The Honda Monkey is, probably, better known as an icon of the motorcycle industry from the 70’s, but this model actually made its first appearance a little earlier than that in 1961 with the reveal of the then designated Z100, later renamed as the Z50.
Originally developed as a kids toy for the Tama Tech amusement park in Tokyo, this model became so popular that Honda decided it had to develop a road legal version of her.
The first Monkey had a single-cylinder 49 cc engine derived from the unit used in the Super Cub. Being little, the Monkey had a 3-speed gearbox and 5’’ wheels, while the seat height wasn’t higher than 560 mm, the handlebar could be folded and the rider didn’t have too much comfort because Honda didn’t use suspensions on this bike.
Nevertheless, the Monkey conquered a loyal fan base throughout the years, with Honda developing many different versions and with different updates to cater to specific market demands.
But Honda decided to stop the production of the Monkey, that is until late 2017, when at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show the Japanese brand revealed a concept for a modern Monkey.
Now, Honda announced that the Monkey is back in business – no, this isn’t a “monkey business” pun! – and it is based on the popular MSX125 platform, bringing back the original Monkey style but updated with new technologies.
Honda developed a new frame in steel for a better balance between rigidity and agility, making the new Monkey 125 a versatile mini-bike. The Monkey 125 uses a backbone frame with an oval-cross section swingarm, and the new version also comes with inverted forks and dual shocks with 12-inch wheels. The bike weighs 107 kg (wet weight) and carries a 5,6-litre fuel tank.
Compared to the original Monkey, this new version makes the rider seat a little higher to the ground, with the high-density seat fixed at 775 mm from the ground.
The front inverted forks are coated in a premium Alumite finish, while the braking system has discs on both wheels (220 mm at the front, 190 mm at the back), and Honda made sure the rider is safe at all moments by installing an ABS unit that works in conjunction with an IMU – Inertial Measurement Unit.
Because of the IMU, the new Monkey 125 detects when the rear wheel is lifting in hard braking situations, and the braking system will actuate to eliminate that lifting, maintaining the rear wheel in contact with the asphalt.
The engine is a single-cylinder with 125 cc horizontally positioned and air-cooled. Fuel is fed by a fuel injection system, the famous PGM-Fi, and while power is 9,2 hp and maximum torque reaches 11 Nm, all this transmitted to the back wheel with the help of a four-speed gearbox, average fuel consumption, according to Honda, is only of 1,49 liters every 100 km, and this will allow the Monkey 125 to run for more than 300 km before stopping for a fill up.
Honda proposes the new Monkey 125 in three color options: Banana Yellow, Pearl Nebula Red and Pearl Shining Black.
For more information on Honda motorcycles please visit the official Honda Malaysia website bi clicking here .