Mini Monkey: 1970 Honda Z50A K2 Mini-Trail

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This l’il monkey is a 1970 Honda Z50A K2 Mini-Trail and it’s in Chesapeake, Virginia. It’s listed on eBay with two days left on the auction and a current bid price of just over $500 and there is no reserve, a heck of a deal!

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The 1970 and 1971 Honda Z50A K2 was known as the “long tail”, as opposed to the earlier 1969 and 1970 K50A K1, the “short tail”. They’re fairly easy to tell apart as the earlier K1 had silver on the top of the gas tank and the K2 had white on the bottom of the gas tank, like the one for sale here does. They both had lighting which was added starting with the K1 series, but they still weren’t really street legal in the US. Speaking of lights, as you can see, you’ll have to source a headlight and a tail light, but there are all kinds of parts on eBay and elsewhere for these little bikes.

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Starting in 1972, Honda had to add a rear suspension due to problems with the frame cracking! That’s never good. I’m guessing it was the result of adults riding these things but there could have been a variety of reasons why it was happening. The “soft tail” Z50A was made until 1978. This Candy Sapphire Blue monkey-bike is a barn find and will need restoration, as you can tell from looking at the photos. These little things can sell for upwards of $5,000 for a nicely-restored one so if this one doesn’t go up too much in price it’ll be worth taking a look at.

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Here’s Honda’s famous 49 CC engine, and before it’s mentioned by someone, no, these weren’t meant for commuting or for freeway riding, of course. They were meant for kids (or, adults who acted like kids, like me!) to use on trails and off-road. This one kicks over but the seller hasn’t tried to start it as it’s been sitting for three decades. This would be a fun winter restoration project and if I didn’t already have a minibike restoration project going I’d nab this one up. Even at 6′-5″ tall I love riding these tiny things, I don’t care if I look like a buffoon or not! Come to think of it, I look like one even when I’m not riding a minibike. Have any of you owned one of these? For a lot of kids, a Honda Z50A was at the top of their wish list.

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Comments

  1. David G

    Thanks for the fond memories, BF to the charge!
    When i was 12 in 1971, a neighbor sold me one of these for $50 because it stopped running for him. Turned out that the locknut and Intake valve adjustment screw had loosened and backed out, disallowing any fuel intake, duh! Quick fix on that one…

    That Mini-Trail was yellow/white instead of blue/white. Will never forget scaring the crap out of myself tooling around at about 25mph in that thing thru a dormant cornfield one day (top speed was only like 30-ish), when a cornstalk segment jumped up between the stationary and shifter pedals down there and popped it up into second gear, ‘whinggggggg’ the rpms soared. That too was a quick fix!

    These things were really fun, damn-near bulletproof, and easy to keep running – even for a budding-mechanic 12 year old…

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  2. Myron

    Oh had one of these when I was younger also. Mine was red and white, but unfortunately came with some assembly required. When I paid $10 for mine as it came in boxes. The guy I baught it from wanted to paint it a different color and never finished. He never even painted it. I guess this would have been my first barn/garage find.

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  3. JCW Jr. Member

    Was at an auction last Saturday. They sold a 72 Honda trail 90. Not running mostly all there went for 450. All the small under 100cc Hondas from the 70’s are nice bikes. My problem is so many vehicles, such little money.

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  4. JoeR

    Man, I sold one of these, a ’74 with swingarm, a CT70, and a Harley 50cc (in pieces) all for $35 back in 1991. My parents were moving and I had no where to store them. They were all beat, but running. Those Honda engines were damn near indestructable…i tried.

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  5. Steve

    Before i was born My older brothers had one of these back in the late 60’s. He said he bought it used for $40. They ran it so much that they wore the engine out. We lived in the country My dad said they got on it when they got home from school and didnt stop til it was dark. (It was ine without lights). They ran it all saturday and half a day sunday after church. No compression and it quit running. Luckily we had a cousin who was a bike mechanic and he rebuilt it. My brothers said it had more power than when they first got it! My oldest brother now has another one he found. Its all original 1967. Still had the original tires (rotten so he replaced) and plastic hand brake levers (no foot pedal). He got it for $100 at a garage sale. His girls learned how to ride on it. Im looking for one for my five year old to learn on. I never had ine for some reason. My first bike was a 1973 yamaha yz80 that was a hand me down from my brothers. I was so mistreated. LOL

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  6. Howard A Member

    Cool find. I’ll tell why the frames cracked, We KILLED these things( or tried to) I had a step thru Honda 50, the we couldn’t kill. I don’t think it had enough carburetion to blow up, kind of a governor, of sorts. Scotty forgot to mention( I think) the handlebars folded down and you could put these in the trunk of a car. Many were used as “pit bikes” or rentals on Daytona Beach, but many a kid got their 1st taste of motorcycling with these, and took many a lump, but ’twas all in good fun.

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  7. angliagt

    The flagger’s back (again).Can we get rid of them (flaggers)?

    I rode on of these when they were new,& then rode one again,
    in 1981.Sure seemed a lot smaller the second time around.
    I think a lot of these end up being office decorations for those
    who missed out the first time around,& have too much money to blow
    on things that they can’t fit any more.
    These were called Honda Monkeys in Japan.

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  8. Tom Driscoll

    I like it! I want it!

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  9. stillrunners

    Have a few….funny – my dad bought the oldest child – my sister one in 1969….she didn’t ride it much….but my bro and I sure did……..

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  10. David J

    Awesome listing!

    I fondly remember a neighborhood kid with one of these gems. He was revered for owning, and sharing, his Honda with the rest of his neighborhood buddies. We learned how to turn wrenches and dreamed of bigger, better machines.

    With my paper-route money, I bought a Bonanza mini-bike, but it was never as cool. It had a Tecumseh lawnmower engine, with direct drive. That dang thing never ran properly, but the Honda did.

    It’s super cool to see that the mini-trails have good value. They are truly an iconic piece of American history.

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  11. boxdin

    I’m old and I have a CT70. The fun never stops !

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  12. GRAY WOLF

    Hell, fold up the handlebars and put it in the ’60 Chevy in the background! What a package!!

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  13. marlon smith

    The happiest days of my life were spent on my Mini Trail 50

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  14. erikj

    Ive had a lot of 90-50s, I used to collect them. 1ST one was a qa 50 gold and white that I got from a friend down the street for 50.00. He got I trouble with riding it the streets so parents said get rid of it! Mom didn’t know, but I got it with my paper rought money and hid it. It led to my first -skipping school cas I wanted to play with it and nobody home at that time of the day. One night a buddy and me went for a ride on the side streets of seattle and we turned a corner-boom, cop car. we pulled over and sat scared as heck while the cops somehow got my mom on the phone to tell her what we did. she got a newborn to bring her to us. Last of the Honda was one cop asked what to do with it. Mom was so mad all she said was keep it, don’t want to ever see it again-so that was it,my baby ,gone. So I got a 1970 in pieces and a 92 110 that’s perfect. God so many memiores-love them. could write a book if I wanted,I cunt myself very lucky to have lived as a teen then.

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  15. Scotty Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this l’il Honda sold for $762!

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  16. Richard Rivera

    My first bike all those years ago..

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