Top 10 Value-For-Money Hondas

Honda’s current motorcycle lineup is packed with value

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Honda Grom

2014-Honda-Grom-KWP_8013

Honda can’t seem to keep enough Groms on dealership floors, and considering its $3,199 price tag, it’s easy to see why. For those in urban environments, college towns, or both, the Grom represents an extremely affordable way to blast through town on a fun and compact motorcycle. Its appeal widens even further when you take into account first-time riders who want to learn the fundamentals of two-wheeling on a motorcycle that isn’t the least bit intimidating.

2014 Honda Grom Review + Video

Powered by a 125cc, fuel-injected, single-cylinder, four-stroke, the Grom comes with all the levers and controls of bigger motorcycles, including both brake levers, a clutch lever and shifter to row through the four gears. An inverted fork, disc brakes and lightweight 10-spoke alloy wheels are features you’d expect to find on a CBR sportbike. It’s targeted towards the youth market, as Grom is in reference to young surfing phenoms, but really, anyone who’s young at heart will appreciate what it has to offer.

With all the controls of a big bike, but with half the size, the Honda Grom must be the least intimidating motorcycle to learn on.

With all the controls of a big bike, but only about half the size, the Honda Grom is easily the least intimidating motorcycle on which to learn basic riding skills.

The little 125 scoots off the line with enough gusto to keep cagers at bay in the city, although clutch engagements on our test bikes have been rather far out from the grip, and the little thumper doesn’t pick up revs with much urgency. Clearly, this isn’t a bike for speed demons. The Grom is about cruising, exploring escape roads you might have missed on bigger bikes and getting into trouble without ever breaking the speed limit.

History of the Honda Monkey Bike

It handles surprisingly well, with a significant amount of lean angle required before hard parts start touching down. Front travel from the 31mm fork is 3.9 inches, while the shock gives 4.1 inches. For such a little bike, the suspension feels compliant while carrying a 155-pound rider, never bottoming and providing a comfortable ride on SoCal’s crappy roads. Its brakes, too, are more than adequate for tooling around.

The Grom is proof big fun can come in small packages.

The Grom is proof big fun can come in small packages.

The Grom is a fun play bike that’s incredibly easy on the wallet, as its $3,199 MSRP is easy to swallow. After some snooping around our sister site, www.GromForum.com, owners are reporting back fuel mileage numbers easily into the triple digits. One owner claims he got an incredible 165 mpg while gingerly riding during the break-in period! Wherever you go, the Grom attracts attention. And since you meet the nicest people on a Honda, luckily, it comes with passenger pegs, so you can share the adventure.

Top 10 Modified Honda Groms

+ Highs

  • More than 100 mpg!
  • It’s a motorcycle, not a scooter
  • Great to learn on
- Sighs

  • Not very quick
  • Not freeway legal
  • Not for the introverted
Honda Grom Specs
MSRP $3,199
Engine Capacity 124.9cc
Engine Type Air-cooled, SOHC, two-valve, Single
Bore x Stroke 52.4mm x 57.9mm
Compression 9.3:1
Fuel System EFI
Transmission 4-speed
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Final Drive Chain
Frame Steel
Front Suspension Telescopic, 31mm. fork, 3.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension Single shock, 4.9 in. travel
Front Brakes 220mm disc with two-piston caliper
Rear Brakes 190mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front Tire 120/70-12
Rear Tire 130/70-12
Seat Height 29.7 inches
Wheelbase 47.2 inches
Curb Weight (claimed) 225 pounds
Fuel Capacity 1.45 gal
Colors Metallic Black, Pearl Red
Warranty One year, unlimited miles
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  • Craig Hoffman

    Yamaha is giving Honda good competition in some areas. The new FZ09 has a gem of an engine for 700X money and they are just coming out now with their twin. Hopefully Yamaha take a cue from Honda and offers their new bikes in a variety of formats. An FZ09 powered ADV variant with a roomier feel and more fuel capacity could be a big winner. Yamaha needs to get with it and produce a WR450R version of it’s excellent 250R already too.

    Good to see the manufacturers realizing we are not all made of money. The auto manufacturers seem to have completely lost the plot. Unlike cars, motorcycles are not vehicles to lease. There has to be an affordable value oriented option in the new market, or the used market becomes the whole market.

    • Jason

      The FZ-09 and FZ-07 are interesting bikes but they have one glaring omission: no ABS. This is 2014 and ABS should at least be offered as an option especially considering that ABS is standard on these models in Europe.

      • The People’s Champion

        i heard the FZ09 is limited to a 132mph… that’s N650 territory and the bike is shod with poor suspension for its engine.

        • Jason

          Limited to only double the speed limit? I think that should be adequate for public roads.

          • The People’s Champion

            by that logic we should all be riding those 80-90mph capable 250s no?

          • Jason

            Top speed, engine displacement, power, and acceleration are all very different things. I have no need to go more than 132 mph but that doesn’t mean that I want to ride a 250.

  • octodad

    purchased CTX700n w/ABS-DCT. having a blast on this scoot. pal w/ the street glide always wants to take mine for a spin. I enjoy riding his cycle, but prefer my little Honda. slow speed handling is superlative, and it can snap my head back as I roll on the throttle. get a lot of compliments on the cool look and ergonomic seating. big Red is dominant force w/awesome motorcycles. I am a fan…

    • Sarang Borude

      How does it do on freeway speeds, Is it easy enough to pass vehicles?

  • sgray44444

    Thinly veiled advertising? Not hardly- there’s no veil at all!

    • Steven Holmes

      Advertisement or not, it’s pretty nice to see that “Big Red” has so many cost effective options out there for me to try. Be nice if the other major manufacturers had similar lines to choose from. It’d make for good competition if the rest of ‘em had comparably cost effective product lines.
      Something to be said about Honda’s reliability and longevity though… that’s pretty hard to beat.

    • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

      You see many negative observations in advertisements? Like slow to accelerate, limitations of its suspension, etc? How about actual measured MPG instead of OEM claims? I see them in this set of short reviews, which also happen to echo the full reviews done previously on Motorcycle.com when Honda wasn’t an advertiser at all.

      • sgray44444

        That’s what is so distasteful about the whole article. It has the appearance of genuine journalism, but it really is just an advertisement for Honda.
        Of course you can find negatives for any motorcycle. They are all built to a price point and application, so saying a cheap motorcycle does not have good suspension is just stating the obvious. Everyone knows manufacturer’s MPG claims are done under more ideal conditions.
        Hey, I don’t care if Honda is a huge sponsor and you take this route. I still like to read about motorcycles of all kinds. It doesn’t speak well to your credibility though.
        Do I believe the reviews were biased? No, actually I don’t. But, I do think that the review being about a single manufacturer’s entire product line says something.
        Everyone knows that Honda makes a good reliable bike. It’s just odd for a magazine to focus completely on one manufacturer’s product line without the word “advertisement” being on the top of each page.
        The word disingenuous comes to mind as I read this thread and the article.

        • http://norimek.com/blog Robert C. Barth

          I have yet to obtain Honda’s specified fuel economy on either of my two Hondas. I always get much better! (no kidding)

    • JP

      Reading this again, part of me agrees with you. Honda is obviously advertising all over the website.

      Then again, I really haven’t heard anything bad about the new Honda bikes either. Everything I’m reading about the new 250, the 500′s, the NC700x, and the new VFR are very positive. I’m actually impressed by Honda being “all-in” with all of the new models they are selling here in the states.

      A good friend of mine has a CBR250 and a ZX6r and he still rides the 250 because of how well made it is.

      Creating the CBR650F and the VFR800 takes a lot of balls in my opinion. They are obviously not sportbikes, but they are also not cruisers. They are basically just well built motorcycles without a lot of the new gizmos like traction control.

      I tip my hat to them, but again, this is definitely a little brand friendly.

      • sgray44444

        Good points, JP. I agree with you. I’m not big on Honda’s non-sport models (ugly to the hilt), but the 250′s and the 500′s are really great bikes for reasonable money. I would seriously consider a VFR800 or CBR650F, but I don’t think the value is really there on those models, as good as they are. I’ve already said my peace about the apparent conflict of interest, so I’ll leave that alone.

  • Piglet2010

    Will a Rebel really go 80-mph – most reports I have seen put top speed at less than 75-mph?