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2014 Honda Forza and Grom Announced

No, it’s not an ’80s spy novel—it’s the model names of two new Hondas for the U.S. market.

The Forza is Honda’s new maxi-scooter, a 279cc, liquid-cooled Single that weighs in at 422 pounds ready-to-ride. It gets a CVT transmission, a 14 inch wheel in front (with 13-incher in the back), a 3-gallon gas tank (claimed fuel economy is 68 mpg) and low 28.2-inch seat. Combined brakes are newbie-friendly (ABS adds $500 to the price), and there’s even a 12-volt outlet to charge your phones and gadgets.

The Forza might be aimed at car drivers looking to get into scootering, who want more power than the PCX150, but are intimidated by the strum und drang of the monstrous 541-pound, triple-digit capable, $9270 twin-cylinder Silver Wing. The Forza’s $5,599 MSRP may raise an eyebrow or two, if I know our readers, but it’s actually competitive for the 250-350 commuter-scoot class. And if it handles like the PCX it clearly shares DNA with, it should be a nice ride—we look forward to testing it.

But maybe you want something more like the cheap, fun little Hondas of your youth? Okay—get ready to Grom. As the Gen-Y hipsters Honda is targeting with the Grom might know, a ‘grom’ is surfer-jargon for a younger kid who can really rip it up on a skate or surfboard, apropos for its aggressive naked-bike styling.

It looks like a Ducati Monster somebody left in the dryer too long, but the 124.5cc, single overhead-cam air-cooled Single is a throwback to the Z50…only intended for use on public roads. That means it’s a lot bigger than it looks, though much smaller than other entry-level sportbikes. Wheelbase is 47.4 inches, the seat is a surprisingly high 29.7 inches (though the narrow seat should make it easy for shorter riders to get both feet on the pavement) and ready-to-ride weight (with the 1.45-gallon tank topped off) is a claimed 225 pounds.  Handling should be nimble, to say the least.

The 12-inch tires sound laughable, but there’s a healthy aftermarket supporting mini road-racing. For instance, Pirelli sells Grom-sized Pilot Pure trackday tires, and hop-up parts for these Honda OHC motors have been available since the 1960s. Though it is probably capable of 55 or 60 mph (when this model was announced by Honda Thailand in January as the MSX125, claimed power was 10 horsepower at 7000 rpm and a darling 8 foot-pounds of torque), it has a 4-speed gearbox and manual clutch and at $2999, would make a very appropriate learning bike for new riders—or a fun racebike/R.V. dingy/errand runner/pitbike for everybody else. It’s even got a passenger seat and pegs, which should generate plenty of wacky YouTube videos.

This bike was developed and is manufactured in Thailand, and it’s surprising it’s coming to the land of the 600-pound entry-level Harley-Davidson. I just suggested to Honda that the press launch should be at Sonoma Raceway’s Kart track—let’s hope big Red takes me up on that. The Grom is available in red or black and should be in dealers by August.

54 Comments

  1. Scross says:

    Looks like a modern day CT70. Make for an awesome pit bike. Going to pick one up as soon as they get here..

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  2. paul says:

    It’s nice to see Honda build bikes that are not just a rehash of models that sell well. I’m tired of all these imitation Harleys.

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  3. Jim says:

    I am having flashbacks to my YSR50… fun racing with friends

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  4. Beware the Jaberwocky says:

    Beware the Jaberwocky

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  5. Norm G. says:

    honestly, i don’t know what to think of the grom…? it ain’t electric so i guess that’s a check in the plus column…? :)

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  6. pistoldave says:

    Those of you asking for a dual sport version of the Grom might want to take a look at the Yamaha TW200. A friend of mine has one that his wife rides on and offroad, and it is a hoot, even carrying my 6’2″ 240lb of dead weight around. It is the perfect tool for ‘curb-surfing’ terrorizing the sidewalks, impropmtu trials demonstrations thru neighborhood shrubbery, etc.

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  7. mike says:

    If I wasn’t 6’2 240……

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  8. Tim says:

    I like that Grom (well, except for the name) but I’d like a dual sport version even better. Nothing hard core. Just a fun, go anywhere playbike that’s street legal. A modern day four stroke KE100, if you will.

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  9. Randy says:

    The Grom is not the only game going in this size range. There is the Sachs Madass and the SYM Wolf Classic 150. My wife’s geared up Wolf cruises a true 60 and she hits 70 when passing – we pass cars all the time on country roads.

    The Wolf is a little too cute for me. This Grom is pretty cool but a little too urban for my tastes. The Madass is about right.

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  10. Phelonius says:

    I just wish they would bring back the Big Ruckus 250, Maybe even as a 350.

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  11. Doc says:

    That Grom would be a blast chasing cats around the neighborhood!

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  12. CASATOMAS says:

    Doe’s the word “Langtown” ring a bell? We are all a bunch of dirtbike freaks and of course thrash around on the assorted KTM, Honda, and Yammie 450s. then one of us picked up a
    xr/cr 150 for the kids, the next thing you know there is no less than 4 of these bikes in our circle and the best of times is when the Barleypops are flowing and us old groids are banging bars around our mini track. Now you Street Shredders will be able able to enjoy the same fun scuffing around some warehouse parking lot with your own version mini StatelineChallenge. Maybe its time to take to the pavement!!!!

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  13. ducatidon says:

    GROM 350! Yes, please! Something to interest the youngsters (and me)!

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  14. Jeremy in TX says:

    I am not ashamed to admit it; I like the Grom. It is even cheap enough to not have to justify buying one for the hell of it!

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  15. mpolans says:

    The Grom looks like a ton of fun. I’d love to try one out on a track for cheap racing!

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  16. Vrooom says:

    The Grom would be perfect as a pit bike. Man that scooter appears to have a huge wheelbase due to the small tires. Despite the smaller tires on the Grom, it doesn’t quite look so odd.

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  17. Norm G. says:

    re: “Pirelli sells Grom-sized Pilot Pure trackday tires”

    Michelin.

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  18. Zach Settewongse says:

    I foresee a whole new underground, parking lot, Mini-Motard racing series :)

    Zach

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  19. Norm G. says:

    Grom and i were mates back in the Gulag. i was in cell 143, he was at the end of the block. dude had a trove of yankee smokes.

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  20. I’m assuming the author meant Michelin Pilot Pures and not Pirelli Pilot Pures when talking about the Grom tires :)

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  21. Duncan says:

    This is a good move (again) by Honda. Just like the cbr125 the grom will sell out as soon as it hits dealerships. There is something intrinsically fun about small displacement bikes, especially when you get a few people together on them. I have been riding sport bikes for over 20 years, from the original Honda hurricane to an R1 now, but the most fun I have ever had, bar none, was a day I spent with my buddies on ysr80′s on a cart track. Rode all day at the limit, low-sided occasionally but never was hurt or did a ton of damage to any the bikes that couldn’t be fixed in 10 minutes. I think the Grom will find a similar following.

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  22. Patrick Connelly says:

    Strum und drang? I think you meant Sturm und drang….storm and stress….strum und drang is what one goes through learning to play banjo!

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  23. Mister M says:

    I’ll just leave this here: http://www.yuminashi.com/-msx125-cylinder-kits/
    Up to 200cc kit for the MX125/Grom

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  24. Hair says:

    I had no idea that one could “WOW” the public at speeds of 12 to 13 MPH.

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  25. SausageCreature says:

    You know, I had been thinking of getting a used Zuma (the 50cc two stroke version), as kind of a kart track racer/pit bike project. Install a 80cc cylinder kit, Leo Vince exhaust, variator, custom paint, all the usual stuff.

    If the Grom (wasn’t that the name of the god that Conan the Barbarian worshiped?) ends up having the same kind of aftermarket support, I might just have to change my plans a bit.

    I wonder how many mall parking lots and industrial complexes I’ll be kicked (or MediVac’d) out of. YouTube hilarity indeed!

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  26. RAD says:

    I would and will buy a Grom.
    This type of a bike is a blast at Rallies.

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  27. allworld says:

    What Honda lacks is a Maxi-scooter to compete with the Majesty or Burgman 400, and Kymco 500i, all in all these 2 rides are good for their intended markets.
    Their Silverwing Maxi is long overdue for an overhaul, given it’s competition from Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW and soon to be launched Aprilia.
    This is a good answer to the SYM, line-up of scooters.

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  28. GP says:

    IMO – The Grom needs an up-pipe, and a skid plate. Hopefully, the aftermarket addresses this, and these things can get off road. I would like to have 2. It looks like they would be excellent for exploring local trails and finding hidden fishing holes. There are 12″ fat knobbies available.

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  29. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    What I see is the latest NWO Austerity Special.

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  30. Silver says:

    I swear Honda is determined to convince the public more weight equal better performance

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  31. ben says:

    dont care much about the scooter but the little bike is awesome and just the type of machine that has been sadly lacking since the early 80′s , when street legal minibikes like the XL80 and XL125 went away.

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  32. Provologna says:

    Looks like the tires are so wide on the Forza and Grom they might stand vertical without the kickstand. Toss it away and save a half lb!

    I just bought a nice “Fat Bike” mountain bike, whose 4″ wide tires are ideal for snow and sand. Reminds me of these two new fun bikes from Honda.

    Both bikes look like a ton of fun. Great to see Honda hasn’t forgotten all of their roots: Soichiro’s family delivering better pistons and piston rings via bicycle delivery in Japan before WW2. The war destroyed/leveled his factory. He started from scratch again!

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  33. Tim says:

    This is how you bring new riders into motorcycling. Where have bikes like this been the last 30 years? Hopefully the competition wil come out with other entry level bikes now.

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  34. Stratkat says:

    now i absolutely love this thing, the Ruckus was cool, this is even better!

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  35. John says:

    Now that’s interesting! Hopefully it won’t turn out like so many of Honda’s interesting past bikes and end up as a one-off. A line of Grom-like bikes in a couple larger sizes could get a bunch of new riders on the road. And give some of us old riders who really don’t want 150HP sportbikes or 700lb “middle weight” cruisers something to ride. Make my Grom a 300-400cc machine – scaled up a bit please…

    Till then maybe a new 125cc Grom would make my 15 mile ride to work on winding 45MPH secondary roads a whole heck of a lot of fun.

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  36. MGNorge says:

    I can see all the blinged out Groms now! I project it will be a big hit! That thing has fun written all over it and isn’t that what it’s all about?

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  37. Dave says:

    It’s Honda’s version of the MadAss!

  38. HotDog says:

    My intown/short run machine is a single cylinder Yamaha Majesty. I get 50 mpg, goes over 100 mph and it’s a blast to ride. I think Honda is spot on with these small machines. Image types will be too insecure to be seen on one but those in the know, will laugh out loud whilst blasting roads. My first bike, a 69′ Z50 Mini Trail has grown up and come back swinging. NICE!!!

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  39. soi cowboy says:

    This should triple the body count during songkran.

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  40. SmokinRZ says:

    With all the tricked out Ruckus I see around town, I predict a big hit with the Grom. I’m shocked that Honda would project stunt riding but that is what everyone will do with it. I might have to pick one these up!

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  41. Jim Anderson says:

    I have been looking for something for my vertically challenged daughter who has no interest in cruisers or scooters (don’t blame her at all). She is new to street riding and she would feel more comfortable on a bike that she can put both feet on the ground. I will be looking to see one in the showroom.

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  42. Bob says:

    Cool, really. How about a 350cc Grom. That would be the bomb.

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    • todd says:

      Just like how the 250cc Big Ruckus sold really well too, right?

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      • Bob says:

        I don’t think they gave the Big Ruckus a chance. It was only sold one year, as I recall. Plus the cost was considerable. If it had been made in Thailand and sold at a reasonable cost, I think they could have sold a lot more of them. Consider how long they have been building the Helix (still in production since 1986 but not sold here anymore).

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