Saturday, January 7, 2023

Honda Elsinore MTs

Given Mr. Honda's dislike of two strokes, It must have been a fight in the boardroom to get these into Honda's lineup in 1973, and the Elsinore CR motocrossers were quickly followed up with these street legal versions. Good looking bikes.



the motor is dark brown not gray or black. the rear brake is cable operated. the mudflap has aluminum slot screws with nuts. the pipe and heat shield ais beautiful. the kind of bike you would ride to Kmart to look the model kits and see if there is a new Modern Cycle magazine is out yet. some kid ask how fast it can go and you tell'em it goes 120 mph.

rats said...

In those years I cared nothing about dirt bikes and had a (now completely inexplicable) dislike of Hondas. But the Elsinores were too perfect to dislike. Their proportions met some kind of dirt bike Platonic ideal: like, OH, so THAT's what one should naturally look like.

But did Honda ever sell the street-legal versions in the States? I'm quite sure I never even saw so much as a photo of an MT-Anything till a few years ago -- and then it was, most likely, in an English magazine.

1973 was, more or less, when the U.S. enacted its Clean Air Bill, which quickly put a stop to 2-stroke sales here. I'm thinking Honda never went to the (major) trouble of exporting MTs to the U.S. Any of y'all know for a fact?

Joel said...

They did sell MT's in USA, and 2 strokes were legally on the road until the Kenny Roberts edition of the RZ350 in the early 80's, though it was a limited production model.
The picture has a notation at the top about a mailing address in California for a model brochure.

rats said...

Thank you. Duh me: Of course! -- the RDs et al. survived the seventies, almost and sort of.

Mister G said...

They did sell them in North America, they weren't popular in our part of the world but they did appear occasionally on the road. The CRs were popular in motocross.