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Most Popular Kid On The Block: 1977 Honda Z50 Mini Trail

Some kid in my elementary school—I don’t remember his name, or maybe I’ve repressed it—had one of these. He lived close enough to the school to run home after the final bell and drive his mini-bike back over to the large empty field across the street and offer people the chance to drive it around a lap. Everybody I knew would lollygag at the corner, waiting and hoping to be the one who got the ride on that day. My day finally came. I felt like I was flying. It’s awfully tempting to repeat that thrill by placing a bid on this 1977 Honda Z50 Mini Trail here on ebay. It’s in Lutz, Florida, and you’ll have to part with under $1000 at the current bid. The auction ends on Tuesday.

If you bought this, what would you do with it? My backyard is barely big enough to do laps, though not at any speed. I might be able to create a tiny drag strip, but who would I race against? Would it matter, or for this kind of coin, could I be happy just going out back and starting this little monster up to listen to it run and smell the carbon emissions it would so innocently put out? That would be a lot of fun for a grand.

From the jump, the pictures look good, everything clean, tidy, and barely used. But read the description and you’ll learn that Hurricane Ian did a number on this minibike, flooding it and rendering the engine inoperable. It won’t turn over, so this is not going to be an easy fix, or as cheap as it might be were the engine old but undamaged. That might explain why the price is where it is. The images dig deeper into the story, showing rust damage affecting some mechanical bits. But if you’re handy, there do seem to be lots of parts available online, including engine rebuilt kits and carb kits, not to mention service parts like tires.

How would we look as grown-ups riding this bike? Maybe a bit like we were Will Farrell’s Elf in the North Pole. You know what? I don’t care. Laugh all you want, having this little runner would bring back some halcyon days of my childhood, only this time, I wouldn’t have to share the ride. Unless I wanted to. It might make me the most popular kid in my suburb, although that might come 25 or more years too late.


  1. Howard A Member

    Brians story about the guy that had one as a kid, hits a nerve with many. There was always that one guy that seemed to have it made. They also dated cheerleaders, expressly forbidden for a doofus like me. Very few enjoyed school, and after school plans were much more important. Little dirt bikes, were all the rage, we took many a lump, but t’was all in good fun. They didn’t go fast enough to get killed, but valuable lessons were learned. Something as simple as this bike kept us busy, and as long as our parents could hear the noise, all was well.

    Like 8
    • Driveinstile Member

      I am in the group as both of you. I went to elementary school with a kid who had one of these in the 70s. Unfortunately, I never got to ride it. But what a memory seeing this bike.

      Like 2
    • Rick

      As regards dating the cheerleaders, I also knew they were out of my league, but I didn’t give a rodent’s rear. I came to appreciate the down to Earth, non-stuck up, heavier set sturdy girls with a little meat on their bones and they enjoyed having a guy who took them at face value. A win, win all the way.

      Like 7
  2. Steveo

    A lot of fun if you weigh about 80 pounds.

    Like 7
    • JustPassinThru

      What, the bike or the cheerleaders?

      Yeah, I had a friend-of-a-friend who had one. I got some saddle time on it, twice…a couple of minutes each time. The big thing then, was the Rupp mini-bike with a centrifugal clutch, powered by a Brigs or Tecumseh lawnmower engine. This was a different animal, and we could sense it. Next to the Rupp, it was serious, adult. Even had a license-plate bracket. Of course, all of us being twelve, it had no plate.

      As it happened, though, it was another twelve years before my motorcycle curiousity blossomed. Now, I’m a veteran rider, having toured the States three times on a BMW and Vee-Strom…but that was all much later.

      Like 2
  3. Big C

    These 50’s were underpowered, even when we were kids. But now, with grown men riding around on electric mini bikes? I guess this would be fashionable.

    Like 2
    • maggy

      They’ll get a 180lb person up to 30mph in no time where they top out. They lift the front tires floored throttle speed shifting them. Climb hills like billy goats.Clymers shop manual book for these and ct70’s are invaluable.

      Like 0
      • Big C

        I guess the kids the I raced up hills on my Trail 70 didn’t know how to ride them. And grown men who aren’t 5’3 and 110lbs. look a little silly riding these.

        Like 1
  4. Maggy

    Had a 68 k0 and a 74 that was orange metallic.Neat little bikes.They run like sewing machines if tuned right.Valve adjustment is critical as well as the auto trans adjustment on the side case.Theres a locknut and a adjustment screw.Keep the timing chain adjusted also.The trans is bathed in the same oil as the engine.Keep it full and clean and I only used Honda brand oil.Watch chain tension and keep it lubed with Honda spray chain lube too.Easy to adjust.You were the stuff if you had one of these as a kid.These are going for crazy $ nowadays.Glwts.

    Like 5
  5. Frog Man

    Yep same as my neighborhood, this one kid had a honda minibike, then an XR75, then a yamaha motox bike, then a XR150, then a chevelle course he was hooking up with cheerleaders. Wonder where he is now some 50years latter. No regrets though.

    Like 0
  6. John

    Looks like it has a CT-70 rear wheel. Interesting. I had a CT-70. It was great. My Dad moved to Colorado and took it with him. He road that silly thing 20K miles. The 50’s were just too small — but very cool.

    Like 0
  7. Randy B.

    I got one for my birthday in ‘72. Parked it in a shed around ‘80. It went through a flood in ‘08 and sat underwater for a week. I took the plug out and would turn it over every year. In ‘19 I tore it down to the frame and restored it to like new. With a new carb,magneto, and coil she started up after 39 years and ran like a top without any engine work. I’m 62 now and still get a smile on my face riding it around on my property.

    Like 3

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