If the 1987 ATC models were not rare enough, here is a REAL mind freak for you! We originally learned about the existence of the 1988 model Big Reds back in 2004 from a UK forum member, Jez when he sent me this thumbnail of a brochure (I do not have a full size, sorry. If anyone out there does, PLEASE contact me). For a short period of time, we treated the '88 Big Red about as we do the 1987 350X and 250r. Unlike those models however, our skepticism was quickly erased with hard evidence of their existence.
A post on the 3WHeeLeR WoRLD message forum by a UK member was the first proof that these machines did in fact exist. And of course, it happened by almost pure chance as you will learn when you checkout the thread and read the details of how he came about seeing the machine and being able to notice it was in fact a 1988 model.
Checkout the interesting tank decal on the 88 model too! Sort of almost a throw back to the 1982 Big Red 200E. Definitely different than any other model year for graphics. Design, and physically, it seems to be exactly the same from what we can tell.
And then, not almost a month later, to the day, another forum member atcmatt posted about an '88 model he had found in Australia! The Model/Year decal looks to be exactly the same design as the first one. No doubt it is genuine Honda and not some knock off. Notice it has the same decal on the tank as the one that is pictured above from the UK. As of yet, none of these machines have been found outside of Europe or Australia. It is possible there were Canadian models as they were not subject to the Consent Decree either and were another very large market for machines, but we have not seen any reports of them found there for now.
I broached this subject of the 1988 Big Red's with former writer of "3Wheeling" Magazine Dean Kirsten a while back and here is what he had to say:
These additional pictures of another '88 model 250ES are from a 2nd one that was found in the UK. Last I had heard it was in the process of being restored, but I have not heard anything of it in a few years. Is the member that sent these to me still out there somewhere? Give us an update, let us know!