In general, motorcycles are a good time in any shape or form—a sentiment shared with other immediately likable things such as kittens, puppies, and ice cream. If we are honest, some bikes keep the fun-factor pinned at the redline from start to finish, and few do it better than the 2022 Honda Grom.
The founding member of Big Red’s expanding miniMOTO lineup, which includes the Monkey, Super Cub C125, and Trail 125, the Grom has made its way into the welcoming arms of over 750,000 riders globally, planting the seeds in what has become a flourishing community since 2014.
In its third generation, the 2022 Honda Grom receives a heavily revised 125cc engine with a five-speed gearbox and a slightly larger fuel tank, along with new styling and upgrades to make customization that much easier.
We headed off to the Barber Small Bore event, presented by MNNTHBX (purveyors of all things small and fun), hosted at the prestigious Barber Motorsports Park to sample the new Grom. It’s a place where fans of minibikes, scooters, and motorcycles can partake in a bevy of smile-inducing events ranging from hitting the kart track, hill climbs, stunting, gymkhana, drag racing, off-roading, and much more.
- The 2022 Honda Grom is all about the simple pleasures of riding. I fully accept that diving into the nuts and bolts of a Grom is a little silly, seeing as the Grom is easily one of the least pretentious, unintimidating, and inviting motorcycles on Earth. It is a bike that is far more than the sum of its affordably speced-out parts. Still, we must do it as a matter of record and because we’re professionals (see photo of me on the Queen Bee Yellow Grom covered in mud as evidence). At the end of the day, Honda has seized upon a simple formula: an engine + two wheels = unadulterated joy.
- Customization is king. Honda knows how to preach to its choir and, judging from the sheer amount of aftermarket support for the Grom, the flock is ready. The body panels are removed with three bolts, letting owners make changes on a whim. Not only that, but Honda has partnered with Throttle Jockey to offer various graphic kits—the HRC livery kit adds horsepower, trust me. Heck, the new LCD dash is clean, easy to read, and includes a gear indicator.
- The 2022 Grom’s updated 125cc single-cylinder engine kicks it up a notch. Brace yourselves, people. We’re hitting double-digit horsepower figures! The new undersquare mill boasts a smaller bore and longer stroke. Accompanied by higher compression, that all adds up to a little more torque off the line. It’s a joyful little thumper that has enough chutzpah to put up 55 mph relatively quickly—65 mph if you’re drafting. Everything about this engine is inviting, whether you are stretching the throttle cables and banging off the 8250 rpm redline with your buddies or popping down to the shop.
- Maintenance and upgrades are easier these days. Honda engineers did owners a solid and have ditched the old-school oil-spinner, which required the side cover to be pulled to be serviced. Now, the Grom boasts an oil filter. A slightly larger 2.5-liter airbox helps the air-cooled lump breathe freer, and a redesigned two-piece exhaust system keeps things simple for those looking to upgrade and tease out precious ponies.
- A five-speed gearbox and new ratios improve the ride. Wider ratios give the ’22 Grom a little more legs in the latter half of the gearbox, creating a smoother riding experience, not to mention the light and effortless shifts. 1st and 2nd gears are short, letting you gleefully send the rev count to the moon during drag pulls at every stoplight. Meanwhile, 3rd and 4th are the aptest for cruising, with 5th serving as overdrive. Just ignore the comically conservative shift light when wailing on the wee beasty. Honda also popped a larger 38T rear sprocket to help acceleration.
- Fuel capacity shot up a massive 1.12 pints! That’s right, kids, you’re getting three Dixie cups worth of extra gas. Of course, that isn’t much on most motorcycles, but when your bike averages 105 mpg, it could be the difference between casually refilling at the gas station and a 15-mile walk.
- The Grom is small, and I am not. Am I too large for the Grom? No, hypothetical person, you aren’t too large for the Grom. I’m 5’ 10’’ and fit comfortably, even after a full day of hijinks. The new seat is flatter, plenty cozy, and only 30 inches tall, allowing a good range of movement. The upright handlebars keep you in a relaxed, neutral riding position. In fact, it’s a boon for shorter riders and newbies who want to make sure they can plant their boots on the deck at a moment’s notice.
- Handling is a snap. Whether you’re learning the basics of turning in a parking lot, cruising some backroads, or trying to set record times at the kart track, the Grom is a willing dance partner. At 227 pounds wet, it takes little more than a mere glance to hustle through some corners or handle tight turns on a gymkhana course.
- The Grom’s adjustment-free suspension is up to the task. This is about as simple as it gets when it comes to suspension. It holds the bike upright and soaks up most of what the road has to offer. Your experience will vary depending on how much Alabama BBQ was consumed the night before a ride. If you’re ham-fisted with the brakes or jump a curb cut a little too far, one can blast through the roughly four inches of travel. However, when not engaged in buffoonery, it all works just fine.
- Nissin brakes bring it home safely. With a breeze on my back and traveling downhill, I managed to see 74 indicated on the dash—impressive for this lil’ guy, I’d say. When that’s your extreme, beefy Brembo monoblocs and the like are just unnecessary. We have a dual-piston Nissin caliper with a 220mm rotor up front and a single-piston Nissin rear caliper chomping down on a 190mm disc. Stopping power is more than adequate, and the big takeaway is how controllable the rear brake is for skids or slides. Back it in, folks!
- ABS is optional. As long as you enjoy the Candy Blue color, you can have IMU-supported front-only ABS for $200.
- We’ve come full circle because the 2022 Honda Grom is all about good times. With the Barber Small Bore event as our backdrop, it is easy to see the appeal of the Grom. It’s a motorcycle that unifies, strips things down to their base elements, and does one crucial job—fun. In a modern world that can be so complicated, it’s refreshing to see a bike that takes all of us back to the basics, and it’s even better when you have friends to share that experience with you. At $3399 for the non-ABS edition, it’s not hard to see why these things sell like hotcakes.
2022 Honda Grom Specs
- Type: Single cylinder
- Displacement: 124cc
- Bore x stroke: 50 x 63.1mm
- Compression ratio: 10.0:1
- Fueling: EFI w/ 24mm throttle body
- Valvetrain: SOHC; 2vpc
- Cooling: Air
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Final drive: Chain
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable inverted 31mm fork; 4.3 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Non-adjustable shock; 4.1 inches
- Wheels: 5-spoke cast aluminum
- Front and rear wheels: 12 x 2.5
- Tires: Vee Rubber
- Front tire: 120/70 x 12
- Rear tire: 130/70 x 12
- Front brakes: 220mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper
- Rear brake: 190mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: Optional ($200)
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 47.2 inches
- Rake: 25 degrees
- Trail: 3.2 inches
- Seat height: 30.0 inches
- Fuel capacity: 1.6 gallons
- Curb weight: 227 pounds (ABS: 231 pounds)
- Standard: Matte Black Metallic; Queen Bee Yellow; Pearl White
- ABS: Candy Blue
- 2022 Honda Grom Price: $3399 MSRP
- 2022 Honda Grom ABS Price: $3599