I'm not mad about Honda's new Monkey bike, due to its styling being a lazy mining of history to try tap into residual fondness for the original. Is retro ever going to run out of steam?
I'm far more interested in the 21st century Honda Monkey, the Grom, aka MSX125. But, but, but... I love what French custom company VIBA have done with the new Monkey, and the more I read about it the more I liked it.
The core of the bike is stock Honda, but what isn't standard is revolutionary, at least it seems like that to me.
The project is called JANE and looks like it was produced to showcase the capabilities of new manufacturing machinery.
VIBA worked with Rolf Lenk Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH, who, they say is 'a medium-sized manufacturing company that relies on state-of-the-art technologies. For several years now, the company has been manufacturing highly complex metal components for its customers using the additive manufacturing process.'
There was also a tie-in with German company, SLM Solutions, who, they say, '...is a leading provider of metal-based additive manufacturing technology... [focussing] on the development, assembly and sale of machines and integrated system solutions in the field of selective laser melting. SLM technology offers various options in the metal-based generative manufacturing to build parts, such as a new design and geometric freedom, lightweight construction through the reduction of build part weight, significant advantages in terms of production speed and the manufacturing of internal undercut build parts in low quantities.'
Wait, come back... It's interesting. If you're not sure what that means, it's describing '3D printing'. This process has been growing in use, but usually uses resin to create plastic parts. The difference here is that metal parts have been 'printed', including the tank, that front headlight bracket and the control levers.
The tank took over 27 hours to print on an SLM 800 machine.
The levers, that incorporate turn signals/indicators in their ends, took 2hr40 to print.
More on the VIBA JANE soon.
See it at the MBE Verona show this weekend.