By now, everyone knows and accepts that the Honda Monkey is adorable. It’s just a fact. It’s also fun, and hilarious, and relatively simple to work on. Although it has all those things going for it, there’s one important question with an answer that isn’t readily apparent: How fast can that little 125cc Monkey, complete with a rider in full race leathers, go around a track?
Thankfully, motorcyclist and Japanese pop idol Madoka Umemoto found out. She took a Monkey to Fuji Speedway’s annual Max Zone Mini event to test its capabilities. Although most other mini bikes at MZM are modified, this Monkey was one that you could buy from showrooms in 2018.
As Umemoto mentioned, top speed on regular roads is 60 kilometers per hour, or about 37 mph. Surely the Monkey is capable of greater speeds if let loose in an appropriate environment, such as Fuji Speedway, right? Don’t worry, this video wouldn’t exist if that wasn’t true.
Assuming you haven’t already watched the video before reading this, how fast do you think it can go? If you watched it already, did you have a firm top speed number in mind prior to watching? Handily, there’s an inset video showing her speedometer creeping up as she accelerates through that long straight, so you can monitor how fast it goes with your own eyes.
Would you have guessed it could get up to 113 kilometers per hour (or 70 mph) when pressed?
Obviously, conditions at a track like this are much different than they’ll ever be out on the road, so it’s unlikely you can (or should) see performance like this without taking it to the track. Even if you did have an idea of how fast it could go because you saw numbers on paper, there’s always a huge mental gulf between seeing a spec sheet and witnessing a bike actually doing the thing in front of you. Yes, that applies even if it’s on video instead of in person.
Does this make you want to take a Monkey to your nearest track? I mean, scientific data has to be replicated for confirmation, right? You’d be doing it for science!