One weekend and I already rack up over 150 miles. Something about taking out a new (or new to me) bike is pretty exciting, learning what I like, what I don’t, and what I can do to make what I don’t like into something I like, or at least tolerate. Lets get into it…

What I like

  • I like the overall feel of the bike. It has the feeling of a tall seating position, like a supermoto, without feeling like I’m way above it. The Kawasaki z125 pro suffers from this. The seating position is right on and quite comfortable given how small it is.
  • I like the front suspension. The forks are much larger than the grom’s and translates to a stiffer spring rate that makes sense. The grom’s stock forks feel like pogo sticks and bottom out on everything.
  • The engine is nice and torquey. Even with a break-in that requires no more than 6,000 rpm (half the bikes indicated rev range), it moves off the line and you can run through the gears fairly quickly.

What I don’t like

  • The rear suspension is that of the grom’s forks: soft and bouncy. On speed bumps, I was just fine until the rear tire touched it and I’d find my butt lifted from the seat.
  • The handlebars are too short from what I’m used to. Additionally, the clutch and brake levers seem narrower than their perch, there’s a lot of up and down play. The adjustment is limited and there’s a vagueness to the clutch.
  • The bike is a bit on the heavy side. My guess is that this comes from the trellis frame. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a light bike. But for a mini, you can feel the weight in the corners.

What I plan to do about it

  • New controls: handlebars, grips, and levers. This is a must for me, I have a particular setup that I prefer on all my bikes (CR high bend fat bars) and honestly what I recommend to anyone first off. The more comfortable you are on the bike the easier you’re able to maximize it’s potential.
  • Because the engine runs through the gears so quickly, I plan to up the front sprocket from the stock 15 tooth to a 16 tooth. I actually did the opposite for the grom, but the grom’s gearing is much longer with only 4 gears.
  • New rear suspension that doesn’t buck me off at the sight of a pothole.
  • I want to do something to the exhaust, most likely a mid-pipe so I can keep the stock dual exhaust tips. It deserves to sounds as good as it looks.

Overall, I’m really pleased with this thing! The downsides are minor and should be fixable. This isn’t a conclusive list (obviously), but will give me a good start to making a solid mini.