Honda redesigned the Grom—but don’t worry, it still looks fun
Small motorcycles are often the gateway to a lifelong obsession, despite their unassuming status. For many years in the U.S., any bike under 600cc was considered “small” and was pigeonholed by many enthusiasts as suitable only for beginners or for class racing. Then, in 2014, Honda debuted the Grom. The pint-sized 125cc fun machine changed the game: you didn’t need the autobahn to stretch the thing’s legs, and you could have a hell of a good time with it in your own backyard. Despite the success of the Grom, Honda has not left well enough alone—and that’s a good thing. The 2022 Grom looks like it just might be the best version yet.
The Grom has seen incremental changes since its 2014 introduction, but the 2022 model year brings the large and meaningful alterations that riders have wanted. Before we dive into the mechanical changes, let’s take a quick look at the bike’s facelifted exterior.
The body panels are now quick-release, which is a handy feature for those who crash a lot and for those who desire to add their own flair with a vinyl wrap or custom paint. The seat also receives a bit more padding, though it retains a very low, 30-inch standover height to keep the chassis inviting to new riders. The fuel tank gets a slight bump in capacity to 1.59 gallons and feeds an all-new engine.
That powerplant still displaces a scant 125cc but now sports an updated transmission. The update consists of wider gear ratios and an additional, fifth gear to assist with cruising speed. Though interstates aren’t this bike’s strong suit, highway speeds are possible and having some extra rpm in top gear helps make the Grom more versatile. Engine compression receives a bump from 9.3:1 to 10:1; though stroke is slightly longer, the bore shrinks to keep the displacement the same. Another delightful upgrade is a traditional replaceable oil filter in place of the previous oil-spinner and screen.
In all, the 2022 Grom is an evolution of the modern fun machine, and I am all for it. Whether you’re commuting or simply looking for a two-wheeled pocket-rocket, it’s hard to beat the Grom’s $3399 price tag ($3599 if you opt for the ABS model). True, the used market offers a plethora of choices in that price range, but there is something to be said for factory fuel-injected, warrantied, useable fun on two wheels. As the Trail 70 proved so many years ago, that recipe is what converts car folks to moto enthusiasts. Keep it up, Honda.