Rare Christmas Special: 1986 Honda Z50RDG

It has been said that all that glitters is not gold, and that is certainly true with this little Honda Z50RD. In this case, all that glitters is chrome and plenty of it! Released as a limited edition of the popular Monkey Bike,  top-performing Honda dealers were each allotted two of these little bikes, and they have become a desirable classic amongst collectors. If you are an enthusiast, then this is your chance to secure a very nice example. Located in Ararat, North Carolina, you will find the Honda listed for sale here on eBay. The popularity of these as a collectible can best be gauged by the spirited bidding on this one. Since being listed, there have been a total of 48 bids submitted, and this has pushed the price along to $7,100. At that price, the reserve has now been met. In addition, there are also 143 people who are currently watching the listing.

Referred to as either the Christmas Special or the Chrome Edition, it is pretty easy to see how the Honda managed to attract the latter tag. Everywhere that you look you are confronted by a sea of chrome. Even the bike’s frame has received the treatment, resulting in a very distinctive looking little classic. This one remains largely original, although the owner noted that there had been some minor deterioration over the years since the bike was produced. As a result of this deterioration, the Honda has recently been fitted with a NOS fuel tank, along with a set of NOS tires and tubes. Otherwise, the bike remains original, with the original seat appearing to be in as-new condition.

The Z50RD utilized the standard 49cc Honda engine, and this one is believed to have accumulated less than 25 miles since new. It has recently been treated to an oil change, along with a fresh spark plug and air filter. The owner says that it starts easily from cold and that it runs nicely. The appearance of the engine seems to be the only area that shows any visual deterioration, with the alloy showing some oxidization. However, I believe that a bit of work with a quality polish would have that engine sparkling like the rest of the bike.

Every vehicle has the ability to develop its own cult following, and the Honda Z50RD is no exception. Approximately 3,000 of these little classics were produced, and it isn’t clear just how many of them survive today. Given the user group that it was aimed at, it is probably safe to assume that many of these have been scratched and scraped quite significantly as the young ones worked to develop their riding skills. When they come onto the market, good examples can fetch some incredible prices. The record stands at $42,500 for a pair that were found still in the crate. Otherwise, prices of between $6,000 and $9,500 are pretty normal, depending on condition. That makes it one of the most valuable classics for sale today if you consider it on a dollar-per-pound basis. If you bought it, would the kids be allowed to use it, or would it become a garage ornament?


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  1. KSwheatfarmer

    Had a early Z-50-A,no lights,toggle switch ignition,welded fuel filler neck on gas tank,I loved that thing,would like to have another one.

  2. Oregon_Guy78

    What is “NOS”? Trying to learn the lingo

    Like 1
    • Bmac Bmac Member

      New old stock

      Like 1
    • Dave

      All depends on the usage. NOS is a trademark for a company that supplies everything you need to boost your horsepower with nitrous oxide.
      It’s also the name of an energy drink commonly sold at gas stations everywhere.

      Like 2
      • Nate

        But in this case it means New Old Stock.

        Like 4
    • STEVEN

      new old stock parts

  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    NOS stands for New Old Stock Oregon_Guy78. Mostly a part that was made about the same time as the vehicle. In this case the tires and tubes. I would not trust those old tires for driving, maybe parked in your garage they would look good. Do not hesitate to ask a question here, pretty good people here. Take care, Mike.

    Like 6
  4. DayDreamBeliever Member


    For something which was designed to be ridden to be enjoyed. But you can’t ride this one because it only has 25 miles. Forget that. Give me one which can be used for a pit bike, because… race car. Not for me. But then, most of the garage/display/trailer queens aren’t my speed at all. I want to drive or ride machines which were made to be used that way.

    Like 2
  5. ccrvtt

    I know a guy who has 30-40 of these (standard models, not the Christmas one) stashed in his shop in varying states. I can’t believe the crazy money they are getting for what amounts to little more than a basket case. It must be pure nostalgia, toys from youth, that drives this market.

    I agree with DDB above that the best use was to ride the daylights out of them and then leave them in the yard to rust. Those kids who abused them now are in their 40s & 50s and want them back.

    This one is really a museum piece. Would still be priceless to see some kid’s face on Christmas morning if he or she found this under the tree.

    Like 2
    • Dave

      Not sure if it’s still there, but Kennywood’s Kiddieland had a ride that used these in a merry-go-round.

      Like 2
      • Cattoo

        There used to be an amusement park in Portland Oregon some time ago memory serving correct and I’m sure some traveling carnivals used some until they were worn husks of their former selves.

  6. Howard A. Member

    Plain silliness ( oh, oh, Howard is back) Come on, no kid is going to see this, more like an ornament for someones wall, right next to that Mona Lisa painting they couldn’t pass up. I suppose we can put this in the same category as 1st gen Broncos and VW buses. They weren’t that hot new, but due to s&d, suddenly the most mundane of vintage vehicles is worth $10g’s. I’ve been on the lookout for a vintage motorcycle, mostly because anything with 4 wheels is out in the ozone, and now motorcycles too? You should see the junk people want big money for, just because it’s a ’69 something. This tears it to a new level. Ok, I’ve never seen a chrome one, but it’s a Z50, not a Z1.

    Like 4
    • Dave

      If vintage Japanese electronics ever takes off, I have the market on CB radios cornered!😁

      Like 5
  7. Troy s

    Things are so great nowadays some people are willing to spend a small fortune to go back in time. Nearly eight grand for a kiddie trail bike, that’s incredible!

    Like 1
  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    My brother (victim of Vietnam) got a standard one, looked just like this without all the chrome, that was back in 63, he rode that thing like it was a hog all over Shasta county. Cool little bike that got about 150 mpg. and topped out at about 55 mph.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  9. Kevin

    I had a 72 QA 50 new my first bike at 8. 47 years later I’m on a Indian Cheiftain. Still going strong.

    Like 4
  10. Troy s

    My first bike was a used Yamaha mini Enduro, that was in ’74 at the age of eight. Even at that age I was aware of all the hot bikes at the time, for my age it was the Honda XR 75 that was all the rage, and the Honda MR50 which really was a neat little bike. Those can go for big bucks nowadays, restored of course, or even with the period correct mods everyone was doing back then. I hardly remember these little mini bikes at all, guess I missed out?!..

    Like 1
  11. Cattoo

    I know someone who has one in each color and a couple were very low mileage. I think one was once owned by Foose or some other car builder wheel designer type.

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