On paper, a 10 hp motorcycle with a seat height of 30 inches doesn’t sound particularly exciting. And yet the Honda Grom remains one of the funnest and most adored motorcycles on the planet.
If you can’t understand why, stop reading right now and go take one for a spin. It’s zippier than its diminutive stance and 12” wheels would imply, and is sure to elicit more smiles than bikes twice its size (and price) at your local watering hole. Oh, and it’ll go for miles on nothing more than a whiff of petrol.
Honda updated the Grom last year with a slew of upgrades, and a major styling refresh. The third generation Grom puts the emphasis on customization—with body panels that are clearly designed to be swappable, and various graphics kits available straight from the factory.
That’s not enough for the mad scientists at Steady Garage though. Run by Kevin Dunn, Jimmy Chen, Bahwee Suh and Duy Nguyen, the Californian shop specializes in custom mini-motos. Which is exactly why Honda USA handed them a third-gen Grom and tasked them with unleashing its full potential.
“Our vision for the project was to build something that is futuristic looking with an end-of-the-world vibe,” Kevin tells us. “A utilitarian moto that would take on some crazy terrain and look tough.”
Steady’s redesign of the Grom isn’t just a radical example of what’s possible—it’s also a testament to how big the mini-moto aftermarket scene really is. There’s a lot of custom stuff on it, but there’s also a long list of off-the-shelf parts. So if you own your own Grom, take note.
The small bike parts specialist, Chimera Engineering, features heavily. They supplied the ram air intake, and the host of covers that adorn various parts of the engine. Steady also upgraded the Grom’s clutch, with new plates and stiffer springs from SMR.
The one-into-two exhaust system is custom, and terminates in a pair of modified Yoshimura mufflers.
Moving to the Grom’s Running gear, Steady treated the front end to two kits from Racing Bros—one to lower the forks, and the other to make them adjustable. Out back is a handmade aluminum swingarm from GCraft, hooked up to a Gears Racing shock.
The wheels are particularly interesting. They’re modular units matched to special offset hubs and spacers, so that they’re ‘deeper’ on the right hand side than they are on the left. Chimera Engineering supplied the full set—right down to a custom left-side rear brake mount, to keep the right side of both wheels unobstructed.
Steady flipped the front brake to the other side by way of a custom made fork stanchion bracket. The brake calipers are Anchor parts, and the rotors and braided lines are from Galfer. The tires are Shinko Mobbers; all-terrain rubber for small wheels.
Other Chimera parts include the front and rear axles, the swingarm bolt, foot pegs, and a full set of fasteners and washers for the Grom’s pronounced body panel mounting points. The headlight is a powerful Baja Designs LP9 unit, but the mounting plates, headlight visor and flush-mounted are from, you guessed it, Chimera. The cockpit also features a Chimera clip-on adapter plate, matched to a set of Woodcraft clip-ons with Vans waffle grips and an ASV clutch lever.
The bodywork’s been heavily modified too. The stock tank covers are some of the few parts that remain, but they’ve been treated to custom-made vented aluminum insert panels. Steady fabricated a new seat pan and a stainless steel rear frame loop, while Rogelio’s Auto Upholstery handled the stylish two tone cover.
Also notable are the Grom’s new triangular side panels. “They consist of over 13 different parts on each side,” says Kevin. “It’s quite a complex part that we designed and worked together with Chimera Engineering to machine.”
Finishing kit includes a Steady Garage skid plate, and carbon fiber fenders that were made for the project by the carbon specialists Detailed By Panem, in collaboration with RAU Engineering.
When it came time to paint the Grom, Steady opted for Honda’s classy Sonic Grey Pearl color. There are no graphics, save for a couple of small Honda and Steady Garage logos. Instead, the crew picked a mix of contrasting finishes for the custom parts on the bike, to emphasize just how many there are.
It’s clear that the Steady Garage team pulled out all the stops in their pursuit of pint-sized motorcycle perfection. If there’s a wilder custom Grom out there, we haven’t seen it.
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