GoogleCustom Search

Honda RS250


Honda's very public failure to secure results with the radical four stroke NR500 was to have a profound affect on both the companies racing and road bike programmes. The realisation that a two-stroke was needed to compete at the highest level prompted the development of the NS500 triple, the success of which resulted in the development and sale of two stroke road bikes, something that had been inconceivable for the four stroke orientated firm during the seventies. By 1983 Honda were marketing the three cylinder MVX250 in Japan, that would later evolve into the NS400, based heavily on the successful Grand Prix triple.A twin cylinder 250cc two stroke became available during 1984, typed the NS250 and was joined by an over the counter racing version coded the RS250R. Although there were immense benefits to racing a machine so clearly linked to the road going product the restrictions inherent in converting the road bike into a racer had been underestimated, and the new 250 proved a costly failure both for the factory and those that bought it.

Realising their mistake the R and D department reacted with great speed, introducing a completely redesigned RS250 for the 1985 season, prototypes of which were run at the British Grand Prix.

Although the new machine retained the 90 degree vee twin configuration of the previous model, the engine was now a pure racing unit. The crankcases had been slimmed and the vertical cylinder was turned through 180 degrees, benefiting, along with its partner, from revised porting and ATAC exhausts. The unit was housed in a new twin spar aluminium frame equipped with rising rate rear suspension and "Comstar" wheels. When Freymond tested the new bike he found that it revved to 12,500 rpm compared to the previous models 11,200 rpm and was significantly improved in all respects when compared to the 1984 machine. Results during 1985 vindicated the new machine with consistent points finishes at Grand Prix level, Massimo Matteoni won the European Championship and the great Joey Dunlop took wins at both the TT and Ulster Grand Prix.

This matching numbers example, which retains the original "Comstar" wheels, many having had them replaced by proprietary alloys, has been the subject of a full restoration. The vendor is fortunate in owning a genuine ex Dunlop 1985 RS250 and opted to restore this example as an exact replica of the Dunlop bike from which, according to the vendor, it is "hardly distinguishable".

Please e-mail the webmaster if you have a picture worth adding to our database, e-mail: