The world is full of oddball motorcycles from diesels to functional art, but I think I’ve found one of the weirdest ones in existence. This “Virtual Steering Monkey” for sale is essentially an old Honda Monkey with a novel front-end steering concept like a Bimota or Vyrus.
This bewildering machine is for sale as a “Daytona Virtual Steering Bike” at TVP Classics, a Belgium-based dealership. It’s for sale for about $8,670 and you can even import it to the States. But what the hell is this thing?
The folks of Silodrome took a crack at finding out its history and found very little information, none of it in English. It was similar for me, and it appears the best resource for the motorcycle was the bike’s creator, former auto designer Takashi Haneda.
Haneda maintains a website about the Virtual Steering Monkey (VSMonkey) and wrote a book about building it. They developed a kit for the little Honda Z50 Monkey, a ‘60s bike so cool and so accessible that production soldiered onto 2017 when it got replaced by a bigger and faster version.
That kit is produced by Daytona, a Japanese aftermarket parts supplier. For the price of about 220,000 yen in 1998, or $1,960 today, you could turn your Monkey into something else entirely.
Up front is the weird steering system where instead of forks, you get a swingarm that steers.
That is attached to some linkages that turn the wheel near its hub. The idea was to separate braking, steering and suspension so they don’t inferfere with one another. But Haneda does admit on his site that the design was styling first. The steering system reminds me of the Yamaha GTS 1000 or a Vyrus, but on a lower budget. Here’s it in action:
The kit also provided the front end, a frame and a rear swingarm. The rest of the parts came from the donor Monkey. This particular VSMonkey is said to be “brand new, built up with brand new parts.” Take a closer look and you’ll see the Monkey’s tank and its adorable 49cc 4.5 HP single.
This one has some upgrades in the form of four adjustable YSS 280mm HQ shock absorbers, braided stainless steel brake hoses, a custom fairing, a carbon Miya exhaust and more.
The selling dealership says that it’s one of 50 and the only street legal VSMonkey worldwide. However, Haneda’s site claims “as many as 80" were built as of April 2000. The above video also shows a VSMonkey with a license plate and everything else that would be needed to make it street legal.
Still, regardless if there’s 50 or 80 of them this thing is properly rare and probably one of the weirdest motorcycles you can own for the price. And it’s so cheap that you can ride it without feeling bad for putting miles it.