The Honda Monkey, a minibike beloved of riders across the world, has hit the end of the road after 50 years, and ceases production this month. An announcement to this effect was made earlier this year, in response to dwindling Japanese domestic market demand for two-wheelers.

Monkey fans headed to Honda’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan to participate in a draw to win one of the last 500 Monkeys to be produced, with 45,333 of them putting down names. First brought to market in 1967, the Honda Monkey quickly found a fanbase amongst riders who wanted an easy to ride, small capacity motorcycle to navigate the narrow streets of Tokyo.

Designed with folding handlebars and short wheelbase, and small enough to fit in a car boot, the Monkey was also easy to store in the typical Japanese urban home, where floor space is at a premium. With the model designation Z50M, the Monkey, along with the Gorilla variant, eventually became a best seller for Honda, alongside the legendary Supercub.

The Monkey arose from a competition to design the smallest motorcycle, and first saw use in an amusement ride at the Tama Tech amusement park in Hino, Tokyo, which opened in 1961. The first road-legal Monkey with a 50 cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine appeared in 1967.

Current motorcycle demand in Japan is reported by Nikkei Asia Review to be approximately 370,000 units, which is merely 10% of its peak in the 1980s. The next available option in Honda’s minibike range is the Honda MSX125, which is sold in Malaysia at a price of RM11,128.