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.
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.
this motorcycle I
used to travel from Brasília - D.F. to Goiânia -
return, at least twice a month. And to other interesting
locations around Goiânia - GO as well, like Caldas Novas -
City of Goiás - GO. With this bike I rode
24.000 km, from which around 18.000 km on road trips. This
very economical and reliable bike; with its wonderful OHC engine.
In many occasions I could achieve the mark of 42 km/litre on
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.
Photo shoot session at the proximities of Marília
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.
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).
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.
|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
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.
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.
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.
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).
I was commemorating my 30 Years of Motorcycling during the...