Honda Grom banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

· Registered
3,802 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys (and Gals)

A couple of weeks ago Chris Jonnum hit me up in a PM. He wanted to interview me about the site and the Grom and Grom Reapers and just the Grom movement in general for an article he was writing for an Italian motorcycle magazine. Below is the English version.

For some reason I am unable to post the actual article and photo but I will keep trying.


USA Today
The Grom: Little bike for a big country
Somewhat unexpectedly, Honda’s little MSX125 has captured the imagination of American motorcyclists
By Chris Jonnum

The Honda MSX125 that was recently evaluated on these pages is a new model for Italy, but the little motorcycle is already well-enough established in America that it has developed a cult-like following. Going by the name “Grom” (not the Italian gelateria; pronounced “gram,” it’s U.S. slang for a young surfer), the model was announced last summer and released for the 2014 model year, and it was immediately so popular that Groms invariably sell as soon as they hit showroom floors, making it a welcome success story for the U.S. motorcycle industry.

“It’s been nice to see the success of the Grom,” says Tim Buche, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council, which tracks sales trends in America. “I think it’s because it’s a small, fun, economical, unintimidating, easy entry into motorcycling.”

This miniature motorcycle’s huge popularity in Thailand is logical, but the fact that it has caught on so well in the U.S.—the country where bigger is nearly always perceived as better—caught some by surprise. “I think some manufacturers think of America as this big, wide-open, high-speed country,” says Rich Wheeler, who was one of the first people in the nation to purchase a Grom. “What they forget is that in between all those highways, we have a bunch of little roads. I live in Southern California, and I can easily go 80 miles [130 km] in any direction and never get above 45 mph [70 km/h] on a road… and I get over 100 mpg [2.35 L/100km] the whole time.”

Wheeler’s theory is sound. As successful as huge Harley-Davidson cruisers have been in America, the country has also supported other quirky, adult-focused, diminutive models over the years, including the Z50 (“Monkey”), CT70 (“Trail 70”) and EZ90 (“Cub”). (That all are Honda products may suggest that the manufacturer is particularly adept at pinpointing the imagination of this subset of U.S. motorcycle enthusiasts.) Grom buyers are impossible to pigeonhole, representing most ethnic and financial demographics, as well as both genders and just about every age over 15.

Wheeler is an example of how passionate Grom owners can be, as he started a club called the Grom Reapers (a play on words; “grim” reaper means l’uomo col antello nero e la falce). Wheeler’s small club even designed a menacing, Hells Angel-type logo in red, black, yellow and white, representing the colors that the Grom is available in in the U.S. He also posts prolifically on the popular message board, a forum that enthusiasts utilize to expand their social circles, find out about events and learn of new ways to modify their bikes.

That last point is important, because it’s rare to spot a Grom in stock form; something about the bike’s simple-but-stylish design makes it a blank canvas for owners. The aftermarket has responded with a plethora of upgrade accessories, including exhaust systems, guards, rear-set footpegs, bodywork and more.

“I live near some tight, twisty canyons,” Wheeler says, “so for that, I want to keep the ground clearance, have stiffer suspension springs, better brakes, stickier tires. Stuff like that. But on the flipside, there’s a whole slew of guys that lower them, extend the swingarm, stretch them out. Guys are also using them in utilitarian ways—putting racks on the back and going to buy their groceries.”

Mini bike road racing clubs like Texas Mini Grand Prix and California’s M1GP have begun to add dedicated classes for the Grom, and some drag-racing organizations allow the bike as well. More common are group road rides catering to owners of Groms and Honda’s Ruckus scooter (another product that has developed its own underground enthusiast culture).

It has been nothing short of amazing to watch a market and ecosystem organically develop around the Grom in just a few short months, and the model’s future in America looks good. The only question is how many units American Honda will order for 2015.

· Registered
3,802 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I wanted to but to tell the truth I did not have a good photo available that I could send to him at the time. I directed him to the build thread but those are not artistic photos at all.

I have no photo skills.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.