The Honda NX250 was a new concept produced by Honda, a crossover dual-sport motorcycle available in the United States from 1988 through 1990. It was a lightweight bike intended for both on-road and off-road riding. The NX250 featured the new MD21E engine which was a liquid-cooled, 249 cc, single-cylinder, four-valve, DOHC, four-stroke with an electric start. It had a bore and stroke of 70.0 mm × 64.8 mm (2.76 in × 2.55 in), 11 to 1 compression ratio, and a six-speed transmission. The suspension was 37 mm (1.5 in) forks with 8.7 inches travel up front, and Pro-Link with 7.9" in the rear. The NX250 had a 1,350 mm (53 in) wheelbase and a dry weight of 118 kg (260 lb). The seat height was 820 mm (32 in). In some countries Honda continued production of the NX250 up to 1993, where it was named Honda NX250 Dominator.
The Honda AX-1 was a modified version of Honda NX-250 intended only for the Japanese market but was offered in Oceania. Using the same chassis as the NX-250, the AX-1 came standard with alloy rims, aluminum Pro-Link rear suspension this time with a rear disc brake, dual round headlights, taller cams, stainless steel exhaust and different carburetor settings. The valve clearance check interval is every 24,000 miles (39,000 km).
Spares commonality with NX250 is high, but certain parts are rare, such as the rear luggage rack, exhaust heat shield, cylinder heads and valve guides and headlights. However, the MD21E engine is known to run to over 100,000km without major overhaul. Part of this is due to an extremely durable Nikasil coated cylinder bore. Nikasil is a chemically deposited layer of silicon carbide, which is typically twice as hard (on the Mohs' Scale) as iron/steel liners.
The rear cush drive rubbers are not available and owners have made their own by modifying honda civic suspension bushes of similar dimensions, although they rarely fail during the life of the vehicle.
There is a small but dedicated online community for the NX250 and AX1. With the rise of popularity of adventure bikes, there is renewed interest in the Honda AX1 primarily for its light weight and power exceeding modern contemporaries such as the Honda CRF250L
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