Click above for a gallery of the Honda Monkey Bike
Question: What happens when you take an old Honda Monkey bike, complete with its 50cc four-stroke powerplant, and swap its old-school carbs for Honda's modern PGM-FI computer-controlled fuel injection? Answer: Exactly 3.4 hp and 252 mpg at a constant 18.6mph. That represents a 10 percent improvement in both fuel efficiency and power over the older version, and emissions have also been drastically reduced thanks to a modern catalytic converter in the single exhaust.
The first street-legal Z50, otherwise known as the Monkey, was launched back in 1967 and has grown up to become an icon of sorts to the Honda faithful. Since it uses the same single-cylinder powerplant as the ridiculously popular Super Cub, which was just recently endowed with computer-programmed fuel injection itself, reliability is virtually guaranteed. As much as we'd love to tell you that it's headed to America, it isn't. Just 4,000 units are slated to be built, and all of them will stay in Japan. Pity.