Unless you’re well under the age of 25 or have the pain threshold of an elephant in labour the Honda NSR125R is supremely uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. The handling is very good and the package gels better the faster you go. The lock is poor and feet-up U-turns on the Honda NSR125R are a no-no on most roads. The brakes work well, though they require regular attention if they’re not to go off quickly.
As stock the Honda NSR125R makes a learner-legal 11.3bhp. But as the UK limit is 14.7bhp, this means the Honda NSR125R makes only 77 per cent of the power it could. If it’s your first motorcycle then it’ll feel fast…for about a month. De-restricting it requires drilling out some welds in the exhaust and chucking away the intake restrictor. Now you can hit over 100mph, do 0-60 in just six seconds and expect a much shorter engine life.
Largely the Honda NSR125R is a survivor. Keep it topped up with quality two-stroke oil and your chances of seizing the motorcycle are greatly reduced. The Honda quality shines through, though a succession of owners learning their craft on a Honda NSR125R means that you should pay careful attention to hidden crash damage (beware stickers!).
The Honda CBR125R makes the sports two-stroke motorcycles look ridiculously over-priced. Although the Honda CBR125R is slower than the Honda NSR125R and almost impossible to tune, you can have a new one for the price of a slightly used Honda NSR125R or Aprilia RS125. Find a Honda NSR125R for sale.
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There’s not much equipment on the Honda NSR125R, but then what do you need? There’s a tacho, which works, and lights, which work until dusk. However, there are, if you look hard enough a few tuning goodies for this motorcycle like race exhausts and reeds kicking about.