For Sale: 88cc “Baby Black Bomber” from Utopeia Moto Company!
The Honda Z-series of street-legal minibikes have developed a cult following since their introduction in the 1964. Legend has it, the Z50 was originally part of an attraction at a motorsport-themed Japanese amusement park. When Honda saw people’s reaction to the pint-size bikes, they decided to launch a mass production version. The 50cc four-strokes quickly became known as “Monkey bikes” or “Gorilla bikes” because of the way riders’ knees and elbows stuck out while riding the machines. Fun was the main mission of the Z50 and it didn’t disappoint.
Enter builder Chris Tope, who “puts the Tope in Utopeia Moto Company.” While many of the builders we feature work out of humble garages or sheds, Chris works out of the 10×12′ toy hauler section of his 44′ travel trailer! Several years ago, he buil ta 1967 Honda CB450 Black Bomber cafe racer. Now he’s back with a miniature version of that bike, the 1977 Honda Z50 “Baby Black Bomber” you see here. Every “nook and cranny” of the bike has been customized. Says Chris:
“I tried to build a miniature motorcycle that without any scale you could not tell it was a small bike.”
Below, we get the full story on the build.
Honda Z50 Cafe Racer: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
Although I would love to say bike building is my full time job, it is a hobby that has grown into a passion. I am a full time Biologist and Compliance Monitor working with energy companies all over the US. Due to the nature of my job and moving every year or so, I live in a 44’ travel trailer. I built my first motorcycle (Yamaha QT50) when I was 15 years old. From then on I was hooked on bringing motorcycles back from the dead and adding my twist. I have lived in 9 states in the last 11 years and built every one of my bikes in the 10 x 12’ toy hauler section of my trailer. I have never had any formal motorcycle training, I just owned and rode motorcycles when I was younger and slowly started building. I completed my first custom build, the CB450 Bomber while on a project in California and I am currently in West Virginia finishing up the Z50.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
1977 Honda Z50 “Baby Black Bomber”
• Why was this bike built? (Customer project, company promotion, personal, etc.)
My latest build is a 1977 Black Bomber Cafe Racer…Z50 that is. I decided to build this motorcycle as a miniature version of my 1967 CB450 Bomber that I built a few years ago. That’s where she gets her name, “Baby Black Bomber”. She may be small, but she has a lot of heart and shine.
I built this bike as a miniature version of my 1967 Honda CB450 Black Bomber café racer I built 7 years ago. I have always wanted to build a full-size café racer and a miniature café racer. I try to build bikes that are unique and differ from the rest.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I built this Z50 after the Honda Black Bomber.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Every nook and cranny has been either modified or fabricated (see Bike Specs below). I have four custom hobo coins on the build. Two are 1937 Buffalo Nickels that have been hobo engraved as a monkey motorcycle rider with a vintage leather helmet smoking.
Also there are two 1937 buffalo nickels that have been hobo engraved as a zombie buffalo due to this build being built for the Buffalo Chips Show at Sturgis.
I have also incorporated custom valve stems that have bananas. I added the bananas and the monkey hobo coins due to the Honda Z50 being known as a “Monkey Bike”.
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I tried to build a miniature motorcycle that not only looks cool but also I tried to build a miniature motorcycle that without any size scale you could not tell it was a small bike. The gas tank was a pretty proud item to this build. I married a 1964 Honda CZ100 with the 1977 Honda Z50 frame.
“Baby Black Bomber”
- 1977 Honda z50 donor base
- Swingarm model, Extended 1.5″ longer with 280 mm rear shocks
- Transformed a stock 50cc and added a big bore kit to make it 88cc, powder coated jug and head with polished fins
- It is a stock transmission with a heavy duty clutch
- Custom 30mm front end
- Cafe Racer style
- 1964 Honda CZ100 gas tank
- De-tabbed frame that has been powder coated
- Custom seat Cowl and seat by Counterbalance Cycles
- Custom café racer style handlebars
- Upgraded wheels and tires that have been converted into spoke rims