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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My thoughts/reviews/recommendations/observations from my now 2,500 miles on the Grom!

(NOTE: ADDED pictures of Koso DB-03R gauge and Custom LED Taillight on page 5!!)

(NOTE: ADDED pictures of Dual Hotlap Exhaust system on page 4!!)


(NOTE: ADDED pictures of front sprocket cover on page 3!!)


(NOTE: ADDED pictures and UPDATES on Rearsets and levers on page 3!!)


Updated pic of my whip as of October 21, 2014:



(NOTE: ADDED pictures and UPDATES on MNNTHBX exhaust on Page 2!!)

(NOTE: ADDED a few pictures to First Post, UPDATES on seat shave, gel insert, HT Moto cover,
YSS shock, and Composimo Lowering Link on PAGE 2!!!)

I’ve been slowly creating a list of notes/thoughts/reviews/recommendations/observations on the parts/mods i have tried out during my first 1,000 miles on my Grom. I’ve already learned a ton from this forum and I would like to try and repay the favor if i can. Hopefully some of this can be helpful to a few people. I want to say I am no expert, so take the following for what it is, brief comments about my experiences thusfar, not at all a professional review or anything of the sort. I tend to get long winded sometimes, so I’ll add a “Short version” at the bottom of each if you just want to read that instead.

Wanted to add this picture to this thread cause it always makes me laugh and everyone can relate i'm sure...



- Gas - I run ethanol free 87 gas in my grom. When I bought the bike, guy said he was running premium in it. First time I filled it up I used the 87 and never noticed a change of any sort from the premium. It comes right out the same gas can I use on all my lawn equipment. I have 2 stores within a mile of my house each way that sell it, so it's also the most convenient. She seems to like it so have no reason to change.

(Short version: Ethanol free 87 gasoline works fine, no noticeable difference when running the good stuff)

- Intake/Filter - Some sort of intake/high flow filter is a must on this bike, makes a night and day difference and can be done for really cheap if you are creative. Bike has a much deeper growl now and makes the ride more enjoyable for me. I actually have mine rigged up with a radiator hose as an intake with a K&N that sits inside the airbox with the cover still on so the bike still has a stock look to it. I relocated the sensor onto the radiator hose and also used washers to space out the airbox .250” or so to allow more flow. I’ll post some pics when I do a build thread. One more thing, the K&N makes a “whistling” sound when pulling air thru, it’s not extremely loud but I could see it bothering some people.

(Short version: Intake and K&N make a world of difference and everyone should do it)





- Exhaust - Going from the Tyga slip on with stock header to the full Tyga system surprisingly caused me to lose a bit of acceleration on the low end but once you get to midrange all the way to the top it is much better and feels "stronger" getting there. Sound was also significantly louder. This exhaust system has a great sound as a whole, I like how loud it is and the clean tone it produces.

On the flip side, two issues i have with this header - 1) it runs directly under the oil drain plug which doesn't allow enough space to fit even a tiny socket wrench, so either you can use an open wrench to change your oil each time or remove the 1st section of the header every time. Not sure if other brands of pipes do the same thing, but it's a slight inconvenience 2) The tab on the 2nd section that is supposed to bolt on to the stock location did not line up correctly (wasn't even close, a good .100" off). I ended up just bending the tab down 90 deg and making a small L bracket to connect the two which worked out fine and doesn’t even look out of place.

I got the header from a forum member for way cheaper than list price so I wasn't going to complain, but had i paid full price i would’ve expected better for sure. Even with those issues, I like this pipe, it looks pretty good and was cheap so it's alright with me.

(Short version: My Tyga Full Exhaust system has its flaws but the performance, sound, looks, and cheap price i paid make it well worth it)

(Note: Swapped on the Tyga Exhaust for a MNNTHBX, pics and review on Page 2!)

Kind of an older pic of my bike but you can see the L bracket I'm talking about and it's a decent shot of the exhaust:



- Sprocket - 14t sprocket is a drastic change from the stock 15t, from my experience with it so far, it would seem that people with either love the 14t or absolutely hate it. With the 14t, your RPMs will be high, and i mean real high all the time. 1st and 2nd gear become nearly useless and even 3rd will only get you to 30 mph or so before you are hitting 8000 rpms. With the 15t, riding in mostly slow traffic is much more comfortable because u can actually use 2nd and 3rd gear to cruise a bit and not feel like you always have to be in 4th. The real benefit of the 14t to me is once i get to about 45 mph, the bike pulls what seems to be twice as hard as with the 15t all the way to top speed and gets there much quicker. I lost no top end installing the 14t and actually might have gained 1 or 2 mph oddly enough. With the 14t, the speedo will be off as others have mentioned. It doesn’t bother me at all but some hate it. Wide open I’ll see an indicated 73 mph as it hits the rev limiter and my gps shows it to actually be 69 mph. So if it’s 4 mph off on the top end I would think its 2-3 mph off at lower speeds. Some are even running a 13t, but I don’t even feel the need to try one out, the revs are high enough with the 14t and I would assume the 13t would be much worse.

(Short version: My opinion is, if you are doing most of your riding in the high-mid range of 40 to 55ish, i would run the 14t. If you sit in high traffic and are slow moving most of the time, i would stick with the stock 15t.

- Blinkers/Flasher - I already did a thread on my flasher/LED blinker install, found here: (http://www.hondagrom.net/forums/12-grom-gear-accessories/3478-flush-mount-front-leds-rear-leds-elfr-1-flasher-info.html ), but i'll just add a quick bit here. The ELFR-1 flasher is expensive as hell but worked with no extra resistors or anything and paying for convenience was worth it for me. The LED flush mount front blinkers definitely make it a bit harder to see from in front of you, but they look so much better and still function decent. The front and rear LED blinkers are both average during the middle of the day with sun shining directly on them, the use of hand signals is wise, but at night they are both super bright and they were pretty cheap so i'm happy with them.

(Short version: LED flush mount front blinkers and LED rear blinkers are cheap and get the job done. They are much better at night than during the day.)



- H4 headlight - This light is brighter than stock like it should be being a much higher wattage but also has its downsides. When my bike is idling, the light is a bit dim and affects the panel (Neutral light and others lightly flicker at times) but once you get the RPMs up even a little (3000+ or so) it gets much brighter and everything else is fine. I've only had it for a month or so and have not had any issues with battery draining, i'll continue to monitor it to make sure, but so far so good.

(Short version: H4 headlight upgrade is brighter but does seem to put a little strain on battery. Because of the improved visibility it's a solid cheap upgrade for now.)

Pic stolen from another thread to show everyone the bulb part number:



- Oil - Bike had Honda G4 oil in it when i got it. Immediately did an oil change right after i bought it, went with some basic Valvoline 4 stroke. I actually felt like the Valvoline made the shifts feel more 'crisp' or clean, i was quite impressed. About a week ago, I had put right at about 1,000 miles on that Valvoline oil, so i wanted to do another oil change to experiment with a different type of oil. I tried some Mobil 1 syn after reading a whole bunch of material on syn vs regular oil (everyone has different opinions..) Well my opinion was that the Mobil 1 was terrible. First day it was in my bike my clutch slipped for the first time since i purchased it. I also felt as if the shifts felt much harder, as in it would 'slam' into gear each time. Problems continued so after 2 days I went to Autozone and bought some plain ole Castrol 4 stroke regular oil and everything went back to normal. Out of the 3 (Castrol 4 stroke, Valvoline 4 stroke, Mobil 1 syn) my bike seems to prefer the Castrol, shifts are smooth, not missing gears, no problems thus far and for 4 bucks a quart i'll gladly continue to use it.

(Short version: Cheap ass Castrol 4 stroke oil is currently my oil of choice, Mobil 1 had worst results of any oil I have tried.)



- Throttle/Clutch/Chain - Did a quick tune up the other day and adjusted the play in the throttle, clutch, and chain to the manuals specified ranges. To me the chain seems a bit too loose in that range, but the throttle and clutch did feel much better though. The clutch engages a lot sooner now rather than almost all the way out like when I first got the bike. When I went to adjust my throttle cable, the nut seemed way too loose, that could explain why I had an insane amount of play in the throttle beforehand. I adjusted and tightened it up and now it feels better. No big changes from any of this, but it’s worth checking these things every once in a while and keeping them in the ranges set by the manual seem to be alright. Of course personal preference plays a part in the throttle/clutch adjustments..





- Rear Brake – I was in the same boat as a lot of folks saying the rear brake was a bit lacking. I adjusted the rear brake lever to sit up a little higher and it made a difference. I don’t have to mash it all the way to the ground like before to stop. I’m sure we will have tons of options for rotors and rear setups in the future, but the stock setup will do the trick for now.

(Short version: Adjusting rear brake lever to a higher level made it a little less work to stop.)



- I haven’t messed with controllers or tuning this bike in any way nor would i know where to start. Resetting the ECU seemed to be sufficient enough for the little mods I’ve done so far, so I’ve had no desire to take the tuning any further at the moment. So if i decide to big bore one day, or do some more extensive mods besides sprockets, intake, and exhaust, i'll be reaching out to all you experts here to figure it all out!

- This site has a bunch of good information, if you don’t have it bookmarked, you should. This is where I found out how to reset the ECU and a few other useful bits of info. ( Installation & Info - Inveniam Performance )

If you somehow made it all the way thru this mess, hope you got something useful out of it. I love this bike and I’m learning more about it everyday. Im saving so much on gas money (which gets dumped right back into my bike!) and having a blast everyday. Despite a few things here and there, i've formed the opinion that Honda pretty much knocked it out the park with the Grom.

That’s all I can think of for now, looking forward to hearing any feedback, thoughts, or ideas anyone has regarding any of the topics above.
 

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thanks for the Feed back on the 1000 review. I believe the oil should stay plain Jane 4 stroke, cheaper and your clutch will be happy. Going to do my airbox mod/removal after I get my baseline dyno run done.

ride safe
 

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cool post..I have similar issues, the exact opposite with the rear brake though...I find that it is very aggressive, it seems to lock up rather easy. I wonder if that can be adjusted at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the Feed back on the 1000 review. I believe the oil should stay plain Jane 4 stroke, cheaper and your clutch will be happy. Going to do my airbox mod/removal after I get my baseline dyno run done.

ride safe
I did the normal airbox mod first (removed snorkel and screen) which help and then later put a uni filter in place of the paper filter and sealed it also which was better. Those 2 options still leave u with the restriction from the airbox to the throttle body. Once I put that big ass radiator hose and K&N, it was even better than the first two mods. The hose is from advanced auto parts and it's a Dayco 71863. Decent fit on the throttle body side and the K&N actually fits perfectly on the outside of the radiator hose and clamps on it. This eliminates the problem with people saying the K&N ID is too large for the throttle body and I prefer a bit of an intake instead of being directly on the body.

Also got my seat done today and am very happy with the result! I'll be posting a build thread tomorrow with that and everything else I talked about and I'll link it here :)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using HondaGrom.net mobile app
 

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Thanks for your version of first 1000 miles on your Grom. After 1900 miles I would add a couple things-change the chain to an o-ring chain before 1500 miles. You will see longer life from your sprockets and far fewer adjustments to tension. No reduction in bike performance either. I am not a fan of loud exhaust systems which seem to be all of the aftermarket pipes available(they all are loud). I have kept my stock exhaust as I like how quiet my Grom is riding around the neighborhoods. In riding comparisons to a piped Groms I have not noticed big increases from mine as I have run with em. And mine is still quiet. Not to mention money spent on aftermarket pipe. You will see larger gains with intake mods. All I have done is the $12.00 radiator hose mod that Stoked-GE found and did in his build. Best bang for the buck hands down!
 

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Mobil 1 is compete dogshit I do agree with that. Still on the stock chain with 2,000 miles and have not noticed any problems, also have not checked the valves because it's a bulletproof motor and it shouldn't need it. I'm 210 pounds and 6'3 but with the full exhaust, 14t, k&n the grom pulls just fine for me and I cruise at 65mph actual uphills downhills sideways doesn't matter. lol But I'm selling it because I'm just done playing with it, killer bike tho!

Another note, I've been on long rides and find the seat very, very comfortable. Don't see why other people don't like it lol
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry for the lack of updates to this thread lately but i'll have some coming shortly. I got my seat shaved, a gel insert added, and re-wrapped with a new cover a few months ago and it's been working out great. I also have a 2.5" lowering link and YSS shock that got delivered to my house today that i'll be installing tomorrow if the weather treats me oka (it's been raining here for what seems like a month straight!). Once i get those 2 installed i'll update this thread with some reviews and i'll post pictures of everything i talked about previously also. Thinking i may just morph this into a build thread since all the info is there already. take it easy guys, hopefully i'll have some updates on here by Sunday!
 

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Mobil 1 is an energy conserving oil isn't it? Or do they make one that can be used with a wet clutch.

As for the springs there are not cheap fixes but there are less expensive ones. I got race tech internals for the front, and a YSS gas rear shipped from Bangkok. Cheaper than Ohlins for sure.
 

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How would you rate the Honda GN4 oil with the Castrol you current use? Any difference between the two?


Sent from my iPhone using HondaGrom.net mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some people swear by the honda oil, it was in my bike when i got it and it was fine but out of all the oils I've tried I like the feel of the Castrol the best so far. Every oil has shown a significant difference when switching from one to another, test it out and see if you like it. If you don't, change it out, no harm done except u lost a few bucks and about 15 minutes of your time. That said I'm still a believer that changing it often is the best thing you can do regardless of what u put in it. It's the cheapest and best maintenance you can do to keep a bike running smoothly.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using HondaGrom.net mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter #15
- Shaved Seat/Gel Insert/HT Moto Cover - To try and solve my hard seat and sliding forward issues, i bought a new seat cover and gel insert from HT Moto. I emailed a guy name Cory directly who was very helpful and easy to deal with. He called me a day later or so to confirm my order and all was good. Cover and insert were about 85 bucks total shipped, the cover is very nice at this price point. Between the price, customer service, and quality, i have nothing but good to say about HT Moto. I brought my seat to a local old school upholstery guy here in town to get it shaved down a bit to help level it out, add the gel insert and rewrap with new cover. I ended up giving him 50 bucks to do it all and the end result was quite nice. You can see in the pictures below that you can kind of see the lines where the insert ends on each side but if it starts to get too bad he told be to come back and we could put some thicker foam and re shape it if needed. I've put a good bit of miles on the bike since i did this and it has broken in nicely and i have really enjoyed it. I dont slide all the way up the seat all the time like i was before. Im sure that the Seat Concepts seat and others that arent too much more expensive are probably more comfortable but i liked the look of this cover and wanted to sit lower rather than higher.

(Short version:
Although still not a permanent solution, this was an effective quick fix that looks and feels better than stock and i'll rock it for a while)

Few Pics of the process:








 

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Discussion Starter #16
- Shock - Broke down and decided it was time to upgrade the rear shock. The roads where I live are terrible everywhere and riding around with a crappy shock beats you up pretty badly. I settled on a YSS that i bought from a guy from Thailand. The shock is a little longer than the stock shock so I figured I would throw on a Composimo lowering link while doing the switch (why the hell not right?!). The YSS feels very solid and well made, when holding the YSS and stock shock side by side you can get a sense of the difference in quality of the two pieces. Install was pretty straight forward, HardRacing has a good video about removing the shock. The key elements of that video are to have the back side on some type of swingarm stand (in my garage it's blocks of wood...) and also have some sort of jack under the engine so the bike doesnt crumble when you take the shock off. I was able to take the old one off, install the YSS and lowering link in about 20 minutes. The process wouldve been way quicker had i been able to find my 17mm open end wrench. The space to get to that nut is very constrained and crescent wrenches, etc will not fit (i tried 5 different ones before i realized this) so do yourself a favor and have the correct wrench before you start! Now for the review... Ive only taken a few rides thusfar with the new setup and wow has it made a difference. Immediately after sitting on the bike for the first time with the new shock it felt completely different than before. After the few rides i've taken i almost think that it is preset too high and i will loosen the spring setting a little to find the sweet spot for me. There are some roads I ride on to and from work that literally bounced my ass off the seat with the old shock. I would say the impact from hitting all those bumps has been reduced 50% with the YSS, night and day difference. With some tweaking I'm pretty sure I will be very happy with this new shock. As for the lowering link, installation was pretty straight forward. It's called a 2.5" lowering link but actually lowers the bike > 2 in. And with the YSS being about a cm longer than the stock shock, my bike was only lowered a little more than 1 in. but I can tell the difference when i sit on it.

Short version:
A bit early to make a full determination, but it would seem I should have upgraded the shock a long time ago!











 

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Subscribed, great stuff
 

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Discussion Starter #20
- Exhaust - Without getting too long winded, I have to share the story on how I acquired my MNNTHBX exhaust. I have enjoyed my Tyga pipe, it performs and sounds great but I like to switch things up every now and again so I'd been looking to trade it for a low mount exhaust lately and the MNNTHBX has always been in my sights. I spotted a post on a Grom Classifieds page with a guy selling his Grom and it had a MNNTHBX on it. I thought, what the hell let me shoot him a message. Sent him a message asking him if he would like to trade exhausts since he was selling his bike anyways. He checked out my Tyga and seemed to be open to the trade. I tell him I'll pay shipping for me and him and he says "sure thing". He then sends me his address, turns out he only lives an hour from me! I call him up, tell him I could make the trip after work and he agrees. Got there, grabbed the MNNTHBX, put the Tyga on for him and I was on my way. So in 2.5 hrs time, I was back at the house with a new exhaust! (Side note: after he tested out the Tyga he was pleased and said that the MNNTHBX was way too loud for his taste and he enjoyed the change in sound going to the Tyga) Huge thanks to this random stranger, he seemed happy, I was happy, it was an unexpected, quick, hassle free, no bullshit trade, that's the way all business should be done!

Now for the review: First impression while looking at the exhaust was that this was a very well made piece and is feels lighter than any exhaust I have seen so far. The design has 2 separate mounting plates each with 2 bolts that mount to the 4 bolt holes under the engine. These 2 plates are slotted at bottom where they connect to the rest of the header to allow u to easily adjust them back and forth to install without putting anything in a bind, great idea. There is one other bolt to connect the 2 plates to the rest of the header and then the 2 exhaust nuts that screw into the head. Fit up was very quick and very easy. Installation took about 5 mins if i had to guess. For those worried about ground clearance, it actually doesnt sit as low as you would think. even with my composimo 2.5" lowering link I am not worried about clearance at all. The way this exhaust tucks up under the bike is clean as hell and Im really digging the way it looks. My first ride was cut short by a classic Louisiana out-of-nowhere thunderstorm but I was able to put in a few miles and form an initial opinion and I also confirmed that this thing does fine in pouring ass rain and semi flooded streets haha. Acceleration throughout all ranges seems very similar to Tyga across the board. The sounds that come out of this pipe are great. It reminds me a lot of my ruckus GP pipe (pic below for reference) but has a MUCH cleaner tone during acceleration and changes to a wicked tone when decelerating. The videos on this forum give u a decent idea of the sound, but once you start ripping on it, it's just more powerful sounding in real life. The few top speed runs I was able to do had me at 3 mph lower than I was reaching with the Tyga, it is yet to be seen if this will change or not after the computer adjusts to the new pipe. Hoping to throw down some more miles tomorrow to continue to get the feel of the new pipe but I think I'll be very happy with the trade at the moment! After 100 miles or so I'll update if any performance changes are seen in acceleration and/or top speed.

Short version:
The MNNTHBX is a well made piece with excellent fit up and easy installation. The performance seems to be on par with other similar priced exhaust systems, it may be too loud for some but initial thought is that I am really going to like it once I put in some miles with it.









Ruck pipe i reference in post in case anyone was curious:
 
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