When it comes to mini-bikes, Honda has almost always been topdog. However, in 2017, a few years after the Honda Grom made a big splash in the small displacementmotorcycle market, Kawasaki followed up with their own contender:the Z125 Pro. Both bikes share a lot of similarities, but there arekey areas where one bike excels over the other. So, if you"relooking to narrow down your options to one of these bikes as soonas possible, this guide will help steer you in the right direction.
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No matter how serious you are about bikes and the hardwarethey"re carrying, one of the first things you"ll notice about amotorcycle is how it looks. Both bikes feature lines similar tolarger sport bikes but they have more of a standard street bikeaesthetic with less body work than traditional sport bikes. TheGrom has a lot of broad angles and a more robust appearance. Theengine and exhaust are real focal points as they are both fullyexposed. Staring at the Grom you"ll notice that it has a morepronounced 2-up seat with a dished center section to keep the ridersecured in the cockpit and the passenger section kicked up on aplateau. Another difference you"ll see between the two bikes isthat the Grom"s information center is perched atop the headlightwhereas the Grom"s is less noticeable.
The Z125 is more aggressively styled with sharper angles, a fewpointy bits, and much more aerodynamic lines. On the Z125 you"llfind shrouds and a chin spoiler help make the engine lessnoticeable while the exhaust is tucked neatly under the frame withjust the tip of the muffler sticking out under the footpeg. Unlikethe stepped seat on the Grom, the Z125"s seat follows a smoothprofile that gently raises toward the rear. When looking at thefront of the bike, the Z125"s info gauge is melded into the top ofthe head light for a more streamlined look.
Despite not being the most powerful of bikes on the market, bothare quick, easy to shift and fun to maneuver. Ergonomically thebike are setup nearly identical with the foot controls sittingaround 19 inches down from the top of the seat pocket and thehandlebars sporting a slight rise that puts an average riders aboutin line with the mid-section. Both bike sport an inverted frontendand single rear shock with the same amount of travel front andrear. The tires are where we see a slight difference. With theZ125"s slightly narrower tire combination along with having a lesstrail than the Grom (2.7 inches vs 3.2 inches) you can expectslightly quicker and more responsive handling. In addition, theZ125 is 4 pounds lighter when fully topped off, and while thatmight not sound like a lot, with both bikes weighing less than 230pounds, the weight savings helps the Z125 feel noticeably lighterand more nimble. On the other hand the Grom may feel a bit morestable and balanced to newer riders.
Both these bikes are great for taking trips around and acrosstown. Even so, to ensure you don"t run afoul of the law, it"simportant to consider the age of the rider and the legislations inplace in the locale you plan to ride. Both bikes feature 4-speedtransmissions, which isn"t bad for an around-towner, localcommuter, or weekend- mini racer. As far as MPG, riders can save afew dollars here by parking their cars and hopping on a bike. Men"sJournal estimates the MPG for the Z125 in the 80s, which soundsgreat until you see Honda"s fuel efficiency estimate for the Gromis 134 MPG.
Speed and Braking
Honda Grom Speed and Braking
Despite being heavier, most reviewers agree that the Grom isfaster. The 2019 model especially puts out more power and torque,boasting numbers like 9.7 horsepower at 7000 RPM and 8 lb-ft at5500 RPM. Top speed for the Honda Grom peaks at around 63 MPHdepending on several factors like rider"s weight and how level/flatthe road is. Braking duties on the Grom are handled by a 220mmsingle disc and dual piston caliper on the front wheel and a singlepiston caliper gripping down on a 190mm rotor in the rear. If youwant the added benefit of an updated braking system with ABS Hondaoffers an ABS model.
Kawasaki Z125 Pro Speed and Braking
The 2019 Z125 Pro only produces 8.3 horsepower at 7800 RPM, and7.1 lb-ft at 6000 RPM. The max speed estimates we"ve seen for theKawasaki is right in line with the Grom at about 63 MPH. The Z125comes with a pair of single piston brake calipers, one for thefront and one for the rear. The rear rotor comes in at 200mm andthe rear is 184mm. Unlike the Grom there is no Kawasaki Z125 Prowith ABS.
Honda Grom Price
How much you can expect to pay for the Honda Grom and theKawasaki Z125 will depend on a few things. To that end, here are afew questions you need to answer. Are you purchasing the newestmodel brand new or a used model? The MSRP for the 2019 Honda Gromis $3,399, with an extra $200 added for the ABS model.
Kawasaki Z125 Pro Price
The 2019 Kawasaki Z125 has an MSRP of $3,199. If you arepurchasing a used bike you can expect a larger gap for older modelsas the Honda brand is well-known around the world for its resalevalue. Also, as the market leader in the field of mini-bikes, thedemand for the Honda Groms will be greater, thus driving up theprice in comparison to the Z125. This makes buying the Z125 moreattractive. However, owning and one day selling the Grom becomesmore attractive for the better resale price.
In summary, what are the real differences between these two verysimilar bikes? Some riders argue that the Grom"s appearance is toosquare and box-like. Still, almost anyone agrees that thesuspension on the Z125 puts the Honda Grom to shame in ridequality. Not to be outdone, the Grom makes a comeback withadvantages over the Z125 in speed, braking system, and fuelefficiency. The Z125 then fights back with a lower list price.
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At ChaparralMotorsports, we believe both bikes can satisfy the sweet toothof anyone craving a sporty mini-bike for weekend-racing or gettingaround town. It just comes down to what features matter most toyou. Ready to get your own mini-bike and the top-notch riding gearto go with it? Come see us or give us a call at (800) 841-2960.