UPDATE: Here’s my First Ride review!
Last week I was poking around at American Honda while waiting to pick up a Gold Wing and I saw something very interesting in the corner…six examples of the new Honda Monkey!
Like the Grom, this bike either makes sense to you or it doesn’t, and nothing I say is going to change that. On paper, the Grom and the Monkey are expensive, slow, and not tremendously practical because most states won’t allow them to go on freeways. I concluded my review of the Grom years ago by saying “top that off with the fact you can get a CB300F for just $800 more, and the Grom doesn’t really make much sense as practical, freedom-generating transportation for a first time rider.” The CB300F has since been replaced by the CB300R but the $800 difference is the same between the R and the Monkey if you look at the ABS-equipped models.
Despite all of that, the minuscule weight and ease of use make these bikes so much fun that I’m willing to overlook the above flaws. These are awesome second/third bikes and they’re 10 times more enjoyable if you’re riding alongside a buddy that’s on a similar bike such as the Kawasaki Z125 or Benelli TnT 135. Every stop light becomes a Christmas tree. I really enjoyed the Grom, and the Monkey looks like an even more appealing package thanks to the delightful styling.
If you used to own a Monkey/Z50, you’ll see all kinds of familiar styling touches. But what’s new this time around? Let’s look at some highlights:
– The Monkey starts at $3,999, and you can add $200 to get ABS that only works on the front wheel.
– The motor is the 125cc unit out of the Grom
– Twin shocks and a high exhaust
– LED lighting
– Available in Pearl Nebula Red and Banana Yellow
I’ll keep harping on it – the big thing here is the styling, which should put a smile on your face if you aren’t dead inside. I asked the Honda folks if I could quickly sit on the Monkey for myself. Then I couldn’t help myself and had to turn the ignition on. The speedometer digits form a pair of zeros that resemble eyes, and they wink at you as part of the startup sequence!
I won’t be able to ride the bike until the end of the month, so you’ll have to be a little patient with me. But if there’s anything you want to know about the Monkey, let me know in the comments and I’ll get the answer for you.
For more information on the 2019 Honda Monkey, head on over to Honda’s site!