Gone Riding: Honda Monkey

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Hello from Santa Catalina Island, where we are about to go ride the new Honda Monkey mini-moto. A play on Honda’s past, the Monkey is built off the modern Honda Grom platform, but uses styling that is more at home in the 1970s.

A retro-modern approach to the mini-bike craze, the Honda Monkey is trying to rekindle some of those “you meet the nicest people on a Honda” feelings, which launched the Japanese brand into the public mainstream almost 50 years ago.

As such, we will be spending the day on this popular Californian destination to see how the Honda Monkey handles not only from a technical perspective on the road, but also we want to see what “je ne sais quoi” of two-wheeled fun the Monkey brings to the table.

With cars largely verboten on Catalina, bikes like Honda’s old Trail 70 and Trail 110 are popular choices here (as are golf carts, but that is an entirely different story), which makes the island a smart pick for this press launch.

Per our new review format, I will be giving you a live assessment of the Honda Monkey right here in this article (down in the comments section), and I will try to answer any questions you might have about this unique motorcycle.

So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the Honda Monkey, before even my own proper review is posted. As always, if I don’t know an answer, I will try to get a response from the Honda personnel. So, pepper away.

You can follow our thoughts on the bike live via FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and you can see what our colleagues are posting on social media by looking for the hashtags #HondaMonkey, #POWERofNICE #RideRed.

Spec-Sheet Comparison of Relevant Models to the Honda Monkey:

  Honda Monkey Honda Grom Kawasaki Z125 Pro Benelli TnT 135
Horsepower 8 hp 8 hp 8 hp 11 hp
Gearb Four-speed Four-speed Four-speed Five-speed
Weight 232 lbs (wet) 229 lbs (wet) 225 lbs (wet) 266 lbs (wet)
Engine 125cc / Two-valve / Single-Cylinder 125cc / Two-valve / Single-Cylinder 125cc / Two-valve / Single-Cylinder 135cc / Four-valve / Single-Cylinder
Price $3,999 $3,399 $3,199  $2,499

Photos: Honda