NEWS: Honda Monkey celebrates 50th anniversary, to be discontinued in August

It is with great sadness that we report the Honda Monkey will cease production by the end of this summer. Honda has announced that at the end of August 2017, the 50cc minibike will finish its 50-year run. Before it goes, though, Honda is releasing a 50th anniversary special edition. 

The 50th anniversary Monkey is painfully nostalgic. It’s finished in a two-tone red and white with a tartan seat that’s a throwback to the classic Z50M. On the fuel tank there’s an exclusive and ornate 50th anniversary crest on the fuel tank, as well as old school Honda wing emblems. And you don’t even start it up with a regular key. Instead, there’s a special 50th anniversary version.

Honda Motorcycle president Chiaki Kato said that the reason for discontinuing the Monkey was new emissions rules in Japan, about equivalent to the Euro 4 standard (which went into effect in Europe in 2005) and very difficult for small-displacement engines to pass. Kato-san added that even if they were to engineer the motor to compliance, stricter laws will go into effect in Japan in 2021. As such, it was decided that it would be best to end now. “As it is a milestone of 50 years,” Kato-san said, “we will end production and sales tearfully.”

Images courtesy of Honda.

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7 Responses to NEWS: Honda Monkey celebrates 50th anniversary, to be discontinued in August

  1. Ant said:

    Surprised Honda hasn’t planned to replace it with an electric variant, if emissions are the issue. It’s what the company seems to be planning with the Cub, which will probably live forever in some form or other.

    • Randy said:

      Not a bad idea, actually… There are a couple of e-bike mfrs; just don’t remember them… I think one is actually CALLED e-bike…

  2. Randy said:

    Gotta love regulations!

    “Okay, so we’ll make these small, but more polluting engines impossible to produce, leaving less-polluting, but larger engines.”

    So, 500 parts/million, vs. 250 parts/million, but putting out 2x the “millions.”
    – Net improvement: ZERO, not including the extra fuel burned (in a country obsessed with mpg), and the increased cost of fuel to the user.
    – Probably not much that costs less to buy/own, so jacks up the costs to low-income people. Politicians don’t care, of course, because it doesn’t hit THEM. Same story as everywhere else in the world.

    Yup; makes PERFECT sense.

  3. John Moran said:

    Shocked to see them yanking the Monkey.

    Used to get to ride one occasionally some 30-odd years ago and still brings back good memories. Also, saw some JASDF officers commuting on them or their primate relatives and always brought a smile to my face.

    I even remember seeing a pic/drawing of the original ’67 Z50M at Mega Web. Really liking the anniversary edtion – would go…to have one.

  4. Sammy smith said:

    I have owned 2 of them still have 1 mini trail and an old ATC 70 although there will still be many around

  5. Brett said:

    I love the Monkey; yet another iconic machine passing into the annals of history.

  6. Hashiriya said:

    Uh…. Does that mean Honda is getting out of the 50cc scooter game as well? ‘Cause that’s a pretty sizable chunk of scooters here in Japan. How hard could it possibly be to just throw one of those engine/drivetrain combos in its place?

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