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2014 Honda Grom 125 First Ride

Friday, August 30, 2013

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2014 Honda Grom First Ride Video
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Honda returns to its roots with its affordable new 125cc Grom. With a price tag under three grand this motorcycle offers big fun in a small package. See what it's like to ride in the 2014 Honda Grom First Ride Video.
Honda nurtured generations of motorcyclists with its original CT and ST line of small displacement street-legal motorcycles. But for the last decade or so Big Red has shied away from the segment, instead focusing resources on bigger bikes for more experienced riders. But for 2014 it goes back to the basics with the all-new Grom. This 125cc street bike offers big bike-like controls in a fun and easy-to-exploit package with a pricetag under three grand.

Named the MSX125 in other parts of the world, the Grom is a global model made to put power back into the people’s right hand by offering flexible and affordable transportation for both young and older riders alike. Powered by a simple, effective and virtually maintenance-free 125cc four-stroke Single, this little air-cooled engine employs fuel injection and electric start making it simple to get moving hot or cold, day or night.

The motor sips low cost 87-octane from a 1.45-gallon fuel tank netting a range in excess of 100 miles, though exact fuel mileage is still a question mark as we didn’t get to ride it for more than a few miles. Power is put to the tarmac through a manual, cable actuated clutch and four-speed gearbox. Despite its outwardly small dimensions including a

(Top) Despite its small-ish dimensions the Grom doesn’t feel outrageously tiny behind the handlebar. (Center) The Grom has a super low 30.1 inch seat height. It can also carry a small passenger, however, it will be a tight squeeze. (Below) The Tawian-made Grom uses a simple yet effective air-cooled 125cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine with fuel injection and electric start.
47.4-inch wheelbase and ultra-low 30.1-inch seat height, when seated at the controls the Grom actually feels like a real motorcycle rather than a Chinese-made play toy you’d find near the checkout counter at Pep Boys. It offers a well proportioned rider's triangle that doesn’t put undue stress on an adult rider’s knees or wrists, even for me at six-foot tall. It also comes outfitted with passenger footpegs so a friend can tag along, too. Just remember that maximum rated payload is 300 pounds.

While the clutch lever offers one-finger-light pull, the point of engagement is at the end of the throw which takes a little getting used to. Nevertheless, it’s easy to get a feel for it and the Grom clutch gets the job done without fuss. Although the transmission doesn’t offer the same precise feel and reassuring engagement of its off-road brother, the CRF125F (read about it in the 2014 Honda CRF125F First Ride), it too is effective offering an appropriate gear for going up and down hills and cruising the boulevard at 50 mph in top gear without the excessive vibration of a worn-out blender. We never got to ride the Grom at full tilt, but expect top speed to be right around 60 mph. It can even be legally ridden on the interstate in some U.S. states, for example in Oregon, but not in California.

Considering the size of the eighth-liter engine, acceleration is muted and though you won’t outrun lead foot drivers, the Grom’s got just enough pep to jump in front of minivan-driving moms who aren’t running late for soccer practice. But if they are, this little 225-pound Grom is so light and nimble that it makes it less intimidating to split traffic on Golden State roads. And for the time when someone gets in your way it has a nice loud push-button horn to help get their attention.

Instrumentation is modern with a one-piece LCD housing a fuel gauge, tachometer (rev counter), speedometer, clock and odometer with dual trip meters. The set-up is legible, even in direct sunlight and simple to glance at while riding. The Grom also offers a projector-style headlight and LED taillight however since we didn’t ride after sundown we can’t comment on how its lighting set-up performs.

The Grom rolls on a pair of black aluminum 12-inch wheels shod with a wide set of 70-series road tires (120 front, 130 rear). The set-up offers a surefooted contact patch against pavement with no recognizable road noise even at speeds in excess of 50 mph. Each wheel gets its own cross-drilled disc that is clamped hydraulically via a conventional right-handside hand and foot levers. Both brakes aren’t sensitive when touched yet still deliver adequate stopping performance when needed. Although it’s missing ABS, considering the pricetag and how effective the sum of its manual braking components are, we’d never miss it.

We loved the wide footprint of the Groms road tires that roll on 12-inch cast aluminum wheels.
(Top) Whether you’re looking to get into motorcycling or just looking for an inexpensive way to get around town the Honda Grom fits the bill. (Below) We loved the wide footprint of the Grom’s road tires that roll on 12-inch cast aluminum wheels.

Suspension components are basic and non-adjustable with an inverted fork and shock soaking up small bumps—giving almost four inches of forward travel, and a hair over that out back. Obviously the Grom isn’t something we’d want to ride cross-country, but for quick jaunts around town it performs perfectly.

If you’ve been eyeing an affordable two-wheeler to jet around town that’s as simple to park as it is to keep running, then the Grom is for you. It offers the build-quality and everyday reliability you’d expect from a big company like Honda while being fun and encouraging new generations of motorcycle riders for years to come.

Honda Grom Highs & Lows
  • Priced under three grand
  • Simple design, easy to ride
  • Fun!!!
  • None that we can think of—this is a great motorcycle at an even better price. Thanks, Honda.
2014 Honda Grom 125 Photos
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2014 Honda Grom Specs
Engine: 125cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke Bore x Stroke: 52.4 x 57.9mm
Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, cable actuation
Transmission: Four-speed
Front Suspension: 31.0mm inverted fork; 3.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Hydraulic shock absorber; 4.1 in. travel
Front Brake: 220mm cross-drilled hydraulic disc
Rear Brake: 190mm cross-drilled hydraulic disc
Wheels: 12-inch cast aluminum
Tires: 120/70-12 front, 130/70-12 rear
Curb Weight: 225 lbs.
Rake: 25 deg. Trail: 3.2 in.
Wheelbase: 47.4 in.
Seat Height: 30.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 1.45 gallon
MSRP: $2999
Colors: Pearl Red; Metallic Black
Warranty: 12 months
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skewedToTheLeft   April 12, 2014 06:24 PM
My current bike is a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R and when I took my bike in for service I saw the Honda Grom on the showroom floor (the dealership sells the top 4 makes) and it instantly flashed me back to my first bike--a Honda mini-trail 70. I'm seriously thinking about buying a Grom. I feel an attraction to it that I can't seem to shake. I had such fun on that bike as a kid. :)
GAJ   September 11, 2013 11:17 AM
Reminds me a little of my first bike. 225lbs, what a great little learner bike and I have to believe it will hold its value very very well come time to sell, (though many of us long time riders would still find it a blast to ride, no doubt). I predict this little thing will be a hit.
ForSure   September 9, 2013 12:43 PM
...but a $3k bike just to ride around town and pop wheelies on? What else is a "streetfighter" about? Ah but I can hear all the Ninja 250 and CBR250 owners crying now.
ForSure   September 9, 2013 12:12 PM
gawd imagine getting a ticket for "display of speed" for popping wheelies on a bike that won't even do 60mph. Small, frugal and cheap is nice, but I still wouldn't buy it until I get an idea of the 0-60 time. "I don't see this bike motivating people to go through the cost and time of a acquiring a motorcycle license." Really that's ok with me. Let them walk, drive or ride the bus.
grumpy8521   September 4, 2013 07:16 AM
" but expect top speed to be right around 60 mph." Rev limiter kicks in at 58.
Drunkula   September 4, 2013 07:08 AM
Really does look like it'd be a blast for around town. Going to have to go check it out...
Poncho167   September 3, 2013 01:34 PM
This should be no more than $2,500.
Piglet2010   September 3, 2013 01:32 PM
Is this the Innova/Wave drive-train, with the centrifugal clutch actuation changed over to standard shifting?
Piglet2010   September 3, 2013 01:27 PM
Looks to be about as much fun as a barrel full of monkeys. Track days at the local go-kart facility, anyone?
frankfan42   September 2, 2013 07:55 PM
Really, what is not to like here? Other than many of us aren't kids anymore.
x2468   September 2, 2013 04:41 PM
I don't see this bike motivating people to go through the cost and time of a acquiring a motorcycle license. If I were Honda, I'd have license tests at the dealership with the price included in the cost of the Grom.
dbezerkeley   September 2, 2013 02:55 PM
As a fun little toy this looks like a blast. But for city commuting I'll take my scooter with under seat storage and wind protection.
HAPINAZZ   September 2, 2013 10:50 AM
Reminds me of the Yamaha YSR50 days...sign
Superbikemike   August 31, 2013 12:05 PM
that just looks like a fun little bike.... bravo honda.... !!!
AnthonyD   August 31, 2013 06:12 AM
The coolest part about this bike is going to be the aftermarket. I really hope this bike catches on Honda Ruckus style. I can see these things stretched and stripped with crazy exhaust mods. It is going to be a fun little project to make a bad ass Grom. I am going to go Mad Max style with mine.