In 1986 I picked up my first real motocross bike, a 1978 Honda CR250R Elsinore. At the time, I was in high school and my parents had always been against motorcycles so my experience had been limited to reading MX magazines and hitting the trails on my 1973 Honda Trail 90. Getting this bike was such a HUGE deal for me and it kicked off a passion that has lasted to this day.
When I look back now, I feel pretty stupid for what I did to this poor bike. Being in school and with my dad totally not being on board with this motocross thing I was pretty much flat broke and unable to race or make any meaningful upgrades to the bike so I did what I could afford…I painted and stickered that bod boy to high heaven.
At the time, I was totally enamored with the blue-motored Suzukis, so what did I do? I pained the damn motor blue 🙄. While I was at it, the new Hondas had blue seats, so why not paint that too 🙄🙄? Stickers were cheap, so I plastered Fox heads and MSR logos over every available inch. Hell, I even went to Pep Boys and picked up a little gold pinstripe tape so I could add the gold bling to mine just like the rims on my hero Ricky Johnson’s Factory CR250R. Back then, I thought those stubby ’78 side plates looked stupid, so I pilfered a set off my buddy’s blown up ’84 KDX200 and rigged them up to give it that “modern” look.
All the while, I neglected the air filter, ran K-Mart two-stroke oil and generally beat this poor girl to death. When I finally saved up the money for a rebuild, I honed the cylinder thinking it had an iron liner, only to find out it was actually chrome and ruined 😫. This set me back $200 and several months of grass mowing. When I finally got a new cylinder, my mind was blown by the fact that the cylinder was actually red. When I had bought the bike, the previous owner had painted the motor black and I had no idea it had ever been any other color.
So what did I do? I left it red of course and ended up with a red and blue motor…ugh. In fairness, I was living in an absolute motocross vacuum, out in the woods. I had never been to a track of any kind or even seen a race other than the USGP on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. In short, I did not know any better, but man it still hurts a bit to see what I did to this classic piece of moto history.