Honda SL70 Motosport Specs and Review (Trail Bike)

For the reason that creation of the minibike within the ’40s, big-name producers have labored arduous to carry their revolutionary motorcycling ideas to fruition. Amongst these key gamers was Honda, leaping the wagon with the discharge of its 1971 Honda SL70. Allow us to uncover extra about this much less acquainted however extremely regarded two-wheeler on this information.

The Honda SL70 (a.okay.a. Honda Motosport™ 70) was a 72-cc motorcycle produced between 1971 and 1973. This two-wheeler featured a stockier chassis, oil-damped telescopic forks, and a shiny, traditional exterior and was one of many first minibikes to make the most of a 4-stroke engine and 4-speed guide transmission.

Regardless of falling behind in recognition to legends just like the Z50 Cash Bike and the Tremendous Cub, the Honda SL70 was well-celebrated and liked for its practicality and ease of use. It did fairly effectively within the minibike market and later advanced into the XL70, enhancing the bike’s intrinsic dirt-road capabilities. It’s a nice souvenir as it’s a mini TT racer – so, learn on and study extra about this classic wheeler.

Female Motorbike Rider Wearing Helmet

The Honda Motosport™ 70

Some folks would possibly say that the Honda SL70 is much from contending with the Yamaha JT1. The latter did get its moniker Mini Enduro for a cause, in spite of everything. If it have been on equal footing, the plain reply would in all probability be a sure. Nevertheless, there are areas the Honda Motosport™ 70 shines the place the opposite doesn’t – and vice-versa.

Launched between 1971 and 1973, the Honda SL70 was one of many earlier forerunners of the mini Enduro phase, regardless of paradoxically getting into a bit late into the scene. It was additionally fairly just like the CT70 sequence generally styling, really feel, and sweet colours. Nevertheless, it did deviate from the earlier norm with its four-stroke engine, 4-speed guide transmission, and the absence of an animal moniker.

It was effectively constructed and got here in a road-legal configuration, one-upping Yamaha’s famed JT1 bike by a full manufacturing yr. Likewise, its suspension is best than the competitors in an general sense. Its further weight might have given it just a few disadvantages, but it surely additionally meant the minibike had a extra strong, strong framework. This final bit is what at the moment makes the bike a favourite amongst expert mechanics and savvy homeowners.

Beneath is a rundown of all SL70 Honda fashions launched throughout its three-year run:

12 months / ID Colours
1971-1972 SL70KO Summer time Yellow, Aquarius Blue, Gentle Ruby Purple
1973 SL70K1 Sweet Riviera, Hearth Purple, Sweet Yellow

A Defeated Overachiever?

Honda has at all times been acclaimed for its ingenuity, subsequent to its high quality. Nevertheless, this mixed method has not at all times produced excellent outcomes – as within the case of the Honda SL70. Having simply had main success in 1969 with the Monkey Bike and its out-of-this-world, Dachshund-like options, Honda opted to make use of the identical tactic. However for the SL70, the agency might have gone a bit overboard with its engineering.

The Honda SL70’s small construct had little and every thing to do with it. Honda did attempt to design the pocket bike as greatest because it might. However due to its dimension, the SL70 ended up being too heavy for its class, affecting its general efficiency and making it a selection for fanatics into challenge builds greater than for children. Likewise, it was largely evident that the bike’s velocity score and torque output solely got here second to different 70-cc Honda machines again within the day.

The Honda SL70 was perceived as extra of a maintenance-monger than its 2-stroke rivals. This downside proved to be a blessing for aftermarket components sellers specializing in turning the anvil-like motorcycle right into a efficiency monster, however solely years after the minibike’s manufacturing ceased.

Honda SL70 Specs and Options

Blue 1971 Honda SL70 Mini Bike


The SL70 Honda makes use of a single-cylinder 4-stroke OHC engine configuration tempered by an environment friendly air cooling system just like its same-class minibike cousins. It has an engine displacement of 72 cm³ (4.4 in³) and a (slanted) horizontal cylinder structure that enables it to adapt to licensing requirements. Bore-stroke ratio is 47 x 41.4 mm (1.85 x 1.63 inches), whereas compression ratio 8.8:1. Though it shares most of its engine specs with the CT70, the SL70 has a barely smaller 15-mm piston-valve-type Keihin carburetor dealing with its air-fuel combination.

Air filtration is a first-rate, oiled polyurethane foam filtering component. Its strong nature lends to the minibike’s prime velocity of as much as 32 mph (52 km/h) and horsepower output of 6.44 hp (4.8 kW) @ 9,500 RPM. Nevertheless, different publications corresponding to Cycle World Journal level out the SL70 spewing solely as a lot as 5.0 hp (3.7 kW) @ 8,000 RPM. Fortunately, mods can improve not solely the bike’s ponies but in addition its top-speed score to as excessive as 77 mph (124 km/h) or extra – relying on the rise in bore dimension, plus different performance-enhancing parts. Conversion to a PE28mm Nibbi Racing Performance Motorcycle Carburetor (view on Amazon) is bound to double these figures.

Gas & Lubrication

Gas tank capability is 1.7 US gallons/6.4 liters (together with reserve) of unleaded gasoline with a minimal PON 87 or RON 91 score, containing < 5% Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol with acceptable cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors. As for engine oil, Honda recommends 0.7 liters/0.74 US pint of Honda GN4 SAE 10W-40 oil or its equal to go together with the SL70’s Pressured stress (moist sump) lubrication system.

Motor oils with an API grade of SJ or larger (with out graphite or molybdenum components) assembly JASO T903 MA/MB requirements supply the most effective outcomes. You may additionally use various viscosity grades following particular ambient temperatures – SAE 30 (above 15° C/60° F); SAE 20W (-10° to fifteen° C/15°-60° F); SAE 10W (beneath 0° C/32° F); SAE 20W-50 (above -10° C/15° F).


The Honda SL70 has a main kick-starter coupled with a 420 O-ring chain (96 hyperlinks together with joint) that delivers energy to the bottom. It veered away from the standard two-disc moist clutch assemblies present in a lot of the producer’s mini path bikes and took after the CT70H fashions outfitted with a 4-speed, constant-mesh guide gearbox. Nevertheless, word that the first and last discount ratios between the 2 are totally totally different from one another.

Entrance/rear sprockets for the 1971 Honda SL70 are 13/44T. Data on gear ratios for this model is kind of scarce. However listed here are the first to 4th gear values for the 1973 mannequin (supply:

Gearshift Sample N-1-2-3-4
Main Discount Ratio 3.722
Last Drive Ratio 3.615
Switch Gear Ratios 1st – 2.692 (36/22) 2nd – 1.824 (24/54) 3rd – 1.300 (17/49) 4th – 0.958 (12/89)


The bike’s 6V breaker level ignition is by flywheel magneto, with an AC generator serving as its supply for lighting and charging system. It requires a 6V 2 Ah/(10 HR) 6N2A-2C/3 or B60-6 battery with assembled dimensions of two.75 x 1.88 x 4.19 inches (70 x 47 x 106 mm – L x W x H) and an NGK C7HSA spark plug with a 0.6-0.7 mm hole. In case of spark plug scarcity, the NGK C7HSA plugs have no less than 19 replacements, together with Bosch 0241045001, U5AC, and U6AC varieties. I extremely recommend utilizing this spark plug finder on your comfort.

Suppose you need to make this pocket bike authorized for avenue driving in all 50 U.S. states. In that case, you’ll need to transform its electrical system to 12V – to have the ability to assist a speedometer kit (view on Amazon), YTX4L-BS battery, and the set up of an electrical horn, amongst different issues. Examine with knowledgeable mechanic or your nearest seller on the following steps for a profitable 12-volt conversion. Honda boards are additionally an excellent place to begin doing a little analysis.

Tires & Brakes

Entrance 2.50-16 tires and a pair of.75-14 rear ones are mounted on aluminum rims. These tires are non-interchangeable with these on the Honda Path CT70 or Z50, as their rims are barely bigger. They’ll deal with giant bumps and ruts however are more proficient on smoother surfaces and reasonably technical terrain. Therefore, the inventory tires do higher when upgraded to laced wire spokes and bias tires or radials. As for stopping energy, increasing entrance and rear drum brakes full the SL70 tire-and-wheel meeting.


The only-backbone, double-cradle body homes entrance forks, outfitted with inner spring models providing surprisingly good damping. In the meantime, oil-dampened rear shocks are progressively wound however have non-adjustable damping. This suspension design works effectively with the bike’s 44-inch wheelbase, is bend-resistant, and ensures no flexing whereas offering 4.4 inches of wheel journey. Regardless of being factory-set to really feel smooth, dealing with nonetheless performs sufficiently off-road, stopping bottoming and lowering rider fatigue past what is predicted of two-wheelers of this dimension.

Dimensions & Capacities

The Honda SL70’s general dimensions are 67.5 x 28.3 x 26.5 inches (1,715 x 719 x 673 mm – L x W x H). In comparison with the same-class CT70H, it’s longer and wider however with a barely decrease seat top. Many fanatics thought of these dimensions as good (the Goldilocks’ zone) – a well-loved attribute of the minibike on the time.

Relying on the manufacturing yr of the minibike, the dry weight might be anyplace from 54-65 Kg (119-143 lbs.), whereas curb weight with rider weight excluded ranges from 69-72 Kg (152-159 lbs.). Primarily based on these estimate values, the SL70 is barely a tad heavier than its same-class counterparts. It will be secure to say its Gross Car Weight Score doesn’t exceed 288 Kg (635 lbs.) – though it’s best to examine this towards the specs within the service guide.


Not like the CT70 sequence, the Honda Motosport SL70 didn’t have as many iterations or trims. Having run for a brief three-year interval, the pocket bike launched a complete of solely six (6) physique colour choices, particularly – Summer time Yellow, Aquarius Blue, and Gentle Ruby Purple (1971-1972); Sweet Riviera Blue, Hearth Purple, and Sweet Yellow (1973).

In inventory kind, it was straightforward to inform the mannequin years aside. However this will likely show troublesome for pre-owned bikes which have already acquired a contemporary paint job. Even when the bike underwent a restomod, its later-year fashions shared the identical candy-based physique colours with the CT70s. Offered unique physique colours have been retained, the easiest way to establish its manufacturing yr was via its emblem, tank-and-shroud end, and instrumentation.

The primary two years of the Honda SL70 had a blue emblem and blue-and-red SL70 emblem studying. The Summer time Yellow SL70 had a black tank stripe that stood out from the standard white discovered on the opposite variations. An analog speedometer was additionally elective. Conversely, the 1973 mannequin had its gasoline tank and “70” decals in yellow. Base fashions now included a speedometer, tachometer, and journey meter as a regular characteristic. Honda SL70 components appear like they’ve been borrowed from bigger, high-performance Honda bikes and have been stored to a minimal.

Turning the SL70 Avenue-Authorized

Out of the crate, the Honda SL70 has the requisites to trip legally on-pavement – though not in all 50 U.S. states. The bike’s 44-inch wheelbase falls wanting the minimal size requirement in two areas. It initially didn’t include a horn or speedometer package till its last manufacturing yr. Furthermore, its 6-volt electrical system can be a priority and must convert to 12V to make gentle distribution and charging extra steady.

With stricter licensing necessities at the moment in place in several international locations, it’s possible you’ll in all probability want extra than simply instrumentation and a horn for this bike. Equipping it with rearview mirrors, a license plate holder, and DOT-approved tires (amongst others) is strongly suggested. An aftermarket muffler is elective because the SL70 already has a Krizman U.S. Forestry-approved spark arrester. The identical is true with upgrading the bike to 150-/200-cc specs.

Worth of a Honda Motosport™ 70

Sources for unique listing costs of the Honda SL70 are fairly scarce. However per Nada Guides information, resale values fall between $480 and $4,070, with the 1971 Honda SL70 having the heftiest price ticket. SL70s which have undergone a restomod normally promote for $3,100 – a top-end rebuild, aftermarket carburetor improve, new paint, 12V batteries, or tires are sometimes included on this worth.

About Honda

The Honda Motor Firm Ltd. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate globally famend for its contributions within the ATV and motorbike industries. Envisioned on the Artwork Shokai storage in 1937, the agency was formally based 9 years later and had since wowed its loyal following with its creations, such because the Honda SL70.

From its humble beginnings, mass-producing piston rings, Honda has advanced right into a powerhouse within the automotive trade. As we speak, the corporate frequently upholds its legacy via its plethora of product choices – together with luxurious and industrial autos, electrical turbines, robotics, and internavi (telematics).

Conclusion – Honda SL70 Path Bike Evaluation

Not solely are traditional bikes just like the Honda Motosport™ 70 bulletproof, however they’re additionally admirable in taking part in their half in motorbike evolution. As a guinea pig, the SL70 was a superb developmental platform for Honda to appropriate its designs and measurements. As a trailblazer, it was an excellent, inclusive minibike that emphasised outside enjoyable.

Because of this two-wheeled surprise, we now take pleasure in a wide range of miniature choices from transportable, leisure pocket bikes to severe dirt-road sliders. In case you are trying to find a nostalgic motorcycle that may fulfill the whims of each adults and younger riders, then look no additional than the Honda SL70!

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