If you happen to be perusing the world of mini motorbikes, then the Honda Grom is likely to come up in your research. The Grom is a small and lightweight bike that’s easy to maneuver and, if you squint your eyes, it looks like a shrunken sportbike. But you might also come across another mini bike in the Honda line; the Monkey. The Honda Monkey is just like its Grom stablemate in a lot of ways, so it can be confusing as to which one is right for you.
The Honda Grom was first introduced in 2014 and got a stylish refresh in 2016. And while it can be easy to mistake this minuscule motorcycle for a scooter trying to be a proper sportbike, it’s more than that. According a review from Bloomberg, the Honda Grom is much more than just a scooter as it’s air-cooled 125cc engine is connected to a four-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear wheel.
With this setup, that means that you’ll have to get an actual motorcycle license in most states in order to ride it legally. But if you do happen to ride one, then you’ll be treated to some pint-sized fun. The Grom is beginner-friendly and it well-equipped with disc brakes, an inverted-fork front suspension with 3.9 inches of travel, and a rear mono-shock setup with 4.1 inches of travel. However, its 29.7-inch seat can prove to be narrow for some riders, so take note that its diminutive size does not fit all.
Once on the Grom, you’ll quickly get used to its 9.7-horsepower engine that also puts out 8 lb-ft of torque to get you up to the top speed of 56 mph. And according to Go Rollick, although the Grom is small, it’s fun to ride even though it is pretty slow.
According to Revzilla, the Honda Monkey can be summed up in a few words, “A Grom with retro clothes.” And they’re not wrong. The Honda Monkey is a relative newcomer to the brand’s mini-moto lineup as it made its debut in 2019. The mini bike is actually a throwback to older “monkey bikes” from the past, hence it’s retro styling, however, riding it doesn’t disappoint.
The Monkey is outfitted with the same 125cc engine as the Grom, so that means it has the same power and top speed, but Honda installed a dual-shock rear suspension for a little more damping force. Otherwise, the suspension specs are the same as the Grom’s; 3.9 inches of travel in the front and 4.1 in the rear. You’ll get the same disc brake setup and will be able to travel around 150 on the single tank of gas, which holds a little more than a gallon.
Which mini bike works best for you?
Considering that the Honda Grom and the Monkey are essentially the same bike underneath it all, choosing between them is not unlike choosing between a Civic Sedan and a Civic Hatchback. Just pick which one best suits your personal tastes as one looks like a sportbike and the other looks like a classic café racer.
They both provide the same narrow-street maneuverability and beginner-friendliness and they both land around the same price point; $3,400 for the Grom and $4,000 for the Monkey. Either one you choose will likely give you a big smile as you ride it, even if you are only riding at residential speeds.