Green Sticker Facts:
California Air Resources Board (CARB) established regulations to limit the use of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) that do not meet emission standards applicable for California OHV riding areas. After the regulations were established, CARB and DMV worked together to develop criteria for identifying non-complying OHVs. OHVs are registered by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A red or green sticker is issued depending upon certain criteria.
Green Stickers are issued for all California OHVs that are model year 2002 and older, including those that were previously issued a Red Sticker, and for compliant vehicles that are model year 2003 and newer. Green stickers are issued to OHVs for year-round use at all California OHV riding areas.
Red Stickers are issued to 2003 year-model-and-newer OHVs that are not certified to California OHV emission standards. If an OHV has a "3" or "C" in the eighth position of the vehicle identification number (VIN) then it will be issued a Red Sticker. Red Stickers are issued to OHVs that can only be used in California OHV riding areas during certain seasons.
Top Five Trail Bike Areas in Southern California:
Trail bikes are best enjoyed on trails, and although urban crawl and other factors have claimed some riding areas over the years, there are still many good trails for riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in the Southern California area. While some are privately owned, those that are most appropriate for new riders are generally publicly funded and managed. This list is aimed at new riders of two-wheel off-road motorcycles.
Hungry Valley SVRA
WHERE: North of Los Angeles in the Tejon Pass, near the town of Gorman
WHAT: California’s third-largest SVRA (State Vehicular Recreation Area), Hungry Valley covers 19,000 acres and offers over 130 miles of trails.
WHY: The wide variety of well-designed trails makes Hungry Valley suitable for most ability levels.
WHEN: Best in spring and autumn, whereas summer can be somewhat dusty. With elevations between 3,000 and 6,000 feet, the area can get cold temperatures and even snowfall in winter.
HOW: Take Interstate 5 north, exit 202, Ralphs Ranch Rd. to Gold Hill Rd./Hungry Valley Rd. Day-use fee is $5.
ADMINISTRATOR: California State Parks
El Mirage Dry Lake OHV Area
WHERE: Mojave Desert, on the western edge of San Bernardino County, near the town of Adelanto
WHAT: Divided into four general sections, the El Mirage OHV Area comprises 24,400 acres with 40 miles of trail.
WHY: Relatively close to most of the Los Angeles area, El Mirage OHV Area features a dedicated training area for new riders, who can also use the friendly flat lakebed to get used to operating the motorcycle controls with relatively few obstacles as distraction. The area also offers a nice infrastructure and camping areas, made possible through strong investment and the well-organized non-profit Friends of El Mirage.
WHEN: Best in spring and autumn, though winter can also be good if cold nighttime temperatures aren't a problem. Summer temperatures often reach triple digits.
HOW: From most of the Los Angeles basin, take Interstate 15 north. Exit at Highway 395 and go north. Take Crippen Ave. west, and just before the town of El Mirage, take Mountain View Rd. north. Day-use fee is $15.
ADMINISTRATOR: Bureau of Land Management with cooperation from State of California
Ocotillo Wells SVRA
WHERE: Northeast of San Diego, between Anza Borrego State Park and the Salton Sea
WHAT: Over 85,000 acres
WHY: As long as you’re comfortable with relatively primitive conditions, you can’t beat Ocotillo for shear scale, as the actual SVRA is surrounded by many more hundreds of thousands of acres of land that is also legal for off-road riding.
WHEN: Autumn, winter and spring are all quite nice, whereas summer temperatures can soar to over 100º F.
HOW: From Los Angeles, take Interstate 10 east to Indio. Take Highway 86 south to Highway 78 west, then turn right on Holmes Camp Rd. There is no entrance fee.
ADMINISTRATOR: California State Parks
Rowher Flat OHV Area
WHERE: Near Santa Clarita
WHAT: At 10,240 acres, Rowher Flat isn’t among the larger off-road areas, but its 60 miles of trails are marked and groomed.
WHY: One of the most convenient OHV areas for residents of the Los Angeles area.
WHEN: With elevations between 2,100 and 4,844 square feet, Rowher Flat can be ridden in all seasons, though it’s best avoided after storms.
HOW: From Los Angeles, take Interstate 5 north to Interstate 14 east. Exit at Sand Canyon and go north to Sierra Highway. Take a right on Sierra Highway, and after five miles, take Rush Canyon Rd.
Day-use fee is $5.
ADMINISTRATOR: Angeles National Forest, in cooperation with Los Angeles County and California State
Cactus Flat OHV Staging Area
WHERE: Northeast of Big Bear Lake
WHAT: Cactus Flat is just one of several starting points for accessing trails in the San Bernardino National Forest OHV system, which offers a huge variety of trails.
WHY: The Big Bear area offers not only wonderful trails, but—for when your riding appetite has been filled—also a number of great campgrounds and other mountain recreational activities.
WHEN: Great for escaping the low-elevation summer heat, the Big Bear area can also be ridden in spring and autumn, but trails can be snow-covered in winter.
HOW: From the town of Big Bear, take Highway 18 north to Cactus Rd. Turn right and follow it to the riding area. A day Adventure Pass is $5.
ADMINISTRATOR: San Bernardino National Forest
Honda Rider Education Centers:
Honda’s commitment to powersports and the environment extends beyond selling product, a point made evident as one navigates the grounds of any of the four Honda Rider Education Centers across North America. In some cases nestled in urban jungles, these facilities aren’t just a means for teaching riders (of all brands) the proper operation of off-highway motorcycles and ATVs; they’re also places where riders and non-riders alike can learn about the environment and responsible land use.
Honda Rider Education Center Locations
A staple of the program, the Colton Rider Education Center was expanded in 2004, Honda trucking in 7,000 yards of dirt and some 2,541 plants to help distinguish five separate ecosystems. Here, riders can get a feel for grassland, chaparral, woodland, riparian and desert terrains—each of these areas inspired by trails native to the nearby San Bernardino National Forest and the Mojave Desert.
As part of the half-day DirtBike course offered at the Honda Rider Education Center, riders will learn the fundamental and technical skills needed to operate an off-road bike in a safe and smart manner; that includes, but isn’t limited to, starting, stopping, shifting, cornering, standing, proper body positions, and going over certain obstacles. The best part? It can be a family activity, with private classes (two students) and family classes (up to five family members) offered on request for weekdays or weekends. Students needn’t bring their own gear, either, as safety apparel is loaned through the program.
Open to anyone 6 and older, Honda’s Rider Education Courses are another example of Honda’s commitment to powersports, as well as a recognition of its social responsibility and support of its customers. Want to navigate the grounds yourself?
For more information:
Honda’s Trail Bike History:
It all started in the most unassuming of ways. In 1961, at Tama Tech, a Honda-owned amusement park in Japan, Honda’s 49cc Z100 was featured as part of an attraction meant to help park goers experience the joys of riding. So popular was the attraction that Honda would go on to build the Z100-based CZ100, and later, the Z50 Mini-Trail that was brought to America. Complete with 8-inch wheels, knobby tires, an adjustable seat, and a folding handlebar, the Z50A was immediately popular, in part because it could be stowed in a car trunk for easy transport to local riding spots. A star was born, and the Z50 Mini-Trail went on to become American Honda’s best-selling motorcycle of all time.
While it would spend the first years of its life adorned with a smattering of street-legal components, the Z50A never shied away from the trail, and by 1979, increased off-road use in North America meant it was time for something even more dirt-focused. The 1979 Z50R delivered on that promise and would continue to do so for the next two decades, this long-running model growing with generations of new riders until it was replaced by the XR50R in 2000.
Honda’s trail bike lineup also grew to include slightly larger models, with the 1973 XR75 setting the bar for small-displacement, single-cylinder four-stroke motorcycles. Replaced by the XR80 in 1979, this model ruled the trails, and some even commandeered it for racing, with considerable success.
Honda’s trail lineup expanded rapidly as early as 1981, with the introduction of the XR100, and would go on to include the XR70, XR80, XR100, each of which sat proudly alongside the Z50R on showroom floors and had new riders singing, “I wanna ride, I wanna ride.”
In 2004, a transition to the CRF nomenclature helped create unity within Honda’s off-road family, which now included the CRF50F, CRF70F, CRF80F, and CRF100F. Guaranteeing that there was something for everyone in the family, the CRF150F and CRF230F were introduced at the same time, each of these models building on the strong base formed by larger trail bikes such as the XR200/XR200R and XR250/XR250R.
Honda’s Trail lineup turned another important corner in 2013, when the CRF110F was introduced as a replacement for the CRF70F, and once again in 2014, when the CRF125F was brought in as the replacement for Honda’s long-successful CRF80F; its CRF125F Big Wheel sibling stepping in for the iconic CRF100F, and going on to form the platform that would be the starting point for a 2019 model-year update.
Honda Trail Bike Timeline:
Following is a comprehensive chronological list of Honda trail bikes through the years. Please note that this list doesn’t include street-legal (dual-sport) models, two-stroke models or machines over 250cc displacement.