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.[Read 2017 Motorcycle Previews]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
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!