Minibikes grab attention at Barrett-Jackson auction


This Honda CB175 was one of many small-displacement motorcycles sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, January 22-30, 2022. Photos by author.

The Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction is an annual extravaganza with a major stop held at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona from January 22-30, 2022. This year’s 50th anniversary iteration was a sensory overload of cars and rare, old, classic and exotic trucks. . However, there was also a bright and tidy collection of motorcycles at the expansive event.

Rare vintage motorcycles, classic dirt bikes, and motorcycle-themed artwork and memorabilia were all on display. However, by far the greatest depiction of motorcycle history was the variety of minibikes. Based on the fan and bidder attention the great stable of minis has garnered, car enthusiasts have a big soft spot (and deep pockets) for the little rides of their youth.

Barrett Jackson Auctions
Classic dirt bikes like this 1978 Yamaha YZ125 used to sell very well at auction.

Hondas from the 60s, 70s and 80s made up the lion’s share of the contingent of minibikes at auction. Dozens of tiny Z50s, Trail 90 steppers, and the once-ubiquitous CT70s were offered both in original form and as properly restored examples. The “you meet the friendliest people on a Honda” advertising slogan of the interlocking era has clearly outgrown a modern movement of sentimentality and financial means.

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So what did small-displacement Honda motorcycles win at the Barrett-Jackson auction? Here is just a sample.

1969 Honda Z50 – $6,600
1970 Honda CT90 – $6,600
1971 Honda Trail CT70 – $11,000
1972 Honda Trail CT70 – $7,150
1977 Honda CT70 – $6,050
1986 Honda Z50RD – $13,200

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This 1948 Indian Chief sold for $57,200.

Other notable sales:
1948 Indian Chief – $57,200
1971 Triumph T120-R with sidecar – $9,900
1971 Rupp Scrambler – $7700
1976 Montesa 247 Cota – $4,950

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