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Do You Need a License for a Honda Grom?

The Honda Grom is a sort of hybrid scooter/moped/motorcycle.

It’s a small, powerful bike that’s super fun to ride and a good place for beginner riders to start. 

The question most people have is whether they need a license to drive one.

The simple answer is: yes, you need a license to drive a Honda Grom. The actual permit you need may vary by state, with some requiring special licenses for motorcycles and mopeds. Sometimes, a normal driver’s license should suffice but check with your local DMV for requirements.

Licenses Required for the Honda Grom

A woman wearing a motorcycle suit is happily showing her driver's license while holding a helmet on a white background.

The license you need to drive a Honda Grom depends on your state, and each county has various local and statewide ordinances governing these vehicles. 

The Grom may be a small bike, but it isn’t a toy for kids and will require some sort of license to drive legally. 

The Grom also isn’t highway legal. But while it can’t get up to highway speeds safely, it’s plenty quick enough for driving around town. 

It has just enough power to require a motorcycle license in many jurisdictions. In others, you may only need a driver’s license. 

Because licensing laws vary widely, contact your local DMV to confirm what you need.

Honda Grom Specs

The Honda Grom is probably the lightest, smallest, and least powerful bike in Honda’s line of motorcycles. It has a four-speed, manual transmission that works the same as their larger bikes. 

The Grom has a fuel-injected 124.9 cc air-cooled four-stroke engine. It can generate around ten horsepower and can reach speeds between 65 and 70 mph (96 to 120 kph). 

The bike generates its top horsepower at 7,000 rpm and tops out on torque at 5,500 rpm with around 8-foot pounds of force. Its engine block is nearly square, so the bike has great balance. 

Gas mileage is around 100 miles per gallon (42 km per liter). 

The Grom is street legal, though highway legality can vary. Some states require at least 150cc engine displacement, while for others, the figure sits at 125cc or is instead linked to the vehicle’s top speed. 

Mopeds, Motorcycles, and Scooters

Motorcycles on the road.

Mopeds generally have an engine smaller than 50cc and typically can’t go any faster than 25 to 30 mph (40 to 48 kph). 

To drive a moped, you only need a normal driver’s license (in most cases). 

Any vehicle over 50cc but under 250cc can be tricky to classify. The Honda Grom sits right in that range at 125cc.

States have different classifications for these “in-between” bikes. Some call them scooters, lump them in with motorcycles, or have a separate category like small motorcycles. 

Motorcycles are typically defined as having a 250cc or larger engine. 

To drive a motorcycle legally, regardless of state, you will need to obtain an M-class motorcycle license. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take your motorcycle road test on a Grom, as most states usually require that you take your test on a larger bike. 

You can always practice with the Grom since it is designed the exact same way as Honda’s more powerful bikes. The only difference is the smaller size and weight of the Grom, which may make it difficult to transition to a larger bike.

Is The Grom a Motorcycle or Scooter?

Legally, whether a Grom is a motorcycle or a scooter depends on how your state defines scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles. 

If your state defines a scooter as anything below a 250cc engine, it might fall into that category. 

Usually, though, true scooters have an underbone and a step-through frame. The Honda Grom has a body like larger engine motorcycles, so it can be categorized as a motorcycle. 

The Grom is considered a fun, fast, and energetic ride despite its size. It’s generally considered a small motorcycle, but its engine size falls into a range that makes it difficult to categorize by engine alone. 

Total Cost of a Grom

A man's hand using a calculator.

When the Honda Grom first debuted, it retailed in American markets for $2,999. 

You can probably find a used bike for around half the price. It has a small fuel tank and great mileage, which makes it an efficient and inexpensive way to get around town.

Registration fees can vary but typically cost somewhere around $50 per year. 

Insurance rates can also vary quite a bit. Your state, age, and driving experience can all factor in. 

Usually, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per year to insure a Grom. 

Is The Honda Grom a Good Bike For Beginners?

The Grom isn’t very powerful and isn’t too useful outside urban or suburban areas. While it might be legal in your state to take on the highway, it isn’t particularly advisable. 

That being said, the Grom is a great beginner bike. It’s light, easy to handle, and designed like larger bikes, so you can get a good feel for shifting gears and braking. 

The other big plus for the Grom is how inexpensive it is. The bike has a very low cost of entry, so accidentally dropping it or having an accident won’t hurt your wallet too much. 

Since you’ll be in environments where you must drive slower, it’s also very safe (as far as motorcycles go). Theoretically, crashes also aren’t nearly as dangerous or harmful. 

Overall, the Grom is a great starter bike for younger or smaller riders and a solid stepping stone to larger bikes in the future. 


The Honda Grom isn’t a toy, so you’ll need a license to drive it legally. Requirements vary by state and can change based on how local jurisdictions categorize them. 

Be sure to check with your local DMV to find out what kind of license you need. You may need an M-class motorcycle license, but you likely won’t be able to take your road test using the undersized bike.

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