Live Auctions

Late Christmas Present: 1986 Honda Z50RD

While many men are loath to admit it, we all have an inner child that is begging to get out. That probably explains why I have no children, but I do have a large collection of Disney Pixar movies. That is also why a part of me really wants this 1986 Honda Z50RD. These were released as a Christmas special in limited numbers, and they are now one of the most highly-sought small motorcycles in the market. It isn’t unusual to see them sell for five-figure sums, making them one of the most valuable collectible vehicles on the planet if you consider them purely on a dollars-per-pound basis. This one has not reached those sort of stratospheric numbers, but it is being offered for sale here on eBay in a No Reserve auction. Located in Springfield, Missouri, solid bidding has pushed the price to $5,100.

The “D” in this little classic’s model designation stands for “dealer.” Honda’s most successful dealerships in the US received two of these little classics to sell as a reward for their success. The result was that somewhere around 3,000 of these little beasts found their way out of the factory and onto the showroom floors. This one isn’t pristine, and it looks like someone might have gotten at least a little bit of use out of it. There is some minor corrosion appearing on some of the frame welds, but there is nothing severe. Some of the chrome also shows swirls that can develop after a lot of polishing, so it might require an expert touch to address this. The tank is original, but it does sport a couple of minor dents. It would be interesting to approach one of those paintless dent removal companies. They may be capable of fixing this without damaging the chrome. The seat and grips have been replaced, but the originals are included in the sale. Also new are the front and rear fenders, the tires, and the fork dust covers. All of these parts are OEM, which helps to protect this classic’s originality.

Given the target market for the Z50RD, this is not a motorcycle that is loaded with power. What we find is Honda’s bulletproof 49cc single-cylinder engine with a 3-speed transmission and an automatic clutch. The original Z50 was designed to give young people their first taste of the motorcycle world, and I think it would be safe to assume that millions of children across the planet have cut their teeth on those little beauties. This one is mechanically original, and it is in good health. The owner says that the motor starts first kick, it doesn’t blow any smoke, and the transmission shifts smoothly.

To gain an insight into how desirable the Z50RD has become, it is worth rewinding the clock to January of 2019. A pair of these, still in their crate (they were shipped as a pair), sold at auction for an eye-watering $51,000. Spotless examples regularly sell for over $10,000, but I don’t think this one will go that high. The owner admits that it is 34-years old and that it isn’t in mint condition. However, it is still worth a look, because values have been climbing. It might not be perfect, but if it can be secured at the right price, then it has the potential to be a decent investment. I would love to buy it myself, but I know that I would be tempted to throw my leg over it and go for a ride if I did. That’s a sure-fire recipe for transforming my inner child into an inner idiot, and none of us want to see that!


  1. Fred W

    That 51K for the two in the crate is a head scratcher. The supposed value drops dramatically if you even open the crate to check it out, and riding it is out of the question.

    Like 2

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