By 1973 Honda was known as a builder of four-stroke motorcycles. Two-stroke bikes were offered by other manufacturers and they were winning the road racing events. In the 70's, four-stroke motorcycles did not stand a chance against two-strokes in motocross racing. In 1973 Honda stunned everyone with its revolutionary Elsinore CR250M two-stroke.
It was Honda's first two-stroke (apart from some early attempts 25 years before) and the first purpose-built, production motocross machine from Honda. It changed motocross bikes forever with its light weight, 29 horsepower over a broad RPM band, and superlative handling. As a complete package, it challenged the established European dominance.
In 1973, a modified Elsinore ridden by Gary Jones won the first AMA 250 Nationals. In time, it became the most successful motocross bike in AMA history, winning 24 National and Supercross titles.