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Tue, 29 Jun 2021

22YM HONDA MONKEY 125

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.
 
Its popularity was based on acute, instantly-likeable design, tiny dimensions and ultra-lightweight – which made it a whole load of fun around town. By 1969 its wheels had increased to 8-inch in diameter and from 1970 it gained even greater popularity when the addition of quick-detach forks meant it would fit into the trunk of a small car.
 
By 1978 – a point that marked the start of real prime time for the Monkey – the bike had been re-styled with a teardrop style fuel tank and became hugely popular with legions of RV (Recreational Vehicle) drivers in need of convenient transport to use once they were parked up. And this is where and when the cheeky Monkey really cemented its place in millions of hearts; with its 3-speed gearbox and centrifugal clutch (which needed no ‘traditional’ motorcycle skill to operate), it gave thousands of riders their first experience of twisting the throttle on a powered two-wheeler.
 
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 unmistakable of its time, but – just like the affection in which it is held – also timeless.
 
Model Overview
 
In 2018, the Monkey’s time came around once again. Inspired by the original (but also as a usefully fun 125cc motorcycle fit for the 21st century) a brand-new Monkey cheered up the roads of Europe. Now, for 2022, the Monkey gets an engine upgrade, a larger gearbox,  refinements to the suspension, brand new colour and detail improvements, further widening its ‘smile’ factor and building-in extra day-to-day usability