Vintage, 1968 Honda Z50, Minitrail Pictorial
Memories of the Z50R™ MiniTrail have spanned generations. Its simple off-road looks and 49cc engine gave confidence and freedom to everyone lucky enough to have one in their garage. Now, "first-bike" nostalgia for these indestructible machines is fueling a huge comeback, with some people's collections exceeding double digits. In fact, Jeff Stanton, six-time AMA 250 Champion, has more than 20. The bike in this article is from my fledgling collection of dirtbikes from the Golden Era - 1968 -1975.
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The Z50R's portability made it a great bike to throw in the car or RV for any weekend trip. Their popularity is still evident at motocross events across the country, where you can find vintage Z50Rs transporting riders back and forth in the pits.
The Z50R has truly stood the test of time. With first-year sales of over 70,000, and total sales through 1997 of more than a half million, it will live on as one of Honda's best-selling models. The popularity of the original Z50R engine even helped springboard the launch of the XR™75R, which was first made available in 1976.
Combine the sheer sales volume of these bikes with their rugged and uncommonly durable nature, and you can see why owning an all-original Honda MiniTrail is as easy in 1999 as it was in 1969. Buyers and sellers are flocking to specialty dealers and online auction sites to find the older models.
1998 marked the Z50R's thirtieth birthday and 1999 its final year of production. The new XR50R, has since taken its spot in the line-up. The XR50R is remarkably true to its predecessor and will undoubtedly win the support of a whole new generation of riders being introduced to the sport.