In 1973, the Honda CR125M Elsinore was released. This bike was designed and intended for use solely as a motocross bike. Any other 125cc motocross bike at the time would have to have undergone major suspension, motor, and chassis upgrades to be able to handle the rigors of motocross racing. The Honda CR125M Elsinore was a legend in its own time as the only mass produced bike capable of conquering a motocross track with elegance in the callused hands of a seasoned expert, utterly unaltered mechanically.
The CR125M was built in Japan with many of the best mass-produced components the world had ever seen. The Elsinore's D.I.D. rims were strong, light, and extremely resilient to the natural tendency of mud caking during aqueous laden races. Its plastic fenders and side panels were featherweight and tough, and the engine’s side covers were cast from magnesium to shave yet even more weight, a testament to Honda’s tireless attention to detail. The CR125M’s single-cylinder, two-stroke 124cc engine weighed a scant 46 pounds, inclusive of the 28mm Keihin carburetor. Off the showroom factitious terra firma, the CR125M tipped the scales at a feathery 188 pounds with a full tank of petrol. This humble bike proved to be among the most potent and formidable motocross implements of its era.
The 125cc Elsinore, not to be confused with its 250cc brethren, pursued the sinuous and toilsome terrain of a motocross course with confidence inspiring grace and exceptional intuitiveness utilizing its long travel Kayaba suspension apparatuses. In the hands of a sensitive and insightful pilot, the comfortable ergonomics enabled blistering and seemingly effortless speed, as evidenced in Cycle World’s 1974 review, “Controls are placed precisely where they should be.” “Honda has literally set a new level of motocross excellence in motocross machinery that will have the rest of the industry straining to match it, much less surpass it.”
- Engine type: 124cc air cooled single-cylinder two-stroke
- Carburetion: 28mm Keihin
- Transmission: close ratio six speed
- Brakes: front and rear drum brakes