Saturday, June 4, 2011

Does the 'NSF' in Honda's NSF250R production racer refer to 'not suitable for' Americans?

Honda recently unveiled its NSF250R production racer. This all-new bike will form the basis of Honda's entries in next season's Moto3 races. But what's really cool about it is, it's a true production racer that will be sold  through Honda's distribution channel. At least, it will be sold in Europe, where Honda Motor Europe has announced that 450 units will be made available.

The new Honda has an MSRP of 23,600 Euros. In U.S. dollars, that's about 34k and change. If we get it....
When I read that, I emailed American Honda to ask whether the NSF250R would also be sold in the U.S. and, if so, how many units would AHM get?

The response I got was, "[N]o info to release as of now.  Don't know about Honda Motor Europe's

Really, American Honda knows less about Honda Motor Europe's plans than Backmarker does? I'm better informed than I thought.

The current MotoGP grid is sparse. (The absence of CE2 at Catalunya guarantees that everyone who finishes the race will finish in the points.) The 250GP and 125GP feeder classes have been lame ducks for several years, as the writing's been on the wall for the two-strokes. The arrival of the NSF250R, and the announcement that it will be made available in reasonable numbers in Europe, is good news. The top of the pyramid depends on a solid, wide base. The availability of a solid 'baseline' race bike is one key to ensuring that the best young riders can get noticed.

But seriously, what gives? Will the U.S. get the NSF250R, or won't we? I assume that, eventually we will get it. But frankly I'm not surprised that in Europe, they already know prices and quantities, but American Honda gives no evidence of having given this model any thought. It suggests that American Honda figures that -- in spite of the early and enthusiastic adoption of the Moriwaki 250 in U.S. racing series like the USGPRU -- that Americans don't 'get' road racing.

One thing that would change that would be allowing us to buy the NSF250R. So...

Dear American Honda,
We are going to get the NSF250R, aren't we?
When? How many? And how much will it cost?
Your friend,

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