There can be little doubt that this is one of the strangest vehicles we’ve ever featured on Silodrome. It’s so strange in fact that the little information we can find about it is all in Japanese, it appears that it’s never before been covered by an English language publication.
What we do know for certain is that this bike uses a frame kit from Daytona Company Ltd based in Japan, only 50 of them were made, with the example you see here believed to be the only road-legal example in the world.
Fast Facts – The Virtual Steering Monkey By Daytona
- The Virtual Steering Monkey or “VSMonkey” was developed as a kit by former automotive engineer Takashi Haneda, he’s now a professor at the Faculty of Design, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture.
- These VSMonkey kits have an unusual “virtual axis steering system” that was designed to separate the steering, suspension, and braking elements at the front wheel.
- There have been a number of different front suspension and/or steering systems used on motorcycles over the years including hub center steering systems and BMW’s Paralever front suspension system.
- The VSMonkey kit provided a frame, front end and rear swing arm with the rear of the components being supplied by a donor Honda Monkey Bike.
The Honda Monkey
The Honda Monkey is one of the most recognizable motorcycles ever designed, but few know that the production version of the bike came about almost by accident.
Honda originally developed the Monkey bike for children to use at a Japanese carnival, they proved so popular with the children (and their parents alike) that plans were formed to create a version that could be sold to the general public.
Known officially as the Honda Z50 or the Honda Z Series, sales began in 1964 with the Z50M model. This was a very simple bike with no front or rear suspension, other than the tire sidewalls, a 49cc engine, and an automatic/centrifugal clutch.
Over the years the design complexity would increase, with suspension being added, more powerful engines, and there were a number of special edition models created. Production of all Z50 series motorcycles ceased in 2017 however Honda was already working on developing its replacement – the all-new 125cc Honda Monkey that was released in 2018.
The Daytona Virtual Steering Monkey
Known as the “Virtual Steering Monkey” the bike you see here was built from a kit and a donor Honda Monkey bike recently – in fact it’s listed as being brand new.
The kit features a tubular steel backbone-type frame, a rear swing arm, and the pièce de résistance, that wildly unusual front end suspension and steering system.
The purpose of the front end is to separate the suspension, steering, and braking systems so they they won’t interfere with one another – similar in concept to the BMW Paralever front suspension design that eliminates front dive under braking.
It’s not known how many of these have been built, it’s thought that 50 kits were made but information is scarce, even in Japanese.
As mentioned above, the example you see here is believed to be the only road-legal one ever built. The bike includes the Virtual Steer Frame kit, Daytona 10″ alloy wheels, 10″ street tires, an alloy Daytona rear swing arm, Daytona front and rear disc brakes, and four adjustable YSS 280mm HQ shock absorbers – two up front and two in the rear.
The bike is now for sale for €7,500 which works out to approximately $8,680 USD. If you’d like ton read more or enquire about buying it you can click here to visit the listing with TVP Classics.
Images courtesy of TVP Classics
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.