Pint-Size Survivor: 1970 Honda CT70H

If considered purely on a dollar-per-pound basis, classic motorcycles are one of the best-performing vehicles in today’s market. Take this 1971 Honda CT70H as a prime example. It would tip the scales at barely more than 140lbs, but the fierce bidding has pushed the price to $5,500. That is an impressive figure, and with plenty of time remaining on the listing, there’s scope for it to go higher. If you view this as a “must-have” in your life, you will find it located in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, and listed for sale here on eBay.

This Honda proves why you need to be careful when viewing photos of any classic. The paint appears to show as a metallic blue, but it is actually a shade called Candy Blue Green. According to the seller, it looks pretty different in person than it does in the photos. When you examine it more closely, the overall condition is far better than you might expect to find on a motorcycle of this type and age. They predominantly saw use by young people for purely recreational purposes. While these youngsters were developing their balance and control skills, accidents were common. That left the machines prone to accumulating all sorts of dings and scrapes. That hasn’t been the case here because while it might not be perfect, the condition of this little Honda is well above average. There are no significant marks on the paint that also holds a winning shine. All of the correct decals and stickers are intact, and their condition is excellent. The same is true of the chrome and lights, with no issues that would demand immediate attention. The only flaws worth mentioning are a scrape on the right-hand skid plate and some visible scuffs on the seat. If the buyer intends to hand the machine to a young person for skill development, they could probably ignore the faults. Otherwise, replacement seatcovers are easy to find for around $90, while I had no difficulty finding new skid plates for $85.

One of the great attractions of the Honda four-stroke motorcycle engines is that they tend to be pretty bulletproof. This CT70H features a 72cc single-cylinder unit that pumps out 4½hp. That’s not a massive amount of power, and the smooth delivery for which these motors are renowned makes them an ideal candidate for learners. While the machine would be light and easy to handle, its transmission system makes it perfect for skill development. The basic CT70 features a three-speed transmission with an automatic clutch. The CT70H ups the ante with a four-speed and a manual clutch. That means that an inexperienced person could come to grips with this machine fairly quickly while not finding themselves straddling a powerful machine that they could find intimidating. The owner recently rebuilt the carburetor and changed the oil in this little Honda. He says it runs and rides well, although the gear change is occasionally harsh. This could be something as simple as an adjustment issue or some stickiness in the clutch if it has had little recent use. Regardless, the uncomplicated nature of the engineering should make locating the fault a pretty simple task.

This 1971 Honda CT70H has brought some pleasant memories flooding back because my first motorcycle was a small-capacity Honda four-stroke. I didn’t appreciate just how smooth and easy it was to ride until I threw my leg over more potent machines. That is why they tended to sell in significant numbers, but it is also why young owners rode so many of them into the ground. The type of life that most led means that locating a spotless example today can be a battle. That makes me wonder what the true motivation is behind the intense bidding to this point. Could it be that the buyers are seeking a perfect learner machine, or has this Honda triggered nostalgic feelings? Regardless of the motivation, the bidding has pushed past the reserve. That means that someone is mere days away from giving this classic a new home.


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  1. SL Harris

    Nostalgia. 1,000s of hours spent riding these bikes in the hood, fire roads, and fields. Everyone had one back in the day. Easy to learn how to ride. For those of minted in this era, the CTs pure nostalgia.

  2. Howie Mueler

    At auction i have seen these go for $12k!!!

    Like 2
  3. Rick

    I have had three of these at various times. The most that I ever paid, as I recall, was $600. How things have changed. These bikes were wonderful because if you got into trouble, all that you had to do as stand up.

    Like 1
    • Robert Eddins

      Some buyers have beanie baby, cabbage patch, and other mass produced item fever. Now 99.5% of the above mentioned are sold for $3 and that’s if you can even find a buyer.
      If only P.T. we’re here to save them from themselves.

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