Honda gave its biggest indication yet that it is to revive the iconic Monkey after showcasing a concept bike at this week’s Vietnam Motorcycle Show.
The Japanese giant has a track record of showing concepts that go into production soon after. In recent years, Honda has created concept bikes that have led to the RC213V-S, Africa Twin and X-ADV, so there’s a more than reasonable chance that this cheeky little fellow will make it to showrooms sooner rather than later.
Honda filed patents for the design late last year but this is the first time that a bike has been seen in public.
The new Monkey is based upon the cult MSX125, or Grom as it is known in America, and shares the same engine and main frame but with retro styling that apes the 1960s and 1970s classics.
The first Monkey, the Z100, was launched in 1961 and featured a 50cc four-stroke engine in a miniature frame. The bikes were popular with campers, as they could be carried on the back of motorhomes, and developed a cult following. The bikes, now known as the Z50, hit the height of popularity in the 1970s, while the off-road Z50R was a hugely popular children’s bike in the 1980s. Even today, new 50cc Monkeys are on sale in the Japanese market and a number of Chinese brands make exact copies that can be bought in Britain.
With its Grom roots, Honda’s new concept is physically bigger and faster than the originals, but the classically styled tank, twin shocks, tubular swingarm and subframe plays homage to the bikes of yore.
Honda hasn’t released any official information on the concept but we’re expecting to this bike to go into production sooner rather than later.
Pictures from www.autoevolution.com – Huy Nguyen