Every time the Honda trucks roll into town, we get excited. After all, Honda has developed a well-earned reputation for making some cool and fun motorcycles. If you could peer inside a Honda motorcycle hauler, you would get the first glimpse of the 2019 Honda Monkey. You don’t have to sneak inside an eighteen-wheeler, though. This Honda Monkey review gives you an insider’s look at the latest vintage-inspired bike from Honda.
Vintage Styling in a Modern Motorcycle
There are so many good things to say about the 2019 Monkey. Perhaps the best aspect of the mini trail bike, though, is its classic styling. When you see the machine, you may immediately think of its cool ancestors. That is, the Monkey looks a lot like it did in the 1960s. If you weren’t riding then, you should know that the public fell in love with the original Monkey. As far as modern comparison goes, the Monkey’s overall aesthetic is a lot like the Honda Grom.
The new Honda Monkey is a decidedly small motorcycle. Motorcycle purists may argue whether it constitutes a minibike, but the 12-inch wheels and a bit over 230-pound weight move the Monkey toward that category. This machine is built for adults, though.
The Monkey’s tank has retro curves decorated with bubble letters. You can get your new Monkey in two colors, so if you are a fan of red or yellow, you are in luck. The Monkey’s classic design extends beyond its frame. Like you would expect in a bike grounded in 1960’s styling, the Monkey has enough chrome to make a vintage motorcycle collector blush. It also has some components that are a bit too cute. For example, staring back at you from between the handlebars is a speedometer that looks remarkably like a smiley face.
The Power You Would Expect From a Small Bike
It would be unfair to compare the Honda Monkey to a full-sized motorcycle. That is, this bike is in a different category altogether. If you are a fan of high-performance machines, you are probably in for some disappointment. The 124.9cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine delivers adequate power, but the 232-pound weight isn’t exactly light to move.
The 2019 Honda Monkey top speed is 50 miles per hour. While you won’t win any races on this bike, you may appreciate the slower pace. After all, Honda designers did not intend for the Monkey to be a sport bike. On the contrary, they relied on a four-speed transmission to create a bike that is both fun and easy to ride. In fact, you may not be able to keep from smiling when you climb behind the handlebars of your shiny Monkey.
Just stay away from the freeway to keep your stress levels from rising.
Modern Safety Features in a Compact Package
You aren’t likely to see serious riders flocking to the Honda dealership to buy a Monkey. Instead, the small bike probably appeals to amateur riders and fun seekers. These motorcyclists may lack the riding skills of other riders. Fortunately, the Monkey has some impressive safety features hidden inside its tiny frame.
Impressively, the Monkey has dual shocks to absorb bumps. Painted the same color as the Monkey’s frame, these shocks not only act as a safety feature, but they also look great. Further, the 120/80-12 tires are fat enough to offer additional grip for novice riders. If you are not used to riding motorcycles, you will probably appreciate the few extra inches of tire width.
An ABS system is optional on the new Monkey. If you want ABS, you can get it on the front wheels of your new machine. While the feature sets you back a couple hundred more bucks, it improves stopping performance by preventing wheel lockup.
A Tricky Clutch
With its easy-to-love styling and straightforward drive, the Monkey is an exceptional beginner bike. Its clutch can be a bit tricky, however. In fact, you may feel like you are overrevving the machine before the clutch engages. You also won’t get any shifting help from the instrument panel, as there is no indicator light. Both of these issues resolve quickly when you get used to riding the Monkey, though.
Because the Monkey is small, you don’t want to overweight it. If you do, you are likely to see a considerable decrease in power and performance. You may also not be able to get over hills or dunes. While there is no published Honda Monkey weight limit yet, the bike works best for small and medium-sized riders.
Also, because the bike is small, tall riders may have a difficult time with it. The bike’s seat height is 30.6-inches, which makes it adult-sized without being intimidating. Still, if you are tall, you may feel awkward on the bike. Therefore, to address your size concerns, take a test ride to be sure you are a good fit for the Monkey.
An Unbeatable Price
Logic would seem to indicate that a smaller bike should cost less. That isn’t necessarily the case, however. Even though the Monkey is compact, its price tag is roughly the same as some larger bikes. Nonetheless, the Honda Monkey price is an affordable $3,999. If you want a bike with the ABS upgrade, you should plan to pay about $4,200.
While the cost of new Monkey is not exactly bananas, you probably won’t find a better deal for a new machine. To avoid buyer’s remorse, though, you should know exactly what you are getting. When it comes to the Monkey, you get a reliable, fun and unbelievably cool retro bike.
You may never see a chimpanzee suit up for a ride on a motorcycle. You can, however, put some fun in your garage by looking for a Honda Monkey bike for sale. You may find this Honda Monkey review helpful in choosing the right price, custom options and accessories for your new compact bike. After you pick yours up from the dealer, keep it in excellent shape by installing only the best Honda OEM parts. Or, order some cool upgrades for your new Monkey today.