Buyer’s Guide: Honda’s miniMOTO Motorcycles
“Pocket bikes,” “mini bikes,” “scooters,” “tiny motorcycles” – call them whatever you want, but Honda Powersports refers to them as miniMOTOs. This category is reserved for small bikes that are powered by 125cc engines and look like they’re reserved for children as opposed to full-grown adults. Nonetheless, Honda’s special pack of eccentric two-wheelers has risen in popularity over the past few years, so we thought it would be a good idea to create a short buyer’s guide so that you’re well informed should you get the urge to buy one of these pocket rockets.
2022 Honda Grom – $3,399
If you want a mini bike that looks like a proper sportbike, then the 2022 Honda Grom is the way to go. Introduced in 2014, the Honda Grom offers riders good ergonomics and a zippy personality that makes riding fun at any speed – even if you’re only going 25 mph. The folks at Cycle World were able to get the Grom up to 59 mph, which is impressive considering the bike is powered by a tiny 125cc engine. That engine produces 9.7 hp and 7.7 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a new-for-2022 five-speed transmission.
If those power figures don’t sway you, maybe the Grom’s fuel economy will. According to Honda, this tiny bike should be able to get up to 155 mpg, which is good considering its fuel tank only holds 1.6 gallons of gas. That will at least equate to a lot of cost savings when driving around town, but the bike itself won’t break the bank either. The 2022 Grom is currently priced at $3,399, which is far cheaper than any larger sportbike that it closely resembles.
2022 Honda Monkey – $3,999/$4,199 (ABS equipped)
Whether or not you’re into these small bikes, you have to love the Honda Monkey. Its name alone is enough to make anyone smile. And if you actually end up purchasing a Monkey, then you’ll likely be smiling for miles while riding it around town. Powering the Monkey is a 125cc, four-stroke motor that’s mated to a five-speed transmission, which is good for cruising around town at 40 mph speeds, reports Cycle News.
For easy maneuverability––even at low speeds–– the Monkey also features a 31mm inverted fork front suspension and a twin-shock rear suspensionIt also has front and rear hydraulic disc brakes with optional ABS and is able to achieve around 100 miles (or more) out of its 1.5-gallon fuel tank. Whether you like the Monkey’s retro styling, its engine, or all of the above, it’s sure to put a smile on your face every time you ride it.
2022 Honda Super Cub C125 – $3,749
The Honda Super Cub was introduced back in 1958. Thin in 2017, the Japanese brand celebrated selling a remarkable 100 million units of this Honda miniMOTO worldwide. In fact, the Super Cub is the most popular vehicle ever produced globally. Given its retro styling and fun personality, it’s easy to see why. Over the years, the Super Cub has gone through many changes since the first Super Cub C100 that rolled off the production line back in the 50s. But the 2021 model still carries the same spirit as the original version.
Powering the Super Cub C125 is an air-cooled, single-cylinder 125cc engine that produces 9.1 hp and 7.7 lb-ft of torque. That setup is mated to a four-speed transmission. That transmission is one of the Super Cub’s main highlights as it doesn’t use a clutch lever. This means that literally anyone can ride. Couple its easy-to-use functionality with its fun-to-drive riding characteristics. We wouldn’t be surprised if Honda sold 100 million more in the next decade or two.
2021 Honda Trail125 ABS – $3,899
If you like the Super Cub, but wish you could take it off-road, then the Honda Trail125 is what you seek. The Trail125 builds upon that ever-popular platform. However, it offers a longer wheelbase, a more rugged construction, and plenty of ground clearance for some light off-road riding. A larger front fork tube adds to the dirt-riding equation as do the high-mounted air intake and new exhaust system. Additionally, that adds more power and torque, according to Ultimate Motorcycling.
There’s also a kick-starter in case you get stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery. But when this Honda miniMOTO is up and running, the Trail125 is powered by a 125cc that’s attached to an auto-clutch, four-speed transmission, which makes it easy for anyone to ride it. The Honda Trail125 is also outfitted with front and rear disc brakes, 17-inch wheels, and tires. The configuration includes anti-lock brakes (ABS) as well.
125cc – Yes, they all share the same engine
In case you haven’t noticed, every bike in Honda’s miniMOTO lineup utilizes the same 125cc engine. This means that if the engine ever breaks, finding parts for it should be cheap and easy. Also, all of them having the same engine makes it easier to pick the right one for you.
If you want a sport-bike look, then pick the Grom. If you want the retro look of a café racer, then pick the Monkey. Do you need something for the off-road trails? The Trail125 will suit you better. On the other hand, if you would rather go with the 100 million others that fell in love with the Super Cub, then that’s the mini bike for you.
No matter which bike you pick, you’re nearly guaranteed to have fun for many years to come. And don’t be too surprised when onlookers stare or wave at you, in fact, be prepared to wave back. After all, “you meet the nicest people on a Honda.”