Is the Chinese made Monkey frame identical to the original Monkey frame? No, it isn't. If you are familiar with the original Honda Monkey Z50, it won't take long for you to recognise a Chinese made Monkey just by looking at the bike. What are the exact differences? Our friend Jeremy, at Kaos Kustoms Garage, kindly lends us a genuine Honda Z50 frame for a quick side by side comparison.
The biggest difference is the overall length. The Chinese frame is approximately 30 mm longer in the neck. This is what makes Chinese Monkey bikes easy to spot. They have a longer "naked" neck section in front of the fuel tank. I guess this is done so people can fit a bigger displacement engine in, thanks to the extra space.
The height of both frames are pretty much the same - around 335 mm mark.
Steering lock: the Chinese frame runs an internal lock which the lock actuator sits inside.
Bottom Panel: the mounting holes for rear fender sit higher on the Honda frame, by about 10 mm. Also the Honda frame has cutouts and more welding area.
In terms of geometry, the rest of both frames are very similar. An interesting finding is that some welding is done on the inner side of the frame on the Chinese one, where the Honda one is done on the outside. I don't weld so I can't really comment on welding quality.
Weight wise, I didn't feel there is much of a difference by moving them around while taking photos.
To wrap up:
The Chinese frame is built very similar to the Honda frame in terms of functionality. Yes, it is 30 mm longer but it also means there is more room between top of the engine and the back of the front tyre.