1975 Honda MT125

Dual Sport • Used


Get Price Alert!

Request More Information

Request Information Calculate Payment
Schedule a Test Ride Insurance Quote
Vintage Motorcycles

Up until the early 1970s, Honda built four-strokes. Soichiro Honda was dead set against building stinky two-strokes, so even its little 50cc commuter bikes featured fuel-sipping overhead-cam four-stroke engines, in the tidiest packages you ever saw. But amateur and professional motocross was at its peak in the United States at the same period. Today, four-stroke machines can be nearly as light and powerful as two-strokes, but in the 1970s, ''four-stroke'' was synonymous with "heavy" and "slow."So when Honda decided to release the CR-250 Elsinore in 1973, it would only do so if it was the best machine of its class, and it was, almost inarguably. With Gary Jones on board, the CR-250 Elsinore immediately won the 1973 AMA 250 national motocross series. Along with its motocross victories, the magnesium-engined CR-250 also founded Honda's manufacturing concern here in the United States, being the first product Honda built in its Marysville, Ohio, plant.In order to capitalize upon the success of the big-bore motocrosser, though, Honda wanted a more docile trail bike to share the name. Along came the MT line, featuring the MT-250, with the same incredible (for the day) 23hp two-stroke magnesium engine, plus a longer wheelbase, a thinner gas tank and (you can't even imagine this today) turn signals and brake lights for street riding. Alongside the MT-250 in 1974, Honda began offering the MT-125, which was essentially a scaled-down version of the MT-250, with a 13hp two-stroke.Unfortunately for Honda, the $650 MT-125 was nowhere near the sales success that the CR-250 was. Right out of the gate, Cycle completely panned the bike in its August 1973 review. ''If you were waiting for the 125 Enduro, you should have taken advantage of winter prices on a Kawasaki or Penton or DKW or even a Honda SL-125, because the new MT-125 is sadly lacking in power,'' read the second paragraph of the review. ''Occasionally, Honda blows it.'' Ouch. Perhaps the fact that Honda attempted to capitalize on the success of the CR-250's legendary status was the MT-125's downfall. Expectations were high. But the fact was that the Honda was seriously down on horsepower (3.47, versus the Suzuki TS-125's 4.8, and the Hodaka Wombat's 5.63), as well as torque, with just 4.66-lbs.ft., versus 5.60 in the Suzuki and 6.58 in the Hodaka. However, the MT-125 did have its strong points. The brakes--even though they were leading shoe drums--did their job admirably, and Honda put great thought into designing the chain adjusters. Unlike a lot of ''enduro'' bikes of the vintage, the MT-125 wasn't a street bike gussied up with a high pipe. It went the other way, adapting its dirt-oriented chassis to the street, and features such as the serrated steel footpegs instead of rubber pegs, and the flexible plastic fender indicated it was right at home off the pavement. A tidy wiring loom ends in a plug, allowing the headlamp assembly (including the light, horn and turn signals) to come off in an instant when the road really turned rough.Today, the MT-125 is all but forgotten, which is good for the collector looking for a bargain. Honda built these bikes for only three model years, and off-road duty may have beaten some of them up, but you might get lucky and find one as nice as this!

*Price, if shown and unless otherwise noted, does not include government fees, taxes, dealer vehicle freight/preparation, dealer document preparation charges, labor, installation, or any finance charges (if applicable). Final actual sales price will vary depending on options or accessories selected.