Revving Up Holiday Spirit with the Honda Z50RD Christmas Special Auction

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Honda Z50RD
Honda Z50RD (Credits: Bring A trailer)

If you happened to be a Honda motorcycle dealer back in 1986, the holiday season held an extra dose of excitement. After a year of selling Nighthawks, Interceptors, and perhaps even some Big Red three-wheeled ATVs, high-performing dealers were in for a surprise gift from Honda: the dazzling and chromed Honda Z50RD, affectionately known as the Christmas Special.

Up for auction on Bring a Trailer, a platform affiliated with Hearst Autos, this Z50RD is a modified version of the Z50R, a compact motorcycle that promises heaps of enjoyment. It’s quick and perfectly suited for the season, and who can resist the charm of a pocket-sized Honda on the move?

Honda Z50RD
Honda Z50RD (Credits: Bring Trailer)

Originally introduced in 1979, the Z50R aimed to modernize the Honda Z-series bike, often dubbed the Honda Monkey Bike due to the comical appearance of full-size riders with elbows and knees protruding. Taking a step back in time, the Monkey Bike’s origin was somewhat accidental. Honda initially crafted a fleet of kid-sized motorcycles for Tama Tech amusement park, a Honda-owned attraction operational from 1961 to 2009. While children adored them, adults also went wild for these diminutive bikes, prompting Honda to put the tiny motorcycle into production.

The Z50R, on which the RD model was based, featured a 49cc engine with an overhead cam, knobby tires, front and rear suspension, a three-speed automatic transmission, and motocross-style handlebars. It’s the perfect dirt bike for tearing around your neighborhood until the neighbors drop by to express their concerns and end up taking a joyous turn themselves, creating a festive holiday atmosphere.

The Z50RD stands out as the most collectible iteration of the Z50R, although both are mechanically identical. The distinguishing factor lies in the abundance of chrome on this petite bike, practically covering everything except the seat and hand grips—making it a shining spectacle.

Currently situated in Michigan, this particular Z50RD is registered for off-road use only. While the total mileage remains unknown, its cosmetic condition is appealing, and the seats and grips have been recently replaced.

Given its rarity, the Z50RD is expected to command a high price relative to its diminutive size. This collectible motorcycle is practically gift-wrapped for the holidays, fitting snugly under the tree. Participate in the auction on Bring a Trailer and bring along your Santa sack—you might just experience the joy of being the winning bidder.


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