Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Honda MVX250F

Fri, September 2nd, 2011

NOTE: The MVX250F was never sold in the United States.

1983–84 Honda MVX250F
The MVX250F was Honda's first real attempt at a 2-stroke sportbike, and they had a lot to learn. The engine was configured as a V3 (no, that's not a typo). It had two separate, horizontal cylinders facing forward, and one vertical cylinder poking up between them. In order to keep the inherently imbalanced motor from shaking itself (and the rider) to bits, the one vertical cylinder had a huge, solid piston pin as big as the big-end crank pins. It was designed to make the single cylinder weigh the same as both forward cylinders. That sort of inelegant, band-aid engineering is the opposite of what we'd come to expect form Honda, but there it was. The motor managed to make a fairly respectable 40 HP (compared to 43-45 HP for its 250cc two-stroke competition), but it was balky and temperamental, and still buzzed badly.
It was actually pretty good for its era, though by this time the steel tube frame compared poorly with the aluminum frames on other bikes in its class. Nobody cared for the goofy inboard disc.
A mixed bag. The bodywork is attractive, if slightly disjointed in places. Graphics were a bit busy. The widely-splayed frame tubes make the bike look fatter than it is.
The MVX250F engine has the dubious distinction of being the least reliable of any Honda street bike in recent memory. Seizures were alarmingly common, and Honda's only fix was to increase oil consumption to a ridiculous level—so much so that oil often blackened the whole rear of the bike and so much soot packed the inside of the silencers that they in essence became unmuffled straight pipes. The inboard disc was nearly as bad as the motor, seizing up up from corrosion almost as often.
The MVX250F was supposed to be the type of 'boy-racer' 250 race replica that was so popular in Japan at the time. It failed to dominate in the twisties, and was ill-suited for anything else.
I have to give it a couple of points just for being a goofy oddity.
It's not often you get to watch Honda fall flat on their collective corporate face. The MVX250F was a monumental failure.