1980 Mugen ME125 W1
Back in 1980 I was 9 years old and right into my motocross as the proud owner of a Yamaha YZ50G.
There were a few newsagents that stocked American motocross magazines like Dirt Bike and Motocross Action and i’ll never forget seeing a story about this incredibly futuristic water cooled bike with a red engine, white plastics and a blue seat.
The bike was a Mugen ME125 W1 ridden by a kid called Johnny O’Mara otherwise known as the “O’Show”. The bike looked like something out of the future and the press were gushing over the giant killing performance of O’Mara in the US Grand Prix.
O’Mara was pretty much unknown when he lined up on the grid for the 125cc event on his exotic hand built Honda based Mugen. However by the end of the weekend everyone knew his name as he blasted to victory, stunning the established Grand Prix and Professional US riders.
O’Mara went on to a Honda factory ride in 1981 and never looked back, winning the 1983 AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship, the 1984 AMA Supercross Championship and racing as a member of four U.S. Motocross des Nations winning teams.
Over at mxworksbike.com there is a great story about the Mugen ME125 and how one determined guy managed to find out that Mugen were going to sell these bikes directly to the public for $4000. After placing a $1000 deposit, which was more than a new 125cc bike of the time and waiting six months he finally got his hands on one of the sports most famous bikes.