Living With The 2014 Honda Grom – Long-Term Test: Month One

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Honda Grom

The tiny little Honda Grom is the friendly, fun face of motorcycling. We’re spending an extended period on one to see if a bike that can barely hit 60 mph can keep up in real world riding. This is what the Grom’s been up to during its first month with us.

The biggest adventure with the Grom so far was just getting it home from Honda’s headquarters in Torrance to my place in Hollywood. On most bikes, that’s about a 30 minute ride across the city, then down the 405 fwy. But the Grom’s not highway legal, so we had to hop on PCH and sit at traffic lights all the way up to Venice Beach.

That took a while, but while the Grom can’t get on the freeway, it’s more than capable of keeping ahead of even fast-flowing surface street traffic around Los Angeles. Acceleration begins to taper off around 45 mph, but it’s happy sitting pinned at 56 mph for minutes at a time, until the next red light.

I stopped at Deus for a (good) coffee and a (terrible) sandwich on the way. The Grom’s seat just doesn’t agree with my sensitive tailbone for more than about 30 minutes and their location at Venice Boulevard and Lincoln was a nice goal about 45 minutes into the one hour and 15 minute ride. As soon as I pulled in, Deus’ art director Hiroshi Kang came running down from the office, helmet in hand. I threw him the key and he spent the next 10 minutes riding around the parking lot with a huge smile on his face. The Grom just seems to have that effect on people.

2014 Honda Grom 125
2014 Honda Grom 125

One of my biggest concerns about riding the Grom in LA’s heavy traffic was that its diminutive size would see it disappearing between cars. But so far, no more problems with drivers not seeing me than usual. While it is a small bike, it has a large presence (and a bright headlight). You sit upright on it, with good vision. While you can’t see over cars the way you would on a supermoto, the Grom at least provides equal vision to most sportbikes; your helmet ends up at about the same height.

Pretty much as soon as I got the Grom home, RideApart’s CEO Jon called and politely informed me he’d be borrowing it for a little while. The little bike is ideally suited to the tight, hilly roads in the canyon neighborhood he lives in; I had a blast riding it over to his house, using full throttle pretty much the whole way. Riding home in a 2013 Porsche Cayman S was a stark contrast, you just can’t enjoy a car like that on most city roads.

2014 Honda Grom 125
I park the Honda Grom in my front yard; it makes an excellent lawn ornament.

Jon roared around the city’s canyons on it for a few weeks while I was traveling in Europe and really, really didn’t want to give the Grom back when I got home. I eventually pried the key from his hands, only to have it disappear again right away. A friend managing the pop-up store for Kanye West’s Yeezus tour called and wanted to know if it could spend a couple days there, helping them sell t-shirts.

I was honestly surprised they went for the Grom. While we motorcyclists know small equals fun, I didn’t expect non-riders to take it seriously. But, when I rolled it into the Melrose storefront, the sales girls and too-cool-for-school managers all lit up with smiles.

That’s been the reaction everywhere I’ve gone so far. No one laughs, the Grom genuinely makes people smile. They should try riding one, maybe we’ll do that next month.

Related Links:
Read More About It: 2014 Honda Grom 125 Review
More Great Bikes: The Best Motorcycles of 2013
Our Favorite Bike Right Now: Honda CB500X

  • Twin Verb

    We have a local cart track that opens up to sumo’s. I can only imagine how fun it would be to have Grom races. Knee down on a 125cc? Can it happen?

    • Khali

      Chinese pit-bikes are really popular here. Those are 150-180cc and probably about the same size as the Grom. So I dont seewhy not :)

      I only wish that the grom was just a bit more powerful…so it would be highway capable

  • Mitchell Cardwell

    Puttered around on one in the Chuckwalla pits last weekend. This thing is a blast.

  • Stephen Mears

    Go right for upgraded brake lines. Huuuuuuge difference!

  • Corey Cook

    Does it come with the over priced and poorly designed and incredibly douchey tank top?

  • Andrew

    so radical! get motogeo on it!

    • Mr.Paynter

      Let’s see his Dinysus-esque version of the grom!

  • imprezive

    I saw one tearing around Malibu a couple weeks back. It looked like a blast. I’d love to have one just for bombing around on.

  • Mr.Paynter

    Honda South Africa says early next year, I am so amped to see it in the metal!

  • Brian

    You mention the size of it in regards to your presence in traffic, having not gone to a showroom to see one in person yet, I wonder how does it compare in its diminutive size to say, a Buell Blast, or a Yamaha TW200 ? I realize it is more or less a scaled down version of a motorcycle to a degree, just trying to get a picture of the scale comparison.

    • Ryan Deckard

      It is smaller than the blast. Having seen pictures on the interwebs only, then seeing one in person at the AIMExpo (awesomely ticked out with Yosi parts that added up to 1/2 of the selling price), it was a lost smaller than I expected. It is smaller than the blast, but for some reason, sitting on it felt more natural.

  • Justin McClintock

    Sounds like the riding experience probably isn’t all that different to my DT175, other than the DT is a little bit taller. I need to go find one to ride.

  • Vincentius Kennaldy

    it has the same engine as this cub, a Honda Supra X 125 in my country. Maybe some of you know it as Honda Innova ;)

    http://aliyusta.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/supra-x-125-d-dash-green.jpg