Monkey bike

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Honda Z50 MiniTrail

Monkey bike is the name given by Honda to one of their small, low-powered motorcycles introduced in the 1960s. The first Honda Monkey was the 1961 Z100.[1] Later Monkeys were designated Z50, such as the Z50A(US), J, M, R(US) and Z.[2]

These vehicles all had a 4.5-horsepower (3.4 kW), 49-cubic-centimetre (3.0 cu in) single horizontal cylinder four-stroke engine, and a seat height of less than 22 inches (560 mm). The very first Monkey bikes did not have any suspension but this was soon added to the front forks. By 1974, when the Z50J was introduced (US 1972 Z50AK3), suspension had been added to the rear as well. The first Monkey bikes had 3.5-by-5-inch (89 mm × 127 mm) wheels, but later models had 3.5-by-8-inch (89 mm × 203 mm) wheels.

Numerous similar designs predate the Honda model, notably the World War II Welbike motorcycle used by parachutists. However it wasn't until the introduction of the Honda Monkey bike that this type of design became commonplace.

The Honda Dax model is generally not considered a Monkey, but rather a bigger, two-seat variant, with larger 10-inch (250 mm) wheels and usually a larger engine. The Dax models have a monocoque stamped sheet-metal frame. This also houses the fuel tank, battery and wiring loom.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [better source needed]Honda Monkey Z100, Honda Motor Co., Ltd, 8 December 2008 
  2. ^ [better source needed]Collection Search, Honda Motor Co., Ltd, 2006 

Further reading[edit]