2018 Honda Monkey Announced for Europe

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Modern Monkey offers 125cc engine, USD forks and IMU-based ABS

Following the success of the Grom, Honda has decided to bring the Monkey back to the European market, combining bike’s iconic look with modern technology. The iconic Honda Monkey has remained in serial production for more than 50 years now, but for the last few decades, was mainly offered in Japan. For 2018, the Honda Monkey is coming back to Europe, but unfortunately, minibike fans in North America will have to be left out. For now, at least.

The 2018 Honda Monkey maintains the bike’s iconic look, with simple curved surfaces, two-tone tank, a stamped exhaust shield, and a 3D retro Honda wing badge on the fuel tank.

Straight edges are hard to find as the new Honda Monkey maintains a circular motif in the round headlight, turn signals, instrument nacelle and the Old Wing Honda badge on the tank.

The Monkey comes powered by a fuel-injected 125cc air-cooled SOHC single, similar to the one equipped on the Grom. Honda claims a modest output of 9.3 hp at 7000 rpm and 8.1 lb-ft. at 5250 rpm. As with the Grom, the Monkey comes with a four-speed manual transmission. Keeping the classic Monkey look, the exhaust curls upward and back beside the seat, but in a nod to modern emissions requirements, makes a quick detour under the engine where the catalytic converter is situated.

Honda also claims the Monkey gets 157.7 mpg, which translates to a range of about 233 miles on a full 1.47 gallon tank of gas.

Mechanically, the engine is similar to the one powering the Grom but for the Monkey, Honda gave it a retro look with chromed engine that resemble classic Monkey models.

The Monkey uses a steel backbone frame Honda says offers a balance between rigidity and subtle feel. The swingarm has an oval cross-section design, reflecting the circular motif of the Monkey’s overall design. Twin shocks give the rear axle 4.1 inches of travel. Up front, the Monkey sports an inverted fork with 3.9 inches of travel.

The 12-inch ten-spoke cast aluminum wheels come with fat block-pattern tires, sporting a 120/80-j12 65J tire up front and a 130/80-12 69J at the back. The braking system is comprised of a single 220mm front disc and a 190mm rear rotor, both managed by an IMU-based single-channel ABS.

High bars and circular mirrors pay homage to the original monkey. The fully digital LCD display reminds us this is a modern bike.

Yes, that’s right. The new Monkey has an IMU-regulated ABS. Other modern tech includes full LED lighting and a fully-digital LCD. The screen includes a digital fuel meter, odometer and two trip meters. The speedometer offers a playful wink when the ignition is turned on. The Monkey also comes with a “wave” pattern key with an answer-back system that flashes the lights at the push of a button.

Honda Monkey 2018

Other features include a ribbed seat placed 30.6 inches from the ground, a 236 pound claimed wet weight, chromed front and rear steel fenders, and three color options: Banana Yellow/Ross White, Pearl Nebula Red/Ross White and Pearl Shining Black/Ross White.

2018 Honda Monkey Specifications

Engine TypeAir-cooled SOHC 4-stroke 2-valve
Bore x Stroke52.4 x 57.9mm
Compression Ratio9.3:1
Max. Power Output9.3 hp at 7000 rpm (claimed)
Max. Torque8.1 lb-ft. at 5250 rpm (claimed)
Oil CapacityUpper 0.3 gallons; lower 0.24 gallons
CarburationPGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity1.47 gallons
Fuel Consumption67 kpl/157.6 mpg (WMTC mode, claimed)
Clutch TypeWet multi plate clutch
Transmission Type4 speed
TypeSteel backbone frame
Dimensions (LxWxH)67.3 in. x 29.7 in. x 40.5 in.
Wheelbase45.5 in.
Caster Angle25°
Trail3.2 in.
Seat Height30.6 in.
Ground Clearance6.3 in.
Turning radius6 ft. 3 in.
Kerb Weight236 pounds (claimed)
Front SuspensionUSD fork, 3.9 in. axle travel
Rear SuspensionTwin shock, 4.1 in. axle travel
Front Wheel10-spoke cast aluminum
Rear Wheel10-spoke cast aluminum
Front Tire120/80-12 65J
Rear Tire130/80-12 69J
Front BrakeSingle 220 mm hydraulic disc with IMU-based ABS
Rear BrakeSingle 190mm hydraulic disc
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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3 of 41 comments
  • Gunny 2shoes Gunny 2shoes on Apr 25, 2018

    when they get this small it's ridiculous not to go electric.
    knock off Groms and CT70's with batteries are here,
    monkey next.

    • Denchung Denchung on Apr 25, 2018

      Honda actually had an electric concept version of the CT70 in 2001 called the e-Dax (The CT was called the "Dax" in Japan). It was unfortunately a Dax in name only, as it didn't have the T-shape frame and was mainly designed as an accessory to a concept car. The e-Dax was collapsible and the seat flipped up to double as the backrest for the rear seats of the car.



  • Gruf Rude Gruf Rude on Apr 25, 2018

    Ridiculously cute and more rear wheel travel than a touring Harley!