Honda Monkey vs Grom - Which is Right for You?

Honda Monkey vs Grom - Which is Right for You?

Honda Monkey vs Grom.

It’s a question almost as old as the Honda brand itself.

Just kidding.

Honda Motorcycles are a cornerstone of the motorcycling industry. The brand embodies a legacy of innovation, performance, and versatility. With a heritage dating back to the mid-20th century, Honda has consistently pushed boundaries and set new standards for engineering excellence.

And though this may not be a debate as old as Honda, it’s certainly one of the most contended.

In this article, we’ll break down the history, specs, and much more of each mini bike. We’ll look at the Monkey vs Honda Grom so you can better decide which one is right for you. And though these mini machines may be mistaken for a scooter at first glance, they both pack a powerful (but approachable) punch. 

How else are they similar and different?

Let’s begin:

All About the Honda Monkey

The Honda Monkey is a small, iconic mini moto that has captured the hearts of riders and enthusiasts around the world. It has a unique and charming design that harks back to its origins in the 1960s.

The Honda Monkey was first introduced in 1961 as the "Z100." It was designed as a mini bike for children but quickly gained popularity with adults as well due to its fun and quirky nature. Its size, low seat height, and distinctive styling made it a hit, especially in urban areas where it was used for short commutes and pleasure rides.

The original Honda Z series featured a tiny 50cc engine with a 3-speed semi-automatic transmission, and it became a symbol of the 1960s Japanese motorcycle culture. In 1963, the Z100 was renamed the "Monkey" due to its small size and the way riders appeared to be sitting on it like a monkey.

Over the years, the Monkey evolved, receiving various updates and improvements. A different engine size or two as well as modern configurations were introduced, but the core design elements remained relatively consistent, maintaining the nostalgic charm that made it popular in the first place.


Honda Monkey Features

The modern Honda Monkey typically features a small-displacement engine, often around 125cc, though engine sizes may vary by market and model year. These engines are designed to provide efficient and reliable performance while maintaining the Monkey's approachable and user-friendly character.

Key features of the Honda Monkey include:

“Mini” Design: Mini moto it is. The Monkey is known for its relatively small, lightweight design, making it easy for street riding and parking in tight spaces.

Low Seat Height: The height of the seat makes it accessible to a wide range of riders, including beginners and those with shorter legs. That said, it doesn't have enough space for a passenger.

Iconic Styling: A retro design, with a round headlight, high handlebars, and simple lines, pays homage to its original 1960s design.

Miniature Proportions: Everything about the Monkey is scaled down, giving it a unique and endearing appearance. It's often seen as a "miniature motorcycle."

Fun and Versatile: A small size and playful character make it suitable for short commutes, urban riding, and leisurely rides. It also holds its own in a wide range of off-road riding scenarios. 

Modern Technology: While the Monkey retains its retro aesthetic, modern versions may come equipped with modern features like fuel injection, LED lighting, and digital instrumentation.

These features have made it a favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts, collectors, and even pop culture references. It has inspired various custom builds, modifications, and even racing events.

The Monkey's enduring popularity has led Honda to continue producing and updating the model, ensuring that its legacy lives on while incorporating modern technologies and improvements.


Photo courtesy of Honda

2024 Honda Monkey 125 Specs


  • Engine Type: 124cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Bore And Stroke: 50.0mm x 63.1mm
  • Compression Ratio: 10:1
  • Valve Train: SOHC; two valves per cylinder
  • Induction: Programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI); 24mm throttle body


  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Final Drive: #420 Chain; 14T/ 37T


  • Front Suspension: 31mm inverted fork; 4.3-inch travel
  • Rear Suspension: Twin shock; 4.0-inch travel
  • Front Brake: Single 220mm hydraulic disc; ABS
  • Rear Brake: Single 190mm hydraulic disc (non abs)
  • Front Tire: 120/80-12
  • Rear Tire: 130/80-12


  • Rake: 25.0°
  • Trail: 3.2 inches
  • Wheelbase: 45.0 inches
  • Seat Height: 30.5 inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.5 gallons (including 0.5-gallon reserve)
  • Curb Weight: 231 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride)


  • Pearl Nebula Red, Pearl Black (you can find older models with in Pearl Glittering blue as well)

Price / MSRP: from $4,249

Prefer a PDF? Download Honda Monkey specs straight from the manufacturer.


How fast can a Honda Monkey go?

The top speed of a Honda Monkey motorcycle can vary based on factors such as rider weight, conditions, terrain, and any modifications made to the bike. However, a stock Honda Monkey with a 125cc engine can generally reach around 55 to 60 mph. Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate and the actual top speed you achieve might be slightly different.

This bike is not designed for high-speed performance, so we wouldn’t recommend testing it out (too often). 


Need to accessorize your minibike? Check out our Honda Monkey 125 accessories.


All About the Honda Grom

On the other side of the Monkey vs Grom debate we have: The Honda Grom, also known as the MSX125 (Mini Street X-treme 125). Not unlike the Monkey, it is a compact and fun-oriented motorcycle that has gained a significant following since its introduction.

The Honda Grom has earned a reputation as a small bike with a big personality. It has a more sporty appearance and also comes in an ABS version. Not unlike the Monkey, it’s lightweight and agile - making for easy navigation both through traffic and off road.

Key Features:

Compact Design: Hello, cool and almost condensed style. It is incredibly maneuverable in urban environments and its small size and low seat height contribute to its attraction for many different riders. 

Engine: A single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke engine powers this mini moto. The engine displacement is typically around 125cc, which provides a balance of efficiency and performance.

Suspension: The Grom is equipped with a simple suspension system, usually featuring inverted front forks and a mono-shock rear suspension. This setup provides a comfortable ride and responsive handling.

Brakes: Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes offer ample stopping power for the Grom's lightweight frame.

Tires: Small-diameter wheels with wide, low-profile tires contribute to its playful and responsive handling.

Styling: The Grom's design is characterized by its minimalist bodywork, exposed frame, and scaled down proportions. It often features unique color schemes and graphics.

Instrumentation: Depending on the model year, the Grom may come equipped with a digital instrument cluster that displays essential information such as speed, fuel level, and odometer.


Honda Grom

Photo courtesy of Honda

2024 Honda Grom 125 Specs


  • Engine Type: 124cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Bore And Stroke: 50.0mm x 63.1mm
  • Compression Ratio: 10:1
  • Valve Train: SOHC; two valves per cylinder
  • Induction Programmed: fuel injection (PGM-FI); 24mm throttle body


  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Final Drive #420 Chain; 15T/38T


  • Front Suspension: 31mm inverted fork; 3.9-inch travel
  • Rear Suspension Single shock with steel box-section swingarm; 4.1-inch travel
  • Front Brake: Single 220mm disc
  • Rear Brake Single: 190mm disc
  • Front Tire: 120/70-12
  • Rear Tire: 130/70-12


  • Rake (Caster Angle): 25°
  • Trail: 3.3 inches
  • Wheelbase: 47.2 inches
  • Seat Height: 30.0 inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gallons
  • Curb Weight: 224 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride)


  • Blue Raspberry, Pearl White, Nitric Orange (in older versions you can also find Halloween Orange, Cherry Red, and Incredible Green)

Price: From / MSRP: $3,599

Visit the Honda website to see details based on trim level and download the Grom specs PDF.


What is a Honda Grom top speed?

The top speed of a Honda Grom can vary depending on factors such as rider weight, riding conditions, terrain, and any modifications made to the bike. However, the typical top speed of a stock Grom with a 125cc engine is generally around 55 to 60 mph. It's important to note that this is a rough estimate and the actual top speed you achieve might be slightly different.

What bike is like the Grom but faster?

If you're looking for a small displacement bike similar to the Honda Grom but with more performance, you might be interested in models often referred to as "mini sport bikes" or "small-displacement sport bikes." 

These bikes typically offer higher performance and sportier handling while still being lightweight and accessible. Keep in mind that the availability of these models may vary depending on your location and the current market offerings. Here are a few options to consider:

Kawasaki Z125 Pro: This bike is often considered a direct competitor to the Honda Grom. It features a 125cc engine, sporty styling, and nimble handling. 

Suzuki GSX-S125: Suzuki's GSX-S125 is another option in the small-displacement sport bike category. It features a sleek design and a 125cc engine that's tuned for a balance of performance and efficiency. It's designed to appeal to riders who want a more aggressive and sport-oriented ride.

Yamaha MT-125: The Yamaha MT-125 is part of Yamaha's MT (Master of Torque) lineup. It offers a slightly larger 125cc engine and a more aggressive naked bike styling. The MT-125 aims to provide a sporty and engaging ride with a bit more power.

KTM 125 Duke: KTM's 125 Duke is known for its sharp design and sporty performance. It features a 125cc engine with KTM's signature styling and handling characteristics. It's designed to offer a more spirited riding experience for those seeking performance-oriented features.

Aprilia RS 125: The Aprilia RS 125 is a sportbike that offers a step up in terms of performance. It features a 125cc engine with sporty styling and advanced features. It's designed to provide a taste of sportbike performance for riders with a learner's license.


What’s the difference between Honda Grom and Monkey?

Both the Honda Monkey and Grom are small-displacement motorcycles ("mini motos") with a focus on urban riding, off-road explorations, and of course, fun. However, there are several key differences between the two models that set them apart in terms of design, features, and intended use:

  1. Design and Styling:

Honda Grom: A modern and minimalist design, often characterized by sharp lines, angular bodywork, and a more aggressive appearance define the Grom. It has a streetfighter-like look with exposed frame components and a sporty demeanor.

Honda Monkey: On the other hand, the Monkey draws inspiration from its original 1960s design. It has a more retro and classic appearance, featuring round headlights, a prominent fuel tank, and a more vintage look overall. Its design is often associated with nostalgia and charm.

  1. Ergonomics and Riding Position:

Honda Grom: With a slightly more aggressive riding position thanks to higher-mounted handlebars and more forward-leaning stance, the Grom has a sportier feel.

Honda Monkey: The Monkey generally provides a more upright and relaxed riding posture with its higher handlebars and lower seat height. This setup can make it more comfortable for casual and leisurely rides. Some suggest that the Monkey has a cushier seat - making it better extended riding time.

  1. Engine and Performance:

Both the Grom and the Monkey often feature similar engine sizes, around 125cc, providing a balance of efficiency and performance for city riding and short trips. However, specific performance characteristics might differ slightly due to variations in engine tuning and design.

  1. Intended Use:

Honda Grom: With its more sporty edge, it's well-suited for urban commuting, short trips, and even some light-hearted sport riding and off-road adventures (though you’ll likely want to change the tires). Its modern styling and aggressive stance appeal to riders looking for a lively and responsive experience.

Honda Monkey: The Monkey is more focused on offering a nostalgic and leisurely riding experience. It's often seen as a lifestyle bike that's perfect for cruising around town, exploring scenic routes, and evoking a sense of retro coolness. Many say that the Monkey is more naturally suited for off-road riding than the Grom. 

Honda monkey vs grom

Should I get the Monkey or Grom?

Choosing between the Honda Monkey and the Honda Grom depends on your individual preferences and riding priorities. These two mini motos are incredibly similar (even down to the gas tank - they both only hold about a gallon.. which will still take you a cool 150 miles). 

If you're drawn to a timeless and laid-back aesthetic with a comfortable riding posture, the Monkey could be your ideal choice. Its vintage-inspired design and relaxed ergonomics make it perfect for leisurely rides and nostalgic cruises. Add in a traditional fork, lower seat height, and twin rear shocks and you've got a look and feel that is both eye-catching and a good time.

On the other hand, if you're seeking a contemporary look with a more spirited riding stance, the Grom might be more appealing. Its modern, streetfighter appearance and slightly sportier riding position are well-suited for urban commuting and dynamic rides. Many people put dual sport tires on the Grom - making it a great choice for zooming around town and also going off road.

Both have very similar ground clearance. If you're ready to dig into curves and get around town fast, go Grom, if you're going to spend more time off-road or at slower speeds, go Monkey. 

Which mini bike is right for you? Starting by going to see them each in person. Ultimately, if you're in the market for one of these, you can't go wrong. Either one will make a fine addition to a small garage (or even a large one).

If you’re curious for a more visual comparison, check out this video on YouTube comparing the Monkey vs Honda Grom:


Do the Grom and Monkey have the same engine?

Yes, both the Honda Grom and the Honda Monkey typically share similar engine specifications. They often come equipped with a single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke engine with a displacement of around 125cc. This engine configuration is designed to provide a balance of efficiency and performance suitable for urban and casual riding.

One key difference in the Honda Monkey vs Grom question is Honda's dual shock rear suspension which provides a little more damping force - further showing it as the choice for off-road riders. 

Honda Monkey vs Grom: Pros and Cons

Though they aren't the same, they both are great value for the money - and pretty much what you would expect from a bike of their size.

Honda Monkey:


  1. Nostalgic Appeal: The Honda Monkey's design pays homage to its original 1960s version, evoking a sense of nostalgia and retro charm.
  2. Lightweight: Its small size and low seat height make it incredibly approachable, especially for new and shorter riders.
  3. Comfortable Ride: The upright riding posture and cushy seat make for a comfortable and leisurely riding experience, suitable for casual trips.
  4. Agile Handling: The Monkey's tight dimensions and light weight contribute to nimble maneuverability, ideal for urban environments.
  5. Unique Styling: Its quirky design stands out and draws attention, making it a conversation starter and head-turner.
  6. Ease of Customization: The Monkey's popularity has led to a variety of aftermarket parts and customization options for those seeking to personalize their ride.


  1. Lighter Performance: The small-displacement engine is not designed for high-speed highway cruising or aggressive sport riding.
  2. Minimal Storage: Due to size, there's limited storage space for carrying items.
  3. Single-Seater: The Monkey's solo seat restricts carrying passengers, making it less suitable for two-up riding.
  4. Limited Highway Capability: While it's great for city and backroad rides, it's not designed for long highway stretches.

Honda Grom:


  1. Sporty Appearance: The Grom's modern and edgy styling resembles that of larger sport motorcycles, appealing to riders who enjoy a more aggressive look.
  2. Agile and Playful: Its approachable dimensions and lightweight nature make for quick and lively handling, perfect for weaving through traffic and having fun on twisty roads.
  3. Versatile: Despite its small size, the Grom can tackle a variety of riding situations, from city commuting to gravel excursions.
  4. Customization Potential: Just like the Monkey, the Grom's popularity has led to a thriving aftermarket scene, offering a wide range of customization options.
  5. Efficiency: The small engine provides good fuel efficiency, making it a cost-effective option for short trips.


  1. Lighter Performance: Similar to the Monkey, the Grom's engine is designed for city and light sport riding, not high-speed cruising. It’s also not as naturally comfortable off-road. 
  2. Limited Highway Capability: While it's versatile, it's not designed for extended highway riding.

The Honda Monkey and Honda Grom both offer unique and enjoyable riding experiences, but they cater to different preferences. The Monkey focuses on a laid-back, nostalgic vibe with its comfortable riding posture and retro styling - though the monkey weighs slightly more. The Grom leans towards a sporty and agile feel with its modern appearance and nimble handling.

Your choice will largely depend on your desired riding style, comfort level, and intended use.

Accessorizing Your Mini Moto

One thing that attracts people to both the Monkey and the Grom is that they are incredibly customizable. Check out some of our top selling accessories for these unique bikes. 

Honda Monkey Accessories

When it comes time to customize your Honda Monkey, we’ve got the accessories you need. These are some of our more popular options.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? See additional Honda Monkey accessories.

skid plate, hand guards, rear rack and maybe a windshield

Honda Grom Accessories

Ready to make your Grom even more your own? Here are some of our favorite accessories for it.

For even more Honda Grom accessories like exhausts, handguards, and front huggers, go here.

If you have questions about the Grom, Monkey, or anything in between, let’s talk. Our experienced team is ready and able to help you build your perfect bike.