Following the success of the Grom, Honda has decided to bring the Monkey back to the European market, combining bike’s iconic look with modern technology. The iconic Honda Monkey has remained in serial production for more than 50 years now, but for the last few decades, was mainly offered in Japan. For 2018, the Honda Monkey is coming back to Europe, but unfortunately, minibike fans in North America will have to be left out. For now, at least.
The 2018 Honda Monkey maintains the bike’s iconic look, with simple curved surfaces, two-tone tank, a stamped exhaust shield, and a 3D retro Honda wing badge on the fuel tank.
Straight edges are hard to find as the new Honda Monkey maintains a circular motif in the round headlight, turn signals, instrument nacelle and the Old Wing Honda badge on the tank.
The Monkey comes powered by a fuel-injected 125cc air-cooled SOHC single, similar to the one equipped on the Grom. Honda claims a modest output of 9.3 hp at 7000 rpm and 8.1 lb-ft. at 5250 rpm. As with the Grom, the Monkey comes with a four-speed manual transmission. Keeping the classic Monkey look, the exhaust curls upward and back beside the seat, but in a nod to modern emissions requirements, makes a quick detour under the engine where the catalytic converter is situated.
Honda also claims the Monkey gets 157.7 mpg, which translates to a range of about 233 miles on a full 1.47 gallon tank of gas.
Mechanically, the engine is similar to the one powering the Grom but for the Monkey, Honda gave it a retro look with chromed engine that resemble classic Monkey models.
The Monkey uses a steel backbone frame Honda says offers a balance between rigidity and subtle feel. The swingarm has an oval cross-section design, reflecting the circular motif of the Monkey’s overall design. Twin shocks give the rear axle 4.1 inches of travel. Up front, the Monkey sports an inverted fork with 3.9 inches of travel.
The 12-inch ten-spoke cast aluminum wheels come with fat block-pattern tires, sporting a 120/80-j12 65J tire up front and a 130/80-12 69J at the back. The braking system is comprised of a single 220mm front disc and a 190mm rear rotor, both managed by an IMU-based single-channel ABS.
High bars and circular mirrors pay homage to the original monkey. The fully digital LCD display reminds us this is a modern bike.
Yes, that’s right. The new Monkey has an IMU-regulated ABS. Other modern tech includes full LED lighting and a fully-digital LCD. The screen includes a digital fuel meter, odometer and two trip meters. The speedometer offers a playful wink when the ignition is turned on. The Monkey also comes with a “wave” pattern key with an answer-back system that flashes the lights at the push of a button.
Other features include a ribbed seat placed 30.6 inches from the ground, a 236 pound claimed wet weight, chromed front and rear steel fenders, and three color options: Banana Yellow/Ross White, Pearl Nebula Red/Ross White and Pearl Shining Black/Ross White.
2018 Honda Monkey Specifications
Air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke 2-valve
Bore x Stroke
52.4 x 57.9mm
Max. Power Output
9.3 hp at 7000 rpm (claimed)
8.1 lb-ft. at 5250 rpm (claimed)
Upper 0.3 gallons; lower 0.24 gallons
PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity
67 kpl/157.6 mpg (WMTC mode, claimed)
Wet multi plate clutch
Steel backbone frame
67.3 in. x 29.7 in. x 40.5 in.
6 ft. 3 in.
236 pounds (claimed)
USD fork, 3.9 in. axle travel
Twin shock, 4.1 in. axle travel
10-spoke cast aluminum
10-spoke cast aluminum
Single 220 mm hydraulic disc with IMU-based ABS
Single 190mm hydraulic disc
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Source: All Bikes news one