About the Honda Gorilla Spring Collection
In 1967, Honda pioneered the field of “leisure motorcycles” with the release of the Monkey. That charming machine was equipped with tiny five-inch tires, a rigid suspension, and unique folding handlebars, which enabled its loading into a passenger car. The uniqueness of the Monkey made it an instant hit among the young and young at heart. Over the years, the little Monkey continued to mature, undergoing several modifications including the incorporation of eight inch tires and an improved suspension system. In August 1978, Honda released the big brother of the Monkey, and appropriately named it “Gorilla”.
Save the gas tank and seat, the Gorilla adopted fundamentally the same parts as the Monkey. The most defining aspect of the Gorilla is its swelled chest, an oversized gas tank, which boasts a capacity of 9 liters. And while the Monkey was equipped with folding handlebars, the Gorilla got fixed ones. The main reason was that while the Monkey was designed to be loaded into a car and transported to the riding area, the Gorilla was made to get there on its own power. And as the Monkey was to be loaded, the Gorilla was designed to load, equipped with two large baggage carriers, one on the front and one on the rear. The 9 liter gas tank and superb 70km per liter mileage provided a maximum continuous running distance of 630km, on par with most passenger cars of the same era. Its powerplant was the same as the monkey, a 49cc aircooled single cylinder SOHC engine, which was also used on Honda’s best selling Super Cub. The Gorilla was also equipped with a manuel 4-speed transmission, opposed to the automatic 3-speed system of the Monkey.
Like its little brother, the Gorilla underwent various improvements until 1992, when production was ceased. The popularity of the machine, however, did not dwindle, with the few remaining used Gorillas fetching premium prices. It was February 1998 when Honda resumed production, this time bringing out a new Gorilla equipped with the Monkey’s large headlamp and using chrome parts on the headlamp casing, fender, and other places. Although the front carrier was removed, the huge gas tank was left untouched, and the seats were redesigned with riding comfort in mind. January 1999 saw the production of 3500 “Honda Gorilla Spring Collection” machines. This version was meant to shine, and features chrome parts on virtually every visible part of the bike. The gas tank, the side-cover, the front forks, the chain case, the wheels, the exhaust pipe cover, even the frame and swing arm glisten with gorgeous chrome. This undeniably attractive exterior, combined with Honda’s reliable mechanics underneath, promise a bright and shiny future for the Monkey’s big brother.