ASK THE MXPERTS: HOW CAN I TELL IF AN OLD BIKE IS WHAT THE GUY SAYS IT IS?

This is a 1984 Honda CR125. It is easy to tell from a 1983 model.

Dear MXA,

I know a guy who wants to sell me his used 1984 Honda CR125 two-stroke. I went to look at it with my friend, who worked in a Honda dealership in the 1980s, and he says the bike is a 1983 model. How can I tell what year it is?

No one who worked in a Honda dealership in the 1980s should have trouble telling a 1983 CR125 from a 1984 CR125. Here are the tell-tale signs of a 1984 model.

(1) The 1983 CR125 came with a drum front brake, while the 1984 had a disc front brake.

(2) The 1984 CR125 was the first Honda to come with the ATAC system. ATAC stood for Auto Torque Amplification Chamber. The 1983 CR125 did not have ATAC.

(3) The 125R Pro-Link decal on the swingarm has the “125” in red and is anodized on the swingarm, while the 1983 CR125 had the “125” in black.

(4) The VIN number on the 1984 frame starts with JH2JE010∗EC500001-. The 1983 frame will have the same JH2JE010∗ prefix, but the characters after the asterisk will begin with DC400014-. Now you will be able to tell at a glance.

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