Honda NES 125, (2000-2006), used bike test: After 10 years of commuting..The scooter under test was used, a 2001 model, with 60000 Km clocked. The condition of the scooter was reasonable for such a use. Because of wet weather especially during the period of the test, the pictures of the scooter might not be of the highest quality.
Engine: The liquid cooled, four stroke 125 c.c. engine delivers 13.54 bhp/9000 rpm and 1.17 Kgm/7250rpm torque, nominal values. It is fueled via a carburator.
Actually the scooter accelerates linearly up to 100 Km/h, which is a speed achieved slowly. Top speed is 105 Km/h indicated figure, which requires quite some time additionally.
It is expected by an engine of the specific manufacturer, no wear indications were observed, on the contrary, performance was quite punchy.
Riding position: The saddle height is low, the saddle width is increased. Hence short riders will step a rather firm foot on the ground.
The dimensions of the scooter are average for the standards of the category, that is relatively small. The scooter feels relatively light, due to 120 Kgs dry weight.
Rider is placed in and over the scooter, riding position is neutral and comfortable for commuting.
On the road: Suspension feels soft, front and rear. The spring preload at the two shocks may be adjusted in three increments.
The tyres fitted at the scooter tested were Pirelli GTS 24 with dimensions 110/90-13 at the front and 130/70-13 at the rear. They consist an average choice especially on low friction factor streets. Handling is not benefited by these tyres.
Commuting is predictably easy on the @125. Engine power is adequate to propel the scooter ahead of cars at traffic lights acceleration. The scooter is quite agile, however itĒs the stability of the scooter the characteristic that determines the ride.
Filtering is good, despite that the height of the handlebar and mirrors is the same with that of carsĒ and SUVsĒ mirrors. The narrow width of the scooter is the reason for that.
Steering lock is superb, rider will face any kind of traffic congestion without a problem.
Comfort provided is predictable for a 13 inch wheeled scooter. Rider will notice road imperfections.
On B-roads, the NES 125 is a stable little scooter which will provide confidence to the rider, although handling is typical for the standards of the category. Feedback provided to the rider is relatively good.
In case of road imperfections these are not absorbed sufficiently by the scooter.
Due to the low top speed of the scooter, it is not really suitable and safe for highway use.
Brakes are combined. Applying the front brake lever the rear is not activated. However applying the rear brake lever, the front brake is partially activated.
A 220 mm disc brake, two pots caliper is equipped at the front, a drum brake at the rear. The front brake provides average stopping power and feedback to the rider. The rear is powerful, providing average feedback though.
Conclusively the front brake should be considered complementary to the rear one, while their intentional combination is the only solution providing good stopping power, especially on high friction factor roads. The combined braking reduces a little feedback to the rider while braking.
Reliability: A very reliable scooter, no specific problems reported.Quality build is good.
Comments: The storage space under the saddle is adequate for just a full face helmet. The gloves storage compartment at the leg shield, is really small. The feet floor is not flat. Á kick and a centre stand are provided.
Feedback during cornering and road imperfections damping at the specific scooter tested, could presumably be improved after a suspension repair or change.
Although the NES was manufactured at the Italian Honda plant, the design of the scooter looks quite conservative nowadays.
Price used: 900 Euros
Price new: -
+ Decent ageing characteristics (itĒs a ten years old scooter)
+ Riding still conforms to the standards to the category
Thanks to the motorcycle shop Baxevanis - Honda, tel.+302109237000, Kalirois 12, Athens, Greece, http://www.baxevanismoto.com/ for the test ride.