Early Silver Tag 1970 Honda Z50A Mini Trail

1970 isn’t that old for a vehicle on a classic vehicle website, is it? Maybe now it is with enthusiasts and collectors being younger than ever before and some of the older folks getting out of the hobby. But, for those of us who were already around when this 1970 Honda Z50A was made five decades ago, it doesn’t seem that long ago. The seller has this early Mini Trail listed here on eBay in Reno, Nevada: The Biggest Little City in the World. The current bid price is $3,500 and there is no reserve.

My brother and I started out on a used Yamaha YL-1 Twin Jet, a 100 twin street bike that our dad got for us to learn how to ride. I think it may have been easier to learn on a tiny monkey bike like this 1970 Mini Trail, but it is what it is, as they say.

In 1970, Honda’s CB750 was just a wee bit more finished off than their Z50Z Mini Trail bikes were. You can see an exposed battery in the photo above and being a pre-1972 Z50A, this is a hard-tail, as in not having rear shocks. There are chips in the paint here and there and other small cosmetic issues, but it’s all original.

Being an early model, this is what’s known as a silver tag bike, as in it has a silver tag with the bike’s identification numbers on it. The seller says that it’s one of two identical Honda 50s that he bought from their original owner’s son. The parents bought them brand new on a camping trip in Idaho and kept them in the family until recently. The handlebars are meant to be loosened and folded down so the bike can be carried in a vehicle’s trunk.

The engine is Honda’s 49 CC four-stroke single-cylinder, an engine that I know well. Or, fairly well. I haven’t rebuilt one but I have a few different Hondas with basically this same engine and they’re great. This one runs and rides beautifully according to the seller. Let’s hear those Honda 50 stories!

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, if you are any taller than Mickey Rooney, which I happen to know, the author is, these are just too small. For a kid however, it didn’t get any cooler than this. For a paltry couple hundred bucks, a parent could be a hero. It was a real bike, with a trusted name, not that old snowblower contraption the neighbor kid had. Most learned early on how to “jimmy” the throttle stop, and led to a lifelong interest in motorcycling. Did you know ( in my best Cliff Klaven voice) while looking up these, apparently John Lennon had one that just fetched a record amount at auction, almost $80,000 bucks.
    https://www.gcada.net/2018/02/27/john-lennons-honda-monkey-to-be-auctioned/

    Like 5
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Crazy prices on these.I rode one when they were new –
    a neighbor kid had it.
    While we were camping,about 9 years later,I got a chance
    to ride one again.Very uncomfortable the second time around.
    I’d have more interest in a Suzuki TS50,which was a mini –
    motorcycle that you could actually ride comfortably.

    Like 2
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I always liked these bikes although I never had a chance to ride one. My late friend has one hanging from the rafters in his shed. If you wash the dust off it I’m sure it would shine like this one. His bike never left the farm and was used for transportation to and from the field. Well, the trouble with that was when you went from the farmstead to the field and back again you were limited in what you could carry (like the cutter bar off the combine). So my friend bought a 3-wheeled Honda, which also ended up tied to the rafters. It was back to the ’66 Ford pickup…

    Like 4
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Is the Ford tied to the rafters too?

      Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Oh, someone is sharp today. LOL! No, his S-I-L took the truck, and actually, the trike too…

        Like 3
  4. Doug from MD.

    These bikes were reliable but extremely slow. Had a Rupp mini bike run circles around one of these. More comfortable too. Like to see all the mini bikes of the same era up for sale. These are now over priced and highly overrated. Funny how nostalgia has become so over priced and rated. Rather have a SL 70 than this slug.

    Like 3
  5. DAN OLDER

    A few years ago I sold my collection of these bikes and NOS parts, I had 52 of them and they were all 69 or 70 silver tags as you call them. Sold them and the mountain of parts to one guy. The bike to look for in these z50’s is the 1968 Z50KO Slant Guard, omly the first few hundred were built with the exhaust guard slanted, I only ever owned one.

    Like 2
  6. DarrylB

    This is exactly like the one I rode around my grandparents’ farm on when I was a kid. I still remember the burn I got on my leg from the exhaust pipe.

    Like 2
  7. Patrick Knight Member

    My introduction to the Honda mini was around 1978 when I worked at Bluegrass dragstrip in Lexington Kentucky. The owner would bring his sons Honda to the track every Sunday and my job working the starting line would also require a trip or two down the track to readjust the light beam sensors as the cars would blow them around at speed. I fell in love with a little Honda at that point, have had two of them still have my 1986 model that I bought new.
    Patrick

    Like 1
  8. rod

    Got a blue one new in 69 for good grades. Thanks Dad. Rode the crap out of it and crashed it several times. Dad and I made an attempt to straighten the forks after a big crash. We were somewhat successful but never had a true front wheel after that. Just restored a red one last winter and made it blue for old times sake. Lots of new parts which are still quite cheap and easy to find. Funny how much bigger you got from junior high school. Riding it now is almost impossible for a 6′ 5″ grown man.

    Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Hey, rod – I’m 6′-5″ tall and I ride my Motocompo all the time and the seat is 7″ lower than on a Honda 50! Yeah, it’s not super comfortable and it looks goofy, but I’m all about looking goofy…

      Like 1
      • angliagt angliagt Member

        So can I use you as a character reference?

  9. Mike

    We had two of these, a yellow and a red one that my brother and sister rode and my Dad and I both had red Trail 90’s. So much fun and so many family trips with these. Great memories!!🤓

    Like 1
  10. Roy L

    This was the pick of the litter. The rest of the cars were junks and not even worth looking at.

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