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Discussion Starter #1
WOW! This last weekend was awesome!


A while back, i decided to organize a ride here in the local WNC mountains for the Ruckus crowd, and appropriately called it the 'Hillbilly Mountain Crawl'... lol!


Well, i WAS going to take my Z125 powered Ruckus on the ride, but i decided at the last minute to go ahead and take the MSX/GROM!!! :p





The ride went through some of the most beautiful and twisty roads in the area, and covered over 140 miles of asphalt. This gave me the PERFECT chance to finally get in some miles on the GROM, and be able to finally know what it would be like taking the bike on a longer adventure :) And i was NOT disappointed!


"light and nimble" are two words that adequately describe the bike and how it likes to turn... At first i was a bit sad that they went with smaller wheels on the bike... My MadAss has 16" wheels, and so it rolls a bit smoother, and has much more of a 'big bike' feel to it. With the 12" wheels, it has a bit more of a "willingness" to turn, or could also be described as "twitchy", but in a GREAT way... lol! The bike is very stable while riding normally at-speed... but when you get into the twisties, WOW does it just BEG to turn :) I'm sure the wheelbase is helping with that as well.


Its a very double-edged sword around here though that the roads are soooo perfect for riding on, yet they are never perfect condition... There are sooo many gravel roads and driveways on the side of the roads, and turns with gravel and stuff kicked up in the middle of them from car drivers who cannot manage to stay on the road in the turns. This can make for turns that immediately become death traps... so you cna't just ride without worry, and lean it in as far as it'll go, etc. you do have to slow down, give yourself a way out if needed, and just enjoy the ride... So the 'unfortunate' part, is that i wasn't out dragging knee... lol! But the awesome thing, is that i didn't have to in order to REALLY enjoy this ride!





Overall, my riding impressions are GREAT! I did not find that the rear shock was TOO stiff, however if you are coming from dirt bikes or something, then yes, it is stiffer than that... but it isn't like there is a solid rod there or anything. The front forks could definitely use some stiffening, as the dive it had coming into the turns was a little bit uneasy-feeling at first, but i did get used to it after a bit.


The motor is of course solidly-mounted to the frame, so it DOES vibrate, but that is really un-noticable while riding it in my opinion. Of course my opinion on vibrating bikes, is that if you want a bike that is butter-smooth and doesn't vibrate, buy a bicycle and then strap it to your cadillac so you can drive on a cloud to the most perfectly smooth stretch of asphalt you can find to ride your bike on... :p


I DID make one change to the stock bike though before the ride that DEFINITELY affected how the bike rode, how it felt, and how it handled in the turns...


I had originally thought it'd be cool to do the ride with the bike completely stock, but then i changed my mind, and thought this would be a good time to put some miles on some parts that i was working on... the only thing that was really ready by this ride was my Clip-on Adapter for the handlebars.





For multiple reasons, you can't just bolt clip-ons directly to the fork tubes like you can on bigger bikes.. the fork tubes are tapered, and even if you could attach them directly to the fork, the bodywork around the tank would keep you from being able to actually turn the front end all the way to the left or right... it would get in the way badly. So, the best option is to have an adapter that not only gives you a solid mounting point, but also raises them high enough to clear the bodywork. This also gave me the chance to mount the bars a bit further out towards the front of the bike for a much better ergonomic feel.





I've tried a couple of different positions, and this one feels really good. Where the bars sit on the bike now, at full left and full right, the bars/controls are only about 1/2" from the bodywork... so its close. I don't think that i'd want the bars MUCH lower anyway... with the seat as high as it is in relation to the bars, it'd probably feel like you were riding some sort of board-tracker or something... haha! Which, while it does look cool, would SUCK to ride for any real length of time in my opinion.


This one small change COMPLETELY changed how the bike felt to ride though... it went from being a nice urban cruiser, to feeling very 'racey', and like it just wanted to find every turn it could seek!






So.... After 140 miles of riding in one day, i was wore out, but SOOOO excited that this bike was this much fun to ride, and never skipped a beat the entire time. I can't wait to do more to the bike, change the tires, play with the suspension, and do it all over again real soon! :p


 

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Awesome, do you think the front end dive was caused by having clip-ons and now changing from an up-right riding position to a leaning forward position?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm sure that the change in riding position altered things a little bit, but it did the same thing with the factory bars as well...
 

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Do you think a modified rear shock will take care of the stiff rear suspension?
 

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We've done some talking but you've been doing all the riding! : )
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Indeed... lol!

To me it isn't "stiff".... you have a (possibly) unrealistic view of what stiff is or isn't on a bike because of your personal back issues, and so i can't POSSIBLY tell you that this is going to be comfortable for you. Its not a Cadillac... a little sports-type bike like this rarely will be. Its not a dirt-bike... it does not have the classic soft dirt-bike type suspension. Its a small lightweight road bike... so even if the suspension IS "soft", it could even come across as stiff, because it takes weight to compress suspension, and mass to make it smooth... it doesn't have much weight itself. That other bike you have (and are trying to compare the Grom to) weighs 650lbs... as much as 3 of these bikes put together, and it is designed to be a touring bike... so there is a LOT more mass to absorb the road... this bike doesn't have the mass.

:)
 

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Right thanks for your input.

Im new at modifying shocks...
 

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So excited im shaking! So many positive oriented reviews on this! Putting a down payment when we get the MSRP up here!
 

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Awesome, do you think the front end dive was caused by having clip-ons and now changing from an up-right riding position to a leaning forward position?
No the forks are awful, in the UK there are about 5 people I know who have complained to Honda already and waiting for a response. They bottom out over pot holes and under hard braking.

Would hate to see what they would be like carrying a pillion.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Its a purchased piece, but i got it before the bike arrived... it wasn't exactly what i thought it'd be (i.e. it is purely decorative).

I'll be replacing it with something of my own design here very shortly.
 

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Would it help to pre-load them with about a 1 inch long pvc pipe in the forks?
 

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No the forks are awful, in the UK there are about 5 people I know who have complained to Honda already and waiting for a response. They bottom out over pot holes and under hard braking.

Would hate to see what they would be like carrying a pillion.
sounds like my ruckus
 

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No idea.

IMO there not fit for purpose so Honda should be held responsible for fixing them, KSR forks standard are a lot better with the same diameter.
 
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