MOTORCYCLES

LOOKIN FOR FUN AND FEELING GROOVY!

THE HONDA MONKEY BIKE, THIS FUNKY LITTLE SEVENTIES STYLE ICON IS STILL ALIVE AND KICKING FOR 2022 WITH UPDATES AND A NEW COLOUR

Image
Actually it was born in 1961, so pre-seventies. In fact it's even older than me! The Genesis of the Honda Monkey bike was as 49cc super cub engined child's bike, designed for the Tokyo amusement park Tama Tech. However it was destined for longevity as it was an immediate success – who doesn't like a massively cool tiny chunky bike with a big personality? Once designed, Honda spotted its potential and immediate cachet and a road going version was speedily developed and started off being exported to America and Europe in 1963. This version sported distinctive folding handlebars and 5 inch diameter wheels below its dinky chrome tank.

Love At First Sight
People loved it instantly because it was so tiny, light and super fun around town, plus lovely to look at. So it carried on evolving and next it morphed into a detachable fork version of itself, which meant it would fit into the boot of a car making it even more versatile!

Moving swiftly on, by 1978 it had become super popular with Motorhome owners who could carry their diminutive Monkey on the back to use getting around when the main vehicle was parked up. This meant that the little Monkey was much more out there and coupled with the fact that it was easy to ride for everyone due to its small stature, 3 speed gearbox, weeny fuel tank, lovely comfy seat and mini ape hanger handlebars. It was a real 70s style bike but seems to have timeless appeal.

Imagine?
Since then the Monkey has retained its popularity. John Lennon even owned one, can't get much cooler than that. Now for 2022 it is getting some improvements; the engine is getting an upgrade, the gearbox is increasing in size, the suspension is improving and it is breaking out into new colours.
It now comes in:
Pear Glittering Blue – new for 2022
Banana Yellow
Pearl Nebula Red

Getting Better All the Time
New for 2022 is a 124cc air-cooled 6.9kW power 11Nm torque SOHC two-valve air-cooled engine (evolved from the other weeny one, the MSX Grom), with a 5 speed gear box and it's EURO5 compliant of course.
It also has a correcting plate to manage the indrawn air and feed the intake duct with the idea of smoothing the airflow. Top speed is now 91km/h and the manual clutch gives it the feel of a bigger bike with 12 inch wheels to give it agility.

The engine is economical and the steel backbone frame is tuned for balance between rigidity and suppleness so it can cope with many different conditions. Here are some of its USPs from Honda:
  • Steel frame, USD front forks with 100mm travel and alumite finish and 12-inch diameter tyres
  • Twin rear shocks feature two-stage springs to deal with rough surfaces with 102 mm travel
  • Wet weight of 104kg, with wheelbase of 1,145mm and 775mm seat height
  • IMU-based ABS and Fat block patterned tyres
  • Digital circular LCD meter
  • Full premium LED lighting
  • IMU control reduces rear lift under braking
So plenty of up to the minute tech included, despite the retro look.

Yesterday
All in all it has all the features required to appeal to those who may remember them from back in the day and those who might want a cool retro ride now. Cars and motorcycles seem to be getting bigger and bigger but do we always want that? Perhaps this is a trivial argument looking at the popularity of this little motorcycle.

Have you ridden, owned or coveted one and can you remember them in the 1970s alongside the mullets, sideburns and flares? You don't have to answer that question :)
Let us know at news@wemoto.com or drop us a message on Facebook.

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 29 June 2021 in Motorcycles

RELATED ARTICLES

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Sign up to receive updates and new posts straight to your in-box.

WMD

WORLD'S END MOTORCYCLES DISTRIBUTION

Supplying quality after market motorcycle parts direct to the trade