Honda 125 Series: A level playing field

Photographs: Mortons Archive and Russ Lee

At the beginning of the 1977 road racing season, an all new championship was added to the road racing calendar – the Honda 125cc series. Phil Wain reflects on a game changer.

Mez Mellor, 5, leads a talented field away.
Mez Mellor, 5, leads a talented field away.

The series was designed to produce close racing on an equal playing field, Honda wanted to get involved in the 125cc scene and spent a lot of money thrusting their 125 series into the limelight. The UK press, and public, were slow to respond but it’s fair to say they were both completely won over by season’s end.

The chosen bike was the single cylinder two-stroke MT125R2, which Racing Services Corporation had developed from their 125cc motocross engine. The air-cooled engine had an output of 26bhp at 10,750rpm, and weighed just 55lb. Honda UK purchased 45 of the machines and, in conjunction with Motor Circuit Developments, (MCD) an eight-round series was launched.

Read more in the Nov/Dec issue of Classic Racer