74 Honda SL 125 S discussion forum: 29 years ago...
29 years ago...
I remember...buying an SL 125 for $400 in 1973. I was 15 and graduating from a CT 70. I weighed about 150 pounds and before I geared it down, the speedometer would read (yeas yea we know Japanese speedometers to be 10% optimistic) 75 MPH while the 12 HP single sang away at 10,000 plus. I did this once at night (no license yet) while an old high school friend listened from his house. The straightaway was long and he couldn´t believe how long he could hear the little Honda at red line. After I got it geared down, with a one tooth off counter shaft sprocket, I also put on a too big but effective (4") rear knobby tire. It now would top out at 55 MPH, but remember climbing things I can´t believe I went up. Isn´t peer pressure great? I mean cliffs of sand. Point it to the wall of sand, wind it out in 4th, punch 3rd at the bottom and don´t let off no matter what until you near the top, then chop the throttle just before you clear so you don´t loop it. Fun. Long controlled wheelies, even if they were the cheat and drag your legs variety, were a snap.
I always thought the SL line was an attractive group of bikes. I still enjoy looking at them and wouldn’t mind doing a basic restoration to one. But I now weigh 280 pounds and put around on a geared down KDX 200. But this mid life guy can still take a trip in the memory banks to hearing that blue 125 singing away on a warm summer night. Fred Bates Derry NH
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