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1974 Honda Z-50

     Honda began manufacture of the 50cc mini bike in the 1960's, the first one being the CZ50, also known as the Monkey. With mini bikes being imported from all parts of the globe, by a seemingly endless list of manufacturer's, Honda decided to get serious, and tap into this market on a larger scale. In 1968 they released the Z-50 K0 Mini Trail. This little motorcycle was a smash hit, and still lives today as the CRF-50. The early Z-50'S had no rear suspension, a tiny fuel tank, and handle bars that folded down for transportation in the trunk of a car. By the early 1970's rear suspension and a larger fuel tank were added, and the basic style remained unchanged until 1980. Also, in the early 1970's Honda produced another 50cc mini bike known as the QA-50, which was much smaller, and really, completely different than the Z-50, including an over head valve engine, as opposed to the staple over head cam engine. By 1980 the Z-50 got a restyle and became the Z-50R, which lived on until the mid 1990's, when it was again restyled and renamed the XR-50, and then again a few years later, as the CRF-50. The overhead cam engine found in todays CRF is nearly unchanged from the original Z, due to the fact that they are one of the most reliable engines ever devised. It's common to find an early Z that has been through three generations of children, who have hammered the hell out of it, and it still runs....brilliant!!
    In my case, my sons 1974 Z-50 is the bike that got me re-interested in motorcycles. We bought it from a certain shop teacher, whom we have bought several bikes from, over the years. It had seen five of his children through their early years, and it was time for it to take on a sixth...mine. It got a bit of a sprucing up, and awaits the day when another ham fisted kid gets to take his first ride solo. Below area few pics showing the evolution of the 50 mini trail. The pictures above are of the Z-50 in waiting .