A full photo gallery for this custom Cagiva Mito is available here for your perusal.

This is quite a machine, so we’ll let the seller describe the story in his own words: “Some time in 2006 I was doing a canyon ride and came upon a motorcycle that I had never seen. It was a Cagiva Mito. I talked to the owner, Mike Kelly, who had imported four 125cc water-cooled 2-stroke Cagiva Mitos – he sold three of them and managed to get one registered with the DMV. It was red in color and looked great. I decided that I wanted one.

In 2007, my wife and I flew to Germany for our annual September-October stay. I found some Mitos online and located a used one at a bike shop in Stuttgart. The bike had already been sold. They had an interesting inventory including a new Mito, the first Limited Edition model that I had ever seen. Almost all Mitos were red with a few of a different color. I knew I had to have this bike. I bought it and asked the salesman if they would buy back the engine, gearbox, and exhaust system. These 125’s had a short engine life and the dealer was happy to buy the new powerplant. Of course, this reduced the price for me. They then loaned me their van so I was able to get the Mito to a shipper who packed it in a crate and freighted it to LAX. Because it had no engine, it was imported as “motorcycle parts” and the import duty was very low.

The 320mm front Brembo brake, wide 150mm 17-inch rear wheel, 40mm Marzocchi forks, and strong beam frame told me that the Mito could handle more horsepower. I chose to buy a brand new Honda CRF450X engine.

I had to place the engine forward and tilted forward to put more weight on the front wheel. This involved making engine plates front and rear. Many other parts had to be fabricated and the fairing had to be modified to make room for the water pump, clutch cover, and the engine on the left side.

All in all, it took 14 months to complete. This bike weighs 280 pounds. The handling is superb. I believe that this bike is the only Mito with a 4 stroke Honda motor in existence. Mark Cernicky tested it in Cycle World and liked it a lot.

There are two wiring harnesses with the on/off switch and the 4 stroke harness hooked up with the Radio Shack on/off switch near the tank on the left side. The rev counter is not original as the Honda engine did not have one so I replaced the rev counter with one compatible with the 4 stroke engine. I also have a Ducati tach. They will be included in the purchase.”

This Mito (VIN: ZCGN300AB7VO16685) was titled in California as a Specially Constructed Vehicle and the odometer shows 5,460 kilometers (3,412 miles). When derestricted, the original 2-stroke motor was good for approximately 30 horsepower. The Honda motor makes just shy of 50, and that’s in a bike that weighs less than 285 pounds. As Cernicky put in his Cycle World story, “catching cars in canyon corners, you don’t feel like you have to burn gas and haul ass past—you just don’t brake.

The Mito with its original owner and builder, John Zanier.

In a quick blurb on Motorcycle.com, the owner notes that it comfortably cruises at 70 mph on the freeway and that he’s seen upwards of 115 miles per hour on the straights of Willow Springs. In 2012, this bike won 1st place at the “Best Cafe Racer/Street Tracker” category at the Corsa MotoClassica Bike Show.

But we go back to the Cycle World story for the best way to summarize this one-of-a-kind machine: “It’s a dream ride, really, for anybody from a 16-year-old kid to a 76-year-old, 145-pound pianist.” John really impressed us when he came by to list this machine – not just with his mechanical aptitude, but the fact that he’s still riding of all his machines at the age of 85! He’s a role model on many levels.