Honda Z sequence bikes first appeared in Japan in 1961. The 49cc, 4.5 horsepower bike 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 as a result of disproportionate scale of the rider to the minuscule bike. After seeing how nicely the Monkey had been obtained by the general public Honda correctly determined to place the mannequin into full manufacturing domestically in 1964. A number of years later they started exporting the Monkey to Europe after which North America the place it loved enormous success.
In 2017, Honda ceased manufacturing of the beloved Z sequence 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 all over the world, however their disappointment was short-lived. The next yr Honda revealed an all-new Monkey 125 that used the identical engine as their vastly profitable Grom. Now sporting a 125cc engine, a 5-speed gearbox, digital gauge and ABS The Monkey 125 was an entire completely different breed of ape, however it promised to be each bit as enjoyable as its predecessor.
Honda has been the preferred bike producer in Thailand for a formidable 33 years working. 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 shortly 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 bike elements shops together with Advance Automotive Equipment and the Honda Monkey-focused model, MonQey King.
Chayakrit has a gentle Hondas. That zeal extends to the Monkey and up to now, he’s constructed some unimaginable customs primarily based on the 125cc platform (take a look at his Bosozoku-style Monkey pictured under!). So when he acquired phrase that the 2022 Bangkok Sizzling Rod Present was scheduled to go forward it was the proper excuse to churn out one other one-of-a-kind Monkey 125.
His newest Monkey challenge took solely 10 days to finish. It is because he’d already designed the bodywork for an area Honda competitors referred to as the ‘DAX125 H2C Bike Concept Problem’. In the long run, he constructed a special customized Dax for that occasion so somewhat 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 fashion 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 challenge is clearly seen.
“I feel the design of that period was very futuristic. It conveys good design which I actually like, so I created this bodywork and I feel it suits with this Honda Monkey 125 nicely.”
Chayakrit’s methodology for constructing a customized bike 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 pleased with the way it seems he builds the bodywork, however in contrast to many of the bikes we function, this Monkey is constructed from ABS plastic somewhat than composite fibres or hand-shaped aluminium. Chayakrit’s reasoning for that is easy. He makes use of ABS day by day to provide a number of the elements he sells in his retailer and it’s a cloth he’s clearly very comfy with.
Every thing from the all-encompassing entrance fairing to the gas tank, stomach pan and bagger-esque tail unit is constituted of ABS plastic. Even the chequer plate-style panels are ABS which helps to maintain the load to a naked minimal. That is in fact essential on a small-capacity bike just like the Monkey.
Regardless of solely taking 10 days to construct Chayakrit says the challenge wasn’t with out its challenges. “Not modifying the principle construction in any respect was very tough. No chopping, no drilling, no damaging the body. With this construct, I didn’t need 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 quite a bit for a motorbike that’s barely 40 inches tall, and there are shorter Murazaki shocks within the rear. To enrich 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 Greatest Minibike” class.
The Thai customized scene is comparatively new territory for us right here at Return of the Cafe Racers, however you’ll be able to relaxation assured that because of this superior Monkey we’ll be conserving a a lot nearer eye on it!