Getting around a city is much more expensive these days than a few decades ago. From higher fuel prices to road taxes to the actual cost of cars & motorcycles. Happily, there is a low budget solution in the form of the 2023 Honda Grom.
Engine – The 2023 Honda Grom is powered by a 124cc, air-cooled, fuel injected, single-cylinder engine. It has a higher compression ratio of 10:1 and it has an actual oil filter that can be replaced unlike the previous generation. It has 9.7 hp and 7.7 lb-ft of torque (7.2 kW & 41.4 Nm), all of which is right at the top of the rpm range. There’s basically no acceleration if the rpms are below the 4,500-ish mark. Above that, the bike pulls at a reasonable pace but you’ll still be revving the engine right until the 8,000 rpm redline through 1st, 2nd and maybe even 3rd gears. Otherwise, you’ll have a gigantic looking SUV filling up your rearview mirrors.
Fuel Economy – The 2023 Honda Grom has a slightly larger fuel tank. It is now 6 Liters (1.59 gallons). But it’ll take you a while to drain that tank because this little pocket bike has better fuel economy than a Prius. I’ve been averaging 1.6 L/100km (147 MPG) during my time with the bike.
Transmission – To help with the acceleration, Honda gave the Grom an extra gear. It is now a 5-speed manual transmission which allows the first few gears to be shorter for faster acceleration. In 5th, top speed is really dependent on how heavy you are and how much air resistance you produce. But this bike should be capable of reaching around 100 km/h (62 mph) on highways. The Grom also has 38 teeth on the final drive sprocket instead of 34 like the previous generation. This too aids in acceleration & top speed.
The transmission is slick shifting between the gears but finding neutral can be a bit tricky at times. The clutch lever is very light and doesn’t take much more than your index finger to use it. My only complaint is that it would be nice if the lever was just a little bit longer. I found my pinky to be right on the ball end of it.
Braking – The 2023 Grom has a 220mm front disc with a 2-piston caliper and a 190mm rear disc with a single piston caliper. This demo bike is the ABS version but the system only works on the front wheel as indicated by a little sticker on the tank. The braking force required to bring the bike to a stop was a little bit more than I expected. I had to pull hard on the brake lever and push down on the foot pedal to bring the bike to a stop from high speeds. More so than I anticipated. Perhaps it is because I’m used to the strong brakes on my personal BMW S1000RR and also because this bike had no mileage on it when I picked it up. That means that the brakes had not been seated in yet. Over time though, the brakes should have a bit more bite as the pads seat in.
Handling – With the 2023 Honda Grom ABS tipping the scales at just 105 kg (231 lbs), it is a very agile bike. It can dart through the tightest alleyways and zip through traffic. That is, if you live in a part of the world where lane filtering is legal. Riding through corners on a bike that weighs as much as you is a joy. It doesn’t try to act like a bigger bike and instead it just puts a huge smile on your face. At higher speeds, the bike is stable and smooth so you can commute with it on highways.
Ride Comfort – With the 12-inch wheels, 120/70 & 130/70 tires, and 31mm inverted forks and single rear shock, the 2023 Honda Grom is very comfortable when driving over bumps. The seat padding has been thickened over the previous generation but it feels a bit firm. Almost as firm as a superbike seat. The Honda Monkey has a softer seat if you want a bit more comfort.
Riding Position – Now at 6’4”, I know that I look like Lloyd or Harry from Dumb & Dumber while sitting on this bike. But it’s actually comfortable even for someone of my stature. The seat height is 30-inches which allows shorter riders to easily flat-foot the Grom. The handlebars keep the arms at an almost 90 degree angle for max comfort. And the footpegs are not too high up. As well, the tank and body work has been slightly altered to make it easier for riders to grab onto it with their thighs.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The standard 2023 Honda Grom starts at $3,949 CAD ($3,499 USD). This ABS version will cost you an additional $200 at $4,149 CAD ($3,799 USD).
Gadgets – The Honda Grom is not a Honda Gold Wing so don’t expect to see many gadgets. It has a digital display with a digital rpm gauge, trip computer, fuel gauge, and gear indicator. There’s also a little upshift light but it’s difficult to see it in direct sunlight. Other than that, it just has basic government mandated features such as mirrors and fenders.
Warranty – The 2023 Honda Grom ABS is covered by a 1 year / unlimited mileage warranty. You can opt for extended warranty which starts at $188 for one additional year and can go up to $498 for up to 4 years. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For American warranty information, click here.
Conclusion – This is a fun little motorcycle. This little bike proves that you don’t need a 1L engine to have fun and an exhilarating riding experience on city streets. The 2023 Honda Grom ABS will not only put a giant grin on your face but also save you a lot of money on your daily commutes. It really doesn’t matter if you are an experienced rider or a beginner, this bike is fun!
Thank you to Honda Canada for providing the motorcycle. www.Motorcycle.Honda.ca