First seen in 1989, the Honda AX 250 soon became a popular motorcycle thanks to its exceptional handling, zippy performance, and rider comfort. Manufactured in Japan and exported as the AX-1, it has almost the same specs as the older American model, the Honda NX250. The changes from the NX 250 are mainly cosmetic, such the distinctive dual headlights and alloy wheels seen in the AX 250. The tried and tested tubular steel double cradle chassis of the NX250 is also found in the AX-1 250 (popularly known as the AX 250).
Powered by a liquid cooled four stroke DOHC single cylinder engine, this Japanese off-road bike could give out 26 hp at 8500 rpm. While these were not the biggest numbers, they were enough to put quite a lot of pep into the 205 pound chassis of the AX 250. This Honda off-roader came with disk brakes for both the front 90/100 19-inch and rear 120/90 16-inch tyres; great for controlled speeding over uneven terrain. The transmission system comprised of 13 front sprocket units coupled with 41 rear sprocket units. For even better control, riders had a 6 speed chain transmission gear box that could take the Honda AX 250 all the way to a top speed of about 85 to 90 mph.
The off-road Honda AX 250 also achieved high marks when it came to rider comfort, thanks to its well-designed suspension and ground clearance of 254 mm. The 37 mm front fork unit had a comfortable 221 mm travel, while the rear suspension unit comprised of a Pro-Link component with 201 mm rear travel; ideal for rough riding! Casual riders also liked the Honda AX 250, thanks to rider-friendly touches such as electric start, dual disk brakes, and worry-free CDI ignition. Depending on the riding conditions, owners have reported pretty good fuel consumption figures, with around 10 miles per gallon.
Manufactured in Japan until 1994, the Honda AX 250 has built up a sizable fan base among the earliest off-road enthusiasts. In fact, a grey market version of the original AX 250 is still available in certain parts of Asia, where it is very popular with tourists keen on touring on the less-than-perfect local roads. The AX 250 continues to be a popular used motorcycle in the UK, thanks to the reliable Honda engine and easily available spare parts. With the right maintenance and quality parts, even a decade-old Honda AX 250 can dazzle spectators and thrill off-road riders.