1 Feb 2011

My ninth bike was a Honda Monkeybike

A Honda 49 cc Monkey bike.

I know this will seem a bit ridiculous to all you bikers out there, but I didn't own it for very long and I still had the Norton Commando and the Bultaco Sherpa anyway. But a friend had offered it to me for free, and I thought it was fun. Besides that, I was overhauling the motor of the Commando at the time, and given that the Sherpa was not licenced for the road, I needed something to run down the road to get parts from time to time in London. Well, that was an excuse really as it was better to take the car for that. I would put it in the back of the car (which was a Minivan at the time) and used it when visiting friends out of London.

Why was this thing called a Monkey bike? I suppose because one looked just like a monkey perched on it with arms and legs sticking out. It was a hoot to ride, and I could even take it around the tiny garden back of the house I was living in in London at the time, making ramps to jump off and so on. The neighbours loved that of course. I think I gave it away in the end.


  1. Ridiculous, no way.
    I’ve been the owner of the “adult” version of this machine: the CD 50. The same engine (well, quite, mine had an increased-bore cylinder, with a capacity of 72 cc) is able to propel a bike to the dizzy speed of 80-90 km/h and take you all over the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg ... You only need to be careful as the brakes ... don’t always cope. And mind the cops as well (this version is not entirely legal). Sound – original exhaust – was pretty pleasant as well: not over-noisy and quite harmonious.

  2. Glad to find some support out there! I have heard about these "specials" on the Monkey bike base. There are even races for them. Yes, the brakes must have been dodgy. I wore good boots and used them to help brake a lot of the time! Cops hated seeing these things on the road. The only way around was to take to the pavements.

  3. When I say « adult », I mean « normal size”. The frame, shock absorbers, front fork and the wheels were actually larger, with a two-person saddle, but all the rest was identical (even the petrol tank with its very neat design, I find): exhaust, yes even the quick starter.
    “ One more / weekend of lights and evening faces
    Fast food, LIVING NOSTALGIA, humble pie or bitter food
    I am a D.J., I am what I play
    Can't turn around no, can't turn around no ...”