With the news that the Goodwood Revival is re-launching for 2021 hot off the press, our attention has turned to a unique genre of two-wheeled transport – say hello the iconic ‘pit bike’.
From the earliest days of motorsport, to the vast track complexes of today, one of the aspects of racing that is sometimes overlooked is the need for teams and drivers to cover large distances around the circuits when out of a racing cars.
Motorbikes are the obvious answer to this, and while a classic Vespa might seem a simple and stylish option for navigating any paddock, for those who need either a smaller solution or indeed one which does without the two-stroke emissions, there are two new fun options to consider. Both are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, whether on, or off the racing scene.
Originally designed as an attraction for amusement parks, Honda launched its tiny Monkey Bike in 1961. With 5” wheels, a 49cc engine and a solid frame, these minuscule bikes were built purely for fun, but they proved such a hit that just two years later a road going version was launched. Never intended for long distance travel, the Monkey was designed entirely for whizzing around town centres, beach resorts and for any other areas which cars wouldn’t reach.
Over the years, Honda have added refinements such as bigger wheels and pneumatic tyres, foldable frames and adjustable seats - but the essence remains the same. For anyone in need of modern reliability with the charm of the original, Honda are still selling the Monkey in 2021. Available in a range of retro colours, with electric starters, LED headlights, hydraulic disk brakes and emissions compliant four-stroke engines, the latest Monkey is not only as cute as a button, it will also start on one, too!
For those with a need for easy-riding in built-up areas, and with tastes running more towards flathead V-Twins (but without the environmental impact), Rayvolt UK may just have the perfect answer. An electric bike company like no other, the Rayvolt e-Bikes are capable of a 50-mile range, and speeds of up to 30mph, thanks to their 48V electric motors and high-density battery packs.
These customisable electric bikes have styling cues taken straight from the grandees of US motorbikes (think Harley Davidson and Indian) but pack enough power to be safe in town, along with all of the silence and zero-emissions benefits of electric power. While the crocodile-skin saddle option may not be to everyone’s tastes, there can be few more stylish ways of arriving at the pit lane in Monte-Carlo than on one of these.
Which do you prefer, the Monkey, or the Cruzer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.