Dirt, it’s how Americans race. That was the story in 1961 anyway, when Daytona still referred to a beach. Honda wanted to crack the American market, and that meant building dirt bikes; they’d dominated global GP racing, but were mostly absent on the rough stuff. The machine they developed to spearhead an off-road push was the CL 72 Scrambler, which used the sophisticated OHC twin-cylinder motor of the CB 72 Hawk, installed in a new full-cradle frame with a bash plate and high ground clearance, high-level exhausts, minimal fenders, and a small fuel tank. To modern eyes, the Honda CL 72 Scrambler looks more enduro or street scrambler, as it was fully road legal with lights and all, but pure motocross machines were rare in 1962—most scramblers were roadsters with their lights removed.

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