The era was approaching an unprecedented two-wheel boom. Record sales of 50cc scooters, new models appearing one after another. Against this background, the world of racing was about to get excited. 1978 Suzuka 8 Hours held, 1979 Honda returned to WGP ── and 1980. Honda will release RS125R-W for All Japan 125.
The RS125R-W was a full-scale road racing machine that combined a CR crankcase with a dedicated water-cooled cylinder and adopted a body that evolved from the CR-based body of the MT125R to a more road race. Then, in the “water-cooled engine confrontation” that was developed with rivals, RS got a boost, and Noriaki Ichinose, who was active as an RSC rider, won the championship. Ichinose has conquered all Japan for three consecutive years until 1982.
When HRC (Honda Racing Co., Ltd.) was established in September 1982, sales of commercial racers were further strengthened, RS125R-W was improved in 1983, and exhaust devices ATAC and NS cylinders were installed in 1984. New technologies such as adoption were introduced in real time, and their performance was improved year by year.
On the other hand, rival Yamaha stopped participating in the 125 class in the end of 1983. For 10 years until the revival again in 1993, the All Japan 125 was to be contested only by the RS125R.
So far, the 1st generation = 1976-79 air-cooled MT125R, the 2nd generation = 1980-86 water-cooled RS125R-W (model NA7, NC2) and RS125R (model changed in 1984, model ND4) are, so to speak. The aim was to solidify the foundation as a racing machine and conquer all Japan.