Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 with attitude

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
K-Speed is one of the busiest shops in the business, turning out customs at a head-spinning rate. That’s because they’re also one of Thailand’s largest aftermarket parts suppliers, so they know a thing or two about production.

That being said, we’ve never seen K-Speed build the same type of bike twice. Until now, that is. This Honda Monkey-based mini-cafe racer is a twist on a minimoto we’ve featured previously…but with a few tasty enhancements.

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
K-Speed boss Eak has a soft spot for the Monkey; he grew up riding them. We asked if he gets a lot of orders for Monkey-based customs, but he tells us it’s mostly just his friends that order them. And his company makes a range of custom Monkey parts, too.

“The new Monkey inspires my imagination to customize them into many styles,” he says. “It’s like making a new toy.”

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
The ironically named ‘Gorilla Racer’ is not a customer bike though. It’s an in-house project for K-Speed themselves, and based on a 2019-model Monkey 125 (yours from $3,999). The shop wanted to showcase some of their own catalog parts, and use the project as a test bed to try out some new concepts.

Just like their previous Monkey cafe racer, Gorilla’s had its stance tweaked with a pair of 14” wheels. According to the guys it’s a fairly easy mod—they use aftermarket wheels made for the Honda Grom, which fit without much fuss. A set of alloy wheel covers adds a little brawn to the design.

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
K-Speed lowered the front forks, and fitted a set of YSS shocks at the back. They went a bit overboard on this Monkey though. It’s also sporting a lightweight aluminum swing arm, and a set of Brembo brakes that it probably doesn’t need.

Up top the subframe’s been shortened and looped, and capped off with a custom cafe racer-style perch. The rear end’s finished off with a classically styled rear fender and LED taillight. There’s a neat little fender up front too, and a new set of side panels to tie everything together.

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
Even though most of K-Speed’s changes have trimmed the already small Monkey down further, they went in the opposite direction with the fuel tank. It’s been given a super-sized look, thanks to an ABS plastic cover that sits on top of the existing unit.

With no need to increase the bike’s fuel capacity, it’s a quick and easy way to switch up the look. The cover’s also designed to interface with the existing fuel cap, so K-Speed simply swapped the actual cap out for a swankier one from RZM racing.

Gorilla Racer: A Honda 2019 Monkey 125 from K-Speed
The last piece of the bodywork puzzle is an aggressive belly spoiler, also formed from hardwearing ABS plastic. And as if to drive the ‘small but belligerent’ point home, there’s a custom street fighter-style exhaust poking out from the back of it.

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
On their previous Monkey cafe, K-Speed went retro by ditching the LED headlight and fitting an analog speedo. Here, they kept the Honda’s surprisingly slick digital dial, and installed an even bigger (6.5”) LED headlight. It’s mounted on custom brackets, and capped off with an aftermarket grill.

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
The rest of the cockpit consists of clip-ons, simplified mini-switches and new grips. K-Speed also added a pair of plugs to close up the old handlebar riser holes, and relocated the key ignition to one of the side panels.

The velocity stack and rear-sets were CNC-machined for the project, and the latter are finished off with carbon fiber heel plates. The Monkey also has LED turn signals at both ends, and a new chain and sprocket set.

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed
Gorilla Racer’s final color scheme hits the mark too: Lambo grey, with a whole lot of components blacked out.

K-Speed have managed to surpass themselves, and it wouldn’t surprise us if this little machine sparks a whole flood of Monkey-based customs. And honestly, if they started producing these en masse, we’d be totally down with that.

K-Speed website | Instagram | Images by Hipmotography

Gorilla Racer: A Honda Monkey 125 from K-Speed