Why I bought a 1977 Honda ST70 Monkey Bike

TO BE honest, I’m really not sure. But it’s probably the one I love the most in My Garage (just don’t tell the others).

Buying it was a bit of a strange one really. I had just interviewed Hyundai UK’s MD for Car Dealer when press officer (and former Auto Express staffer) Tom Barnard ambushed me over lunch.

Mid beer and chips the subject got round to bikes. I knew he had the monkey bike stashed away as when we both worked on AE I remember him buying it, so I asked him how it was.

He told me the wife had told him it was time for it to go and for some reason I said I’d buy it. Before I knew it I’d bagged this 1977 blue model for, funnily enough, a monkey (£500).

Tom arranged to have it delivered the following week in the back of a Hyundai iLoad and I jumped straight on board for a spin.

Amazingly I got the thing started – there’s no electric start here, you’ve got to kick it (not literally) – and I scooted off down the road. I got all of 200 metres before it spluttered to a stop and I had to push it back.

That was in 2009 and it hasn’t started since. Shameful I know, but it would need some time and effort to get it road legal and that’s something that’s been spent on other projects.

And that’s not to mention its current home. It lives in the conservatory as a piece of modern art. It took six months to convince the good lady wife to let me house it inside, and since she conceded it’s spent most of its life as either a toy for my niece and nephew or a footstall.

More commonly the latter.

I’ve toyed with the idea of getting it fixed up and ready for the summer, but never seem to find the time.

Still, it’s worked out as a pretty good investment. They’re currently selling on eBay for quite a bit more than the price I paid and that’s before you factor in the numberplate.

Mine is sporting the rather desirable WMB 2R. I’m tempted to take it off and stick it on something else in the garage but can’t be bothered to battle the DVLA’s red tape.

So for the foreseeable future it’ll remain as an installation in the conservatory until I find the time to do something with it.

Unless you’ve got any ideas what to do with it instead?

One Response to “Why I bought a 1977 Honda ST70 Monkey Bike”

  1. I learnt to ride on a ST70 in the mid 70s. My dad bought it during the petrol crisis, but probably with my 15 year old sister and I in mind, to be a training ride. We used to ride it in the garden, absolutely the best toy for a teenager. Rode it when I was 16 too, really good bike, so much more fun than a pedal moped.

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