So, you just retired, decided to hit the open road and bought yourself a motorhome or camper. “Ethel, we’re hitting the road, the kids don’t need our money…” Or maybe, you’re a hunter, fisherman and like to really get back into the remote areas where the huntin’ and fishin’ is the best. Your new camper is the perfect base camp but you need a way to get into the back country or, just to the country store down the road for some cold beer and more bait. The Honda Trail 90 is just about perfect.
The Trail 90 boasts an arm stretching 6.5 horsepower, an auto clutch, a dual range transmission and a step through frame design. What does all that mean for you? Two things, It will get you into the back country with no problems, and…you can send Ethel to get the beer. Yep, it’s easy for anybody to ride. However, Ethel may feel so good riding this Trail 90 that she may come back with a buck instead of the beer.
Really, the Trail 90 is probably one of the best little bikes you could possibly own. It could have sat for months (maybe years??) and still start right up. It’s a Honda 90! Pull the buddy seat off and you have a luggage (read firewood / beer) rack and there are a good number of websites that can help you with whatever parts or advice you may want or need for your new Trail 90.
I found this neat little Honda on ebay today, that needs a little love (not much) but it does have the ‘Buddy Seat’ accessory and the horn works…what more could you ask for? Click on the pics below for more info and pictures and a way to get Ethel to go get the beer. Or, bring back her young buck….
We’ve all seen Honda Trail 90′s, SL100′s or classic old Honda step thru’s hanging off the front bumper of a motorhome bound for somewhere more interesting than where you and I are going. But how often do we wonder what might be stuffed in the trunk of that Buick Le Sabre with a roof box that’s covered with stickers from 36 out of the 50 states here in the good ‘ol USA. Sure we could play the ‘what if’ game…”what if that old couple in the car just knocked off a bank in Kingman and they have the witness tied up in the trunk..” or, “what if that guy in the Buick had finally had enough of his mother in law and…”, we don’t want to think about that one…but I’m pretty sure we don’t think it could be a motorcycle in that trunk. Actually, it could be very easily.
I have written before that the best selling motorcycle of all time is the Honda 350. Believe it or not, I could be wrong. The little Honda ‘Monkey Bike’ also known as the ‘Mini Trail’, might actually the best seller…in it’s various guises. Honda brought out the ‘Z50 Mini Trail’ in 1968 thinking that it would be a good bike for getting around the woods on a camping trip, maybe some light exploring in the desert, or teaching little Throckmorton how to ride a motorbike. Honda doesn’t generally bring out a bike they don’t think will sell well, but in the Z50′s case, I don’t think they were prepared for it to sell over 70,000 units its first year out!! Everybody loves the Mini Trail.
And what’s not to love about the little ‘Mini Trail’. The little bike is easy to ride (automatic clutch transmission), small enough for kids and grandma to ride around (hey, it’s only got a couple of horsepower), you can fold in the handlebars (yes, they do fold inwards and downwards for compactness) so it can be stuffed into the trunk of a Buick or easily slid into a small trailer full of race bikes and gear (the mini trail is a great pit bike or campground get around) and lastly…the Honda Monkey Bike is a real chick magnet! It’s true. Any guy riding around on a childs / grandma’s bike has got to be very secure.
The Mini Trail is so popular that there are copies of the bike being made in China, Taiwan, Korea and Tijuana. OK, I’m kidding about Tijuana, I think…? There is a whole aftermarket for these little scoots. Bigger motors, suspension upgrades, it really has become a cult bike. The cool factor is very high with the little Z50. There are Z50 choppers, Z50 racers (yes, they do race these little bikes… as a side here, let’s be honest, people who like to race will race anything, heck, I race my lawn tractor, so why not a Monkey Bike??), and the coolest thing is to make a cafe racer out of one. How to make them street legal is my first question?
So, I found this really nice little Monkey bike on ebay today. It’s a ’68 model in really good condition. It’s almost great but it’s got a couple of hiccups like the airbox is missing (no big deal, really), the tires are old (another no big deal), and it sits…alot (it only has 20 miles on it ?! How do you only put 20 miles on any thing with two wheels in over 50 years??!!). This little Z50 runs, looks great and will take nothing to be running around the neighborhood with Grandma at the controls terrorizing all her Bingo friends. Or, better yet, hang it on the bumper of your RV and head to where the sun is shining. Click on the pic’s below for more info and more pictures. This is a great little bike that does nothing more than give you miles of smiles and increase in value every year.
‘The fastest and sportiest of all the 90′s’ That is how the little Super 90 has been described. Packed with eight horsepower that could push you and the little Honda up to a cruising speed of sixty, that’s right…60MPH!! The 90cc SOHC motor powered a variety of Honda models including the legendary Trail 90 (seen hanging off the bumpers of more campers cruising the National Parks of this great country than any other motorbike I can think of), but it was the Super 90 that was, well…Super. Light, easy handling and a lot of fun to ride…for anybody. Well, maybe not the guy on the new Harley that he installed some loud pipes and ape hangers on, but, everybody else will have a big grin on their face.
The Super 90 can be left stock, or…have some fun with it. Can you see where I’m headed here? Of course you can. They make perfect small size Cafe Racers! I know many a canyon road where a rider on a nicely tricked out S90 will easily have a cup of coffee in hand at the meeting spot down the road before his (or her) friend on their newest latest greatest ride, even has a chance to get their helmet off.
Super 90′s are very popular among collectors and hobbyists alike. Some will find a beater then spend way too many hours and more money than their wife thinks they should to make this little piece of motorcycling history (she thinks a pile of junk, until you finish…) ready to ride, or…spend a few minutes cruising through ebay to find a really nice Super 90 that will require little or no work at all. And, probably end up costing less than doing a restoration job yourself. If you are of the latter, you are in luck my friend.
I found this morning on ebay, a very nice little Super 90. Not too many miles, really good condition and ready to ride. The owner has a done a clean of job of ‘not restoring’ the motorcycle. Replace parts that need to be replaced with genuine Honda (when possible), tidy things up by painting (not powdercoating), polishing (not chroming) metal bits, and in general, keeping the bike true to its roots. Nice.
When I first saw the bike, my initial reaction was that it was priced a bit optimistically. I still feel that way but, don’t think it’s too far off. If you’re looking for a really great little vintage Honda, this one could be worth the price of admission. Click on the pic below for more info. I love small size motorcycles and I really love the Super 90..I need one. “uh, honey, can I…..???