By 1973 Honda was known as a builder of four-stroke motorcycles. Two-stroke bikes were offered by other manufacturers and they were winning the road racing events. In the 70's, four-stroke motorcycles did not stand a chance against two-strokes in motocross racing. In 1973 Honda stunned everyone with its revolutionary Elsinore CR250M two-stroke.
It was Honda's first two-stroke (apart from some early attempts 25 years before) and the first purpose-built, production motocross machine from Honda. It changed motocross bikes forever with its amazing light weight, 29 horsepower (22 kW) over a broad RPM band, and superlative handling. As a complete package, it was the fastest thing on the starting line and challenged the established European dominance.
In the bikes rookie year 1973, a modified Elsinore ridden by Gary Jones won Honda its first ever AMA 250 National title and then proved it wasn't a fluke by winning it again in 1974. In time, this bike became the most successful motocross bike in AMA history, winning 24 National and Supercross titles.
The Elsinore's quality and durability were, at that time, in a class by themselves, and signaled Honda's corporate commitment to the growth and development of world class bikes for years to come.