Topic: Tiny bikes, fad or wave of the future  (Read 687 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline klaviator

  • Group Leader
  • Outrageous
  • *
  • Posts: 1267
« on: October 10, 2017, 09:43:07 PM »
A few years ago Honda introduced the Grom.  It was a runaway sales success and dealers had long waiting lines for that bike.  The waiting lines are gone but I heard recently that the Grom is by far Honda's best selling bike.  I haven't verified this.  Kawasaki now has the Z125 and it seems to be selling well.  Kymco has two entries in this class, the K pipe and the Spade.  Both were on display at the vintage fest.



I was drooling over the Spade.



To be honest I was also drooling over the Like 150i next to it.

I was recently at Deal's Gap and saw several Grom's there.  I talked to a guy on a Z125.  He said he also had an RC51 but the Z125 was more fun on the dragon.

Last time I went to Two Wheels of Suches two guys older than me had bought Grom's.  We had three young guys show up on Grom's at Gymkhana.  Those bikes were set up for stunting.

So these tiny bikes are popular with both young and old riders.  They are inexpensive compared to bigger bikes.  And they are not really very practical although they would certainly makes inexpensive around town commuters. 

Right now these bikes are very popular but is it just a fad or is it the wave of the future, maybe the thing that really brings millenials into the world of motorcycling? 




Offline dredman

  • Old Cranky Bastard
  • Rampageous
  • *
  • Posts: 279
    • 3 Years on the Road
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 10:07:25 PM »
I think that is much like asking if the Honda CT70 was just a fad.  I guess because they stopped making them?  But how many did we see this weekend?  And they are so much damn fun.  I rode my 2nd Grom at the last gymkhana, and I grinned the whole time.  It was a bit tight with my big knees, so that got in the way (I am thinking ape hangers?)



Practical?  certainly not for me, not sure there is anyway it could be?
Fun? You bet.  Hours!

If you don't think they are fun watch this video below, and check out more Grom racing on You Tube - some of it is intense!


Offline IceCold4x4

  • Event Planning
  • Rampageous
  • *
  • Posts: 360
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 12:33:08 AM »
I'm split on the grom / z125 bikes. I've had some real fun on small bikes but at the end of the day to me they are just toys and not serious bikes. Maybe it's the lack of power? (I am a rather large ham fisted dum dum when it comes to that) riding the kazuma out at the ridge, and around the warehouse at work has been some of my better times on 2 wheels, however I can't see owning a grom as for 2 or 3 grand it's almost what what finishing the suspension on my big boy bike would cost. Maybe it's because I'm 6ft and on the high side of 250 lbs. for me personally i can't get around the fact that they just seem like toys, and that for the same money I could put another big bike in the garage.

All that being said, I'm leaning more towards thinking they are just and old segment reborn. They'll stick around for 5 to 10 years maybe longer if electric versions take off. But they are cool.

Offline klaviator

  • Group Leader
  • Outrageous
  • *
  • Posts: 1267
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 09:50:13 AM »
I'm split on the grom / z125 bikes. I've had some real fun on small bikes but at the end of the day to me they are just toys and not serious bikes. Maybe it's the lack of power? (I am a rather large ham fisted dum dum when it comes to that) riding the kazuma out at the ridge, and around the warehouse at work has been some of my better times on 2 wheels, however I can't see owning a grom as for 2 or 3 grand it's almost what what finishing the suspension on my big boy bike would cost. Maybe it's because I'm 6ft and on the high side of 250 lbs. for me personally i can't get around the fact that they just seem like toys, and that for the same money I could put another big bike in the garage.

All that being said, I'm leaning more towards thinking they are just and old segment reborn. They'll stick around for 5 to 10 years maybe longer if electric versions take off. But they are cool.

I'm sure a lot of people look at these bikes the same way you do.  Let's face it, they are just toys.  But then, isn't that exactly what motorcycles are to most people, at least in this country.  Unless you use your bike for commuting, isn't it just a toy?

Hey, I'm a big fan of small bikes but the "it's just a toy" thing is probably the reason I don't own one.  Instead I have a small scooter (actually 2 of them at the moment) which offers much of the fun of something like a Grom but I can justify it because I use it to commute almost every day. 

Of course you are a fairly big guy and these bikes are tiny.  If the past is any indication, this class of bike will have displacement "creep".  Kymco has already upped the ante with 150cc and five speed.  Lets say Yamaha decided to one up everyone and came out with a 175cc bike that was also a bit physically bigger so you fit on it better.  Would you be interested then?

Offline Brian A

  • Rampageous
  • *
  • Posts: 453
  • Enjoy every sandwich.
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 12:20:03 PM »
I like the tiny bikes. If I had money to burn and wanted a cool play bike, I'd spring for one.

This guy is the top of the heap for high-end, Top Shelf stuff for all the "small bikes"

https://mnnthbx.com/

He is a jam up good photographer and all-around nice guy. Perusing all the pics makes me want to "go there" but to get to that level, it is not a cheap game to play.

They recently did heavy mods to VIN #1 Spade.  There was a summary right up somewhere but I can't find it right now.
(I think it was on FB)

https://mnnthbx.com/2017/05/24/kymco-spade/

Offline klaviator

  • Group Leader
  • Outrageous
  • *
  • Posts: 1267
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 12:28:07 PM »
This might have been the bike they modified:



The Ohlins shocks alone are $1325! 

The exhaust is $359

The mods probably double the price of the bike.  Personally I like the looks of the stock bike better.  The one I took a pic of did have the exhaust which does look good.

Here's the full price list of goodies for the bike:  http://www.kymcousa.com/2018_SellSheets/2018_Spade150_SellSheet.pdf

Offline Brian A

  • Rampageous
  • *
  • Posts: 453
  • Enjoy every sandwich.
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 12:33:13 PM »
This might have been the bike they modified

Yes, that is it.
As I said.... Top Shelf and not a cheap game to play.

But one need not spend all that money to have a nice small bike to play around on.
Basic mods can come at much lower $$.

Offline klaviator

  • Group Leader
  • Outrageous
  • *
  • Posts: 1267
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 12:40:21 PM »
This might have been the bike they modified

Yes, that is it.
As I said.... Top Shelf and not a cheap game to play.

But one need not spend all that money to have a nice small bike to play around on.
Basic mods can come at much lower $$.

Cheap?  That's all relative.  Compared to buying an R1 and then adding a bunch of aftermarket stuff it is cheap.  Add in the savings from the insurance and tickets you won't get, it is cheap.

But as you said, you don't need all that stuff to have fun.  IMO, one of the attractions of these tiny bikes is they are cheap fun.  If I got one I'd keep the add ons to a minimum.  Whats the point of Ohlins shocks on a 65 MPH bike?  Nice to have but not worth $1325 IMO.

Offline Brian A

  • Rampageous
  • *
  • Posts: 453
  • Enjoy every sandwich.
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 12:48:22 PM »
Truth /\

For quite a while now my interest and migration has been to smaller (relative) bikes.

I dropped two 1000CC bikes in the few years prior to buying the Versys 650.

I can't deny that I occasionally get an itch to get a street bike that is much smaller (displacement and/or size).

The Ninja 250/300 and the Yamaha R3 have some appeal but not sure the sport oriented riding would suit my wrist/shoulder/neck problems.

The Spade would be the smaller bike that I think would interest me most. More practical/functional and a little more displacement and power compared to the Grom/Z125.

Maybe one day....
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 01:53:57 PM by Brian A »

Offline klaviator

  • Group Leader
  • Outrageous
  • *
  • Posts: 1267
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 01:26:32 PM »
/\ We think a lot alike.  I've also been thinking an R3 would be cool to have.  The riding position is actually pretty upright.  The biggest issues to comfort would probably be cramped leg room and the seat.  An aftermarket seat or seat pad might help with that.

Back to the topic on hand, tiny bikes.  I'm not in the market for a new bike right now.  (disclaimer, I bought 2 of my last three bikes when I wasn't in the market for a new bike :lol-049:).  If I was, I might consider a Spade.  It wouldn't be a logical buy but it just appeals to me.  I could see taking it to Deal's Gap or Suches and having a blast on curvy roads.  Crow mountain would be fun too.  Maybe I could add a detachable tail trunk and or at least a luggage rack and use it for commuting?

I think having some friends to ride with who also had tiny bikes would really add to the fun factor :DANCING-banana-032:

Offline IceCold4x4

  • Event Planning
  • Rampageous
  • *
  • Posts: 360
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 05:12:37 PM »
If they made a 6 ft fat guy compatible grom that was capable of maintaining 70 up hill I'd definitely  be much more interested as it would become more than a toy.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


Offline catang5oh

  • Courageous
  • *
  • Posts: 82
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 06:51:51 AM »
So, my experience with the Grom I owned was great. I bought it for my 14 year old to have, he had no interest. So, I rode the piss out of it.

I am 6 2 and the bike was not comfortable but I dealt with it because it was so much fun.

As far as speed, that bike would go plenty fast where I wanted to, in the twistys.
As far as road worthy, it’s a 125 so we can’t expect a Goldwing. 62 mph with my 125 lb ass was plenty, add the wife and it still did 62 two up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Hammerdown77

  • Courageous
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Livin' the dream
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 07:16:37 AM »
You, at 6'2", plus your wife, two-up on a Grom??

Pictures or it didn't happen!
2016 BMW R1200 GS
2007 Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom

Offline Campbell92

  • Courageous
  • *
  • Posts: 89
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2017, 05:24:58 PM »
Just from the perspective of working at a dealership as well as being a millennial , I don't think small bikes are going anywhere anytime soon. With their affordability and power range they are perfect for inner city. I always manage to see a grom, a z125, or even say a lower cc ninja 300 or yamaha R3 in just about every city I have ever visited. The vintage scene I believe has really helped build this presence.  I have had more friends buy old enduros and small 350 and below retro bikes. The small bikes are great for if you plan to just take the backroads or hit the inner city.

It seems like the industry as a whole is trying to get smaller. Huge cruisers are losing ground and it seems like more people are aiming for something different in every segment. The Z and the Grom are for sure different. (I hope Yamaha will make something in that segment) It will be interesting to see how the industry morphs and changes in the next 5 or 10 years. I am really hoping the adventure bike scene grows again and brands start focusing on re-developing the smaller cc adventure and endure bikes for the guys that aren't wanting to race or drive to Dubai. Maybe kymco will enter the scene full force.

Offline klaviator

  • Group Leader
  • Outrageous
  • *
  • Posts: 1267
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2017, 08:56:07 PM »
Just in case someone from Yamaha is reading this, how's this for an idea:

Take the 155cc motor from the Smax scooter (14.8 HP vs 9.4 for the Grom) and replace the CVT with a 5 speed manual tranny. Put it in a frame just a bit bigger than the Grom. Use the Smax wheel sizes: 12/70-13 front and 130/70-13 rear.

You would have a Grom killer that even bigger riders could fit on :applause-003: :applause-003: :applause-003: