1987 Honda Z50R Monkey
The world’s best known and most easily recognised minibike is the Honda Z50 Monkey. Honda's official model designations are typically Z50A, Z50J, Z50M, Z50R, and ZB50, but to the world they are simply the "Monkey" or "Gorilla", and both named after comments relating to how people looked when seen riding Honda’s first model in 1967, the Z50M.
Legend has it the Monkey as a model occurred almost by accident, after Honda was commissioned by the Tama Tech amusement Park to create a small production of children’s minibikes. The result was a very basic box-like frame fitted with proportionally large chunky tyres, a 50cc engine and no front or rear suspension. Following the amazing popularity of the Tama Tech bikes, Honda realised a possible new production model, and as they say, rest is history.
In 1979 Honda introduced an up-spec racing version, the Z50R, which received a new overhead cam engine capable of more power than the overhead valve unit found on all previous models. The Z50R featured greatly improved front and rear suspension, a more traditionally shaped fuel tank, flatter seat, and a left-side exhaust. The only colour available for the first couple of years was “Tahitian Red” and it was fitted with a single carburettor and a 3-speed gearbox. The Z50R would remain in production from 1979 till 1999, by which time it had evolved into a fully-fledged mini-motocross bike.
This Z50R has been part of an extensive Z50 collection located in Sydney, Australia, and as the pic suggest, has been retained in showroom original condition.
Click on the link below to hi-res images of this bike.
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Stock No: BA-Z50R 2
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