1982: Honda fixed most of the problems of the radical
’ 81 model, and once again the bike was a contender for
“best in class.” The engine was painted black, and most of
the bodywork was new. This period saw rapid and complete revisions for almost all motocross bikes.
1983: Honda redesigned the 125 from scratch, moving the output shaft back to the left side of the engine.
Everything about the Honda was new, and, this time
around, it worked well right out of the gate. It was the fast-est 125 of the year and handled well.
1984–1989: Honda came up with its version of Yamaha’s
power valve and called it the ATAC (Automatic Torque
Amplification Chamber). It didn’t make much difference.
The bike was still fast, but in ’ 84 the Kawasaki was finally
the horsepower king. The ’ 84 Honda’s suspension was
changed from Showa to Kayaba, and the bike was given a
hydraulic front disc brake. There were changes every year
through this period, but there were no complete redesigns.
The rear disc brake didn’t come until 1987.
1990–1994: There was a major redesign in 1990. The
ATAC power valve was abandoned, and the 125 got an
HPP power valve similar to the one on the 250. The Showa
upside-down fork also trickled down from the 250, which
got it a year earlier. No one liked the fork at first, but they
got used to it, and suspension shops had a field day. In
1994 it would be back to Kayaba. The Honda was the fast-
est 125 and would stay that way for a number of years.
1995–1997: A new, stiffer frame came in 1995. The
motor changed from black to silver but was still basically
the same, aside from gear ratios. The suspension changed
In 1996, the CR125R was in its prime. In 1998 the CR125 got an aluminum frame, one year after the