Honda NSR 125

The Honda NSR 125 is a spirited and agile motorbike that stands as a testament to Honda’s engineering excellence. Introduced in the 1980s, this bike has been cherished for its blend of performance and aesthetics. Its sleek design, coupled with a responsive engine, makes it a favourite among both novices and seasoned riders. Although its production ceased in the early 2000s, the NSR 125’s legacy continues to resonate within the motorcycling community, embodying a fine balance of practicality and excitement on the road.

Technical Specs

Dimensions & Weight

Seat Height 790 mm
Wheelbase 1345 mm​
Dry Weight 132 kg


Engine & Performance

Engine Type Single Cylinder Liquid Cooled 2-Stroke with Crankcase Reed Valve Induction
Engine Size/Displacement 124.8cc
Horsepower and Torque 12.5hp at 9500 rpm
28hp at 9500 rpm unrestricted


Transmission & Fuel

Number of Gears 6-speed
Fuel Capacity 13 litres
Fuel Economy 48 mpg


Chassis & Suspension

Frame Type Twin-spar aluminum frame
Front/Rear Suspension Telescopic oil filled damper /
Pro-Link® with external coil and damper
Front/Rear Brake Single 316mm floating disk with cast aluminium 4 piston caliper /
Single 220mm disk with cast aluminium single piston sliding caliper​


History and Evolution of the Honda NSR125

The journey of the Honda NSR 125 is emblematic of the evolution witnessed in the 125cc motorbike segment. This model, introduced in the 1980s, quickly earned a spot in the hearts of both seasoned riders and newcomers to the motorcycling world. With each passing year, Honda refined the NSR 125 to keep pace with the changing demands of riders and advancements in motorcycle technology.

  • 1980s Introduction: Initially introduced, the Honda NSR 125 was welcomed for its blend of innovation and reliability, setting a solid foundation for future refinements.

  • Early 1990s Upgrades: The bike saw a major overhaul with an upgraded engine and chassis, significantly enhancing its market appeal. Key features included a water-cooled, two-stroke engine and a redesigned fairing for better aerodynamics.

  • Late 2000s Transition: As environmental considerations began to dictate the industry’s direction, the NSR 125 was phased out to make way for four-stroke engine models. Despite its discontinuation, the model’s legacy lived on, celebrating its blend of performance and aesthetic appeal.

The history of the Honda NSR 125 isn’t merely a tale of a single model; it mirrors the broader narrative of the motorcycle industry’s progression. Its phased evolution, marked by significant upgrades, showcases a relentless quest for better performance, design and handling. The NSR 125’s chronicle reflects a fascinating interplay between retaining a model’s core essence and adapting to the dynamic landscape of motorcycling technology and rider expectations.

Performance and Handling

The Honda NSR 125 is revered for its performance and handling, characteristics that stand the test of time. The engine, despite its modest 125cc displacement, provides a sprightly performance, making it a favourite among learners and those in search of a nimble ride. It’s a bike that manages to offer a blend of responsiveness and forgiving handling, making it accessible for new riders yet engaging for the more experienced.

  • On-road Performance: The NSR 125’s engine delivers a lively throttle response, ensuring a zippy ride in urban settings. Its top speed and acceleration might not match larger-displacement bikes, but within its class, it’s a strong performer.

  • Handling: Renowned for its handling, the bike navigates corners with grace and agility. The chassis and suspension setup provide a good balance between comfort and sporty handling, offering a confidence-inspiring ride even on twisty roads.

Comparatively, when placed alongside peers in its class, the Honda NSR 125 often shines for its well-rounded performance. Its blend of a perky engine and exemplary handling often sets it a notch above others. For instance, its handling often receives nods of approval when compared to other 125cc bikes, displaying a level of finesse that is sometimes lacking in competitors.

Exploring the performance and handling of the Honda NSR 125 reveals a bike designed with a keen attention to detail. It manages to offer a ride that is exhilarating yet controlled, making it a desirable choice for a wide range of riders. The NSR 125’s ability to maintain composure while delivering a spirited ride encapsulates the essence of what makes it a cherished model among the 125cc motorbike community.

Maintenance and Reliability

The Honda NSR 125, like its counterparts, requires regular maintenance to ensure it operates optimally over its lifespan. However, the bike’s engineering quality lends it a reputation for reliability, a hallmark of Honda’s long-standing commitment to excellence. Here’s a closer look at the maintenance and reliability aspects of the NSR 125:

  • Maintenance Tasks and Intervals:

    • Oil Changes: Regular oil changes, typically every 2,000 to 3,000 miles, are crucial to keep the engine running smoothly.
    • Air Filter Cleaning: The air filter should be cleaned or replaced every 6,000 miles to ensure optimal fuel efficiency and performance.
    • Spark Plug Replacement: Replacing the spark plug every 7,500 miles is advisable to maintain a good combustion process.
    • Chain Adjustment: Checking and adjusting the chain tension every 500 miles helps in ensuring smooth transmission operation.
  • Known Issues and Recalls:

    • Electrical Issues: Some owners have reported minor electrical issues, though these are typically easy to rectify with basic troubleshooting.
    • Carburettor Cleaning: Due to the two-stroke nature of the engine, carburettor cleaning may be needed more frequently to prevent build-up.

Honda’s reputation for building reliable machines shines through in the NSR 125. Despite minor issues, the model stands as a testament to quality engineering, often outliving peers with minimal fuss. Its relatively straightforward maintenance schedule further enhances its appeal, providing a less daunting ownership experience especially for novice riders.

Honda NSR 125 Reviews and Testimonials

The Honda NSR 125 has garnered a fair share of accolades from riders over the years. The user community often highlights its balanced mix of performance, handling, and aesthetic appeal. Delving into the first-hand experiences of owners and riders unveils a broader perspective on the bike’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Many enthusiasts recount the lively nature of its engine and the responsive throttle as elements that add a touch of excitement to everyday commuting, especially in urban landscapes. The handling, too, is often a highlight among user testimonials. Riders appreciate the bike’s agility and the confidence it instills while navigating through twisty roads. The marriage of performance and handling in the NSR 125 seems to resonate well with both novice and seasoned riders, making it a cherished choice for those seeking an engaging yet accessible motorcycling experience.


Reliability: A large number of users applaud the bike’s reliability and the minimal maintenance it requires to keep it running smoothly.

Design: The sleek design and aesthetic appeal of the NSR 125 have received commendable remarks, with some users finding it a stylish choice among 125cc bikes.


Fuel Efficiency: A few riders have pointed out that the bike could be more fuel-efficient, a common critique for two-stroke engines.

Stock Tyres: Some users suggest upgrading the stock tyres to enhance grip and overall handling.

The community of NSR 125 riders often shares a common sentiment of appreciation for the bike’s well-rounded attributes. The blend of reliable performance, attractive design, and manageable maintenance schedule resonates well with a broad spectrum of riders. However, like any model, it has its share of critiques, which provide valuable insights for potential buyers and Honda alike.

Through a plethora of user reviews and testimonials, the Honda NSR 125 emerges as a cherished model in the 125cc segment, embodying a blend of attributes that continue to endear it to the motorcycling community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast is a Honda NSR 125?

The Honda NSR 125 can reach a maximum top speed of 75 mph.

What is the top speed of a derestricted NSR 125?

A derestricted Honda NSR 125 R Super Sprint can reach a maximum top speed of 96.3 mph.

What are the models of the Honda NSR 125?

The NSR 125 has two main models: the JC20 (produced between 1988 and 1994) and the JC22 Foxeye (produced between 1994 and 2001)​​. Additionally, there were variations like the F naked model and the fully faired machine R​​, as well as specific versions like NSR125 R-L (April 1991 to December 1991) and NSR125 R-M (January 1992 to April 1992)​.

When did Honda stop making 125 two strokes?

Honda ceased the engineering of 125cc two-stroke bikes like the CR 125 in 2008.