Honda Grom Off Road Build – Everything You Need to Know
Written by Ross M. Perkins
Content on this page was updated September 17, 2019
Photo Below was Taken on September 17, 2019
If you’re contemplating the idea of transforming your bike from a street cruiser to a Honda Grom off road machine, you’ve ended up in a decent spot on the internet. I’ve outlined some of the parts and modifications that I’ve found make the Grom more capable off road, and also make it look at home in the dirt with dirt bike and dual sport aesthetics. In addition to my parts list and modifications, I touch base on off road tire options and what makes the Grom such a great and not-so-great off road platform.
This article covers:
Why I chose the Honda Grom as a platform for an off road build
Parts that I’ve installed on my off road Honda Grom project
(both previous & current parts)
Overview of Honda Grom off road tires
Expectations for taking a Honda Grom off road
Gallery of my off road Honda Grom dirt bike build
Why I Bought a Honda Grom & Modified it for off road use
In September 2018, I originally stepped foot inside my local Honda dealership to inquire about the new Monkey 125 that was going to be released soon. Optimistically, I spoke with the sales associate about them and soon after I was feeling a little less hopeful. Not only were they scheduled to only receive two units within the next six months, which were more or less spoken for, but the fact that they would cost around $4,500 out-the-door seemed absurd to me!
A little heartbroken, I decided to take a look at the Groms they had in stock– one 2018 and two 2019’s. I was never a fan of the sport bike look of the SF Groms, but I had been missing the entertainment that a small bike could deliver. (It had been nearly ten years since I sold my 88cc pit bike.) After a quick test drive, an hour or so of internal struggles, then being offered an incentive that put the out-the-door price of the 2018 Honda Grom ABS with 1 mile on it to around $3,400, I committed.
I have never been one to leave a vehicle stock, no matter what it is, so I viewed the Grom as a welcome challenge. After taking it on a dirt trail the second day that I owned it, it clicked that I would do a Honda Grom off road build and modify it in the spirit of an adventure bike, which then transformed even further to mimic a dirt bike. After some research, ordering parts, swapping out new parts for other new parts, and modifying existing parts, my dirt bike inspired Honda Grom off road build finally came to fruition. With how light and agile the Grom is, it provides a hilariously exhilarating experience once you take it off road!
Honda Grom Off Road Parts & Modifications List
The visual dirt bike aesthetics of a Honda Grom off road build are fun and all– and can really help your motorcycle look like it belongs in the dirt– but the most functional and most important upgrade that you can do, from my experience, is upgrading the tires from the stock street tires to a hearty set of off road tires that’ll really allow you to push your Grom and ride it the way that you want off road. Without traction you won’t be going anywhere very easily. Also– I haven’t upgraded the suspension yet, but it is highly recommended to get even more on and off road performance from your Grom. I have added some suspension upgrades to the list that I am considering– these would help maximize performance by making the suspension less susceptible to bottoming out when riding over rough terrain and also feel stiffer for better handling.
(asterisk) Denotes parts that are currently installed.
Honda Grom Off Road Tires
We have 3 Groms in the garage and they each run one of these tires.
All of these options are Dual Sport designs so they excel both on and off pavement. Further down in the article I give a brief overview of each off road tire.
Front Tire Size is 120/70-12 | Rear Tire Size is 130/70-12
*Kenda K784 Big Block Tires - Link to Set
Honda Grom Performance Parts
*JT Sprockets 14T Steel Front Sprocket - Link
*Universal Slip-On Muffler - 310mm - Link
*High-Mount Exhaust Header - Link
*Protaper SE YZ High Bend Handlebars - Link
*Kenimoto 7/8” 30mm Handlebar Risers - Link
*MZS Short Brake & Clutch Levers - Link
*DIY Airbox Mod - How-To Video Link (not mine)
Honda Grom Lighting & Electrical Parts
*AUTOSAVER88 5" Led Light Pod - Headlight with Number Plate - Link
*Partsam LED Strip Turn Signals - Wrapped them around the forks - Link
VViViD Headlight Vinyl Tint (multiple color choices) - on OEM Headlight- Link
*Willpower 6” LED Light Bars (comes with 2) - Link
*Nilight LED Light Bar Wiring Kit (hooks up 2 light bars) - Link
*Targa Fender Eliminator Kit with Smaller Turn Signals - Link
Perfect Fit Smoked Front Turn Signals w/ *LED Blinker Relay - Link
*MOTOPOWER Motorcycle USB Charger Kit - Link
*BlueFire Motorcycle Alarm - Link
Honda Grom Body Parts
Motard Front Fender - Reference Article Intro Photo, Left - Link
*Podoy Honda CRF50 Plastics Kit - Reference Article Intro Photo, Right - Link
*OEM Honda Type B Number Plate - Link
*Ocamo Square Cargo Rack - made for OG Grom, required modification to fairing - Link
*Bride/NOI Flat Seat (currently on the bike) - Link
Powerwarauto/NOI Flat Seat - Link
Uxcell Universal Rear Mud Guard - Link
*Universal Bar End Mount Hand Guards (come in multiple colors) - Link
JFG Racing Hand Guards (come in multiple colors) - Link
*Triclicks Folding Mirrors (mount to stock location) - Link
LeaningTech 7/8” Handlebar End Mirrors - Link
*Roam Handlebar Cell Phone Holder - Link
*Pevor Motorcycle Tail Bag - Link
Headlight Bash Bar - Purchased through eBay and shipped from Thailand.
*Modified the stock front fender to cover only the rear portion of the tire to help block mud from the engine
Honda Grom Suspension Upgrade Options
I have not personally installed any of these products yet– but they are on the list of upgrades to come. I’m still deciding which suspension options to go with.
Honda Grom Off Road Tires Overview
I’m currently running the Kenda K784 Big Block Tires (Link)
My lady is running the Kenda K761 Tires (Front Link & Rear Link).
My brother is running the Maxxis M6024 Tires (Front Link & Rear Link).
On a Honda Grom the Front Tire Size is 120/70-12 and the Rear Tire Size is 130/70-12.
I have read that some people are running the wider 130/70-12 on the front, as well, with no issue, but I don’t have personal experience with that, so that is up to you if you want to experiment.
All of these tires are a massive improvement over the stock v-rubber design that come on the Grom from the factory. Road feel is nice and sturdy while on pavement, even through the corners, and when you turn onto dirt they have a bite that keeps you from sliding around uncontrollably. On the Maxxis and Kenda Big Block tires the large knobby profile of the tires really help to dig into dirt and mud to provide greater traction and stability– without sacrificing performance on the pavement, they just have a little different feel to them, which is expected when going from a street to dual sport tire.
Riding Profile of Each Grom Off Road Tire
For riders that want to get all that they can out of their Honda Grom off road build, and make it look even more like a proper dirt bike, I’d recommend the Kenda K784 Big Block & Maxxis M6024 off road tires. The deep, knobby tread designs really dig into the dirt and enhance confidence and control immensely. They do feel a little bumpy on pavement at first, but you will adjust quickly and this feeling lessens the more you ride. Control is also heightened on pavement, in my brother’s and my opinion.
If you do spend the majority of your time on pavement, the Kenda K761 off road tires are a phenomenal balance of pavement and gravel performance. These are the most true dual sport design tires when you compare the 3 options. They provide enough bite in the dirt to make the bike feel more planted, yet they remain smooth on the pavement– especially compared to the knobby tread of the other two options. They also aren’t as aggressive looking if you prefer functional sleekness over the design of the others.
No matter which of the three off road tires you decide to snag for your Honda Grom off road build you’ll be satisfied. I rocked the stock tires off road for a few weeks when I first purchased my bike and it was “do-able”, but they left so much to be desired. I’ve tested out all of the upgrades listed here and the performance increase is night and day. Figure out how hardcore you want your tires to be, then choose the brand that you prefer and go tear up the dirt.
What Riding a Honda Grom Off Road is Like
For riders that are super serious about tackling trails, a Honda Grom off road setup may not be the most ideal or practical– but for those that are okay with taking the road less traveled at a slower pace and with a massive smile on their face, off road accessories can make your Grom a competent little adventure bike. The biggest drawback of the Honda Grom is the small 12 inch wheels. This means that tackling obstacles, such as deep ruts and fallen trees, require a little more attention and finesse to conquer. You can’t just pin it like on dirt bikes with much larger wheels.
However, the fact that these little 125cc bikes only weigh around 229 pounds and get 134 mpg, they are very easy to maneuver and can go a respectable distance between fill-ups. Range can easily be increased by bringing along a couple fuel bottles, such as the MSR 30 ounce Liquid Fuel Bottles, this method can greatly increase the miles you trek off road on your Grom without much added weight.