Honda Trail 70

Honda Motor Company Ltd. was founded in 1946 by Soichiro Honda. It started as a piston rings manufacturing company. Today, Honda is among the leading automobile producers in the global market. It manufactures power equipment, multipurpose engines, and powerful automobiles.

One such popular automobile from the brand is Honda Trail 70 (CT70), which is a minibike designed for outdoor riding.

Honda Trail 70 was first introduced in 1969. It was a successor Z50 and came with classic features and a 72cc engine. Honda produced Trail 70 from 1969 to 1994. The manufacturer released a series of models and trims with improved features. The bike’s sleek body frame and design earned it the name Dax (short for Dachshund).

Let’s read in detail about the second most famous bike by Honda. We’ll look at its initial and latest models, along with the extensive features and upgrades added by the manufacturer over the years.

History of Honda Trail 70

Honda Trail 70 was the first minibike to have a four-speed manual transmission. The bike was famous among riders, bike enthusiasts, and collectors. Trail 70 is a collector’s delight because of its lean T-shaped design and cool features.

Trail 70 comes with a three-speed and four-speed transmission. Honda released the bikes in bright and attractive colors like candy ruby red, candy sapphire, candy topaz orange, candy emerald green, yellow special, Riviera blue, mighty green, and Tahitian red.

Honda limited the models produced after the hiatus to Tahitian red. They had the same three-speed auto clutch transmission and a 72cc OHC engine. Most Trail 70 bikes have a top speed of 40 to 43 mph. A customized bike can touch double the speed (77 mph), depending on the upgrades and maintenance.

Specifications and Upgrades of Hone Trail 70

Honda made seven upgrades or changes to Trail 70 throughout the production period. The first change was in 1970 when it released the first-ever four-speed transmission manual clutch (HKO version). The bike had a speedometer and separate headlight.

The 1973 model came with mirrors and better headlights. The 1974 model has turn indicators. The manufacturer continued to make changes to the speedometer, ignition switch, etc., until it halted production in 1982.

The re-release in 1991 arrived with a configured speedometer, better front shock absorbers, and white wheel rims. This model and the subsequent ones had a recovery device to comply with the emission guidelines. The voltage increased from 6V to 12V to power the headlights, tail lights, indicators, etc.

However, riders didn’t particularly like the white rims, which made the bike book muddier and dirtier than it was. It was too much work to keep it clean. Even the mighty green color of the 1975 model wasn’t a success.

But what made Honda Trail 70 popular are the quality components used by the manufacturer. From the lightweight engine to the flywheel magneto ignition and reliable suspension, the minibike had what riders wanted.

Honda Trail 70 comes in two major categories- ST70, CT70/70H, and K1, K2, & K3. We’ll look at the specifications of both.

Honda Trail 70 (ST70, CT70/70H)

Frame Design: T-bone
Dimensions: 59.8* 22.8* 37.8 inches (LWH)
Seat Height: 29.3 inches
Curb Weight: 143.3 lbs for ST70 and CT70H and 136.7 lbs for CT70
Wheelbase: 40.7 inches
Horsepower: 4HP in CT70H, 5HP in CT70, and 5.6HP in ST70
Load Capacity: 220 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 0.66 gallons
Ground Clearance: 6.5 inches in ST70 and CT70H and 7.1 inches in CT70
Wheels: Steel, laced wire spokes, and cast aluminum
Tires: Bridgestone Trailwings 4.00*10 (2 PR) on the front (107.5-127.5 kPa) and rear (127.5-146.9 kPa)
Other Tires: Bridgestone Trailwings 3.00*10 (2 PR) on the front (97.9 kPa) and rear (117.2 kPa) for on-road/ street driving

Honda Trail 70 (K1, K2, K3)

Frame Design: Steel pressing
Dimensions: 59.6* 26* 39.8 inches (LWH)
Seat Height: 29.3 inches
Curb Weight: 161 lbs
Wheelbase: 41.3 inches
Horsepower: 4HP in K1 and 4.5HP in K2 & K3
Load Capacity: 220 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 0.66 gallons
Ground Clearance: 7.5 inches
Wheels: cast aluminum
Tires: Bridgestone Trailwings 4.00*10 (2 PR) on the front (117.2 kPa) and rear (137.9 kPa)

Engine and Ignition

The engine for all models is pretty much the same. Honda Trail 70 comes with a 72cc four-stroke air-cooled single cylinder OHC engine. The compression ratio is 8.8: 1, and the bore-stroke ratio is 1.85*1.63 inches. The minibikes have a forward kick-start mechanism with flywheel magneto ignition.


Most 70cc bikes from the manufacturer have a two-disc wet clutch. The CT70, K1, K2, and K3 have a manual clutch. The gear shift pattern and the gear ratio are different for different models. While ST70 and CT70 have three-speed transmission, CT70H, K1, K2, & K3 have four-speed transmission.

Brakes and Suspension

Both categories of Honda Trail 70 have internal expanding shoe brakes on the front and rear. The suspension is also the same as these models.

The 2023 Honda ST125 Dax

You can ride Honda Trail 70 on most streets in the US. It is not permitted on highways because of speed restrictions, but you can happily ride it on the streets and trails. The manufacturer released an upgraded and off-road version of CT70 in 2021 called Trail 125.

Now, Honda is producing the 2023 model, ST125 Dax, designed for street riding. It is more powerful, with a 124cc 9HP engine and four-speed semi-automatic clutch transmission. The major difference lies in its usability. Riders used Trail 70 on streets and trails. The 2021 Trail 125 was an exclusive off-road bike for the trails. This 2023 model will be a street riding bike. It is not suited for the trails.

If you want a Honda minibike that can do the streets and trails, CT70 is your best bet even today.

Trail 70 is so cool that you can ride it on the streets and trails. You can fold the handlebar and footpegs to fit the bike in your truck and carry it to the trails. It has less weight compared to other bikes in the category, thanks to the lightweight engine.

That said, the rules are different for riding a bike in the streets. You need to adhere to the state laws and get the following attachments:

Engine upgrades are not compulsory. You can replace the existing engine with a much more powerful one. Trail 70 is compatible with the 140cc engines (especially YX140) and doubles its speed to 77mph.

Insurance and a driving license are a must to ride Trail 70 on the streets. Renew the insurance every year if you intend to continue riding the bike on the streets.

Pros and Cons



Final Words

Proper maintenance can increase the durability of Trail 70. Clean the dirt often to prevent corrosion and follow the instruction manual to change oils periodically. Honda Trail 70 (CT70) is a worthy minibike with many fans from the riding community.

Take it on to the trails or zoom through the streets. It’s a great vehicle to ride on farms, ranches, and private properties. You can transport it from one place to another in your car/ van. Honda Trail 70 is every rider’s delight.