Greatest Bikes in History: Honda CT70
Here at VMR Paints we are about more than just motorcycle paint - we have a great appreciation for the bikes that our paint goes on. One of those bikes, and one of the greatest bikes of all time is the Honda CT70. In this post, we want to give you a better appreciation of this motorcycle, and show you why it is one of the Greatest Bikes in History.
The Honda CT70 is known by a number of names around the world. While it was released under the CT70 title here in the US & Canada, the bike was part of the Honda ST-series of minibikes and known as the ST70 in the UK, as well as DAX in Japan, which is actually a shortened version of “Dachshund” - a reference to the small “weiner dog” it was thought to resemble.
The bikes themselves came from a motorcycle-themed amusement park that Honda was a part of in Japan. The park featured a series of specially built “mini-bikes” built for children to ride in the park. These original bikes only had a 49cc motor - rather than the 72cc found in the CT70. These small, fun to ride bikes would become the precursor to the Z50, one of the original mini-bikes eventually launched by Honda.
The CT70 was originally introduced in August of 1969, and soon found a very large following as one of the best off-road motorcycles available. The CT70 had enough power to go just about anywhere and handle pretty much any kind of off-road/trail conditions, but it was small and compact enough to make it very easy to ride. The Honda CT70 was also one of the first motorbikes to be marketed as “environmentally friendly” as it was also equipped with spark arresters and mufflers officially approved by the USDA. The real success of the CT70 was due to its’ practical, portable design and the fact that it was also a street legal bike. The bike weighs less than 150 soaking wet, and could be thrown in the back of a truck or even the trunk of a car if you fold up the handlebars and foot pegs.
It was this fun, compact design that also made the CT70 a hit with kids. Our theory is that this is what is behind the recent affinity for these old gems - the kids that grew up riding them want to have one now! Of course, this is just our theory - but it does make you think…
Anyways, the CT70 bikes had a few unique distinguishing features that really set it apart from some of the other off-road style bikes of the time. One of these, and perhaps the most noticeable, is the “T-Bone” frame found across a series of Honda trail models. Other unique features include the foldable handlebars, fatter-than-average tires, and bench-style saddle.
Now, if you are reading this on our site, one thing you might be interested in knowing is the motorcycle paint colors that Honda used on the CT70 - especially if you are looking at restoring an old bike. Honda didn’t go particularly crazy with different colors, so here are the colors for the corresponding years for all models:
- 1969-1971: Candy Ruby Red, Candy Gold, Candy Sapphire Blue, Candy Blue Green, Candy Emerald Green, Candy Topaz Orange
- 1972: Candy Ruby Red, Candy Yellow Special
- 1973-1974: Candy Topaz Orange, Candy Riviera Blue
- 1975: Mighty Green
- 1976:Tahitian Red
- 1977: Shiny Orange
- 1978: Black
- 1979: Bright Yellow
- 1980-1994: Tahitian Red
The Honda CT70 was discontinued from production by Honda in 1994, but has been acknowledged by honda as the second most popular model in Honda’s production history behind the CB750. Honda’s patent on the ST-series of bikes expired in 1998, opening the doors for other manufacturers to begin producing fairly popular “knock-offs” of this classic bike.
THere is no denying that the CT70 is truly one of the Greatest Bikes in History, and one of our all-time favorite rides.