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Why did you get a Monkey?

This is a discussion on Why did you get a Monkey? within the Monkey Talk forums, part of the Honda Monkey 125 Forums category; I’d been looking at the Grom for a while. Then, I saw the monkey and liked the retro look. However, I am a new rider ...

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Thread: Why did you get a Monkey?

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    Why did you get a Monkey?

    I’d been looking at the Grom for a while. Then, I saw the monkey and liked the retro look. However, I am a new rider and I’m wondering if I should spend 4500 on a Monkey or buy something a little bigger. There seems to be a lot of turnover with groms. I have just seen a monkey for sale with about a hundred miles on it. Do people primarily use these as training bikes, then move up? Why did you buy a Monkey and how/where do you use or intend to use it?
    Is it your only motorcycle?

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    it is pretty and reminds me when I was young.
    when I'm on the 765 RS, people in custom look at me and wonder why I ride on a bike that is made for the race.
    when I'm on my Thruxton RS, the elders ask me why I bought a new old.
    When I drove my Harley, the sports guys laughed at me because my silencers were touching the ground on the mountain roads in my area.
    When I'm on my monkey, no one is able to put a face on who I really am. rich, poor, beginner, confirmed ....
    we do not care. the thing gives people a smile.
    and nowadays, to make people laugh ...
    it's not that easy...
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    I've always been into small engine powered vehicles. Growing up I have had several dirt bikes, mini bikes and go karts. Now that I'm a little older I still enjoy that scene. I own 5 golf carts in which I have completely redone myself. Four out of the five I've done " big block " engine conversions to them. I use these carts as transportation at our campground. I also have an offroad mini bike with an engine conversion on it. I bought the Monkey to add to my collection of toys. Last year when I found out it was coming to the U.S, I knew I had to get one. I get the question all the time " so are you ready for a Harley? " Absolutely not! I wanted a street legal minibike and that's exactly what I got.

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    It's the perfect city bike. No other motorcycle is smaller, narrower, frugal, resilient, cheap to insure and a blast to ride. You can also customize it a whole lot. Everyone likes the monkey, even people who don't ride. It's a really cute motorcycle. Need I say more ??

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    I doubt people are buying the Monkey as a "training bike" if they do so with the Grom either. I have always like small motorcycles and single cylinder bikes and was fascinated with the original Monkey when it came out. But, did not have the funds or parents willing to purchase one. Though to be fair to them, they let me buy a Yamaha CT-1, helped me purchase a CL350 and allowed me to race MX on a variety of dirt bikes (I purchased with my own funds).

    I bought the Monkey for a garage toy and for practical purposes as a camp transportation bike and general runabout. It is pretty, it is cute, it is old time Honda quality, old time "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda" and unlike the original Mini-Trail 50 this Monkey is not a trail bike but a street scrambler and it is big enough to actually ride.

    Can a Monkey do for a single motorcycle, well, maybe? If you live in an urban area or ride only a short distance to your destinations and do not need to make freeway speeds or carry two-up, then yeah. It would not have hurt my feelings if they had made the Monkey a 175 with, oh, say, 18 horsepower, then it could make a short freeway sprint. But Honda did not build this little bike for that purpose and it is really perfect for its intended purpose, making smiles, not miles.



    J
    Last edited by 3crows; 07-05-2019 at 07:07 PM.
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    In looking at a lot of groms and one Monkey, I have noticed low mileage and people selling for bigger bikes. I know for certain that a significant number of people are buying mini bikes to learn on.
    Regardless, my situation is this: ai am a new rider. I live in a suburban area. Speed limits range from 25-50. I would never think of taking it out on the highway. I have a car as primary transportation. I want a motorcycle ride for fun. There are some nice semi-rural roads nearby but you have to go through a lot of traffic initially to get to them. I’m trying to decide in a Monkey or a 250 or 300, like a TU250 or rebel 300. I live within an hour of the beach/shore. I think that would be an ideal place to ride a Monkey.
    We do have some fairly steep roads in the immediate vicinity.
    Never having ridden a small or big motorcycle, it’s difficult to think about what it would feel like in different types of traffic scenarios with a mini bike. I think part of it for me, is envisioning being at a red light , surrounded by cars and big trucks and being on a tiny motorcycle. It’s kind of irrational because the seat height isn’t really that low but are you any less visible on a small motorcycle?
    What so you think about my situation? Monkey or standard size motorcycle?

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    3crows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mils View Post
    In looking at a lot of groms and one Monkey, I have noticed low mileage and people selling for bigger bikes. I know for certain that a significant number of people are buying mini bikes to learn on.
    This phenomena of trading motorcycles is not confined to what you are calling a mini-bike. I have been riding motorcycles since I was a child and am now 66. I might could consider a Monkey an end game save for the FACT I can destroy people half my age in MX on a "trail" bike that is only 144cc. Whatever. Some people go through motorcycles like a hot knife through butter. I have been guilty myself. Nothing, or few things at best, more compelling in life than a shiny new motorcycle that is not yours but could be yours sitting on a showroom floor regardless of displacement.

    Grasshopper, you have much to learn. There is no one bike for everything, but a UJM might be close. A Monkey/Grom is not going to handle a freeway or fast traffic two lane highway either for that matter. I am going to suggest a Honda CB300 or the Kawasaki Z400 semi sport bikes or naked equivalent or on the (extreme) top end, a Yamaha MT-07. Fast enough to pace traffic on a freeway with power in reserve and yet not itching to kill you like a super sport 600cc replica race bike.

    The seat height on a Monkey is six inches higher than some Harley "type" bikes. I pulled up beside a Fatboy on my Monkey and was looking down on the top of his do-rag! Of course he did not have a helmet, are you kidding, but I sure as hell did. ATGATT, all the gear, all the time, even on a Monkey.

    J
    Last edited by 3crows; 07-05-2019 at 11:40 PM.
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    It is awesome to hop on a new machine that looks great while reminding me about the CT70 I grew up with that parks next to the Monkey. It's a nice break from the HP4 and the Husky 350 as well.

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    I’m not speed or power hungry. I’m also a female, so maybe a bit more cautious than a lot of riders, maybe not. I like the Monkey. As soon as I saw it, I wanted one. I just want to make sure that it suits my needs, as far as where I will be riding.
    Monkey Rider Ken likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mils View Post
    In looking at a lot of groms and one Monkey, I have noticed low mileage and people selling for bigger bikes. I know for certain that a significant number of people are buying mini bikes to learn on.
    Regardless, my situation is this: ai am a new rider. I live in a suburban area. Speed limits range from 25-50. I would never think of taking it out on the highway. I have a car as primary transportation. I want a motorcycle ride for fun. There are some nice semi-rural roads nearby but you have to go through a lot of traffic initially to get to them. I’m trying to decide in a Monkey or a 250 or 300, like a TU250 or rebel 300. I live within an hour of the beach/shore. I think that would be an ideal place to ride a Monkey.
    We do have some fairly steep roads in the immediate vicinity.
    Never having ridden a small or big motorcycle, it’s difficult to think about what it would feel like in different types of traffic scenarios with a mini bike. I think part of it for me, is envisioning being at a red light , surrounded by cars and big trucks and being on a tiny motorcycle. It’s kind of irrational because the seat height isn’t really that low but are you any less visible on a small motorcycle?
    What so you think about my situation? Monkey or standard size motorcycle?
    Yes, a lot of people start on Groms and Monkeys. That means they experience newbie abuse - bad clutch modulation, sloppy shifting, sometimes being dropped, maintenance neglect, bad maintenance (stripped bolts, etc.), etc. That's why I refused to buy a used Grom. So be very careful when buying used. You can find good used bikes.

    Unfortunately no motorycle will do it all. You have to decide what's most important to you.

    A 250cc engine is too small for a full size motorcycle IMO unless it's a newer bike that has a more powerful engine and lighter weight. The old Ninja 250s were weak and heavy. That would get boring faster than any minibike. With that being said I'd love a Suzuki Van Van 200 or Yamaha TW200, but those are 3/4 size motorcycles. Either of those may fit your needs as well. Sadly, those bikes are way overpriced when new IMO. I'd look to the used market for those bikes. Going used for your first bike is a good idea if you can find a bike in good shape. That way it hurts less if you drop it and your wallet will take a smaller hit if you decide to sell it.

    My Grom with exhaust and a tuner struggles with hills. Any small displacement motorcycle isn't going to love hills. It's just physics.

    Groms are small, but not that low. The seat on my 1200cc Buell is lower. On a motorcycle you HAVE to ride like you're invisible of you want to survive. Car drivers don't always see other cars let alone motorcycles. But you can't ride scared or you won't have fun.

    If you get a bike and fall in love with motorcycling you're eventually going to want a new bike or a second bike.

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