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The Honda Monkey bike is perhaps most widely known as a groovy icon of the 1970s, but it first saw the light of day in 1961. Originally developed as a 49cc child’s plaything for Tama Tech, an amusement park in Tokyo, it proved so popular that a road-going version was developed, which was initially exported to America and Europe in 1963, with a distinctive chrome tank, folding handlebars and 5-inch diameter rigidly-mounted wheels.
Because it was so much fun, and so easy to ride, it did more to sell the concept of motorcycles to a wider public than perhaps any other machine. With its chunky tyres, mini-‘ape’ style handlebars, miniscule fuel tank and big, squashy seat the Monkey look is unmistakably of its time, but – just like the affection in which it is held – also timeless.
As for the power unit, true to its origins, the Monkey’s horizontal SOHC 125cc single-cylinder engine is simple, robust and tuned to deliver useful about-town performance. Air-cooled, with bore and stroke of 52.4 x 57.9mm and compression ratio of 9.3:1, fed by PGM-FI, it produces 6.9kW @ 7,000rpm and 11Nm @ 5,250rpm. The gearbox is 4-speed and the engine returns fuel economy of 67km/l (WMTC mode).
Who knows where the Monkey will take you. So we’ve built it tough just in case. Its steel backbone frame provides strength and stability, along with the oval-section swingarm. Up Side Down (USD) front forks wear a premium Alumite finish and are matched by dual rear shocks with 104mm of axle travel. Maximum ground clearance is 160mm, fat 12-inch block pattern tyres make for a smooth ride and the seat is made of plush, high-density urethane.
Naturally the classic Monkey style had to provide the cues for the new model. A trapezoid silhouette highlights the compact length, while adding depth and substance to its stance. Simple, curved surfaces are designed independently of each other and feature throughout.
Modern technology is fully present within the evocative reincarnation of the classic look: a digital full-LCD circular meter features speedometer, odometer with two trip meters and six-segment fuel level indicator; all lighting is LED; the ‘wave’ pattern key (which also wears the Old Wing motif) features an ‘answer back’ system that makes the lights flash at the push of a button to allow easy location in crowded car parks; the single channel ABS system operates with an IMU to mitigate rear ‘lift’ under strong braking.
The Monkey’s steel backbone frame has been tuned for a suitable balance between rigidity and supple feel – perfect for the wide variety of conditions the machine is sure to be ridden in. Oval in cross-section, the swingarm echoes the circular design theme that runs through the bike.
Wheelbase is set at 1155mm, with rake and trail of 25°/82mm and a minimum turning radius of just 1.9m. Wet weight is a mere 107kg, with a seat height of 775mm. The plush seat is made of high-density urethane for maximum comfort.
USD front forks wear a premium Alumite finish and are matched by dual rear shocks with 104mm of axle travel. Maximum ground clearance is 160mm. A single 220mm front disc and 190mm rear provide secure stopping performance, managed by the IMU-based ABS. Fat 12-inch block pattern tyres make for a smooth ride and are sized 120/80-12 65J front and 130/80-12 69J rear.
The glossy 5.6L fuel tank, finished in the same paint colour as the frame, swing arm and rear shocks, crowns the machine, and proudly wears a historical 3-D Old Wing design Honda logo. Chromed steel high-level front and rear mudguards – plus the evocatively-stamped exhaust shield, circular mirrors and high-rise handlebars – all pay homage to the original.
Banana Yellow/Ross White
Pearl Nebula Red/Ross White
Pearl Shining Black/Ross White
To ride the Honda Monkey, at the minimum you will need a CBT and a provisional. This requires an L plate attached to bike.
The minimum age to hold an A1 licence is 17. With an A1 licence, you can ride a light motorcycle up to 11 kW (and a power-to-weight ratio not more than 0.1 kW per kg) and 125 cc. You may also ride motor tricycles with a power output of not more than 15 kW. The requirement is that you have passed your CBT, theory test and practical test.
All information on the licence required to ride the bikes are correct at time of publication but may be subject to change. We endeavour to maintain accurate information, however cannot guarantee the details to be accurate all the time due to legislation changes. Cox Motor Group and North West Honda accepts no liability for any misrepresentation and recommends that the individual dealer be contacted to confirm the licence required to ride the bike.
|Bore × Stroke (mm)||52.4 x 57.9mm|
|Carburation||PGM-FI electronic fuel injection|
|Engine Displacement (cc)||125cc|
|Engine Type (cm³)||Air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke 2-valve|
|Max. Power Output||6.9kW @ 7,000rpm|
|Max. Torque||11Nm @ 5,250rpm|
|Oil Capacity (Litres)||Upper 1.1 litres; lower 0.9 litres|
|Transmission Type||4 speed|
|Dimensions (L×W×H) (mm)||1,710 x 755 x 1,029mm|
|Frame type||Steel backbone frame|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)||5.6 litres|
|Fuel Consumption||67km/litre (WMTC mode)|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||160mm|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||107kg|
|Seat Height (mm)||776mm|
|Brakes Front||Single 220 mm hydraulic disc with IMU-based ABS|
|Brakes Rear||Single 190mm hydraulic disc|
|Suspension Front||USD fork, 100mm axle travel|
|Suspension Rear||Twin shock, 104mm axle travel|
|Tyre Size Front||120/80-12 65J|
|Tyre Size Rear||130/80-12 69J|
|Wheels Front||10-spoke cast aluminium|
|Wheels Rear||10-spoke cast aluminium|