Back in 2017, we learned that Honda was axing the beloved Z50 after 50 years in production and we were all very sad monkeys. Never ones to leave money on the table though, the house that Soichiro built just announced that it's rebooting the legendary bike with updated looks and Grom running gear. To start, Honda replaced the Monkey's 50cc mill with the same 125cc horizontal singe found in the current Honda Grom, giving the cult classic a bit more oomph. ￼At the 2018 Bangkok Motor Show Honda told media that the updated Monkey will hit the Australian market sometime this year, though pricing has yet to be announced.
While the new Monkey shares a lot of visual DNA with the old model, a few tweaks have been made to bring the little runner into the modern era. It gets ABS disc brakes, LED lighting, inverted forks, and digital instrumentation. It should be interesting to see what kind of people end up buying the new model, and obviously the machine's price will play an important role in how many units are sold.
While cashing in on the retro bike craze makes sense, the rerelease of the Monkey takes that idea in a new direction. However, based on the release of the new Monkey, it appears Honda very well may be pushing the little bike as a platform for easy customization. Some press photos reveal different color seats, specially painted tanks, and even full on bespoke Scrambler and Cafe Monkey variants.
We'll be sure to update as information comes in, but until then you can check out a teaser video from Honda.