MX Bob Bike History - Segment 4
1974 Honda CR125
A Marty State of Mind

I was finally ready for a full-size motocross bike of my own. My hero at the time (they stopped being "heroes" once I was older than most of the top pros) was a rider many consider American motocrossís first superstar, Marty Smith. He rode a Honda 125 works bike to his first two titles, and with his long hair and stylish riding style, always seemed to look cool in every photo that I ever saw of him. In this era of rapid development, the bike was now quite dated, and the bike Smith rode was quite different than what was sold to the public. I'm sure I had an overinflated assessment of this motorcycle.

The other part of the equation that lead me to this particular bike, which will become a frequent theme of these stories, was money, or lack thereof. I went to the used bike market and because of the extreme popularity of the Hondas the last few years, the only ones that fell into my budget were older Elsinores.

This is definitely not the condition of the bike that I bought

The guy who sold me this one must have seen me coming. My quick, uneducated inspection of the motorcycle failed to uncover a number of parts missing, or ones held on by duct tape and bailing wire. Despite its poor condition, and my low mechanical skill-level, I did have some fun on it, and learned how to manage the extremely peaky nature of the motor.

Maybe almost able to manage the motor would be more accurate. The fatal wound to the bike happened as I was riding down a two-track road by my house. The high school cross country team was running along the same road, so I thought Iíd do a little wheelie down a slight drop. Apparently, I caught the narrow powerband at its peak while my rear tire found an above average amount of traction. The next thing I know, Iím tumbling behind the bike, and out of the corner of my eye, I see the bike somersaulting ahead of me, parts shredding off of it

Surprisingly, nobody on the team harassed me about the crash, despite my long hair (like Marty) likely putting me in the "freak" category in their minds. It must have looked quite bad, because they mostly asked me if I was hurt. When I walked up to the bike and inspected it for damage, it didn't fare nearly as well as I did in the crash. It was almost complete stripped down to the frame in the back. Both rear number plates, the seat, and the rear fender were spread amongst the debris. In addition, the bars were bent and both of the levers were broken.

I can't recall any details about selling the bike other than I wasn't expecting to get much for it and I didn't. Financially, the sale, and my new "lucrative" job washing dishes, cleared the way for the next bike, which would be a substantial improvement.

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In my vivid imagination, this is how I looked when cornering

Revised March 2017