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Attack Of The Groms: A Honda 125cc Triple Play

Chaparral Motorsports
August 25, 2016
Last Updated: October 12, 2020

Biger isn't necessarily always better when it comes to motorcycling. In a world where many people get their thrills from attaining more horsepower, more torque, and more speed, it turns out that there's a sizeable community of people who can have just as much fun on small displacement motorcycles. This has become extremely evident with how quickly the Honda Grom has acquired a cult like following with its own social media fan pages, riding clubs, meet up/events, and racing circuits. But like most anything that has wheels and a motor, the most fun someone can have with Honda's 125cc mini machine is to customize it.

With a rolling weight of 225 pounds and MSRP of just over $3K, the Grom is lightweight and light on the pocket, making it ideal for entry level riders as well as skilled veterans. The best thing about the Grom is that with its MSRP being so easy on the pocket book it leaves plenty of funds left over for customizing.

Chaparral Motorsports recently had three Groms roll into its Mod Department, and as the machines were getting cleaned up for the sales floor the decision was made to throw some parts and accessories at the superlites. Not wanting to go overboard with wild customizations, the team chose to give the mini machine some mini mods. By just doing some light customization to each bike it would help make them stand apart from other motorcycles on the sales floor and would leave plenty of room for the new owner to add their own mix of parts and accessories.

As the wrench in the ChapMoto Mod department, John Hayward took to the task of giving each bike a slight facelift. He started with a trio of stock 2015 Groms, two yellows and a metallic black version, and set out to give each bike its own personality.

Mini Repsol Grom

The first Grom you may immediately recognize, as it's an homage to one of Honda's most recognizable bikes; back-to-back Moto GP Champion, Marc Marquez's Repsol Honda. Although this Grom might be far from Honda's technically advanced Moto GP superbike, it sure does look sharp with its scaled-down, custom Repsol kit that was created R81 Wraps. Many people (especially heavier riders) find the suspension on the stock Grom is far too soft. To combat the over plushy ride the forks were taken apart and the stock springs were replaced with a set of stiffer springs from Race Tech. Out back the stock spring on the single shock was replaced with a unit from BBR Motorsports.

To match up with the Real Repsol model even more, the fork bottoms were removed and the black powdercoat was sandblasted off.

Rather than powdercoating the stock black wheels orange to match those of the Repsol race bike, a couple strips of reflective red wheel tape were used to add a little flash to lips of the rim. Before the wheels were reinstalled the stock discs were tossed to the side and replaced with Galfer Wave Rotors front and rear. The Wave Rotors are a bit lighter than stock, provide longer wear, and deliver extremely consistent and predictable braking-basically a simple but great performance upgrade. Speaking of weight and performance, the bulky exhaust was replaced with a carbon fiber RS-9 slip muffler from Yoshimura which drastically cut weight, helped improve throttle response, and gave the bike a much better sound.

A carbon fiber muffler from Yoshimura cuts weight compared to the stock muffler and gives the bike a race-ready look.

To help give the bike a less cluttered appearance and a more racey rear, the big and cluttered license mount assembly was removed and in its place an X Tail Kit from Targa was installed. The kit drastically changed the look of the rear of the bike by placing the license plate up under the tail/rear fender-just like you'd see on a customized full size sport bike. Not satisfied with the rear turn signals protruding out like bug antennae, a Competition Werkes Integrated Taillight was mounted in place of the stock brake light. The clear taillight features individual amber colored LED turn signals and lights up super bright red when the brakes are applied.

Once the back of the bike was wrapped up, John moved his attention to the handlebars where he swapped out the stock bars for a Pro Taper SE Handlebar. A little bit taller than stock the new bars would allow the new owner to place their hands a little bit higher for a more relaxed riding position. The bars were dressed with a set of Pro Grip 780 handlebar grips and some folding bar end mirrors for a more streamlined look.

In the end the mini Repsol replica was given a much more streamlined appearance, a sweet exhaust system, and tighter suspension. While not quite ready for Moto GP competition, with a few more performance mods this could be one sweet machine to compete on the Grom race circuit.

Repsol Grom Spec Sheet

TARGA X-TAIL KIT 2030-0802 $54.95
RACE TECH 25X335 .065 KG FORK SPRING 566-FRSP-S2534065 $129.99
BBR 85-02/XR100 SHOCK SPRING 910-660-HXR-1005 $104.99

Several years' back Yoshimura came up with a pretty smart way to solve several problems with one fell swoop: create a kit comprised of hard parts and graphics for select motorcycles from the big Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and offer the kits exclusively to brick and mortar dealerships. By barring the Dealer Franchise Kits, as Yoshimura calls them, from being sold on the internet, Yoshimura helped the dealers draw customers into their showrooms, allowed them to offer a collection of dealer-installed parts that customers couldn't get online which also helped the dealers create uniquely modded motorcycles that would stand apart from a sea of stock clones.

Currently Yoshimura offers their Dealer Franchise kits for 10 different motorcycle models from Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Honda. Each kit has its own part number and includes a collection of parts and graphics specifically for that model. Besides providing peace of mind for the dealer and new bike owner in the fact the motorcycle has been customized with proven parts from a highly reputable manufacturer, they add value and uniqueness without adding a ton of money on the original price of the motorcycle.

Chaparral Motorsports has been an authorized Honda powersports dealer for a very long time as well as offers an extensive mix of Yoshimura exhausts systems, parts, and accessories; so it was a no brainer to jump in on Dealer Franchise Kit and give a Grom the Yosh treatment.

The Yoshimura Fender Eliminator is laser cut out of stainless steel and then anodized black to blend in with the rear of the bike.

The Dealer Franchise Kit for the Grom consists of a Signature Series carbon fiber slip-on muffler, fender eliminator kit, engine plug set, steering stem nut, stand stoppers, bar ends, 2 sets (left and right side) of Yoshimura body and wheel graphics that are exclusive to the kit. The RS-9 Muffler is the exact same one found on the Repsol Grom, so again the benefits are a much lighter exhaust, better sound, and improved throttle response. Yoshimura engine plugs (two of them) were used to the replace the stock plugs in the left side crank case cover. Yoshimura machines the plugs out of 6061 T-6 aluminum, laser etches their logo into them, and finishes them off with a hard anodized coating. Lighter and more durable than the stock plugs the Yosh plugs add a bit of racing attitude and are less prone to stripping.

Faster, easier, and less expensive than a custom paint job, the Yosh graphics that comes in the Dealer Franchise Kit give the bike a completely different look.

The Fender Eliminator is laser cut out of stainless steel and then anodized black to blend in with the rear of the bike. A simple solution to cleaning up the rear of the bike, the bracket brings everything in closer to the underside of the fender and helps give the bike a more finished look compared to the stock plastic assembly. Just like the other metal bits, Yoshimura CNC-machines the Stand Stoppers out of aluminum. The Stand Stoppers were bolted up to the ends of the swingarm and will help make tire changes or repairs in the pits at the track much easier. Another race ready piece is the Works Edition Steering Stem Nut. Precision machined out of billet aluminum, the nut is predrilled for safety wire to abide by racing rules, leaving one less thing to worry about when heading to the track. Lastly, the Yoshimura Graphic kit is available in either a red of black version to match up with the red of black Grom. Obviously for this bike the black graphics were used. A mix of black, red, and white with some striping, the graphics feature the Yoshimura logo and the number 54 to commemorate the company's beginnings in 1954. Made from scratch-resistant vinyl, the graphics cover the upper and lower front shrouds, side shrouds, rear shrouds, rims, top of the tank, and the front and rear fenders.

Yoshimura Grom Spec Sheet:


The Golden Child

The last of the ChapMoto Grom Mod triple play was based around a yellow model, which in all actuality is more of a golden hue than bright yellow. Either way, the decision was made to stick with the stock colorway and just add a few mods to help the bike stand out.

No more big ears. A pair of bar end mirrors helped streamline the front of the bike.

A set of Jet Black Pro Taper KLX/DRZ110 SE Handlebars were installed with Pro Grip Superbike grips slipped onto the bar ends. Just like on the Repsol Grom, the Pro Taper bars changes up the riding position a bit while the cross bar gives the bike a hint of offroad flavor. Folding bar end mirrors were also installed and really made a difference in streamlining the frontend compared to the stock mirrors which stick out like sore thumbs.

At the rear of the Golden Grom a Targa X-Tail Kit and was used to pull the license plate in nice and tight against the underside of the rear fender. In order to keep the tail section looking as clean as the front of the bike and devoid of clutter, a Bikemaster Clear Integrated Taillight was installed. The light features a mix of bright red LEDs to operate taillight and brake functions and has clusters of amber LEDs on the left and right side to operate as blinkers. Once again Yoshimura was called upon for muffler duties, however, instead of using a carbon fiber RS-9 unit, as was installed on the other two Groms, this bike was treated to a stainless steel muffler with a carbon fiber tip. The mix of the stainless and carbon fiber really helps draw attention to the muffler and gives the bike a more sporty appearance.

The Golden Child Spec Sheet:

The carbon fiber tip looks really good against the stainless steel RS-9 muffler body.
TARGA X-TAIL KIT 2030-0802 $54.95

So there you have it, three Honda Groms each slightly modded from their stock setup to show you how a few custom parts and graphics can change up their looks and performance. Each bike offers a little different flavor (style-wise), didn't cost an arm and a leg to customize, and all the mods could be done with basic hand tools and only a couple hours of time.

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