Motorcycle El Chapo used to escape prison – Video
Drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, better known by his street name, El Chapo, stands only five-feet, five-inches tall. This defining trait – his nickname, not coincidentally, can be translated as “Shorty” in Spanish language – is an important detail in his escape plan, as the tunnel that stretched a mile under the prison that led the drug kingpin to safety measures just one inch taller than Guzmán’s 5 foot 5 inch height. Clearly, this was a well-planned and done perfectly done escape.
The tunnel that was custom-made to perfectly fit El Chapo started at an deserted building in the middle of an empty field and ended in a tight shaft that led to the shower stall in El Chapo’s jail cell. In between those start- and finish-points was an impressively dug-out hole in the Earth, complete with ventilation shafts, wiring for electricity and lights, and rails on the bottom to serve as tracks for a custom-built motorcycle that El Chapo apparently rode to freedom.
There are specific traits that could be useful in figuring out what kind of motorcycle we’re looking at.
All of these facts are well-known to anyone who’s been following the story of how the most notorious criminal in Mexico could escape from a maximum-security prison in broad daylight. Especially considering that this event marks the second time since 2001 that Guzmán has arranged his own prison break. There’s one detail, though, that has caught our attention.
A close look at the images released by Mexican authorities shows us a motorcycle that’s been heavily modified specifically to work underground. We can’t be certain, based on the grainy shots and limited viewing angles of the pictures we have access to, but there are some specific traits that could be useful in figuring out what kind of motorcycle we’re looking at.
For starters, there’s the engine. It’s a single-cylinder, air-cooled powerplant, canted slightly forward. The exhaust exits on the right side of the bike, when looking from above, and there’s a short chain guard on the opposite side. Granted, that doesn’t narrow it down all that much. A look at the shape of the fins on the cylinder and the shape of the head, though, makes us think this may be one of Honda’s ubiquitous CG-series of engines.
A quick look at the bike’s frame shows a single downtube, dual shocks and a steel-tube swingarm. That means it’s probably not of particularly recent vintage, but we can’t really pinpoint exactly what model it may be. At the front, the forks have been removed in favor of metalwork that allows the bike to ride on rails, but the rear clearly shows a mag-style wheel in lieu of spokes.
After gazing at the images, and comparing what we see with countless Google Image searches, our best guess is that El Chapo’s most famous motorcycle ride was aboard a Honda CG 125 or another similar variant to the SDH 125 that’s currently available in Mexico. Take a look at the images we’ve included and see for yourself.