Honda came out with its Elsinore line of motocross bikes in 1973. The bike was named after the then famous Elsinore Grand Prix, which was made famous in the movie On Any Sunday.
The silver-tanked bikes were cool, but the breakthrough to me came in 1976 when Honda released the Elsinore’s with the all red paint scheme. It was, and remains today, one of the most beautiful and iconic motocross machines of all time.
The Elsinores were the first Japanese motocross production bikes that were refined if you will. The bikes had suspension and brakes that worked well and the powerband was a little more broad than other contemporary two-strokes.
This is an ad for the 1978 CR-125M and CR-250R Elsinores. This was the bike I, like so many high school boys my age, lusted after. It was too expensive for my part-time work budget. Instead my dirt bike at the time was a well worn Suzuki TS185. A buddy of mine who I regularly smoked at out little homemade track, got a 125cc Elsinore and suddenly I was eating his roost. I finally convinced him to let me ride the bike and I found out why he suddenly was so much faster. Even though my Suzuki had a 60cc advantage, the Honda had way more power, plus it felt like I was riding a magic carpet, the bike’s suspension was so advanced.
By the time I actually had the money for an Elsinore my attention had moved on to street bikes and road racing, but for a time in the mid-1970s Honda’s Elsinore was my dream bike.