TrailSport Survivor: 1973 Honda ST90

Honda’s CT70 gets most of the glory lately. It seems as if those things have gone crazy and now everyone wants one. Its bigger brother, the ST90, seems like a no-brainer upgrade to me. The seller has this 1973 Honda ST90 TrailSport listed here on eBay in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona and I’m going to try to get through this without bidding on it.

The Honda ST90 was part of Honda’s CT family of motorcycles. The smaller CT70 with its unusual long snout design, which resembles a dachshund, was affectionately known as “Dax” in Japan. Hey, it’s better than Hello Kitty. The ST90 was appropriately known as the Mighty Dax and they were introduced to the US and Canada in 1973. That first year they came in either Tahitian Red or Mighty Green as seen here. This example is “mostly all original” according to the seller, including wearing its original paint.

This bike is a monster compared to most of my bikes – it’s bigger, heavier, taller with 14″ wheels, and more powerful. With a top speed of around 43 mph, it’s actually powerful enough to ride on a public street. And, it’s green, I’ve never owned a lime green motorcycle. I have to wonder who’s driving up the prices on these 1970s bikes, is it be people in their 60s who wanted one as a kid and now have the money to throw down to try to relive their youth – or the youth that they never had? TheST90 was offered here for 1973, 1974, and 1975.

This example is not perfect by any means as you can see by looking at the photos, including the one above showing a cracked speedometer lens. Overall, it appears to be in nice, usable, normal, ridable condition. Not too nice so you want to park it on velvet in your wood-paneled library but not too beat that you’re embarrassed to be seen on it. Well, unless you’re 6′-5″ tall (no comment).

The engine is Honda’s overhead-cam 89 cc single-cylinder which sends power to the rear wheel through a three-speed semi-automatic transmission. The seller says that it’ll need new gas, a carb rebuild, and maybe a tune-up in order to run smoothly again. Have any of you owned a Honda ST90?


  1. RoughDiamond Member

    Listing ended early so the Seller must have reached an agreement on a sale outside of ebay. I’ve noticed that is a common occurrence when Sellers provides their phone number.

    Like 5
  2. Richard F

    I ended up buying a nice clean pair of these several years ago for that very reason. I started out looking at Trail 70s and for the money – and rarity (not to mention just a better overall bike); I think the ST90s are exactly that – a no brainer upgrade. They were half the cost of a Trail 70 at the time and much more bike in my opinion. You certainly don’t see them come up for sale very often. They really should be as much as 70s, if not more. Who knows, maybe someday…??

    Like 1
  3. Lothar... of the Hill People

    It’s a Honda that is (almost) Kawasaki Racing Green. I didn’t know that Honda offered anything in that color.

    Nice little bike; it’d be a lot of fun to ride, I’d bet.

    Like 3
  4. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    These are a little rarer basically because they didn’t produce them for many years – just two or three ? I think.

    This motor was the left over SL90 motor with the 4speed clutch they had produced before they went to the upright SL100 motors they came out with in 1971.

    Lot’s of miles on this one but shouldn’t matter – parts still available.

    Like 1
  5. Robert

    Flagstaff is still beautiful if you can make it through old down town with the bumper to bumper traffic.
    I went to NAU there in the mid to late seventies and it was truly beautiful then
    Flagstaff and Sedona are already clogged with new out of staters, Prescott my town is slowly being loved to death as we speak. Bring 500k to buy a house and go up from there.
    To me progress is just another word for ” yeah we ruined your town bt the Realtors and Chamber of Commerce and got away with it”.

    Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You’re onto something, Robert. It’s like Rick Steves showing millions of people all of the quiet, hidden places in Europe and then a week later tour busses start showing up.

      Like 1
  6. Michael Ingram

    A recent restoration video showed rebirth of a 70 from an impossible pile of rust. Prime examples of the 70’s and 90’s go upwards of $5,000.

    Like 1
  7. Gord Preston

    A good friend had one of these up in the Laurentians – north of Montreal. What a great bike this was for taking you anywhere, on grass, gravel, mud and even snow. Also worked great on the street as we rode it to town – double – many times. It had plenty of torque for both of us 120lb-ish kids. Would have looked into this one had it not ended already! Would be perfect for the grandkids. Now have the Beach Boys stuck in my head for the rest of the morning; first gear, it’s alright, second gear, hang on tight, faster, it’s alriight!!

    Like 1

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