Honda Grom: Little bike, big attitude

Farm Forum

The Honda Grom is a hoot, delivering an enjoyable riding experience to novice and expert alike. It makes for an ideal pit bike due to its compact size, light weight and exceptional agility.

It comes across looking like a mini-sport bike, but is much more comfortable to ride — even for someone my size (6’4″ and weighing 230 pounds). Okay, admittedly I may resemble a 500-pound gorilla on a mini-bike when tooling around on the Grom, but it’s fun, so who cares?

Honda traditionally refrains from publishing horsepower and torque ratings for its power sports equipment due to the many variables inherent in measuring output, but the Grom has plenty of get up and go. A dyno test ranked it a smidgeon under 9-horsepower, close enough, in fact, to give it a 9-horse rating.

Power comes from a 124.9cc, two-valve, air-cooled single-cylinder, four-stroke engine. Motive energy is geared through a four-speed sequential manual gearbox and reaches the rear wheel via a chain final drive.

Dimensions are compact. Honda Grom has a wheelbase of 47.4 inches, an overall length of 69.3 feet and tips the scales at a mere 225 pounds.

Suspension componentry consists of 31mm inverted forks up front with 3.9 inches of travel, a single shock with a steel box-section swingarm and 4.1 inches of travel in the rear. The Grom rolls on 12-inch Vee Rubber brand donuts mounted on 5-“Y”-spoke, black-painted alloy wheels — 120/70-12 forward and 130/70-12 aft. The rake or Caster angle measures 25 degrees and the Trail measurement is 81mm or 3.2 inches.

The Honda Grom is a hot commodity and comes with a full complement of standard equipment and features, required fluids and a full fuel tank, and is ready to ride with a base price of $3,199. Figure roughly another $150 for dealer preparation and handling, bringing the estimated total sticker to $3,349. Due to its popularity, though, you’ll be hard pressed to find one available at this price.

Instrumentation includes an LCD digital dash featuring a speedometer, a bar graph tachometer, an odometer with A&B trip meters, a clock and fuel gauge. The Grom is available in Pearl Red or Metallic Black finish. My test Grom was done in Metallic Black with gold anodized front forks.

Technically, the Honda Grom is designed to accommodate both a rider and a passenger. The seat is long and there are pegs for a passenger. The Grom is certainly sturdy enough to handle a two-up scenario, depending on the size and weight of the rider and the passenger’s bulk.

I found that the seat’s extended length made it nearly a perfect fit for my long frame. For me, carrying a passenger was out of the question, which in my book makes the Grom an ideal choice for tooling around in the city, running errands or taking out just for fun. The Grom is also capable of short freeway stints, but this again depends on the rider’s structural stats. I did a short freeway run but didn’t have a warm fuzzy feeling while doing it.

The styling of the Honda Grom alone is enough to make one smile, and riding it really clinches the deal. It is rider-friendly regardless of one’s level of expertise, making it an ideal choice for a beginning rider still in his or her formative years.

Bottom line, the Honda Grom is also perfect for aging riders who happen to be entering their second childhood — or for those who never really got out of their first. And if just under 9 official horsepower aren’t enough to suit your style, there already are parts available for souping up the Grom, including a non-street legal exhaust. Should you happen to be the law-abiding type, there’s also a slip-on exhaust that will up the ante.

Kudos to Honda for coming up with the Grom. It not only looks cool, it is cool, and a blast to ride. If you can find one, don’t hesitate to grasp the opportunity to satisfy your inner child.