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From the Owner

The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle

Race-spec and Street-spec Honda CR93

honda cr93 racers 
A race-spec Honda CR93 (left) and a street-spec CR93 living in the same garage. 

In the May/June issue of Motorcycle Classics you featured the rare 125 cc 1963 Honda CR93 racer. You made mention of the even rarer street version, of which roughly 20 to 30 were produced. We are fortunate to own a Honda CR93 racer, but even more so a CR93 street version. It is quite a treat to display them as bookends. The race version is displayed without the fairing; showing this bike “naked” helps to highlight the differences to its street sibling.

Since the heart of both versions of the CR93 is the engine, the differences on the street bike are mostly cosmetic. Since the bike on the right is a street legal Honda, it has the expected items one would need to be licensed. This includes a headlight, speedometer, taillight, horn, keyed ignition, rear fender (and mudguard), side covers and a tool kit box with the Honda tool kit. Naturally, the carburetors have the expected air cleaners behind them. The street version also has different handlebars and a different seat.

The CR93 street version can be fired-up in the traditional kickstart manner. The CR93 race version was produced sans a kickstart shaft (and accompaning kick-lever) and must be bump started. And you were correct in your article about the mufflers; they are indeed more restrictive ... no megaphones on this one. However, remove the air cleaners as well as the “CB-style mufflers” and expect to have the same bad boy CR93 on the left. I met one fellow not too long ago who ordered a CR93 new in the early 1960s specifically for track purposes. When his arrived, it was one of the unexpected street models. He was not bothered and just removed the “street items” and then went racing.

I have owned the CR93 race version shown for about 15 years. When I discovered the CR93 street version two years ago, I jumped at the chance to purchase it. Its prior owner had it for 37 years. I was certain this was an opportunity I would not see again. It has only 1,600 miles on it and is original down to the tires. I suspect this particular CR93 to be one of the nicest originals in existance.

I have displayed our Honda CR93 street version only one time, and this was at a show in California. Surprisingly, there was another CR93 there as well — the very same bike in your featured article. It was proudly and rightfully being shown by Ron Mousouris.