Bike of the Month - April 2010
1979 Mugen ME125
Nobby Toledo
Sandy, OR





Here is the history of my Johnny O' replica bike.


I bumped into an old friend of mine at our local Honda dealership. We started talking and he told me he had built a couple of CZ's and had started racing again. He ask me what I was up to and I told I was looking for a '79 CR125R to build into a Johnny O' replica. He said he had a '79 CR125R he had bought new and had been sitting in his cabnet shop for years.


The bike had no time on it and all original. I asked him if he would sell it and he said no way. After he left I told the parts guys that I would end up owning that bike. They said it doesn't sound like you will. Like all of my builds I wanted a low hour bike not some clapped out flexed out used up thing. I know lots of guys that have done that and they look nice and have done a nice job and I understand we can't all find low hour bikes, but to me it's like putting lipstick on a pig.


It was less than a year and the bike was sitting in my shop. I wanted to build this bike in honor of Johnny O'Mara's 30 year anniversary of the first Mugen ride he had. I actually built this bike a couple of years ago. I started from the ground up. bearings not that it needed them, brake shoes, 8 gage stainless spokes and nipples, new wheels, powerdercoated hubs, new Dunlops, tubes, rim locks, nos airfilter, cables, new plastic, seat cover, hand made chain guide and buffer, brake pedal is a Mugen pedal.


The frame was powerdercoated and I painted the tank and fork legs. The motor I completely went through with new bearings (again not that it needed them), OEM gaskets and seals. The gears looked like it had never been shifted, and NOS cluctch plates. I found the barrel in the U.K. and the head in Holland.


The barrel has new Nikasil, new piston and rings, stock carb, NOS Mugen pipe thatís been ceramic coated and I built the aluminum silencer. When I originally built this bike I put a really nice arm on it that I was told was a Mugen arm but I think the guy was blowing smoke, never the less a nice arm. I ended up with the arm thatís on the bike now about three months ago and I think it speaks for itself.


I know they used different shock combo's on Johnny's bike back in the day works Showa's, remote Ohlins, and piggyback Ohlins. I used the piggyback Ohlins that are new and period correct instead of the Showa's that I couldn't find and the remote Ohlins for mounting reasons. This bike has never had gas or oil in it just assembly lube. I have always liked Mugen bikes and Johnny O' I guess that's why I have built 6 of them, all aircooled 125's, three 79's and three 76's, and I have an '80 bike but haven't had any luck finding an '80 kit.


Johnny O' is going to autograph this bike in a couple of days, which I think is pretty cool. I hope you all enjoy the bike and if you have any questions you can contact me at


Thank you,