2017 Honda Grom Review | You Meet the Nicest People on a Grom
After sitting out 2016, the 2017 Honda Grom brings the fun 125cc urban motorcycle back to America. The changes to the Grom are largely cosmetic, but we still took it on a ride from Honda’s headquarters in suburban Torrance to visit the original Groms at legendary Surfrider Beach in Malibu. Here’s what we found out.
1. The Grom looks better in 2017. The big visual changes are the new plastic, LED headlight and low-slung exhaust. Other updates include more sport-oriented handlebars, a new flip-key (nicer than you find on the 300s and 500s from Honda) and an upswept tailpiece (with taller passenger seat). We did see a twenty-something couple two-up on Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, and they were all smiles.
2. There’s no change in the Grom’s performance. Although we didn’t dyno the Grom, or test it back-to-back with an older version, the 2017 Honda Grom’s air-cooled, fuel-injected motor feels exactly the same as before, even though it has a new exhaust. You still pretty much want to keep to roads with speed limits of 45 mph or less.
3. Handling is better than ever. Even though the new handlebars aren’t radically different, improvements are always welcome. Around town, the 2017 Honda Grom is easy to ride and predictably agile. Get into the canyons, and the fat footprint of the IRC NR77U tires (mounted on 12-inch rims) allows you to carry serious speed in corners without concern.
4. The ergonomics aren’t as compact as you might expect. At 5’ 10”, I was comfortable taking the Grom on a 40-mile ride on city streets and highways without a break. The 30-inch seat-height is taller than many cruisers, and that gives legroom needed for sensible ergonomics.
5. The 2017 Grom remains incredibly fun to ride, regardless of your experience. New riders will love the light weight and ease of use. Even with little proficiency, you won’t be overwhelmed or intimidated. Those of us with decades at the grips will throw the Grom into turns, pull wheelies and stoppies, ride where you’re not supposed to, and generally misbehave—all the while doing it at safe speeds, and everyone nearby smiles.
6. Remember that the Grom has limits. The brakes are great at city speeds, but not as impressive from top speed. The softly damped suspension does not like square edge holes. You don’t have that motorcycle-like power to accelerate out of trouble, so plan accordingly. After dark, the headline is good, but high-beam doesn’t add much.
7. If you’re not happy with the stock 2017 Honda Grom, there are plenty of aftermarket goodies available. From suspension help courtesy of Öhlins and K-Tech, to exhausts from LeoVince and Yoshimura, you can make the mild mannered Grom into a wild child. All you have to do is decide how much to spend on the $3199 bike.
8. You meet the nicest people on a Grom. Wherever you go, people with a history in motorcycles will want to tell you about their experiences. While eating lunch at Malibu Country Chicken, we talked to a former Honda dealer employee, a Honda CT90 owner, and someone who rode a Triumph Bonneville in the 1960s. They all had questions about the Grom.
Location photos by Don Williams
2017 Honda Grom Specs
- Type: Single-cylinder four-stroke
- Bore x stroke: 52.4mm x 57.9mm
- Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
- Valve train: SOHC, two valves
- Fueling: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment
- Ignition: Electronic
- Transmission: Four-speed manual
- Final drive: Chain
- Front suspension: 31mm inverted fork; 3.9 inches of travel
- Rear suspension: Single shock w/ steel box-section swingarm; 4.1 inches of travel
- Front brake: 220mm disc w/ hydraulic dual-piston caliper
- Rear brake: 190mm disc w/ hydraulic single piston caliper
- Front tire: 120/70-12; IRC NR77U
- Rear tire: 130/70-12; IRC NU77U
- DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 47.2 inches
- Rake: 25°
- Trail: 3.2 inches
- Seat Height: 30 inches
- Fuel capacity: 1.45 gallons
- Curb weight: 229 pounds
- EPA estimated fuel consumption: 134 mpg
- Warranty: One-year unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available
2017 Honda Grom 125 Colors:
- Matte Gray Metallic
- Pearl Red
- Pearl White
- Bright Yellow
2017 Honda Grom 125 Price:
- $3199 MSRP
2017 Honda Grom Review | Photos