If you’ve been following the minimoto space, you’ve probably heard of the Ohvale name. The Italian company pumping out mini road racers has been a hot topic of conversation in trackday and racing circles. We all know that riding big bikes on a racetrack is a thrill unlike any other. But it’s also true that riding full-size sportbikes at trackdays can be pretty expensive – up the ante even more if you decide to go race. Beyond the cost of the bike itself, you’ve got trackday fees, fuel costs, and tire bills. The costs go up even more if you have to schlep it a long way from home and find lodging for a night or two.
Late last year, the MOron crew participated in yet another 24-hour minibike road race, this time aboard the Benelli TnT135. It shouldn’t come as any surprise, but we got spanked – like bringing a knife to a gunfight spanked. Not surprisingly, the winning team consisted mostly of kids who couldn’t reach my head even with their arms fully outstretched. Surely their power-to-weight ratio helped, but we’d be dumb to think the kids weren’t also very skilled at their craft (and a lack of fear helps, too).
All I remember was walking down the street in Long Beach, CA, minding my own business when I heard it. Was that the sound of an irate primate? Living in Long Beach for a few years now, between the cacophonous flocks of bright green parrots and unmistakable roar of Indy cars once a year, the sound didn’t concern me, that was until I felt a heavy blow to the back of my head.
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.
You can thank Honda for reigniting the mini bike craze with the release of the Honda Grom back in 2014. The little 125cc runabout is a refreshing throwback to the days you could grab your board, ride out to the ocean, hit the waves, then jet around town in search of the best carne asada burrito – while maybe sneaking into a skate park for a quick blast. In short, the Grom inspires fun rides at a slower pace.
Two obvious questions spring to mind when talking about the SSR Razkull 125. First, who the hell is SSR? And second, how soon will Ducati’s legal department come knocking on its door? Because let’s face it, the Razkull looks like a miniature version of a Ducati Monster.
Motorcycling is a lot like any other sport: to stay sharp with your skills, you actually have to go out there and practice. However, unlike many other sports, keeping your skills sharp on two wheels isn’t as easy as simply grabbing a stick or a ball and heading to the nearest court or field. In the case of track riding, taking your sportbike to the track presents a whole host of challenges.
Honda announced a new “mini-streetfighter” redesign for the MSX125, the little monkey bike better known to Americans as the Grom. At the moment, the styling update has been announced in Europe and Thailand where it is manufactured, but we expect to see the more aggressive-looking Grom in the U.S. in the next several months.
If you’ve been following MO for a while then you might remember the tale of woe that was our experience racing a Honda Grom for 24 hours, wherein we obtained a Grom, ordered up a ton of parts for it (the monetary sum totalling more than the bike’s original cost), slapped them all on, and went straight to the racetrack the next day to race with our friends at the United Mini Racing Association (UMRA) with visions of glory. Instead, it took mere minutes to discover our “modified” machine was nearly unrideable, dashing our hopes for victory and killing our spirits in the process.