Honda SL70: history, specs, pictures

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Honda SL70
Also called SL 70
Production 1971 - 1973
Successor Honda XL70
single cylinder, four-stroke
Top Speed 32 mph
Horsepower 6.44 HP (4.8 KW) @ 9500RPM
Fuel System Carburetor
Spark Plug NGK C7HSA 71-72 , '73
Battery YUASA 6N2A-2C-3 YUASA '73
YUASA 6N2A-2C 71-72
Transmission Gear box: 4-speed
Final Drive: chain
Final Drive Chain: 420x96
Front Sprocket 13T
Rear Sprocket 44T
Brakes Front: Drum
Rear: Drum
Front Tire 2.50-16 71-72 , '73
Rear Tire 2.75-14 71-72 , '73
Recommended Oil Honda GN4 10W-40
Related Honda SL90
Competition Yamaha JT-1
Manuals Service Manual

The Honda SL70 was a single cylinder, four-stroke Naked motorcycle produced by Honda from 1971 to 1973. Claimed horsepower was 6.44 HP (4.8 KW) @ 9500 RPM.


In 1970 Honda wasn’t going to let Yamaha cash in on the new mini-cycle craze with their JT1MX, so Honda Motors Corp’s design facility in Torrance, California came up with the SL70, a scaled down 70cc version of the on-off road Honda SL motorcycle line .

Coincidentally, the SL70 closely resembled the 1969 SL90, down to the tank/frame design and slanted cylinder configuration. In standard Honda fashion, the SL70 looked good, and seemed ready to take on the Yamaha mini-enduro in all areas.

Unfortunately a few typical Honda design features of the time, like excessive weight and over-engineering cursed the SL70 with a dry weight of 153 lbs, versus the relatively light weight of its competitor, the Yamaha Mini-Enduro at 121 lbs, wet.

Not to say the SL70 was a pig, as thousands of die hard Honda fans snapped up the mild little 70cc buggers for their kids, and even themselves, under the guise of a “pit bike”. And of course, all the Honda hop up aftermarket folks like Poweroll and Webco produced kits to up the SL from its anemic 6.5 horsepower to fire-breathing configurations with high lift cams, big carbs, stroked cranks, big bore kits, etc. Even a Poweroll 110cc kit was offered, that required the owner to bore the cases, stroke the crankshaft, and run a paper-thin steel cylinder liner. Such was the life of a hopped up Honda 4 stroke motosport owner, who sacrificed anvil like reliability for performance.

Seeing that the SL70 was to compete against its closest rival, the Mini-Enduro, Honda did see fit to equip the SL70 with better forks and shocks than the Yamaha, and the SL came in a full street legal configuration, unlike the Yamaha which would wait to release a lighted version of the JT2MX in 1972.

Compared to the Yamaha Mini-Enduro, the SL70 was a well constructed, solid Honda that suffered from excessive weight and higher maintenance than its two-stroke rival. As one who lived the period, and competed against the Honda, the only bad thing I can say about it was the Honda level of thrash-ability that allowed riders to run the poor little bike on the ragged edge of with no-maintenance, that would ultimately cause the bike to explode, and render it a useless expensive door stop.

The SL70 lived on until 1975, renamed the XL70, and was actually replaced by the XR75 in 1973, a totally different machine, with a vertical cylinder configuration, and a lighter weight of 140 lbs. 1973 was a milestone year for Honda, with the release of the CR250 and CR125 MX machines. After ’73, Honda never looked back.


The engine was a air cooled single cylinder, four-stroke. Fuel was supplied via a overhead cams (ohc).


The bike has a 4-speed transmission.


Stopping was achieved via Drum in the front and a Drum in the rear.

1971 - 1973 Honda SL 70[edit]

Honda's SL 70, manufactured between 1971 and 1973, had a 4 speed transmission and a 4 stroke air cooled single cylinder, single overhead cam engine.

1971-72 SL70K0[edit]

  • Available three colors: Summer Yellow, Aquarius Blue, and Light Ruby red
  • The Honda emblem was blue with a blue and red logo reading "SL70"
  • On the yellow bike, the tank stripe was black; but on the other colors the stripe was white
  • Engine: 72cc OHC single cylinder
  • Transmission: 4-speed with manual clutch
  • Speedometer was optional
  • Serial number began SL70-1000001
  • Spark Plug: NGK C7HSA

1973 SL70K1[edit]

  • Available colors: Candy Riviera Blue, Fire Red, and Candy Yellow
  • The fuel tank and "70" decals were yellow
  • Engine: 72cc OHC single cylinder
  • Transmission: 4-speed with manual clutch
  • A speedometer was now standard
  • The serial number began SL70-1100001


  • In 1974 it was called the XL70 although it was basically the same bike.

See Also[edit]


Motorcycles: CB series | CBF series | CM/CMX series | CX Series | CBR series | NSR series | CR series | Pacific Coast | XR/XL series | Bros/HawkGT | VF/VFR series | VT series | VTX series | ST series | Valkyrie series | GL series| NR series
Mopeds and light motorcycles: Ape models | Cub series | CT series | ST series/Dax | S series |Wave series | Z series