1963 Honda Motorcycles CR97
Year of manufacture1963
Engine numberCR93E 3100127
Property of a deceased's estate
1963 Honda 190cc CR93 Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. CR93 3100149
Engine no. CR93E 3100127
Owned and raced originally by George Plenderlieth
Owned and raced by the late owner since 1974
Last raced in 1997
'It was robustly reliable, steered and handled to perfection, was, if anything, over-braked, and would exceed 100mph. At a stroke it made all other 125cc machinery in Britain obsolete. The CR93 was not cheap but it was, quite simply, built to exactly the same high standard as Honda's own racing machinery.' - Brian Woolley, Classic Racer magazine.
One of only 40-or-so CR93s imported into the UK, this example was delivered new to George Plenderlieth who campaigned it at club, national and international meetings including the Isle of Man TT, where his best result on the little Honda was 9th in the 1968 Lightweight 125 race. The machine was subsequently purchased by David Hodgkinson and raced at various club meetings, the high points of which were taking the Midland Motor Cycle Club lap record at Cadwell Park and winning the 125cc Club championship at Darley Moor in 1970 and 1972.
On 1st May 1974, the Honda passed to the late Peter Wilson (its third owner) from whose estate it is offered for sale here. Peter raced at a few club meetings to familiarise himself with bike and then in 1975 enjoyed quite a season, winning the Formula 5 Club Championship. 1976 was another memorable year, as the crankshaft failed at Cadwell Park while Peter was in 6th place. This temporarily terminated usage as neither a crankshaft nor spare parts were available. In 1982 parts were found to rebuild the crankshaft but the engine was not reassembled.
In 1987 Peter was invited by the CRMC to join in the CR Honda Parade at Donington Park, and at the Club's AGM it was decided to institute an Ultra-Lightweight class for 1988. The CR's return to the track did not proceed smoothly, as the bike was excluded from the first meeting at Cadwell on the grounds that it was too noisy. Various methods were tried to reduce noise and maintain performance. The CR achieved several decent finishes in CRMC events in 1988 and at that year's Manx GP came home 11th at 76.22mph, a highly creditable result on Peter's first entry in the Classic Lightweight race.
Various good placings were achieved in CRMC events in 1989 as well as a 9th place Manx GP finish at 80.33mph, resulting in the award of a Silver Replica. In Peter's final year of CRMC competition in 1990 he achieved several wins and good placings on the Honda and finished 10th at the Manx GP at 81.84mph. The Manx GP was Peter's only road race in 1991. He finished 8th at 83.65mph to gain another Silver Replica despite a heavy tumble in practice. The Manx was the only race contested in 1992, Peter finishing 11th at 76.69mph in the wet.
In 1993 Peter and the Honda contested the Irish Championship at the Skerries and Fore meetings with places in both, finishing 11th overall in the Championship. Despite raising his race average to 83.75mph at that year's Manx GP, Peter could only manage 20th place. By this time the two-strokes had arrived in force, with no fewer than 11 250cc Suzukis in the first 13 places!
In 1994 he joined the IHRO with rides at the WSB meeting at Donington Park and the Dutch Historic TT at Assen. In the Irish Championship Peter finished 8th overall after only two rides, again at Skerries and Fore, finishing 2nd in both events. In that year's Manx he finished 12th at 83.88mph, the first four-stroke home. The 1995 season kicked off at Mettet, Belgium where Peter brought the Honda home in 12th place in the 350 event. In that year's Manx he finished 15th at 78.92mph but in 1997 could only manage 32nd place despite averaging over 83mph.
At the end of 1997 Peter and the Honda retired from racing and the machine has spent the last 18 years in dry storage. As presented it features a large 'Manx' fuel tank, a 190cc conversion and Motoplat electronic ignition. All the removed original parts to include the 125cc cylinders and pistons, standard fuel tank, seat and spare fairings come with the machine, as does a parts book and an instruction manual.