Final Honda NSR 250 SE
Two-stroke in perfection
It appeared in late 1993 and was barely noticed outside of Japan. But those who drove motorcycle rallies in the small classes at that time thought it was heaven on earth: the Honda NSR 250 of the MC 28 type.
Equipped with a single swing arm, electronically controlled carburetors, a chip card as an ignition key and four-piston fixed calipers for the front double disc brake, the NSR did not have to hide from the Honda production racer RS 250.
In the spring of 1997, the then current NSR, identified by the colors purple, red, neon yellow and white, was approved in his name. Almost exactly twelve years later she was allowed to hit the racetrack for the first time, and when she was nervous about it, she was still cooler than the MOTORRAD tester. Since the days when he rode a Suzuki RGV 250, he had practically diligently trained with the racing bike, but still gained a little weight and was worried that he would be able to fold up on the compact motorcycle with a 1340 millimeter wheelbase. A Kushitani suit with the generous cut of a judo suit turned out to be a valuable and stylish help. The trip in Hockenheim only lasted one tank of fuel? 16 liters of fuel are enough for almost 150 kilometers? and was an exhilarating experience. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you can’t believe the dynamism that a 60 hp 250 model can unleash in a vehicle weighing 161 kilograms. Because it’s not enough that the two-stroke engine goes off like a champagne cork when accelerating, it also develops special qualities when braking and turning. No excessive engine braking torque provokes a punching or lurching of the rear wheel, all concentration remains free for what the hands pick up on steering reactions when entering a curve. The result: You let the little Honda run into corners that make you dizzy. "This can not go well", one thinks. "But", replies the NSR. And how good.
Round by round
Small, fast ratchet: Honda NSR 250 SE.
Thanks to the electronically controlled carburetor system ?? Honda called this technique PGM for "programmed" and used the fourth development stage in the MC 28 ?? the small engine behaves well in the partial load range. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that it actually only wants to be driven with one and a half throttle positions: fully open or fully closed. The latter, however, only if absolutely necessary, and as briefly as possible, please. Unwilling jerking with indecisive handling of the flat slide carburetors has an educational effect, lap by lap the two-stroke returnee approaches the required precision. Brake point, accelerate, downshift, engage, turn in, sometimes the other way around, and then full throttle again. This little variable process becomes meditation, and if it succeeds, it no longer comes in "he" or a "I", but a "it". And "it" drives equally with man and machine. The adjustment to the too soft suspension setup, which may be suitable for Japanese drivers who are new to driving licenses or the owner with a jockey figure, happens involuntarily: avoiding sharp lines, approaching the inner cranks precisely, folding up on the machine at the same time as accelerating. And please do everything in smooth movements.
When looking back at day-to-day operations, it becomes painfully clear that a drive concept that NSR maintains to perfection is completely out of date. Not just because of the high consumption or the two-stroke clouds of smoke in cold running, which, by the way, are not that tight, but because road traffic is leveling itself more and more rigidly to certain speed standards. Tempo 30, 50, 100 or 130 are to be driven evenly in the respective areas so that the valued passengers can cope even when they have to split their attention between sat nav, mobile phone, sound system, Kevin on board and reading the newspaper. The capacities to assess a lighter whose front silhouette is smaller than that of a 50cc scooter and which accelerates to 100 km / h faster than a Porsche Cayenne can no longer be found. On the other hand, it is a punishment for the NSR and their driver to have to swim in convoys. For that she was ?? to put it mildly? not optimized. In March 1999, Honda stopped production of the NSR, and the other two-stroke engines gradually came to an end. Which is a shame, above all, because with these motorcycles a school of driving is dying out, which has produced highly qualified, focused and precise pilots. A kind of Jurassic Park for two-stroke engines would have to be set up on a suitable racetrack. A park and motorcycle attendant will be easy to find.
Technical data – Honda NSR 250 R
water-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke 90-degree V-engine, membrane inlet, exhaust control, bore x stroke 54 x 54.5 millimeters, 249 cm3, 42 kW (57 hp) at 9200 / min, 32 Nm at 8500 / min, kick starter.
landing gear: Bridge frame made of aluminum profiles, telescopic fork, spring strut with lever system, cast wheels, 110 / 70-17 and 150 / 60-17 tires.
measurements and weight:
Wheelbase 1340 millimeters, tank capacity 16 liters, weight with a full tank of 161 kilograms.
Prize 1997: 15,000 marks / 7,653 euros (in Japan 720,000 yen, about 11600 marks / 5918 euros
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