Honda NSR 125 motorcycle test



Honda NSR 125From
the first approach, the NSR is reminiscent of a light CBR … Otherwise
said, a super sporty, but with a smaller engine. For a 125,
we have known a much less flattering comparison. Indeed, this motorcycle shines
by a practically perfect realization, a subtle mixture of lines
taut and curved, for an incredible feeling of aggression. Her
double optic in the shape of a cat’s eye is a real eye-catcher, as well as
the gills with forced air intake force respect. Alone small
shadow in this picture, the huge turn signals, both at the front and
the rear which distorts the motorcycle and protrudes excessively from the fairing.
On the other hand, they can advantageously be replaced by drops of water.
at the front, for a guaranteed effect and a low price (15th). A little tour
under the saddle, and there, the observation is less good: hardly room for
put on the tools, rain pants, a very small chain,
but no U. Now that’s enough to look at the beast, I can’t wait
to sit on it …

In the saddle

First feeling once seated on it: you are not so bent over
than you might think, and the saddle is incredibly comfortable,
something rather rare for a 125, and a fortiori sporty! This double saddle
perfectly wedges the driver, even large sizes (1m85), and even
the passenger does not suffer from its harshness … The counters are readable,
and the red zone perched at 11000 rpm suggests a use
sharp. The dashboard is simple, quite efficient, but a gauge
gasoline and a small clock would have been welcome. Regarding
the mirrors, apart from a small rubber problem that is a little too short
to be able to go back to the mirror, they offer sufficient
corner so that anyone can always see clearly. Other point
strong, the brakes, which, although very powerful, remain perfectly adjustable.


Honda NSR 125It
it’s time to switch on the ignition: the electric starter (no kick
on the motorcycle) and the electronic starter ensure that you can always
start, even in the middle of winter after a night out … The engine starts
therefore, in a sound quite nice for a 125, although a little too "metallic"
for my taste … If you want to speed up a bit, you will see that
the bike tends to vibrate around 8000 rpm, but fortunately, this
does not make itself felt. The clutch handle is rather hard at first,
but she relaxes quite quickly. The coach does not pose as to
him no problem, except sometimes to put himself in neutral, but nothing
exceptional. The first impressions on the handlebars of the NSR are rather
good, there are no particular black spots to report …


In the city, the NSR is fully successful … It is accelerating
strong for a 125, even in a limited version at 15hp, thanks to an engine which
dominates the 125 supersport category. However, to sneak between the
cars, you have to play with the clutch, because below 7000tr, the engine
lack of fishing … Another problem, its turning radius is very large,
about 5m in diameter, which almost prevents half turns if the
road is not clear, unless you want to do a good ten
maneuvers … The little Honda is still doing well from this excerice
in the city, because its restricted size and its frank acceleration
allow you to quickly get out of traffic at a red light, including
countless 50cm scooters³, to be able to drive without worrying


Don’t be fooled too much: the NSR is best on the road
exploitable, where you can really use the power of
motor. However, the ground clearance being very limited, this almost prohibits
to venture on earth. The flanged version makes it possible to reach 130km / h
without too much problem, if the line is changed, we can reach the
160km / h. It is certainly slower than the Aprilia or the Cagiva, but
performance remains honorable, however, especially since its bubble
is really effective, which is not the case with the other two. Finally,
the motorway still remains a perilous exercise if the motorbike is still
restrained, but it is still possible. The driving position, not too much
leaning forward, and not too "ass in the air". It’s not too much
hard on the wrists, but on long journeys (2h), we start
to have back pain, especially if there is a headwind. The solution remains
so to multiply the breaks so as not to get tired.


In duo, the performances are of course much lower, with in general
20km / h less in top speed, but still accelerations
sufficient to get you out of traffic. The rear central arch is
well placed, easy to take and the comfort of the saddle allow the passenger
to calmly contemplate the road, especially since it is fairly well protected
the wind. However, the vibrations felt can be painful.
if your passenger uses the roll bar for too long. But like
this is a 125, it is obvious that this is not his point
strong, so I would advise you to limit the duet as much as possible, if
possible on short trips, and with an experienced passenger. Indeed,
every time the passenger moves, the driver immediately feels it,
because of the lightness of the motorcycle, and this can even be dangerous
in some cases.


Perhaps the only downside to this picture: maintenance, although reasonable
compared to that of Aprilia. As it is a 2T, it consumes
a lot of oil, count 1L for 600 / 700km; depending on your conduct. Contrary to
at the Aprilia and Cagiva, even in the red zone, consumption remains reasonable,
in 6 / 6.5L against more than 8L for the others. Restricted size
of the tank allows you a range between 150 and 200km depending on your
driving and the route taken. It is also necessary to count on a segmentation
every 10,000km, which is the biggest expense, this motorcycle
being very reliable, and failing quite infrequently, conversely
of its two direct competitors, which require an engine change
from the first 10,000 km. Can be a defect, an inclination of the carburetor
which can make your motorcycle "drip", once stationary on the stand
lateral, if the ground is slightly tilted. Nothing too excessive, but
the phenomenon can be surprising. The original frames have nothing to
blame yourself, as well as the brakes.

On the other hand, the headlights are a real problem! They don’t light up big
thing, and driving at night if the road is not lit becomes very
quickly impossible! If you want to drive at night, you absolutely have to
change the headlights, otherwise the exercise is more than perilous.


Honda NSR 125

Definitely, I would only recommend this NSR to you. The main
criticisms come from the cost of its maintenance, much higher than a Varadero
for example, but compared to other sports, it is the least expensive.
It is therefore a very good choice for anyone wanting sensations,
have the impression of riding a racing motorcycle, without spending
huge sums for maintenance. If on the other hand that seems too much to you
expensive, or want to be able to drive on almost any road,
even on land, then the Varadero remains the most versatile of the 125.

Strong points Weak points
  • Excellent value
  • reasonable maintenance compared to the competition
  • a real little sportswoman with the B license !
  • relatively expensive for a 125 (4500th new, or 30,000fr)
  • fairing as expensive as a CBR !
  • the headlights do not illuminate anything at night !

An experience told by Nicolas B.


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