There are some ideas that are simply too good to not pursue, and the Honda Z series of motorcycles is exactly that.
Originally created for Japanese amusement park Tama Tech, a park that was owned by none other than Honda themselves. Yes, that's right, Honda owned an amusement park that featured motorsports-focused rides and attractions, and the Z50 was a result of an attraction at that park!
In the early 1960s, motorcycle riding and specifically dirt bike riding were seeing a massive surge in popularity. Honda American was at the forefront of this movement and was doing everything they could to convince riders that their bikes were not only the most capable but also the most reliable. Anyone who knows motorcycles today knows that this is what Honda bikes are really known for, and this branding started early on.
To prove the reliability of their brand new CL72 Scrambler, brand geniuses Jack McCormick and Walt Fulton of Honda American wanted to push the scrambler on a long-distance run across terrain that included everything from rocks and sand to mountain passes and dried out washes. An amalgamation of what dirt bike riders would encounter on their own riding days. Northwest Mexico would be the perfect environment to test out the overall durability of Honda's plucky CL72 Scrambler.
Motorcycle culture was exploding all over the country, the muscle car era was in full swing, and American’s were more interested in racing than ever before. Intrepid rider Dick Mann, and the reluctantly constructed, factory-backed Honda team stood on the precipice of racing glory, but a tough 200 miles stood between the team and the big “W” that would legitimize Honda as a force to be reckoned with in the world of motorcycle road racing.