Honda Z50 Mini Bike Specs and Review ❤️️ 2022

Honda Z50 Mini Bike: One of Honda’s most long-running series is, without a doubt its Honda Z50 Mini Bike. 

It was introduced in 1961 as the CZ100 in the Tama Tech Park in Tokyo the iconic pocket bike was first sold in Europe before it was introduced to the U.S. and the first to create the market for minibikes for commercial use. 

Honda Z50 Mini Bike

Due to its enormous popularity, it was the model for many other famous two-wheelers, such as CT70, CT70 as well as other multi-sport bikes.

The Honda Z50 is a 49-cc mini trail bike that was produced between 1961 and 2017. 

It is more popularly referred to in the form of the Gorilla or Monkey Bike, this two-wheeler was the precursor to that Dachshund like CT70 and ushered in the minibike boom of the 1960s thanks to its extremely reliable air-cooled 4 stroke power mill.

Alongside a reliable engine, the overall design and construction quality placed it in a class that is a few years ahead of its lawnmowers-powered competitors. 

With its handlebars that fold and eight-inch wheels, this Monkey Bike was convenient to carry around or take out for outdoor excursions. 

Its compact frame can fit into a trailer’s under-seat or in a car’s trunk, but also prompted a hilarious and simian-like crouch from its riders.

Continue reading to find out more about this bicycle that provides all the joy that brings nostalgia. Perhaps? At the end of this guide, you could decide to install any of them into your garage, too.

Honda Z50 Mini Bike

History of the Monkey Bike

Despite the existence of recycled lawnmowers’ engines in the 1950s, and minibikes that were offered at dealerships as early as the late 1940s it wasn’t until the mass production of the Honda Z series that all the models became common. 

This was the huge impact this Honda Z50 lineup made on the riders. The story began at a park that was owned by a company in Tokyo in the year 1961.

Head honchos recognized the potential for profit from the wheeler in amusement track parks. 

Therefore, after having a road-legal version released in 1964 and re-designing some of its components, Honda launched the Z50 in Europe in the year 1968, and then it was launched in the U.S. in 1969. 

The launch was, as expected, precisely in time with the boom in minibikes of the latter half of the 1960s. 

The obvious difference in the technologies between the Z50 series and its rivals did more than just secure its place on the map of riding but also resulted in the sale of more than 70k units in the first year of its existence in the U.S. alone.

It was the Honda Z50 range included five models which included – Z50M, Z50A, Z50R, Z50J, and ZB50. From the entire range it was Z50J (which was released in other markets) had the longest run.

Z50J (released on the market in Europe and in other non-U.S. countries) was the longest-running which was then followed by the Z50R series. All versions of the Honda Z50 series were in production from 1999. 

However, including the iterations, these minibikes were made available up to the year 2017. For reference, here’s the complete inventory of Z50 Mini Trail models released between 1964 and 1999:

Year / ID Colors Retail/Trade-In Values
1961 Z100 / 1963 CZ100 Bright Red N/A
1967 – 1969 Honda Z50M Candy Red, Bright Yellow N/A
1968 – 1969 Z50AK0 $715 – $5,095
1969 – 1970 Z50AK1 Candy Red, Bright Yellow, Candy Blue $680 – $3,300
1970 – 1971 Honda Z50A Candy Ruby Red, Mexican Yellow, Candy Sapphire Blue $680 – $3,300
1972 Z50AK3 Candy Gold, Light Ruby Red $565 – $2,335
1973 – 1999 Z50J Candy Gold, Light Ruby Red (EU, Japan) N/A
1973 Z50AK4 Hawaiian Blue Metallic, Candy Orange $480 – $1,910
1974 Z50AK5 Candy Sapphire Blue, Candy Topaz Orange $480 – $1,910
1975 Z50AK6 Candy Ruby Red $475 – $1,880
1976 Z50A Parakeet Yellow $475 – $1,735
1977 – 1978 Honda Z50A Tahitian Red $475 – $1,880
1979 – 1981 Honda Z50R $445 – $1,645
1982 – 1985 Z50R Blaze Red $475 – $2,250
1986 Z50R $590 – $1,955
1986 Z50RD Special Chrome $1,540 – $9,385
1987 Z50R Blaze Red $475 – $1,645
1988 Z50R $585 – $1,645
1989 Z50R $475 – $1,370
1991 – 1995 Z50R Shasta White $235 – $1,570
1992 Honda Z50 Baja Monkey White w/ Baja decals, handguards & twin headlights $760 – $4,385
1992 – 1995 Z50RN/RP/R Shasta White $475 – $1,370
1996 – 1998 Z50R $135 – $660
1997 Z50RV $155 – $660
1998 Z50RW $220 – $715
1999 Z50RX $230 – $735

Honda Z50 Specs and Features Engine

It is the Honda Z50 Mini Trail is built around an air-cooled power mill of 49 ccs that was used by the firm in their 1963 CZ100 – the real pocket bike which was an attraction at Tama Tech Park. Tama Tech Park in Tokyo.

A 13-millimeter Keihin carburetor (view on Amazon) manages the air-fuel mix that powers the bike. In 2008, the engine was replaced with Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system, which resulted in increased torque and power output that was 3 hp/3.04 PS at 7,500 RPM.

Honda Z50A K2 (USA Type) 1977 Honda Z50A
Engine Type 4-Stroke OHC
Cylinder Layout Single-cylinder, tilt-up 10° from horizontal
Carburetion System Carburetion, 13-mm Keihin piston-valve type x 1
Engine Cooling Air cooling
Jetting #50 (main); #100 (air); #38 (slow)
Engine Fuel Unleaded gasoline of at least PON 86 or RON 91, containing < 5% MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol w/ appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors
Fuel Capacity 2.5 L (0.7 US gal) 4 L (1.1 US gal)
Bore x Stroke Ratio 39 x 41.4 mm (1.53 x 1.63 in)
Compression Ratio 8.8:1
Displacement 49 cm³ / 3 in³
Valve Stem to Guide Clearance Intake: 0.01-0.03 mm (0.0004-0.0012 in) Exhaust: 0.03-0.05 mm (0.0012-0.0020 in)
Valve Clearance Cold (Int/Ex) 0.05 mm (0.002 in)
Horsepower 1.92 hp/1.95 PS @ 5,000 RPM
Maximum Torque 3 Nm (0.31 kgf-m, 2.2 ft-lb @ 4,200 RPM)
Top Speed 25 mph (40 km/h)
Air Filtration Oiled polyurethane foam type
Lubrication Pressure lubrication & wet sump
Oil Filters Centrifugal & screen mesh
Engine Oil & Quantity 0.8 L (1.7 US pint) of SAE 10W-40 Honda 4-stroke oil w/ an API grade of SJ+ meeting JASO T903 MA, MB standards
Alternatives: SAE 30 (above 15° C/60° F); SAE 20W (-10° to 15° C/15°-60° F); SAE 10W (below 0° C/32° F)

Drivetrain

Honda Z series shares the identical clutch arrangement and gearshift pattern like the CT70. 

The primary differences are the rear and front sprockets and final drive as well as the ratios of transfer gears. The components of the driveline remained unchanged throughout the first decade of Z50 manufacturing.

Honda Z50A K2 (USA Type) 1977 Honda Z50A
Clutch Wet, multiple-disc, automatic, centrifugal type
Transfer, Transmission Type 3-speed constant mesh, manual
Gearshift Pattern N-1-2-3 (left foot operation)
Drive System Chain & sprocket final drive w/ 10-20 mm (0.040 – 0.080 in) slack
(12T/37T); #415 (later #420) drive chain
Primary Reduction Ratio 3.722
Final Drive Ratio 2.917 3.083
Transfer Gear Ratio 1st – 3.182 / 2nd – 1.824 / 3rd – 1.190

Honda Z50 Mini Bike Specs and Review

Ignition

The bike was initially equipped with ignition for the flywheel and the AC generator charge system.

it later changed to the capacitor Discharge Ignition for the ’88 Monkey bike trims, and later electrical components were changed between 6V and 12V. 

If you own an older Z50 version, then you could purchase a kit to change the older points engine to a modern standard. 

Or, you could go with the simpler option by installing the Chinese engine clone – the brands Lifan, Zongshen, or GPX are popular with veteran mechanics.

Honda Z50A K2 (USA Type) 1977 Honda Z50A
Ignition Flywheel magneto
Idle Speed 1,200 – 1,300 RPM ± 100 1,500 RPM ± 100
Starter System Forward kick-start mechanism
Spark Plug NGK C6H or NIPPON DENSO U20FS, Gap: 0.6-0.7 mm (0.024 – 0.028 in)
Torque specs: 1/2 to 3/4 turn past finger tight
Generator Flywheel A.C. generator
Battery 6V (2 Ah)/10 HR, 12V YTR4A-BS format (recommended)
Battery Dimensions (L x W x H) 114 x 49 x 86 mm (4.50 x 1.94 x 3.38 in)

Tires & Brakes

The initial Monkey bike came with 89 millimeters x 127 millimeters (3.5 in x 5.0 inches) wheels. 

However, later models, particularly in 1968’s “High Bar” or “Slantguard” trim (the first models to be made available to the U.S.), had 89 x 203 mm (3.5 in x 8.0 inches) wheels. 

Brakes were drums that expanded but did not change to disc brakes till the Monkey R/RT series as well as the 2019 version with 125-cc retro-style.

Honda Z50A K2 (USA Type) 1977 Honda Z50A
Wheel Composition Steel, laced wire spokes / Cast aluminum
Front Tire, Air pressure 3.50 x 8 (2 PR), 98 kPa (1.0 kg/cm2, 14.2 psi) 3.50 x 8 (2 PR or 4 PR), Bridgestone, Nitto, Inoue tire brands
98 kPa (1.0 kg/cm2, 14.2 psi)
Rear Tire, Air pressure
Front Brake Type 110-mm Internal expanding shoe

Suspension

The initial versions that came out of the Honda Z50 Mini Trail had the tubing welded by steel, with the rear suspension not having. 

In a way for consolation front fork was a primitive wheel journey. It wasn’t until five years after it entered the American marketplace that this toy bike came equipped with a rear suspension that was dual-shock. 

The addition was made along with an entirely new frame, new seat, and revamped fuel tank.

Honda Z50A K2 (USA Type) 1977 Honda Z50A
Frame Tubular steel
Caster, Trail 67°, 40 mm (1.6 in) 65°, 42 mm (1.7 in)
Turning Circle 2.6 m (8.6 ft)
Wheelbase 880 mm (34.7 in) 895 mm (35.2 in)
Ground Clearance 170 mm (6.7 in)
Front Suspension Type, Travel 26-mm Telescopic fork
Rear Suspension Type, Travel Rigid frame

Dimensions

Similar to CT70 the CT70, nearly everything about it, the Honda Z50 dimension was upgraded or improved for models of later years. 

The height of the seat was not changed throughout the 1970s, however, it received minor increases in subsequent versions. 

The capacity for payload remained identical throughout its production. In addition, it is heavier than those generally exported that weighed 49 kg (108 pounds).

Honda Z50A K2 (USA Type) 1977 Honda Z50A
Length 1,280 mm (50.4 in) 1,300 mm (51.2 in)
Width 580 mm (22.8 in) 615 mm (24.2 in)
Height 865 mm (34.1 in) 850 mm (33.5 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 560 mm (22 in)
Curb Weight 53.5 Kg (118 lbs) 53 Kg (117 lbs)
Vehicle Load Capacity Limit 68 Kg (150 lbs)

Exterior

Two distinctive features that distinguished the CT70 from its competitors were taken from its predecessor, the Monkey bike. 

Z50 Z50 was among the first bike to have handlebars that could be folded. Instead of a Dachshund-like T-bone frame, it had an underlying chassis that resembled a backbone. 

The 50-cc minibike was eventually released the Z50J-III, a bigger version sporting the manual gearbox that had four speeds and a larger fuel tank twin-spar aluminum frames, and bars that didn’t collapse in Japan Z50J-III from 1978 often referred to as”the “Gorilla.

” The Monkey R/RT series had the same frame as the more sporty, but shorter-lived Gorilla.

Honda Z50A K2 (USA Type) 1977 Honda Z50A
Headlight 6V 15/15 W x 2
Brake/Taillight 6V 17/5.3 W x 2
Indicator Lights N/A

Cost of a Z50 Honda Mini Trail

The cost of Z50 Honda Z50 ranged from $225 to $1,299. The special edition of the 50th Anniversary Special Edition trim was valued at $3999. 

For second-hand vehicles, the Honda Mini Trail Z50 price ranges from $550 to $10,00, based on whether the vehicle has been completely restored, maintained in excellent condition, using OEM parts, or is sold to purchase parts. 

Because of its condition and condition, used Z50s are priced between $3,300 and $5,000 in perfect working order are considered to be bargains. Anything priced below $2,800 is probably not restored and will require some effort to function.

Improvements Post-1970

In addition to the seminarian posture that its riders do when riding The Honda Z50 is also known for the numerous technological and cosmetic upgrades that it received. Here are a few of those important changes:

1972 The swingarm of a motorcycle with two rear shocks was first introduced on the motorcycle, as well as the chain guard in the chrome brake pedal, fenders.

1979 The fuel tank was redesigned with newer seats and BMX-style handlebars making the pocket bike race-ready compared to the previous models, which offered more leisurely rides.

1983 Spark plugs were recommended, but they changed the model to NGK’s C6HSA from the model from 1983.

1984 Improvements were introduced to the suspension system and car dimensions. Dry weight dropped slightly, while the seat height was has increased by a half-inch.

1986 They were painted with gold and all steel parts were chrome-plated for special Edition Z50RD Trims.

1987 Frame, suspension springs, and fenders were painted Shasta White, and rims were painted in gold.

1988 In the ignition circuit of the Honda Z series was changed from a contact breaker to CDI. The wiring harness was changed from 12V 6V.

1988: Honda released a more sporty and pricey street-legal ZB50 model, which was equipped with frames made of aluminum with twin-spar and an upward exhaust (view on Amazon) along with lighting enhancements and other fittings.

1996 Fuel tank’s logo was redesigned again with new colors comprising white, black, and red for the ’96 models.

Although the majority of these improvements helped keep the Monkey bike on the road until 2017 some could have been more effective at a later time. 

For instance, changes for the wire harness on the Z50 were made in 1988, resulting in the classic wheeler remaining out of circulation for over 20 years from the time it was first introduced. 

The color options were reduced at the end of the mini-bike, and all models of the ’90s were only available as Shasta White.

End of Life for the Monkey Bike

The demise of the Honda Z50 or Gorilla bike was not a distant dream. Many believe that Honda dropped Z50A from its American lineup in 1978. Z50A out of its American range in 1978 could have been the trigger for its discontinuation. 

Some also point to the absence of Honda Z50 parts and features like disc brakes, a genuine suspension. 

However, in reality, this is the exact reason for the delay of its successor – emissions control regulations.

In contrast to larger motorcycles, it is difficult for smaller displacement engines to meet emission control requirements. 

Therefore, the Japanese company declared in March of 2017 that it would end its Z50 series in August of the same year. 

To conclude in a positive manner, Honda retired the famous Monkey bike in the form of a special 50th-anniversary Edition priced at 432,000 Y (roughly 3900 dollars) and made available to Japanese buyers.

About Honda

In addition to being a pioneer in the motorcycle and ATV industry, Honda Motor Company Ltd. is also recognized for its ability to profit from emerging trends, such as what it did when it launched the Honda Z50 series. 

Just 15 years after its beginnings the Japanese company created what would be regarded as among the most prestigious minibikes ever made. 

It was the Honda Z50 that laid the framework for the famous CT70 as well as other dual-sport pocket bikes and motorcycles. 

Because of Honda’s inventiveness and dedication, customers around the globe have continued to delight in an array of premium products including multi-purpose engines and top-quality automobiles.

Conclusion – Honda Z50 Mini Bike Review

Contrary to its replacement model, the CT70 and the CT70, the Honda Z50 is still very well-loved – especially with the latest retro-styled model called “Monkey.”

While this version does include parts from both the Z50 series as well as the Grom from 2014, it is not a complete copy.

Grom the model is like the first Monkey Bike that both kids and adults alike enjoyed. It achieves a balance between the relaxed and sporty character of the two-wheeler and fills the needs of many riders of what a Monkey Bike should be like. 

It doesn’t matter if you opt for the modern model or a clean version from 1969, you’re assured of a great ride whether on the road or off.

How much did a Honda Z50 cost new?

Cost of a Z50 Honda Mini Trail

The cost of Z50 Honda Z50 ranged from $225 to $1,299. The special edition trim of the 50th Anniversary Special Edition trim was priced at $3,999.

Why are they called monkey bikes?

The name is derived from the rider’s look when sitting at the wheel. The legs and arms extend at odd sharp angles. And, dependent on the size of the rider, backs may recline similarly and make the rider appear like a circus animal.

Does a Honda Z50 have a battery?

Parts Unlimited – 6N2A2C – 6V Conventional Battery Honda Z50,Z50 Mini Trail,CT70 | eBay.

How fast does a Honda Z50 go?

The Honda Mini Trail Z50 series of minibikes has an air-cooled single-cylinder overhead-cam motor of 49 ccs. The four-stroke engine features a diameter and bore of 39 millimeters by 41.4 millimeters and a compressive ratio of 8.8:1. It generates 1.95 brake horsepower with 5,000 RPM. It can reach a top velocity of 25 miles an hour.

Is a Honda mini trail street legal?

The bikes are copies from the Vintage Honda Z50 mini trail that has been upgraded in capabilities and is streets-legal. We have a small amount of blue, red, and green models available for purchase.

How old is a Honda 50?

It’s important to note that Honda’s lawyers will only suggest the CRF50F to those aged 13 years old or more–in real life, this does not make a single one of sense.

Can you make a Honda Z50 street legal?

You must have an operator’s license. However, you don’t need to register it or insure it.

What is the smallest bike that Honda makes?

At only 30 inches, at just 30 inches, the Grom allows you to walk flat on it in parking spaces or at stoplights.

What is a mini motorcycle called?

Pocket bikes are, also known as “mini-motorcycles” or “pocket rockets,” are tiny gas-powered vehicles that look and feel like miniature copies of large motorcycles.

What is a mini bike good for?

Mini-exercise bikes are very effective in aiding in the development of your body while you shed weight. They are especially effective for toning leg muscles such as quadriceps, calves and hip flexors, and hamstrings. The goal is to target toning these muscles over time to gradually improve your fitness overall.

What are mini bikes used for?

Mini bikes are small, motorized vehicles that are utilized to race. They were designed alongside their more well-known counterparts’ go-karts following World War II. In the early 1950s, they were introduced to the U.S. defense manufacturing industry began selling smaller, gas-powered engines for peacetime machines like lawnmowers.

Are Honda monkeys street legal?

Although it appears to be an unruly minibike, it’s road legal and can reach 60 mph, on a perfect day, and downhill. The majority of motorcycles are covered in the sense of danger, but the Monkey does not take its safety too seriously.

How fast is 2022 Honda monkey?

56 MPH

Honda’s legendary Monkey is back for 2022 with new features and even more retro-inspired styling without sacrificing any excitement. The Monkey now comes with a Euro5 compliant single-lunger 124cc, which is also shared with the Grom that produces the Monkey 9 horsepower with 8 pounds torque, which is good for an impressive high speed of 56 miles per hour and a staggering 181 MPG.

Does a Honda Monkey have a clutch?

Compared to the original 49cc Mini Trail, the 2022 Monkey is an entirely different beast in terms of technology. Although its 125cc engine uses a horizontal cylinder, air-cooling, and a single-overhead-camshaft, two-valve head, it leapfrogs ahead with electronic fuel injection and the above-mentioned five-speed gearbox with manual clutch.

Honda Z50 Mini Bike FAQ

1. Is a Honda Z50 street legal?

The Honda Z50 was a street-legal minibike, whose popularity was hugely surprising to nearly everyone. It was powered by a 49cc engine and had five-inch wheels. The first US imports of 1968 seemed to be Honda’s attempt to send Oompa Loompas to the Hell’s Angels.

2. How fast does a Honda Z50 go?

Honda Mini Trail Z50 minibikes are powered by a 49cc overhead-cam, single-cylinder air-cooled engine. The bore and stroke dimensions of the four-stroke motor are 39 mm by 41.4mm. It has an 8.8:1 compression ratio. It can produce 1.95 horsepower at 5,000 RPM and reaches a maximum speed of 25 mph.

3. Can I drive a Honda 50 on a car license?

The 50cc Vision 50 has a low cost of ownership and is easy to operate. This model has a huge advantage: you can drive it with your general car license. No additional IBT lessons are required.

4. How fast can a Honda 70 go?

The Honda 70 featured a rectangular speedometer, with gear range markings and a maximum calibration of 60 mph (97 km/h). 58 MPH (93 km/h). was claimed to be the top speed.

5. Are Honda dirt bikes reliable?

Are Honda Motorcycles Reliable Consumer Reports surveyed a number of bikes and found that Japanese brands were the most reliable. Honda was one of these brands, with a remarkably low failure rate at 12%. Hondas are loved by people because they offer so many products.    

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