Internet gossip has the Honda Z50 monkey bike headed for the chopping block.
Despite its small size and very modest power output, the Z50 is one of the most famous motorcycles in the world. Thousands of North American riders got their start on the bikes, beginning in the 1960s. While the bikes haven’t been sold here for years, Chinese knock-offs are still popular, and the originals are now collector’s items. You can go down this Wikipedia wormhole to find out more. And, you can see James May assemble one here.
The Z50 has still been available on overseas markets, particularly Japan, up until now. But multiple online reports say the monkey bike will be canceled this summer. The reason? Japan’s home scooter market has been in a slump for a while, which hurts sales, but the other reason is emissions regulation.
Ever-tightening emissions rules are stacking up against single-cylinder motorcycles, and older designs like the Z50 are not welcome in our brave new world of cleaner air.
But Honda isn’t letting one of its most classic models disappear without a proper send-off. Big Red is making a 50th-anniversary edition of the Z50, with styling faithful to the original model. Too bad the faithful fans won’t be able to get one at their Canadian dealer … Supposedly, only 1,800 will be made, none of which will be sold in Canada.
Find more photos of the Z50 50th anniversary edition at this fan-made Facebook page here.