John Lennon’s Honda Z50 Sets Auction Record
This tiny Honda comes with huge provenance — and proof that Beatlemania is still alive and well.
For those of us that like our Hondas with half as many wheels (and half as many engine cycles), the Z50 certainly holds a special place in our hearts. This tiny, 50cc minibike was many people’s first experience with Honda, and their first experience on two wheels as well.
Some of us never really grow up, and enjoy tearing around the yard with our Z50s to this day. Go to any racing event, and you’re likely to see several being used as pit bikes. They’re small, simple, and to this day, relatively affordable.
Not this one, though — this record-setting Honda Z50 sold for nearly $80,000 at auction this month. On Sunday, March 4th, this little Z50 crossed the block at H&H Auction’s sale at Britain’s National Motorcycle Museum.
With over 170 motorcycles offered at the sale — including one of just two surviving Honda CB750 prototypes — you might be wondering why this little 50cc Honda, known by its admirers as the “monkey bike,” stood out so much.
So what makes this tiny Honda motorcycle so special? Its original owner was John Lennon of the Beatles. While Lennon may be associated with “Hey Jude” instead of “Hey Little Honda,” there’s no question that he loved his Z50.
During his time at the Tittenhurst Park estate in Surrey from the late ’60s into the early ’70s, Lennon used the Z50 to zip around estate grounds. While we may associate the trappings of the rock star lifestyle with larger, more powerful machines, Lennon was a different breed. If you ask us, he certainly had the right idea.