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Mini Monkey Project: 1970 Honda Z50 Mini Trail

It’s hard to believe, but the original Monkey bike is well over 60 years old and still going strong, with Honda producing a variation of it in 2022, and similar in design to the one we see here today. This 1970 Honda Z50 Mini Trail has all of the right ingredients for a straightforward restoration, and with so many in production, spare parts will be easy to come by. Given that the new versions are somewhat expensive compared to today’s Barn Find, then could this little project be the perfect way to enter the world of monkey bikes? This Honda comes at us from Princeton, Minnesota for just over $1000 with only 3 days to go here on eBay.

The humble monkey bike actually started as a child’s ride at a Japanese theme park back in the 1960s and proved to be so popular that they upgraded it and started selling in Europe in 1964. Our model comes at us from 1970, so only 2 years after Honda began importing them to the US. Although this bike is over 50 years old, it wears its patina well, and according to the seller can be ridden as is. However, if you want to take this on the road, you will need to find a way to title the bike and bring it back to road-legal specification. In fact, the first bikes that Honda imported to the US were not actually street-legal, until changes were made the following year.

The next owner will have some simple tasks to fulfill on this bike, which are mostly cosmetic. The yellow bike frame has a fantastic patina as it’s never been restored, so you could easily take it apart and respray or leave it as is and ride around on this retro classic. The seller states that the things that are broken are the rear light, the front light, and some rips in the seat. Mechanically it 49cc engine starts and runs, whipping through the gears with ease, and was driven after the winter months with the tires still holding air!

Although these were mass manufactured by Honda, they are a relative rarity – when was the last time you saw one in person? So how would you restore this little monkey bike – some simple modifications to bring it up to legal specification, a full strip-down and restoration, or just ride it without changing a thing?

Comments

  1. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    60 yrs old – heck I was 14 yrs old when these came out and I’m supposed to be 66 yrs old ! Have held onto some of these as a retirement back up plan. Still need to build my sister a 1969 in the pretty blue color like she had before she turns 75 yrs old. Think she’ll still be able to ride it !

    Like 6
  2. Howie

    Price went up a little, pick-up only, seller has some slot cars too. I always wanted a 70.

    Like 1
  3. Johnny

    Nice little bike,but I find it hard to believe people are paying these high prices. I have a 79 Trail 90 in nice shape. I wonder what some dummy would pay me for it? Close-est I came getting my neck broke .Was on a mini bike with no brake,but the barb wire fence stopped me.

    Like 2
  4. erik johnston

    I have a 1969 or 70 on my kitchen table. redoing the top end-its hard on my back to work low and The ‘x’ is gone lol. mine actuly has a title for it,thats rare. most guys my age mention they dont show up much. at 62 there just as fun as they where when i had one when i was 14.I also have a 73 ct70 and a 1982? ct110

    Like 1

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