El Snore: 1974 Honda CR250M Elsinore

It is said that the Honda Motor Company’s founder, Soichiro Honda claimed that Honda would never make a two stoke motorcycle.  For some reason unknown to me, Mr. Honda disliked the noise and smoke of the two stroke.  When motocross became hot with the other Japanese manufacturers in the late 1960’s, Soichiro had his engineers build a four stroke 125cc MX-er, and was badly beaten by his two stroke competitors.  If you can’t beat them, join them.  Find this 1974 Honda CR250M Elsinore for sale in Silver Lake, OR for $2,000 via craigslist.

Obviously, a two stroke was needed and in the off-hours, some of Honda’s engineers were tinkering with a two stroke.  What they came up with in 1973 was the 248cc CR250M, Honda’s first two stroke and first production motorcrosser.  Compared to the European competition, it was a revelation:  light weight, powerful, durable and built with reliable electrics.  The aluminum and magnesium engine produced 29hp in a bike weighing in at 213lbs.  This bike has had it’s original carb replaced with something from the 80’s.

The bike gained the name Elsinore in the U.S. after the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix held in Southern California.  The bike featured a chrome molly frame, aluminum tank and plastic fenders and side panels.  This bike’s tank is quite beat up, but maybe you can find a skilled old guy to remove the dents for you, since NOS ones go for around $2,000!  The left side panel and rear fenders are replacements.

The exhaust is original and still retains its ribbed silencer and the rear shocks also appear to be the original light weight, finned shocks that were often dumped for Koni’s.  Back in 1973, you could pick up an Elsinore for $1,145, now nicely restored examples go for around $10K. 

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.  He likes Zoom-Zoom and ring-a-ding-ding equally.