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2019 Honda Monkey Review and Test Drive: Go Bananas!

Written by The Duke of DC.
Written by The Duke of DC.

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The 2019 Honda Monkey is the epitome of a throwback. Based on the 1960s and 70’s Honda Mini Trail 50, the 2019 Honda Monkey gets a 125cc single cylinder as well as a few updated safety features that we’ll get into further along in the article. Upon first glance, you’re transported not only back in time, but to a whimsical place. I can attest to this as only a few moments after pulling this beauty out of the Blackmans Cycle Center, a gentleman came up to me expressing how he and his brother had these bikes growing up in the ’70s. If that isn’t nostalgia, I don’t know what is.
 

Overview of 2019 Honda Monkey

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with my test ride on the ol’ Monkey. Nothing particularly spectacular about the power, suspension, or tech, simply an enjoyable ride on a motorcycle in the mountains of Pennsylvania. See, with the Monkey, less is more. You don’t get many features, you don’t have much of a learning curve, but what you do get just plain works. It’s funny, I was in a dealership recently, working on a new video and chatting with some of the techs when we started talking about motorcycle reliability. Naturally, this piqued my interest as a consumer and general fan of things that always work, and the consensus was that Hondas will outlast their owners, ha. I wouldn’t be surprised if Honda had simply found a few thousand Monkeys from the ’70s in an old warehouse, strapped the latest 125cc single to them and boom, new product.
 

 

2019 Honda Monkey Top Speed, 125cc Bike Engine, and Horsepower

Speaking of which, the Monkey’s 125cc powerhouse engine is actually a 124.9cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke taken from the Honda Grom as well as newly implemented in the equally retro 2019 Honda Super Cub. That 124.9cc single produces 9 HP @ 7,000 RPM and 8.1 ft/lb torque @ 5,250 RPM. My dad has a riding lawnmower with more power. Seriously, lol. That incredible 9hp propelled my 190lb frame to just over a 55mph top speed.
 

2019 Honda Monkey Price

The 2019 Honda Monkey has an MSRP of $3,999, making it quite affordable, sandwiched between the cheaper Kawasaki Z125 and the more expensive Honda Rebel 300. If you opt for the ABS model, that will run you an additional $200, with an MSRP of $4,199. The base model tends to be more popular. Roughly 80% of the inventory carried by dealers is for the base model.  The 2019 Honda Monkey is one of the top selling bikes in America, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding available inventory. They have also released the 2020 models, which run at the same price as the 2019 models. If you shop with GoRollick, you can get an upfront, transparent price when you’re ready to buy, so make sure to check that out.
 
And if you need to finance the Monkey, you should read the definitive guide to motorcycle financing to learn all the tips and tricks to get the best deal possible. Given the low price, hopefully it isn’t an issue. If you have challenges getting financed, GoRollick has created a low credit financing guide to help you make smart decisions and get the best rates when buying your next bike.
 


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2019 Honda Monkey Specs, Transmission, Tech, and Features

2019 Honda Monkey Review
Now as noted above, the Monkey truly is a minimalists dream bike, so this won’t be one of my more robust breakdowns. Starting with the transmission, we’re looking at a 4 speed, 1 down 3 up configuration. Shifting was smooth, as expected, and although I did have to bump down a couple of gears going up a few hills, I’d say the ratios were acceptable for a bike of this stature. Looking at safety and visibility, we’ve got LED lighting in the front as well as optional ABS. In terms of ride and comfort, one of the most outstanding features of this motorcycle has got to be the seat. The seat is plush, wide, and long enough to support any sized rider comfortably. You’ll also find the inverted fork suspension and twin rear shock tuned more toward comfort than sportiness, with 4.1 inches of travel in the front and 3.9 inches in the rear. The cherry on top is really the colors the Monkey comes in. Hot rod red and bright, sunny yellow transport you to a simpler time when a red motorcycle was the crown jewel of anyone’s garage.
 

2019 Honda Monkey Seat Height, Chassis, Weight, and MPG

With a mere 45.5 inches wheelbase, 30.6-inch seat height, and a curb weight of just 231.5 pounds, the Monkey is one of the smallest motorcycles I’ve ever ridden. The 1.5-gallon gas tank gives you the ability to travel roughly 180 miles on an estimated 125mpg. That figure, combined with the low cost of entry, maintenance costs, and lower insurance premiums make the Monkey a great bike for someone looking to stay on the cheaper side.
 

Final Say

A simple review for a simple motorcycle, or hell is this a scooter? You be the judge. The 2019 Honda Monkey embodies Honda’s retro trail 50’s perfectly, and although it’s not the fastest bike money can buy, or the most advanced, you’ll be sure to have a smile on your face the entire time. Open to other bikes? Check out my 10 best motorcycles, or if you’re just getting into the market, you can read my guide to beginner motorcycles.
 

GoRollick Buying Experience

When you’re ready to find your perfect motorcycle, be sure to check us out at gorollick.com.You can:

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  • Receive special offers on both the vehicle, as well as additional accessories
  • Shop at one of our Certified Dealers who are committed to providing an exceptional buying experience

 

About the Duke of DC

You know, my father tells me that one of my first words was “carburetor” and after my 8th car and 5th motorcycle in my relatively short time on this earth, I’m starting to believe him. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 15 years old, and when I started DukeOfDC it was during a really difficult time in my life. I’m just an average Joe that loves anything on two wheels and wants to share that passion with the world. Check out my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.

 

 

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