On Any Sunday – 1974 Honda CR250M Elsinore

In Japan, Off-Road by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

Share Button

Post Listing Update: This Elsinore did not meet reserve despite 15 bids up to $6,088.91.


In the beginning of the ’70s, road bikes were starting to commonly adopt 4 stroke engines, but off-roaders were sticking to 2 strokes. Though the Japanese manufacturers had a lot of success in America with small off-road bikes, Honda struggled to a competitive off road bike. The principal reason for this is because Honda revolutionized the road bike market with its reliable and 4 stroke motors, ignoring 2 strokes. Honda’s off-road models used adapted road bike engines, like with the SL350. When Japan introduced a motocross championship at the end of the ’60s, Honda was pushed to develop a proper off-roader. A two stroke prototype called the CR250 was created and then tested both in Japan and California between 1971 and 1972. These tests and developments gave birth to the Honda CR250M Elsinore in 1973. The name Elsinore was given after the famous off road race that took place in the ’60s and ’70s in Southern California.

For the first time in its history, Honda created a specific engine that was exclusively made for off-road. The major challenge (and success) for Honda was the weight of the bike, and this is exactly why they had to develop and create a brand-new engine with specific parts. The tank is made of aluminum, the engine side cases from magnesium, rims in alloy…everything was designed to be light, which meant the bike had an impressive dry weight of just 214 lbs. The success of the bike was immediate, especially thanks to Gary Jones who won the Factory 250 class at the 1973 AMA National Motocross. The Elsinore had definitely put Honda at the top of the dirt bike market, and the popularity continued when they released the CR125 in the fall of 1973. The 248cc engine developed close to 20hp which, coupled with the low weight of the bike, made it nearly unbeatable. Find more information about the CR250 on the National Motorcycle Museum website.

The bike presented here is in great condition, having been restored approximately one year ago (Motor #1020776/Frame #1017800). Nearly all the bike is new or fully restored. The gas tank has been fully restored, the frame powdercoated, the top end rebuilt, etc. The owner notes that the bike is in great condition but not everything is perfect. The spokes have a little bit of corrosion and the expansion chamber could be replaced.

Find this CR250M Elsinore in Sarver, Pennsylvania with bidding up to $4,500 and the reserve not yet met

Share Button