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Honda ML 125, 1977 make - 1st series

The Honda ML 125 was launched at the Brazilian motorcycle market by the end of 1977.  In reality this was a Honda CG 125 with some "luxury" in its appearance, so the ML stands for Modelo Luxo (Model DeLuxe).  Over the two and a half years that I had it, I could notice that some details like the seat cushioning offered comfort during daily use, and during trips and rides as well.

On top of that my Honda ML 125 was very economical regarding fuel consumption, and the engine very silent with a "smooth" functioning.

Honda ML 125, 1977 make. My sister Flávia and my brother Bernardo at my parents home in Goiânia - GO, by 1978.
Honda ML 125, 1977 make.  My sister Flávia and my brother Bernardo at my parents home in Goiânia - GO, by 1978.


Honda ML 125, 1977 make. Photo taken at the proximities of Abadiânia - GO in July, 1978.
Honda ML 125, 1977 make. Photo taken at the proximities of Abadiânia - GO in July, 1978.


Me and my Honda ML 125 cc, in the city of Goiás - GO in July, 1978.
My third motorcycle in the seventies was a Honda ML 125, the first bike of this category (125cc) to have front disk brake in Brazil (despite being mechanical - by cable - and not hydraulic).  I bought this bike from Motobraz - a Honda dealer in Goiania - GO at the end of 1977; his owner  Nilson Limongi belongs to a family traditionally linked to motorcycling - not only by selling the bikes but by taking part in bike racing as well.
With this bike I used to travel regularly, not only doing the Goiania - Brasilia - Goiania traject but throughout Brazil extensively.

Me and my Honda ML 125 cc, in the city of Goiás - GO in July, 1978.

Here I am with my friend Itajara do Carmo Cunha: entrance to the Knorr Park (Canela - RS) in February 1980.
With this motorcycle I used to travel from Brasília - D.F. to Goiânia - GO, and return, at least twice a month.  And to other interesting locations around Goiânia - GO as well, like Caldas Novas - GO, City of Goiás - GO.  With this bike I rode approximately 24.000 km, from which around 18.000 km on road trips.  This was a very economical and reliable bike; with its wonderful OHC engine.  In many occasions I could achieve the mark of 42 km/litre on road trips, cruising effortlessly at the range of 100 - 110 km/hour.

Here I am with my friend Itajara do Carmo Cunha: entrance to the Knorr Park (Canela - RS) in February 1980.

The main trip I did with this bike was from Goiania - GO to Porto Alegre - RS covering a distance of approximately 5.500 km in the round trip.  This time my companion was my friend Itajara, who was doing his first big trip; we went down the seaside to the south of Brazil, until we reached Porto Alegre - RS.  From there we went to Gramado and Canela (both in the state of Rio Grande do Sul), in the Sierra Gaucha region, then we went through the hinterland of the states of Santa Catarina and Parana back to Curitiba.  Our "base camp" in Curitiba was at my uncle's Leo da Rocha Lima house.  I am specially thankful to my uncle and his wife Maria Luiza for the many times I went to their home, when doing my trips to the south of Brazil.  My friend Itajara do Carmo Cunha nowadays is a lawyer and lives in Rio Verde - GO. I repeated a very similar traject as the one here described with my wife Theresa in the eighties (1984).

Portico at the entrance of Gramado - RS. Itajara and his Yamaha RS 125, and my Honda ML 125.

Portico at the entrance of Gramado - RS. Itajara and his Yamaha RS 125, and my Honda ML 125.
Me, my Honda ML 125 and Itajara's Yamaha RS 125.
  Photo shoot session at the proximities of Marília  - SP.

Me, my Honda ML 125 and Itajara's Yamaha RS 125.

 

Rio Grande do Sul - Santa Catarina state's border.

 Two bikes, two friends, and one great trip.

Two bikes, two friends, and one great trip.
Arriving in Gramado - RS. Here we see the traditional flowers at the margins of the road. They are Gramado's trade mark.
Some motorcycle dealers deserve mentioning when referring to the seventies in Goiania - GO:  MOTOKA, belonging to the Limongi brothers, trading Honda and Suzuki, and Kawasaki; MIL (Mecanica Importadora Limitada) owned by Erwino Boettcher (Paulistinha) and Andrea Martelli (seu Andre), trading the major European brands and Yamaha.  By the end of the seventies there were a few more dealers in Goiania - GO: Motoka became Motobraz (Nilson Limongi) Honda dealer, MIL became Yamaha dealer only, and Cical Honda came to join Motobraz as a Honda dealer.  The growing number of motorcycle dealers kept growing accordingly to the city's steady growth.

Arriving in Gramado - RS. Here we see the traditional flowers at the margins of the road. They are Gramado's trade mark.

 

The final years of the seventies saw intense activity at the motorcycling world in Goias, and in Brazil as a whole.  Honda organized a very competitive Brazilian Championship of Formula Honda, that revealed many very talented racing drivers.

All Honda dealers in Goiania - GO that time participated of such championship.  The Honda dealer Edmar Ferreira, represented by Orlando Ferreira (Orlandinho),  Motobraz with Luzio Limongi and Cical Honda with Mauro Vieira e Tiaozinho.  Later on many others joined the teams.

Tiaozinho is leading here a Formula Honda (125cc) race at the Goiania International Autodrome. In second place is the bike number 31 ridden by Orlando Ferreira (Orlandinho).

Tiaozinho is leading here a Formula Honda (125cc) race at the Goiiania International Autodrome. In second place is the bike number 31 ridden by Orlando Ferreira (Orlandinho).

 

Mauro Vieira leaving the boxes area, Goiania International Autodrome.
At this time we followed closely the good work done by the Cical team, and by the racing drivers Tiaozinho and Mauro Vieira, both of them my friends. Mauro Vieira became state champion (two times) and regional champion (Mid West region) in 1980.   His prize for the regional competition win was a Honda ML 125 cc from the Honda factory in Manaus - AM. With this bike Mauro went to the south of Brazil in January 1982, with me and my Honda CB 400.

Mauro Vieira leaving the boxes area, Goiania International Autodrome.

 

Mauro was at the same time a racing driver and a mechanic for the team.  I was very close to all team members, as for me it was a pleasure to be involved in all activities prior to the competitions, and during the competitions as well.  I enjoyed a lot being participating, even if indirectly, of those memorable races.  My friend Mauro nowadays is a pilot, he flies regularly a private plane.  In my opinion he is one of the most talented mechanics I ever met, I would put him at the same level of Andrea Martelli (seu Andre).

Minutes before a start of the Fomula Honda in Goiania.

Minutes before a start of the Fomula Honda in Goiania.

 

Many facts imprinted a mark in the motorcycling history in Goias during the seventies: the races at  Goias Moto Club (motocross and speed races in dirt tracks), the inauguration of Goiania International Autodrome, the races of the Brazilian Motorcycling Championsip (motocross and speed) held at this autodrome, and the consolidation of Goiania as the Brazilian city with the biggest proportion of motorcycles to population, and to number of cars.

Resting at the seaside footpath in Camboriu - SC under the shade of a "amendoeira tree", at the center we see Yamaha RD 350. Look at my bike's luggage. Itajara is seated at his Yamaha RS 125.

Resting at the seaside footpath in Camboriu - SC under the shade of a "castanheira tree", at the center we see Yamaha RD 350. Look at my bike's luggage. Itajara is seated at his Yamaha RS 125.
State border: Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, dam of the Marimbondo Hydroelectric Plant, Rio Grande river. Here we are returning from our trip to the south of Brazil at the end of January 1980.
Itajara and his Yamaha RS 125 cc, my Honda ML 125 fully loaded. In this trip we covered a distance of nearly 6.000 km in approximately 30 days.  We didn't have any trouble at all with our bikes during this trip.  Three months after that I bought my Honda CB 400.

State border: Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, dam of the Marimbondo Hydroelectric Plant, Rio Grande river. Here we are returning from our trip to the south of Brazil at the end of January 1980.

 


The following photos were taken in Goiânia - GO at T-63 Avenue, during December, 2009.  They show a particularly beautiful (half original and half customized) Honda ML 125.  We thought as very appropriate to register this random sighting of such Brazilian motorcycle from Honda, due to the fact that very few people nowadays has the chance to come across  with a bike from the late 70s in such a pristine state.

Honda ML 125, right side view.
Honda ML 125, left side view.

Those two photos below show another customized Honda ML 125: dual front disk brakes, rear single disk brake (all of them hydraulic), chrome frame, custom muffler, alloy wheels, etc.

Customized Honda ML 125, front view.
Customized Honda ML 125, rear view.

Historic perspective: During the seventies and through the eighties, three racing drivers from Goias were on the top of the Brazilian Motorcycling Championship and of the Latin-American Motorcycling Championship.  They were:

II Motorcycling Meeting of the Federal District - Brasilia 15/04/1978, Churrascaria do Lago (restaurant specialized in serving barbecue). From left: Joao Batista (?), me, two motorcyclists of the PM (Federal District Military Police).

II Motorcycling Meeting of the Federal District - Brasilia 15/04/1978, Churrascaria do Lago (restaurant specialized in serving barbecue). From left: Joao Batista (?), me, two motorcyclists of the PM (Federal District Military Police).

I was commemorating my 30 Years of Motorcycling during the...

V Goiania SuperMoto Show