Photos by Adam Sauer: adamsauerphoto.com. Follow him on Instagram @adamsauerphoto
Everywhere I pull up, I get off the moto and someone yells – “The GROM!”
Like a mini celebrity, this ‘lil mighty moto packs a punch.
Everyone is excited to see this elusive beastie in person and remarks on how good-looking it is in the flesh. It’s not what you’d expect from a 125cc entry-level machine.
The body style detailing is on point. At suggested MSRP of $3,299 ($3,349 for the 2018), the quality of construction exceeds expectations. This bike is physically small and muscular. It’s what you want from your motorcycle—good looking but unintimidating to ride. The 2017 redesign leans out the bike and takes away all the softness. It’s like the Grom got a personal trainer and decided to hit the gym hard. This new generation features an LED headlight redesign that is original, bright and quite handsome. There is a two-tier seat, although the thought of a passenger on this bike seems a little hopeful. And, the engineers dropped the high pipe to below the engine.
So many small displacement bikes lack badass-ness. It’s why so many people sigh at the thought of getting their first bike and often times end up purchasing something that is too much for their current newbie riding capability. The Grom, meanwhile, just sits there exuding cool.
Available in four fabulous colors, the pearl white version I rode was fabulous enough to spur a neighbor to ask for the paint color number so he could repaint his car. Its aggressive stance makes you think of a Chihuahua ready to go in for a fight to protect its owner. You don’t understand that this bike is small until you see someone sit on it or walk up close to inspect it. It has a BIG personality.
I posted pics of the Grom on social media throughout the time I was test riding it. I have never had so many people ask me about a bike. It truly piques everyone’s curiosity.
A couple years ago I was driving through Connecticut, where I passed two teens bombing up a hill on a pair of Groms. These boys were grinning ear-to-ear and everything about their body language said – THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!!
Ever since that encounter, I have thought, “Could the Grom possibly be that much fun?! Or, were these two boys just enjoying their youth?”
After riding the Grom everywhere to do everything for a couple of weeks, the answer is…the Grom is so ridiculously fun, I still grin every time I think about it.
Whether you’re on the hunt for your first bike or you’re a seasoned veteran, this bike is worth a look.
With its short wheel base, it’s so easy to ride and so flickable, you feel like a pro no matter what gear you are in or in what scenario. Each of the four gears has you wound out and trying to redline the little beast. Yet, it is so forgiving and friendly that you are in control no matter how you ride it. Whether its wound out or you are just tooling along, you will have FUN.
When the Grom was dropped off, I was advised not to take it on the highway. I’m thankful for that bit of advice. Because of its sophisticated styling, it’s easy to forget that this moto only outputs a claimed 8.7 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 7.8 lb-ft or torque at 5,200 rpm. I was able to reach a max speed of 61 mph on a downhill tucked in as tightly as I could be. On secondary roads I averaged around 50 mph comfortably. I tested the Grom on the steepest inclines I could find in the Catskill Mountains of New York, reaching a max of 37 mph, wound out in second gear. Obviously, none of that is adequate for highway travel.
It doesn’t matter, because this bike was built to rip on secondary roads. It handles any two-lane blacktop like a champ. It would be perfect for navigating city streets and whipping along a beach community in an ocean breeze.
My only complaint about the Grom is, of all things, the horn. The button is huge and extends past the turn signal button. For the first week, I kept hitting the horn by accident, instead of putting my signal on. This would cause me to turn red under my helmet because it seemed like such a newbie goof. However, it also caused me to giggle as I realized that being so physically small on the road, it isn’t necessarily bad to announce your presence constantly.
I’m 5’2”, so with a 30-inch seat height, this is the first bike I can comfortably back up while sitting on it. That might not mean much to you, but if you’re vertically challenged like myself, it is life changing! The Grom inspires confidence. The overall lightness also helps. At 229 lbs, it is so easy to maneuver this bike anywhere. I kept it in my living room and happily pushed it in and out of my front door with ease. Navigating a tight situation, like at a packed gas station, was laughably easy. Speaking of gas, the tank holds 1.45 gallons and even at my wrist-twisting pace I averaged 79 mpg—good for 115 miles—making the bike cheap to run.
Those two boys were right. The Grom is ridiculously fun! Every time I got on it, I giggled. Oftentimes, we take motorcycling too seriously and forget that the pure essence of it all is just to enjoy ourselves. This ‘lil mighty moto packs more fun than you can imagine.
2017 Honda Grom Specs
Base Price: $3,299
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Type: Air-cooled single cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 52.4 x 57.9mm
Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
Valve Train: SOHC, 2 valves per cyl.
Fuel Delivery: PGM-FI
Transmission: 4-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 47.2 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/3.2 in.
Seat Height: 30.0 in.
Suspension, Front: 31mm inverted fork, non-adj., 3.9-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, 4.1-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Single 220mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper
Rear: Single 190mm disc w/ 1-piston caliper
Tires, Front: 120/70-12
Claimed Wet Weight: 229 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1.45 gals.
MPG: 86 PON min. 79 avg. (as tested)
Estimated Range: 115 miles (as tested)
Do own a GROM? Please share below.
I would love to get to know you and meet you on the road!