Small Survivor: 1984 Honda Z50R

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Here’s another survivor Honda motorcycle, this one is extra small for those of us who are extra tall but for some odd reason like our motorcycles extra small. Why is that? Hmm… Reliving our childhood maybe, that’s my excuse anyway. This 1984 Honda Z50R mini dirt bike can be found listed here on eBay in Mentor, Ohio. There are fewer than two days left on the auction and the current bid price is $1,275. Let’s check it out.

The word “cute” and motorcycle don’t usually go together, especially this close to Sturgis week. The heck with that, this is one cute motorcycle! Hey, I’m confident enough with myself that I’m not afraid to say that. I would never say it in public, just here in front of several million people… This bike really looks like a little jewel. I really like the early Honda 50s, the monkey bikes, but this classic 1980s color Z50R would be fun to own.

Howard A, a frequent Barn Finds commenter and truck guru, said it best on the post about the 1971 Honda CT70, if I may quote him: “…when riding these bikes, coolness goes out the window, taken over by sheer fun.” Truer words have never been spoken. Life is too short to worry about being cool all the time and if you’re like me, someone without a chance in hell of ever being cool, it’s nice to just worry about having fun.

The Honda Z50 was made for a solid two decades, or actually just over that, from 1979 to 1999 before it was replaced by the XR50R in 2000. Remember the year 2000? Weren’t things to be so much better starting then? Yeah. You can see that there is no clutch handle but you already knew that this would have an automatic clutch. I would have loved to have a Honda 50 as a kid, maybe that’s why I like them now.

The engine is Honda’s four-stroke 49 CC single-cylinder and it’s a perfect bike for a young person to learn how to ride. Or, for someone not so young to relive those days in their old age and to throw cool out the window and just have fun. Have any of you owned one?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Meh,,,too small. I remember, small kids got these as trainer bikes, yes, I believe I’ve seen them with training wheels, and a throttle limiter, and biking skills were learned at an early age. Trouble was, those kids grew up and more confident, and still rode these, and they took a pounding they were never intended for. Few survived. These were popular as “pit bikes” and saved many steps at races. While it looks horribly out of date, back in the 80’s, lucky was the 10 year old that had one of these. Cool find from the master of cool finds!!

    Like 3
  2. Gate1967

    Seeing that first photo brought me back to when I was a young boy. Wow, great memories with this this bike. Graduated to a XR 80. Every kid should learn to ride a Z50. Looks solid.

    Like 1
  3. Fred W

    Even as a 10 year old kid, these felt like a toy to me. The CT70, however, felt “just right”. The semi automatic transmission on both was a work of art.

    Like 3
    • MBorst

      Fred, I had 2 of these as a kid. Starting as a 9 year old. Until about the age of 12 which I felt I was definitely to big for but still fun to good around on and go for a trail ride. About that last year of owning the “50” a neighbor bought a Honda 70xr (?) I’ve been looking for one of these. They had a clutch and looked more like a “real” dirt bike.

      Like 1
  4. z50 guy

    My grandpa bought a ’79 for me and my brother in the late 80’s, LOVED every minute spent on it. Would charge neighborhood kids ice cream truck money for 10 minute rides. fell out of commission for about a decade. Its a TANK though, replaced the seat and carb, cleared the gas/oil change and its almost like new again! Its awesome watching my kids tear it up like i did!

    Like 2
    • z50 guy

      also about a year ago my grandpa found the pristinely kept title in his file cabinet. funny to me that these came with official titles. gonna frame it for the garage

      Like 1
    • z50 guy

      also this one looks like a toy because of the color combo…much prefer mine which is just black and red

      Like 2
  5. Dusty Stalz

    This lil bike has a centrifugal clutch, not an automatic clutch what ever that is.

    Like 0
  6. Stangalang

    Automatic you gotta tap the gear selector as normal but no clutch lever

    Like 0
    • Dusty Stalz

      That’s right. It’s called a centrifugal clutch.

      Like 0
  7. angliagt angliagtMember

    The prices on these have gone crazy in the last couple
    of years.I’ve always wondered what the buyers who shell out
    that kind of money do with them.Do they put in their office/den,
    & just stare at it once in a while?
    A neighborhood kid,Tom Sutton,had one of these that he
    got new (1969?).He let me ride it,& I thought I was pretty cool
    while doing so.
    In 1981,when we were camping,I got to ride one again.
    It didn’t seem quite as big as I remembered them being.I was
    real happy to give it back to the owner.

    Like 0
  8. stillrunners

    yep….have the early ones as well as these later ones that is posted….good ones bring good money…..versus what cheap China stuff – the original Honda’s will always take the abuse and still last longer !

    Like 1
  9. Terry

    My first motorcycle. I was 6, and went nuts when I saw one at the H.O.T. fair and rodeo. I was heartbroken when we left without one, but my old man picked one up brand new and gave it to us on HIS birthday. No, it’s no 2 stroke, certainly not a racer, but it was a little tank. Thanks pop, for teaching me what a dad should be.

    Like 1

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