The world didn’t pay much attention when Honda showed its “Honda Monkey Concept” at the Bangkok Motor Show in March this year. It’s not surprising, really, given that Honda never even released any official photos. But these new design patents show that the iconic old-school Monkey bike could be reborn and have a production future.
Although instantly recognisable as a Monkey, the Grom-based design is actually a lot bigger than the original Z50. Those are 12-inch wheels, where the classic Monkey has eight-inch rims, so the fact the bike is still in proportion shows it’s something approaching 50 per cent larger. Presuming its dimensions are similar to the MSX125 Grom, though, it will still be small – just more usable than the original Monkey but at the expense of not fitting so easily in the back of a car.
While the patents are extremely close to the design of the Monkey Concept shown in Thailand, there are detail differences. The patents show screws on the airbox cover, for instance – details that indicate a production machine over a show-stand mock-up. The rear shocks and springs are also different, as is the seat.
Other clues to production include details like the rear licence plate hanger and light, as well as a catalytic converter tucked into the bash plate below the front of the engine.
Mechanically it’s pure MSX125, with the same engine, wheels and frame, but there’s a new subframe for the seat, incorporating the twin shock mounts, and a different swingarm.
By Ben Purvis