom at the house.

  6. Enzo says:

    My second bike as a kid was a 1989 YSR 80 (pic in link below).

    That thing goes up to 110 km/hr – I say goes because it still runs and is sitting in my old man’s garage. The gears are so much longer than anything i’ve ever ridden. It did give you a real racing experience (well I was a kid so I’m sure my adrenaline was amplified 100%) – Riding a race bike, not street legal, on the back roads, when you’re about 12 yrs old and your parents are fine with it. It was awesome.

    I agree with what you’re saying and I’m glad you’re bringing up the fact that you saw different things when traveling. Sports bikes in Europe do not have the same connotation they do in the States.
    The typical sports bike owner in Europe is very much different than the typical American one. The Jersey jock riding a 1000RR with Monsters decals, green LED lights, cruising in the city in flip-flops, shorts and tank tops does not exist back home. The guy riding this type of bike will be geared the F up, and has a true passion for racing and riding it the right way.

    Growing up with that mentality, I almost got a 600RR, but then I noticed who the average crotch rocket was and decided to go with something less powerful but way cooler and vintage.

    It’s just sad that these bikes are been perceived as such in the States.

  7. ed says:

    That thing looks pretty cool. I just watched some youtube videos of it. 2 stroke sport bikes are so badass.

  8. Floyd says:

    U totally forgot about the Kawasaki kr1s

    and why aren’t there any Chinese imitation v2 or v4 engines i would love to see that instead of the 4 strokers they produce nowadays

  9. Jason says:

    An RC30 is one of the most desirable street bikes ever produced. Go have a look and see what one will cost you. I’d take it over an NC30 anytime.

  10. David says:

    NSR250Rs are available in NZ?

  11. Mike smathers says:

    who has a RGV Suzuki 500 or Yamaha RVZ 500 for sale?
    Thanks mike

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