History of The MT 125

             The Honda Elsinore line seems to have had very little written about it. Even less seems to have been written about the Elsinore MT series. But here is what little information I have been able to dig up about a fun little trail bike. The wording is mine, but The information came from the Honda Japan web pages. Unfortunately most of those pages were removed several months ago, probably to make room for newer additions, so I have had to piece this info back together from my notes. I have also used some of the sales flyers and ads to compile this information.

             In 1973 the Elsinore was introduced into the Honda lineup. It featured a revolutionary new 2 stroke motor, that almost instantly made Honda a dominant force in Motocross Racing.

            Also in 1973 came the release of the Elsinore MT 250. It had a slightly redesigned version of this revolutionary new motor made of a magnesium alloy. This new motor was said to put out 23bhp at 6500rpm. It also featured a longer wheelbase for stability, a thinner gas tank, seat, and side covers to allow the rider to move around on the bike a little easier, plus all the running lights, instrumentation and features needed to run on the street. They even featured a more aggressive tread than what was available for any bikes in this class at the time, and foot pegs as an option for the occasional passenger (I assume these came as an option as mine doesn’t have them). It wasn’t until the following year, however (1974), that Honda produced the slightly smaller MT 125. It had all the same features as the MT 250, except for the horsepower. It put out 13bhp at 7000rpm.

            Unfortunately the MT’s did not sell as well as Honda had hoped, and they dropped that model at the end of the production run in 1976. Many reviews of the MT series Elsinore slammed it saying it was under powered, and didn’t have the appeal of the CR. But the idea was to create a less aggressive motorcycle that was as much at home on the streets as it was in the dirt. It had not been designed to compete with the more powerful CR.

             Now before I start getting a flood of emails from people claiming to have a 1973 MT 125 and calling me an idiot; I should clarify that according to information I have been given from the Honda dealer in my area, from sales brochures, and from Honda’s official website in Japan, the Manufacture Date listed on the front of the frame is not the Model Year (model year is usually in larger BOLD print on the top of the serial number plate). If you have a motorcycle that is built within the last six months of 1973, it is a 1974 Model. Only if the Manufacture Date is within the first six months of 1973 would it be a 1973 Model. The same applies to all vehicles. Due to the time it takes to produce a large quantity of vehicles for the world market, most manufacturers stop production on the current year’s line-up about six months into the year. Then after converting or retooling their equipment, they start production on the coming year’s models. Being aware of this can save you some major problems when trying to locate parts.

            If you have any further information for this site, or you think that any of the information I have posted is incorrect, please e-mail me at elsinore_mt125@yahoo.ca or s_wind@hotmail.com and I will try and post it here. Also check out some of the other links on my site. I have come across some great Elsinore related sites and hope to post links to them on that page. Thanks.