It’s the 60th anniversary of the Honda Monkey, and while we wish there was something new about the 2021 Honda Monkey, there’s not. Fortunately, there isn’t much we’d like to change about the funky little Monkey—except, perhaps, a Beastie Boys tribute model in brass (okay, that’s a different kind of Monkey).
The latest Monkey continues to be powered by a fuel-injected air-cooled SOHC powerplant that provides plenty of around-town fun. It’s the same motor found in the Grom and Super Cub models. The calling cards of the Monkey are its retro-styling, compact ergonomics, and a 60-year pedigree.
The first Monkey was produced in 1961 with a 50cc motor and no suspension—it was built as an attraction for Tama Tech, an amusement park Honda owned in Japan. Eventually, the Monkey made its way to the streets of Japan and Europe.
In 1968, the Honda Z50A K0 debuted in the United States. Dubbed the Mini-Trail, the US version had front suspension, but was not street legal. It was a revolutionary motorcycle that, along with the Yamaha DT-1 dual-sport bike, helped kickstart America’s 1970s off-road motorcycle boom. The spirit of the 1968 Honda Mini-Trail lives on in the current CRF50F.
The 1969 Honda Mini-Trail was the first street-legal Z50 Monkey bike in the United States, and the 60th anniversary Monkey is a worthy descendent of that influential motorcycle.
2021 Honda Monkey Specs
- Type: Horizontal four-stroke single
- Displacement: 125cc
- Bore x stroke: 52.4 x 57.9mm
- Compression ratio: 9.3:1
- Fueling: EFI
- Cooling: Air
- Valvetrain: SOHC, two valves
- Starting: Electric
- Transmission: 4-speed
- Clutch: Multiplate wet
- Final drive: Chain
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 31mm inverted fork; 3.9 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Non-adjustable shocks; 4.1 inches
- Tires: Vee Rubber
- Front tire: 120/80 x 12
- Rear tire: 130/80 x 12
- Front brake: 220mm disc w/ Nissin caliper
- Rear brake: 190mm disc w/ Nissin caliper
- ABS: Optional ($200 additional)
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 46.5 inches
- Rake: 25 degrees
- Trail: 3.2 inches
- Seat height: 30.6 inches
- Fuel capacity: 1.5 gallons
- Curb weight: 232 pounds
- Colors: Pearl Glittering Blue (standard); Pearl Nebula Red
- 2021 Honda Monkey Price: $3999 MSRP
- 2021 Honda Monkey ABS Price: $4199 MSRP