Honda has been selling this epic little beast overseas as the MSX125 since early 2013. I’ve had my eye on it since I first heard pre-release rumors of its coming debut this side of the Pond. Several friends of mine had pre-ordered them as early as July.
Last week, one of our employees here at Motorcycle Closeouts bought one.
Of course, I had to beg him to trust me with the keys. We have a fun, little country road behind our warehouse and I took off down it like a rocket…ish. Before I got too far, I pulled over to snap a picture.
I was surprised (hardly alarmed, but happily surprised) at how well the Grom accelerated off the line. It cornered effortlessly, too. And it shifted smoothly. I was grinning ear to ear, carving it through the turns. It was smooth, agile, and light. At first I couldn’t figure out why riders overseas ever complain about having to start on a 125cc.
And then I came to a hill. I had to downshift to maintain speed.
Still, it’s surprisingly quick. As long as I didn’t expect it to perform like a “full-sized” motorcycle, I was more than content. For its class, this bike is awesome. And there is certainly no denying the Grom’s good looks.
It’s also not as cramped as I was expecting it to be. Unlike Honda’s classic monkey bikes from the 60′s and 70′s, the seating position on the Grom doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re about to perform in a circus routine. One of my friends is just over 6′ and he sits comfortably on his. But, there is certainly no question of nearly anyone being able to flatfoot this machine.
The suspension is definitely lacking. I only weigh 100lbs, and yet I crushed the rear suspension when I sat on it. In fact, the suspension seems to compress down to the same point and stay there, regardless of rider weight. I’m sure we’ll begin seeing a range of aftermarket accessories and upgrades, including suspension, hit the market over the next year.
My ride was too short to speak on fuel economy or highway riding, but my 6’1″ friend took his out on the highway. He described it as capable, but unable to keep up with traffic very well above 60 mph. He said it was fine for a quick jaunt, but he wouldn’t plan to take a 15+ minute highway commute on the Grom on purpose.