Vintage Honda Motorcycles

Honda ElsinoreHonda Motor Company was founded in September 1948, in Tokyo, Japan by Soichiro Honda. Soon after, Mr. Honda joined forces with financial guru Takeo Fujisawa, who became CEO. The first of the Honda motorcycles was the 2-stroke D-Type Dream, and was released in 1949.

1978 Honda CR-250R1972 brought Honda their first dirt bike, and was the beginning of an amazing road ahead. The Honda XR75 was their first XR, and also one of the industry’s first true off-road bikes to roll right off the production line to the trail or track.

The Honda XR500R was released in 1979 and quickly gained acceptance and won races all over the world. The Honda XR600R was later released in 1985.

Introduced in February 1973, the innovative Honda CR250M Elsinore was Honda’s first two-stroke sold in America. Simply known as the Elsinore, it was also the first production motocross bike put out by Honda. It was fast, reliable, light-weight, and handled great.

The same year that the Elsinore was released, it helped Gary Jones win the 1973 AMA 250 Class National title, which would be Honda’s first, but certainly not last. The Honda CR125M Elsinore was released in 1974.

The 1981 Honda CR250R was the first production liquid-cooled 250cc bike released by any manufacturer. Before this model, they were all air-cooled, which didn’t allow for all of the power to be used due to inconsistencies in temperature. This advancement in technology would change all motorcycles forever.

Vintage Honda Motorcycles & Parts

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9 Comments

  • Ken says:

    What does the CR, CRS, all the abbreviations mean? I used to be a motorcycle mechanic in the early 70s I know some are different years. I’m looking at a CR500. Then I see a CRS 450 and a CRS500F. Help.

    • Admin says:

      CR typically is thought to stand for “close ratio”, referring to the gearbox. I believe when you say “CRS”, you mean “CRF”. The “F” indicates it is a four stroke. So a CR250 is a two stroke while a CRF250 is a four stroke. Both are motocrossers indicated by the lack of an “X” on the end. If you see CRF250X for example, that is the trail or enduro model. The dual sport bikes are classified with an “L”. For example a CRF250L.

      Hope this helps!

  • scott says:

    What yrs was the honda 250 the same. I have a 78 honda 250 elsinore and trying to find top end that is 70mm. Found 77. Not sure if the engine was the same. Anyone know the yrs they were.

  • Anita says:

    @Kevin – I don’t know about the fuel tank, but I have my Dad’s owners manual from a 1973 Honda CB 125S cycle. It is for sale if it would give you the information you need. It also has a wiring diagram in back.

  • John says:

    I have heard that a swing arm off an ’81 CR 125 will fit on the ’79. Has anyone done this and what does it take to do it? I realize that the mono shock mounts will have to be taken off, and shock mounts welded on. But what else will it need? Any info will help.

  • Jeff R says:

    Hey if you still need a fuel tank for the CL125, I have one off a CL175 that would look period and probably fit ok.

    You could have it for $99

    Email me at [email protected] if you want to see some pictures.

  • Katoom says:

    @Kevin: No, they are way different, the CR’s are aluminium and CL’s are made of steel and look different, CL’s look old school and CR’s are sleek.

  • Kevin says:

    Does anybody know if the 1973 Honda CR125 has the same fuel tank as the CL125?

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