Mike Boyd does Bike Week with a Honda Monkey

In a world of bigger, faster, and louder motorcycles, there comes the humble Honda Monkey!

This 2023 Honda Monkey is currently my ninth registered and running motorcycle and if I could sum this bike up in one word, it would simply be “FUN”. The Monkey takes me back to the days of my youth! Styled after the old Honda Mini Trail 50 and early 60s Monkey from back in the day, the new Monkey is thoroughly modern and built for grown-up riding. The seat height is 30.5 inches, which I understand is 3 inches taller than Honda’s Rebel 1100 that Rob and Phil rode and reviewed. And what a comfortable seat! My bony butt never gets sore, even riding around on it most of the day.

Daytona Boardwalk- sun, sand, surf, 84 degrees and salty breezes. Perfect Monkey day.

I currently have about 250 miles on this little bike and as of the time of this writing, I am sitting in a camp trailer attending the 2023 Daytona Bike Week. I put over 100 miles on the Monkey today, riding all over the area and I must say l am very impressed with it’s performance in around-city travel. This little 125cc single thumper runs right up to 45 mph quickly with it’s new five speed gearbox. It’s a torquey little machine. With the disc brakes front and rear plus ABS in the front I never felt unsafe stopping in the city traffic. Solid brakes for so small a street-legal motorbike.

Rolling on Florida’s A1A that Jimmy Buffett made famous.

If gas mileage is your thing (isn’t it for most folks these days?) then the little Monkey is a great way to ride with something like 150 mpg on the 1.5 gal tank, which is simply amazing for this kind of performance. The Monkey tops out at 55 mph with my wrist, and I feel thats probably fast enough for this short of a wheel base at 45 inches. Pulling away from stop lights around Daytona is no problem, even with big noisy Harleys all around, though romping on the throttle gets me out of their way easier. 5th gear is kind of an overdrive, so running hard up through the gears from 1st to 4th is the best way to get clear of riders and drivers who may bear down on you from behind. Wring the Monkey’s neck. It can handle it.

Just a man and his Monkey, out on the town.

The fit and finish on this bike is simply fantastic! I had to have the Silver and Banana Yellow, of course. It’s such a nostalgic little bike to ride. I love the custom stitched plaid seat which certainly adds to the classic look. I ordered a rear mounted rack and top case for my travels, which has come in handy for longer days in the supremely comfortable saddle.

A Monkey in a sea of Hawgs. I love to stand out. Hence the shirt as well.

As I ride around in a sea of big bikes I find that this little thing really stands out. So many people, fellow bikers, tourists and locals alike stop to look, ask questions and ask to take pictures of the Monkey, with it’s retro styling. Honda has done a great job of making a modern motorcycle look so much like the old 1950s and 60s bikes that some people actually think it’s that old.

I’m loving “monkeying around” on my 2023 Honda Monkey! And for about $4200, you can too.

Mike Boyd

Just had to pull up for a shot here. A photo shot, that is.


Cycle World Athens


  1. David

    Just bought a Monkey and looking forward to using it for commuting and general monkeying around. What are the additional lights you have mounted on your Monkey?

  2. Mike boyd

    They are “High Brightness Amber LED Fog Light Kit”, $49 on Amazon.


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