1975 HONDA CR125 ELSINORE: THE RED STRIPER
1975 HONDA CR125 ELSINORE FACTS WHAT THEY COST The suggested retail price was $995, which was about $100 less than its European competitors. It was a better bike at a better price. Like selling popcorn at the movies. The current value of this almost-new example is $10,000. MODELS For motocross, Honda only made the CR125 and the CR250—until the CR480 was released in 1981. WHAT TO LOOK FOR For the collector, an original, dent-free gas tank; Showa rear shocks; and stamped-steel downpipe (with the 1975 welded-on silencer) are a must. The 1974 CR125 had a pickle-style silencer. It’s a huge bonus if the Bridgestone Motocross 7 (front) and Motocross 6 (rear) tires are still in good condition. PARTS SUPPLY Try Terry at Western Hills Honda/ Yamaha at (513) 662-7759 or e-mail email@example.com. ; O ne year after introducing the 1973 CR250M, Honda followed with a game-changer—the CR125M. As good as the CR250 was, the 1974 CR125 was far better. The “Baby Elsinore” was fast, shifted well and was easy to ride. Dealers ordered them by the dozens, and they left the showrooms as soon as the mechanics put them together. In 1975, Honda changed the gas tank color scheme from silver with an army-green stripe to silver with a red stripe. The bike itself saw only minor mechanical changes between 1974 and 1975—most notably the silencer. The all-red models would come in 1976. The CR125 propelled Honda to its first-ever AMA 125 National Championship in 1974 with Marty Smith on board, and Marty repeated the feat in 1975. Marty Smith’s charisma, natural talent and legendary speed made every schoolboy in America want to be just like him, and the Baby Elsinore was the ticket. MXA’s example is owned by the Early Years of Motocross Museum and was purchased new in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a birthday present for a 14-year-old. The boy rode it once and scared himself, so the bike was never ridden again. This is a 38-year-old motocross race bike in almost-new condition. Even the factory chalk marks on the frame nuts are still clearly visible. This bike is an unbelievable find. You can restore a vintage motorcycle, but how many original and unmolested examples have you seen? The fire-engine red CR125s of 1976 were not a success, and the bike was not updated in 1977 or 1978.
BY TOM WHITE