Mini Monkey: 1971 Honda ZA50 K2

Candy Sapphire Blue probably isn’t a color name that would have gone over well with too many rough-and-tumble Harley owners, but hey, this is a Honda, a motorcycle that the nicest people ride, remember? This little mini monkey 1971 Honda Z50A-K2 can be found here on eBay in Birmingham, Alabama, the current bid price is $900, but the reserve isn’t met.

I don’t know why I always think about new little motorcycle projects over the winter months when I have more than enough projects sitting here waiting to be either started or finished. Is that the definition of hoarding? I prefer the 1972 and above Honda Z50s with rear suspension, but collectors seem to like the 1968 to 1971 hardtail models, and it probably makes more financial sense to restore a hot vehicle rather than a lukewarm vehicle.

We’ve seen many Honda 50s here on Barn Finds, but we’ve also seen many Corvettes, Chevelles, Mustangs, F-150s, etc. I hope folks don’t mind seeing a few of the same type of vehicles every now and then. The Honda Z50 was offered in the U.S. from 1968 through 1978 as a second-generation Honda 50, and the company came out with a new version with a bigger engine in 2019.

Intended as a mini trail bike, this line of bikes had knobby tires, a nice, thick seat, and a raised exhaust, but it also has handlebars that can be loosened and folded down so this small-but-not-featherweight (118 pounds) bike can be lifted into the trunk of a car. Honda sold jillions of them and they’re more popular now than ever, at least among collectors who couldn’t afford one as a kid.

For the record, yes, grown adults can ride these things. I have bikes even smaller than this and even at 6′-5″ tall, I ride them often. I could care less what anyone else thinks about it, life is too short to worry about such things. This engine is Honda’s 49-cc OHC four-stroke single-cylinder, and the seller says that this one runs like a top. The inside of the gas tank has recently been cleaned and “coated” and the carb was rebuilt. Hagerty is at $3,300 for a #3 good condition example, how much would you pay for this one?


  1. Howard A Member

    Now that the dream has vanished,( wake up, doofus) along with it, that ’66 GP, this is probably more like it, and with CCs copyright infringement pending, I don’t think I need to milk “Crusty Ramblings” any longer. Pretty obvious how I feel.
    We’ve said just about all that can be said about these. For many, it was the 1st motorized contraption we got hurt on. For others, it nurtured a life long addiction to motorcycling. While I SAY my vehicle buying days are over, after almost 60 years, and not having one now, I truly miss a motorcycle.
    That was the deal with these, Honda knew, get these kids on a motorcycle PRONTO, it will pay off in the long run, and it did. Today? Geez, I just don’t know. When these came out, all your buddies had something, and plenty of vacant lots to play in, I just don’t see that kind of attraction now.
    I remember years ago, vendors on Daytona Beach would rent these. Now it’s all these “E” bikes. They were governed for about 20 mph, but with a strict 10 mph beach speed limit, the cops had a field day writing tickets. Cool find, except today the parents would insist on the kid being covered with bubble wrap.

    Like 11
  2. Boatman Member

    Is that seat supposed to stand up like that?

    Like 1
  3. Rw

    Seat had high or low position,as you grew you would raise the seat.

    Like 7
  4. cold340t

    Great for Hagerty…$3300.00. That buys a half dozen or more knock offs that are just as fun to ride. Sorry to be such a drew downer. But, learned to ride on one of these back in 1971. Great memories, just not used 125/250/450 money worth. Cool bike at current bid @$1k.

    Like 3
  5. Big C

    For $3k, you can get a real, used trail bike, with suspension, that won’t make you look like a Shriner in a 4th of July parade. Let’s face it. Childhood memories are great, and maybe you’d overspend on this thing for a grandkid. But, try as you might. You’ll never be 10 years old again. Just like your first high school crush, now has 4 kids, 6 grandchildren, and weighs 275lbs.

    Like 8
    • MTBorst

      Big C how did you know she is now 275 maybe 300# . Did me a favor when she left 40 years ago. But the bike is worth it. Anything new is made in China !

      Like 1
    • Jerry Flynn

      Well stated #lmao

  6. Jack Quantrill

    Caught riding one of these. Mean teenagers leaned out window and yelled: “ lard-ass, get a horse”!

    Like 2
  7. Howie

    $1,627 now with reserve still not met, i had a 50 but always wanted a 70.

    Like 3
  8. MTBorst

    Big C how did you know she is now 275 maybe 300# . Did me a favor when she left 40 years ago. But the bike is worth it. Anything new is made in China !

  9. JC

    Got one of these for Christmas when I was 10yrs old. I think it cost $499 brand new. Rode it for about 3yrs and graduated to a CL100 my dad bought off a co worker for $300. Never looked back. Last bike I bought was a ’93 750 Nighthawk which I sold after a few years. Got the itch again years later and bought an IDENTICAL Nighthawk like the one I had in 2008 and rode it about a year. The traffic and idiot drivers were enough to put that dream to rest.

    Like 4
  10. angliagt angliagt Member

    I rode one of the that a neighborhood kid bought new,
    then rode on about 13 years later.On the last ride I came to
    the conclusion that I wasn’t 14 any more,& it really wasn’t any
    fun to ride it.
    Unlike those FOGS (Fat Old Guys) trying to relive their
    youth,while over paying for these,I realize that they’re cool to
    look at,but have no desire to own one.

    Like 1
  11. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $1,777!

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