New Honda Monkey 125 Ready to Rock – Serious Monkey Business Returns to Japan  

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Honda celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Monkey minibike in Japan last year with a special limited edition of the 50cc model. Yet instead of putting the name out to pasture, the next generation Monkey 125 is ready to swing into action.

Japanese consumers can go bananas with the Monkey 125’s color palette by selecting a minibike in the cool hues of Bananas Yellow or Pearl Nebula Red (above).

The Monkey has grown up, yet it retains the appeal of its predecessor with a trapezoidal silhouette, compact size and simple curved surfaces. The fuel tank is painted to match the frame, swing arm and rear shocks.

The classic Honda old-wing design logo adorns the fuel tank with the Monkey script affixed to the side cover. High-level chrome steel front and rear fenders, stamped exhaust shield, round mirrors and high-rise handlebars complete the retro look.

New high-tech features include a digital full-LCD circular meter cluster with speedometer, odometer, trip meter and fuel level indicator.

Motivation is supplied by a JB02E 125cc single-cylinder 4-stroke OHC air-cooled engine. It has a bore and stroke of 52.4 x 57.9mm, compression ratio of 9.3:1, and electronically controlled PGM-FI fuel injection. The engine is rated at 6.9kW (9.4PS) @ 7,000 rpm and 11Nm torque @ 5,250 rpm. A 4-speed manual gearbox is standard.

Sales of the Monkey 125 are set to begin in Japan on July 12 with an annual sales target of 3,200 units. The minibike is built at Thai Honda Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

News sources and photos courtesy of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Europe Ltd. Features, specifications and launch dates for Japanese market models are subject to change without notice.

Story (commentary) © 2018