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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got it with 1 mile on the clock and it's up to 75 now. First off, this thing is awesome! It totally fits the "big bore Ruckus" or "scooter with a clutch" theme that I was expecting. So at least I know my purchase was exactly what I was expecting.

As for caveats, this is my second motorcycle. I have a CBR250R that I got two weeks ago and it's almost up to 700 miles. Add the MSF course and that's it as far as motorcycle experience. If I don't get the name of something quite right, there's your reason. I did have a Ruckus in a former life and got over 12k miles out of that. So my comments will be comparisons to the Ruckus and the 250.

The engine sound is melodious and smooth. My 250 has a "popping" exhaust sound. The Ruckus had more of a hum. The Ruckus also seemed to get smoother near the top of its range. The Grom has a similar feel, though I would call it more of a whir than a hum. Once in 4th gear and cruising at 6.5-7k RPM it just seems like the low rumble is pushing me along. Very cool. FYI, the redline is at about 8.2k and I couldn't get it there with the throttle wide open in 4th on level ground doing 58 MPH.

Shifting is very smooth. Since the engine runs so smoothly at high RPM you run it up pretty high and the next gear engages at 5-5.5k. Plenty of pep to continue accelerating. In fact, I found myself cursing at cars that just were not accelerating fast enough. Holiday sale shoppers, sheesh. While I race through the gears in my 250 to get up to cruising gear, the Grom "frolics" through them. I don't have any explanation for that, it's just the phrase that I immediately came up with when I though about how to describe the difference. Obviously no shifting on the Ruckus. One difference from the 250 that I was not expecting I wanted to note. On the 250 when I reach a terminal gear I can't move the gear selection lever any more in that direction. In other words, I can't move the lever if I try to shift down from 1st or up from 6th. It immediately lets me know I've reached the end of that particular direction. The Grom does not have this feature. I can keep pushing the lever all I want. Fortunately, 4 gears means 3 shifts and I can remember that. It's that higher math that trips me up.

I did have some issues with the placement of the gear lever though. The seating position is more upright than the 250, but the horizontal relationship between the foot peg and the gear lever is the same. That means that I have to flex my foot downward to get under the lever. And since the angle of my leg is more vertical I had to spend some time figuring out how to get my foot under it smoothly. On the other hand, I'm using my old issue combat boots which are very thick from the bottom of the sole to the top of the toe box so that might be the real problem.

My only other real complaint is about the brakes. The Ruckus had the combined braking system that worked very well. I was able to stop smartly but I don't remember ever squealing the tires. I haven't squealed the tires on the 250 yet, but they are very very good. In particular the rear brake alone is able to stop me when rolling up to a red light from about 45mph. I don't feel like the Grom has similar braking power. I had to push the rear brake much harder than on the 250 to get a similar result. The front brake felt good. I don't think it's necessarily the fault of the brakes. I already squealed the tires once when some idiot decided to cut in front of me so I think the breaking system is up to the task. Maybe I just feel the braking force differently on the 250 and it gives me the impression that it's not working as hard. I don't know.

On the subject of the seat...I would not want to be on it for hours at a time, though I would not call it uncomfortable. I had the same opinion of the Ruckus seat, though the pressure points are different. The seat on the 250 is almost comfortable by comparison. The seat height is almost identical between the Grom and the 250 per the manual, but I found it much easier to stand with both feet flat on the ground on the Grom. I suspect it's because the bike is narrower. While on the 250 I can take most pressure off the seat, on the Grom I can actually rise completely off the seat. My lack of comfort might have been due to where I was sitting. Because of my problem getting my foot under the gear lever, I shifted my sitting position forward so I could change my foot angle. At stops I would shift back to where I expected the proper seat to be and found it much more comfortable.

Taking the seat off is a giant pain in the butt. You unlock it, then you have to push up and out just so. Putting it back on is no picnic either. The rear seat of the 250 actually pops out once it's unlocked. However, there's no useful storage space under the Grom's seat so the only time this will be an issue is when you have to replace your registration paperwork.

The mirrors give the bike the same "bug eye" look that I liked about the Ruckus. Somehow, I found them more useful on the Ruckus. I have not found the proper angle to put the mirrors for greatest effect. Maybe it's because of my recent time on a "sportbike" but I found myself leaning forward as speed increased. Coupled with my forward seating position that meant that my eye angle to the mirrors would change dramatically as I was driving. In fact, in a full tuck my head was actually ahead of the mirrors. On the 250 even laying on the tank I can almost still use the mirrors. I don't remember how this worked on the Ruckus.

Ergonomics were pretty good, issues with the gear lever aside. The upright sitting position made my reach to the handlebar very comfortable. It was almost like those posters that show the ideal typing posture. My knees were directly behind the prominence of the front body panels with the balls of my feet on the foot pegs. I would actually wedge my knees under there a bit and got a decent calf stretch while riding. Reaching the left hand controls is easier on the Grom than the 250. On the 250 I keep hitting the horn when I want to signal a turn. No such problem on the Grom. It did take a little more force to activate and cancel the run signals on the Grom though. Not a lot more, just enough for me to notice the difference.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining about the Grom, but other than the brake and gear lever position I just want to point out differences. I'm quite happy with the bike. I plan to ride it a lot when I go out exploring. It took me 2 weeks to get up to 600 miles on the 250 and the only reason I won't get there as fast on the Grom is because I don't think it's ready for the highway segment of my commute (uphill at 65mph with a bunch of other impatient drivers). It might take a month.

And although it's a terrible picture and it's just a stock Grom, here's the obligatory photo:
 

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Interesting comparisons and write-up on your new Grom. I would like to point out that the gear shift lever can be adjusted up or down a spline at a time to get a better angle for your riding position. Just remove the bolt (you may only have to loosen it) and slip the gear lever off of the shaft and position it up a spline at a time until you find a position that allows you to get your boot toe comfortably under the lever while in your preferred riding position. Then put that bolt back in. That might help.
 

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Welcome! and quick FYI... the reason the Grom accelerates so easily and then after shifting is already in its powerband is because it has a single cylinder engine and MUCH less weight than your 250. For the same size engine, a single cylinder usually produces less HP, but more Torque than the same sized parallel twin, triple, or four.
 

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Welcome! and quick FYI... the reason the Grom accelerates so easily and then after shifting is already in its powerband is because it has a single cylinder engine and MUCH less weight than your 250. For the same size engine, a single cylinder usually produces less HP, but more Torque than the same sized parallel twin, triple, or four.
Yup, power to weight ratio seems to be great in the grom, just imagine what it will be like with a big bore kit :D
 

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Welcome! and quick FYI... the reason the Grom accelerates so easily and then after shifting is already in its powerband is because it has a single cylinder engine and MUCH less weight than your 250. For the same size engine, a single cylinder usually produces less HP, but more Torque than the same sized parallel twin, triple, or four.
The CBR250R is a single also. Has the same engine as the CRF250L
 

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Well written and informative. Thank you.
 

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Nice write up. On your braking comments. You might want to focus on becoming more comfortable with using the front brake. Probably reviewed in the MSF course but it is the primary braking source and as you become more experienced you'll find the rear brake is only a supplement or used to settle the rear in a corner.
 

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My only other real complaint is about the brakes. The Ruckus had the combined braking system that worked very well. I was able to stop smartly but I don't remember ever squealing the tires. I haven't squealed the tires on the 250 yet, but they are very very good. In particular the rear brake alone is able to stop me when rolling up to a red light from about 45mph. I don't feel like the Grom has similar braking power. I had to push the rear brake much harder than on the 250 to get a similar result. The front brake felt good. I don't think it's necessarily the fault of the brakes. I already squealed the tires once when some idiot decided to cut in front of me so I think the breaking system is up to the task. Maybe I just feel the braking force differently on the 250 and it gives me the impression that it's not working as hard. I don't know.
you need to learn braking. ignore the rear (it's *almost* useless on sportbikes when you use the front correctly) and concentrate on learning the front. As you get more experience, you will find uses for the rear, but for the first while, just forget it's even there.
 

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Thanks for the detailed insight, it was a really good read. Can't wait till I get mines :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know the front brake is my friend, but I tend to drag on the rear while rolling to a stoplight. That way if it changes I can get back on the throttle faster. The first time I tried it on the Grom I thought I must not be pushing the right thing since it felt so anemic by comparison to the 250.

By the way, does anyone know if the control lever positions can be adjusted? I got myself a pair of proper riding gloves now and with the thicker material it feels like the clutch and brake levers are just a little far away. About 0.5-0.75 inches closer would be great.
 

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Nice write up. On your braking comments. You might want to focus on becoming more comfortable with using the front brake. Probably reviewed in the MSF course but it is the primary braking source and as you become more experienced you'll find the rear brake is only a supplement or used to settle the rear in a corner.
that's something a lot of newbs will find helpful seeing how the grom will bring some first time riders to the motorcycling world. i think when everyone started they thought the rear brake was your best friend.
 

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By the way, does anyone know if the control lever positions can be adjusted? I got myself a pair of proper riding gloves now and with the thicker material it feels like the clutch and brake levers are just a little far away. About 0.5-0.75 inches closer would be great.
unless there's an adjustment wheel, the levers are not adjustable. you should be able to find adjustable aftermarket ones.
 

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Nice write up, thanks.

Since you are rather new to the sport, I want to reinforce the idea of proper brake use. Your front brake is your stopping brake, and the rear is the control brake. There isn't really a need to use the rear brake when you come to a stop (unless you're using it in conjunction with feathering the clutch to maintain a walking pace, like a long line at a 4 way stop sign).

There are lots of nuanced uses of the rear brake, but you would do yourself and your safety a favor by relying exclusively on the front brake for a little while, for the purpose of becoming more comfortable and familiar with the feel.

I'm 32 years and 21 motorcycles into this sport, and I've rolled over more odometers than I can remember, and it still gives me a thrill to see new riders fall in love with riding. Ride long and safe!
 

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I know the front brake is my friend, but I tend to drag on the rear while rolling to a stoplight. That way if it changes I can get back on the throttle faster. The first time I tried it on the Grom I thought I must not be pushing the right thing since it felt so anemic by comparison to the 250.

By the way, does anyone know if the control lever positions can be adjusted? I got myself a pair of proper riding gloves now and with the thicker material it feels like the clutch and brake levers are just a little far away. About 0.5-0.75 inches closer would be great.
If I was teaching you to ride, I would use the "Gary Bailey Method," which involves a stick.
Anytime I saw you without a finger or the clutch or front brake upon entering a turn or a stop, I'd whack your knuckles with a stick.
Stay off that rear brake! The first time it's wet and you hit that rear brake, that back end is coming around. A lesson you do not want to learn the hard way.

Front brake is for stopping, rear brake is for control.
 
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