Christmas Special: 1986 Honda Z50RD

I wrote about a similar 1986 Honda Z50RD “Christmas Special” motorcycle exactly a year ago, or within a day. That’s quite a coincidence, but maybe they come out of the woodwork in mid/late-December given their festive name. The seller has this little gem listed here on eBay in one of the least cold and snowy places in the country: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The current bid is $6,600 and there’s only a day left on the auction.

The photos are mostly verticals here which is unusual given that unless a vehicle is a rocket, they’re typically horizontal. Maybe those things will all change in 2021… (crickets) (train whistle in the distance) (heels on a marble floor)… Ok, we all know that they won’t but at least you can see the details of this shiny little bike.

Certain high-volume Honda dealerships received a pair of these chrome-laden monkey bikes in 1986 and that’s why they’re so rare and valuable. It often comes up in the comments as to why they’re more expensive than a regular Honda 50. They’re typically passed around between collectors like a Fabergé egg rather than actually ridden on trails or in the mud.

The D in Z50RD = Dealer, which relates back to each of Honda’s top dealerships receiving two of these bikes. They fairly consistendly sell for more than a similar non-Christmas-Special Z50R would sell for and they often sell for as much as $10,000 or sometimes more. About two years ago, Mecum Auctions sold two still in the crate for more than $50,000. That’s a lot of dough for a pair of these tiny things.

I can’t imagine taking this bike or any other “chrome special” / Christmas Special Honda 50 out into the wild, but I would love to have one for the hoard. I mean, the collection. The clean little engine is Honda’s 49cc and as usual, they’ll top out at around 30 mph. What are your thoughts on special editions? Would you squirrel them away or would you use them?

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Comments

  1. Chevy Guy

    Is this the same as this one posted in February??
    https://barnfinds.com/christmas-special-1986-honda-z50rd-2/

    All in all, this things pretty cool

  2. Howie Mueler

    I had a 50 when i was a kid. If i had this i would sell it and get something that i could use.

    Like 1
  3. Johnmloghry Johnloghry Member

    No way would I pay $6,000.00 for this thing, but it is quite cool.
    God bless America

  4. RL

    Ok here is the real truth about these bikes. I walked in Grand Prix Cycle Sales in Atl. in 1986 to visit with a friend of mine whom was in sales and saw these and said to Richard I’ll take one. The painted version was $500 the chrome was $800. The chrome version was the 25th anniversary model of the Honda Corporation coming to the USA in 1961. These bikes sat on the dealer showroom floors because folks didn’t want to pay the extra $300 so little Johnny could go straight through the dirt and mud with the shiny chrome bikes. As the bikes sat there month after month and it was getting close to end of the year and Christmas as well the dealers wanted to move the inventory. So they were advertised as a “Christmas Special” and the name stuck and the real 25th anniversary Special was lost with time. I kept mine from 1986 to 2006 and sold it for $2800 to a collector. I never rode or let the tires go flat. It was always kept inside my house and rolled out on the back deck and cranked 2 or 3 times a year. That’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  5. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Honda sold for $6,700.

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