Honda Z collection bikes first appeared in Japan in 1961. The 49cc, 4.5 horsepower motorbike was initially created for guests to a theme park owned by the producer to get pleasure from. Quickly after its integration into the park, it earned the nickname ‘Monkey Bike’. This was because of the disproportionate scale of the rider to the minuscule motorbike. After seeing how properly the Monkey had been acquired by the general public Honda properly determined to place the mannequin into full manufacturing regionally in 1964. A couple of years later they started exporting the Monkey to Europe after which North America the place it loved large success.
In 2017, Honda ceased manufacturing of the beloved Z collection Monkey. The producer noticed no manner they may fulfill upcoming stricter emissions legal guidelines utilizing the identical, small engine design. It was devastating information to Monkey followers around the globe, however their unhappiness was short-lived. The next 12 months Honda revealed an all-new Monkey 125 that used the identical engine as their massively profitable Grom. Now sporting a 125cc engine, a 5-speed gearbox, digital gauge and ABS The Monkey 125 was a complete completely different breed of ape, but it surely promised to be each bit as enjoyable as its predecessor.
Honda has been the preferred motorbike producer in Thailand for a powerful 33 years operating. In 2021 they bought 1.236 million bikes. The 110cc Cub-styled Honda Wave is the nation’s go-to mode of two wheeled transport. As for the Monkey 125, it has rapidly constructed a cult-like following and it’s attracted the eye of the nation’s customized scene.
This one-of-a-kind Honda Monkey 125 was unveiled on the 2022 Bangkok Sizzling Rod Customized Present. It’s the work of Chayakrit Kaewwongwan, aka Winny Boy, who runs a number of aftermarket motorbike elements shops together with Advance Automotive Equipment and the Honda Monkey-focused model, MonQey King.
Chayakrit has a mushy Hondas. That keenness extends to the Monkey and up to now, he’s constructed some unbelievable customs primarily based on the 125cc platform (try his Bosozoku-style Monkey pictured beneath!). So when he received phrase that the 2022 Bangkok Sizzling Rod Present was scheduled to go forward it was the right excuse to churn out one other one-of-a-kind Monkey 125.
His newest Monkey venture took solely 10 days to finish. It’s because he’d already designed the bodywork for a neighborhood Honda competitors referred to as the ‘DAX125 H2C Bike Concept Problem’. Ultimately, he constructed a distinct customized Dax for that occasion so slightly than let this design go to waste he repurposed it on the Monkey.
“I used to be impressed by the design of locomotives from the British industrial period,” says Chayakrit. “I’m additionally obsessive about steampunk model so I merged the 2 collectively to create this design.”
One historic picture that resonated with Chayakrit’s aesthetic was that of a streamlined locomotive constructed by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia. The 1937 Union Pacific P-13 2906 was decommissioned and sadly scrapped within the mid-fifties however its affect on this venture is clearly seen.
“I believe the design of that period was very futuristic. It conveys good design which I actually like, so I created this bodywork and I believe it matches with this Honda Monkey 125 properly.”
Chayakrit’s methodology for constructing a customized motorbike begins with a digital sketch in Photoshop. He applies his design on to a photograph of his chosen donor to get the proportions proper. As soon as he’s proud of the way it appears he builds the bodywork, however in contrast to a lot of the bikes we characteristic, this Monkey is constructed from ABS plastic slightly than composite fibres or hand-shaped aluminium. Chayakrit’s reasoning for that is easy. He makes use of ABS on daily basis to provide among the elements he sells in his retailer and it’s a fabric he’s clearly very snug with.
All the things from the all-encompassing entrance fairing to the gas tank, stomach pan and bagger-esque tail unit is constructed from ABS plastic. Even the chequer plate-style panels are ABS which helps to maintain the burden to a naked minimal. That is in fact essential on a small-capacity motorbike just like the Monkey.
Regardless of solely taking 10 days to construct Chayakrit says the venture wasn’t with out its challenges. “Not modifying the primary construction in any respect was very troublesome. No reducing, no drilling, no damaging the body. With this construct, I didn’t wish to destroy the unique bike so even the brand new look gas tank is solely a canopy.”
For the remainder of the construct, Chayakrit swapped authentic elements for ones that higher suited his theme. The brand new even decrease seating place utilises clip-on handlebars and rear-set footpegs. The decrease stance was achieved by dropping the forks by 4 inches, which is loads for a motorcycle that’s barely 40 inches tall, and there are shorter Murazaki shocks within the rear. To enhance the broader bodywork the wheels use wider D-project rims and rubber.
It’ll come as no shock that Chayakrit’s Monkey 125 wowed the crowds on the Bangkok Sizzling Rod Present. It additionally caught the eye of the occasions judges who gave the Monkey prime honours within the “The Finest Minibike” class.
The Thai customized scene is comparatively new territory for us right here at Return of the Cafe Racers, however you may relaxation assured that because of this superior Monkey we’ll be preserving a a lot nearer eye on it!