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Honda Monkey Bike returns – with ABS!

2018 Honda Monkey Bike hefty price

Honda announced it was dropping the 50cc Monkey Bike last year, but they now have a modern version with more than double the engine capacity, five gears and even ABS.

With the phenomenal success of the Grom, Honda has obviously seen the potential for a modernised Monkey Bike.

Honda Australia took two years to realise the potential of the 125cc Grom which now sells for $3999.

There is no word yet on when the Monkey Bike will be available or its price.2018 Honda Monkey Bike

Bigger capacity

Honda chief officer Noriaki Abe said last year they had reached their technological limit for controlling emissions in small-capacity bikes.

“We can no longer make a product that customers can be satisfied with,” he says.

However, Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki said “100cc or 50cc bikes are probably going to disappear” and that “125cc or 150cc will probably become the lower limit for small vehicles”.

Seems he was right.

The 2018 Monkey Bike is still powered by an air-cooled engine, but it’s a 125cc air-cooled, fuel-injected, SOHC, two-valve with 6.7kW of power and 11Nm of torque.2018 Honda Monkey Bike

Fun fun fun

It might not sound like much, but it’s better than the previous model and the bike weighs only 107kg, so it should be a barrel of fun.

And that fun will go on and on with a 5.6-litre fuel tank and an amazing 1.2L/100km (189mpg) economy that provides 373km of range.2018 Honda Monkey Bike

It has also been modernised with five instead of four gears and a standard clutch with a lever, not a centrifugal clutch.

The 2018 Honda Monkey Bike comes in three traditional colour schemes with just enough retro chrome. It uses a standard ignition key and has conventional single-pod instruments.

ABS is becoming mandatory in a lot of markets, including Australia, but only for bikes over 125cc.

Not only does the Honda Monkey Bike come with ABS as standard but it also a modern inertial measurement unit that stops the rear from lifting under heavy braking.

The fame is still a steel backbone with an oval cross section swingarm, but now has upside-down forks and dual shocks with 12-inch wheels.2018 Honda Monkey Bike

Together with a steep steering angle, it should be great fun in the tightest of twisties.

Grom lesson

The Grom showed that a little bike can be fun and meaningful, especially for the all-important millennials market.

But it also has some retro appeal that should make it a hit among older riders with the knee flexibility to ride the machine with a low 776mm seat.

Honda just has to get the price right.

Speaking of prices, last month, an old Monkey Bike owned by John Lennon sold through H&H Classics at the National Motorbikes Museum for £56,250 (about $A100,300, €63,150 $US77,900).

It is the highest price paid for a monkey bike and almost double the estimated price of £30,000 (about $A52,000, €33,700, $US40,000).