Honda Monkey

Honda Monkey
I get the occasional monkey or gorilla bike sent in for consideration. And to be honest, I’m never quite sure what to do with these machines. But this one is a cut above the rest, so I’ve included it here as a little light relief. It’s loosely based on Honda’s Z series platform, which apparently grew out of bikes designed to be ridden by children at Japanese amusement parks.

Honda Monkey
Frenchman Hadrien Le Flanchec built this monkey over eight months, in his fifth-floor Parisian apartment. It’s not running the usual low-powered 50cc motor: Le Flanchec has fitted a 124cc Takegawa upgrade kit called the ‘Superhead+R’. (It’s hooked up to a 5-speed ‘box with a dry clutch.) The carb is a Keihin CR26, as you might find on a Honda CB350 or CB400, and when combined with a custom Japanese-made exhaust, the four-stroke motor produces around 20hp. That might not sound like much, but the bike weights only 75kg (165 lbs)—which means a power-to-weight ratio very similar to a Harley Sportster 883.

Honda Monkey
The rest of the bike is built from top-shelf parts, including a Kitaco aluminum frame, Beringer and Brembo brake components, and a G-Craft Alpha swingarm. The tank is a genuine Honda item, painted in the same Candy Red shade as a 1969 CB750 and fitted with the logos from a CB750 K2. I’m no expert, but it looks like there’s some very trick engineering going on here—and I bet it’s très amusant to ride.

Honda Monkey
Honda Monkey
Honda Monkey