Monkeying around: Honda's quirky mini retro gets new engine and five-speed gearbox

Honda have updated their Monkey model with a completely revised engine and a whole host of changes to make it a more practical little run-around.

Relaunched in 2018, the Monkey has always been a slightly daft little bike that has built not only on its own history but on the seemingly endless success of the MSX125 (better known as the Grom). For 2021 the daft little fun machine has been completely overhauled.

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For a start there’s a new engine, which has a narrower bore and longer stroke than the old engine as well as a higher compression ratio. A new airbox and intake help to improve airflow into the motor, while a new exhaust helps to keep the Monkey Euro5 friendly.

The result of all these changes is the exact same peak power and torque (9.2bhp and 8.1lb.ft) but the peak comes lower in the revs (6750rpm vs 7000rpm) while the peak torque is a little higher (5500rpm vs 5250rpm).

The biggest change for most riders though will be the change to a five speed gearbox, which not only increases the spread but also gives better gaps between gears. Top speed now sits at a hair whipping 56mph, while fuel consumption is an frugal 186mpg - giving the new Monkey a claimed range of 223 despite its dinky 5.6l tank.

Given that Honda have improved the Monkey’s ability to get to places that bit further away, they’ve also made some improvements for longer distance travel including new 'dual stage' twinshocks, which Honda say are more comfortable on bad roads. If you're planning on carrying stuff with you, the luggage rack remains an optional extra.

The new Honda Monkey will arrive in dealers by August at £3899. Check back on MCN soon for an in-depth review of the new machine.

Watch MCN's video review of the 2018 Honda Monkey below:

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.