The Monkey Bike

May 23, 2010


Here’s something a bit different:

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A Honda Z50J from the 70s. This little monkey bike has been in the family well before I was born and my dad bought it in Zambia before he moved to Italy. When the time came to move to Italy he didn’t want to part ways with it and shipping it up would be too costly. Given its small size he decided to strip it down and pack it into his suitcases and simply fly it over with him and then reassemble. You couldn’t do that nowadays!

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From what I can remember the bike has never been road registered but my dad used to take me on it often for a little spin. I would eventually use it to ride around our small town occasionally. Damn I was awesome, no one else had a bike with an ENGINE at like 12.

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It hasn’t been running for about 6 years now due to the throttle cable snapping during a home made motocross time attack session we had but boy was it fun. Smacking the bump stops off even the smallest of jumps, I don’t think grown men were mean to…

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The best thing about this bike was how easy it was to ride. A 3 speed semi-automatic gearbox, no clutch handle, just a centrifugal clutch. Push down the front peddle to change up, push down the back peddle to change down. Done.

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The Tach gave you the suggested speed to shift at, but the bike would top out at 35km/h. Really hasn’t done much mileage, it’s still on its factory tires.

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The bike is in need of some TLC. I’ve since taken off all the parts that needed replacing but never go round to actually replace any.

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The impressive 2.5hp @7000rpm 50cc engine. I don’t think ours peaked that high, might need some tweaking.

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I hope I can afford to fix it up soon, I’d love to cruise around in this thing again. The comfy seat is a good enough reason to ride it…

A little piece of vintage.

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