Life on bikes

Honda Monkey Bike: Not so much monkeying around

Feeling the chill in his ageing bones, Jock substitutes riding his Monkey Bike for writing a list of the bits he can fit to his Monkey Bike. What a fun guy.

It’s the beginning of April, the clocks have gone forward, and in large parts of the country, it still feels more like Winter than a chilly Spring. If I’m honest, I don’t ride much in Winter. Or rain. Or sleet. Or snow. Or much of the UK’s weather as a whole I suppose.

For large parts of the year I sit like a lobotomised simpleton by my window, staring out, hoping for a dry, sunny day; one that follows rain-free days. At this time of year, I pounce on every positive weather report, building a picture of precisely what minute I can get the bike out, to ride an hour or two, leaving me enough time to clean the bike to satisfy my OCD.

I sat down this morning, bored, stared out the window and saw rain, again. Quelle surprise!

Maybe it was time to review the list of things done to my Monkey Bike; that I still want to do to the Monkey, stuff I’ll try do to the Monkey if I can get away with it. Also, see if there’s anything I’ve missed in the process of going a little stupid with the Monkey.

Honda Monkey Bike
© Jock McJock

I won’t lie; I was slightly impressed with just how crazy the proposed list has become. Consciously or not, I seem to have gone for things that say ‘quality’, (read ‘expensive’), rather than ‘cheap’, ‘anodised’, ‘eBay crap’, which does sound overly snobbish, particularly when I have no room to be given my miserable bank balance. It also says ‘what the hell are you thinking?’.

I’m seeking some big changes to how she was the day she rolled out of the Honda factory. In time I’m hoping the little Monkey may be able to say she ‘was worth it’. But, as I check off the parts I’d like, the list getting longer, I could see a different phrase shaping itself in my head. ‘Oh, bugger’. I have created a monster of a list, for a bike smaller than many kebabs I’ve had. Perhaps time to cool off and consider the ‘must haves’ and ‘can afford haves’.

In the meantime, since the last instalment, MotoWorks in Kent have fitted some R&G crash protection, alongside an R&G tail tidy, which I have to say fills the protective, as well as aesthetic requirements brilliantly. With barely concealed money spent on pricey parts, I sure as feck don’t want to bugger the thing up with even the most minor of spills; so with some luck, the R&G protection will satisfy that need. The same kit you’d fit a track going superbike, the crash bungs, spindle sliders and bar ends have a robust, solid quality about them and is in keeping with the theme of good money spent on good kit. Also, I kind of like that solid look on such a chunky little Monkey. The tail tidy removes the overly long and ugly OEM numberplate holder and fender extender. And as the name suggests it tidies the back up no end, meaning a small plate looks a tad more to scale. See what you think in the latest shots.

In the next instalment, I’ll likely describe what progress I’ve made on that ‘Bugger List’. No doubt I’ll be outlining what I plan on doing with the bike, the selected parts and if I actually make any progress it’ll include lots of fitting, plenty swearing, frowns, chin rubbing, up smiles, down smiles, standing back and looking saying ‘fuck’ on occasions, but in the end hopefully saying ‘fecking spot on’.

Realistically it’ll be describing dropping the bike off to Ben at BensBikeRacing in Belvedere, London as he’s the expert and how I let him loose with the ideas I have. No point making a pig’s ear of a Monkey when the leading light is on my doorstep.

See you the other side of bankruptcy.

Read more of Jock’s Monkeying around:

Honda Monkey Bike: Getting naughty with some Monkey bits

Honda Monkey Bike: More monkeying around

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The Author

Jock McJock

Jock McJock

Jock would describe himself as a world child, though a child with a greying beard and ever-receding hairline.

Gaining his bike licence over 30 years ago, from the roads of Perth, Scotland, to the dirt roads of Perth, Australia, he stopped counting the miles as the half million mark easily came and went, barely noticed. Emotive, sarcastic, direct, as happy to bimble and take in the view as he is to drag a kneeslider and ignore the view.

His biking CV is an eclectic mix, from racer to tourer, track instructor to ride leader, he has ridden all over the globe, describing the journey as ‘in progress’, never ready to sit back and settle for the biking memories he has. Rather than just going from A to B, Jock makes sure A to B has a story in it to tell.

Jock revels in the analytical side of riding and product testing. His passion spills out into helping everyone from newcomers to aspiring racers, providing guidance to those riders who may lack confidence on their bikes, through lectures and riding analysis.

So buy him a donut and a coffee and settle in for a roller coaster ride of biking emotions.