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The diminutive Honda Grom has been discontinued. We take it for one last spin.

After six years on the Aussie market, the Honda Grom is making an inglorious exit, killed off not by a lack of demand, but because its single-channel ABS system no longer meets Australian Design Rules that require motorcycles to now have two-channel ABS.

The death of the Grom is a real shame, not because its asthmatic 125cc air-cooled single only makes a puny 6.4kW at 6500rpm and 10.3Nm at 5300rpm (when we last measured it), but because its a hoot to ride despite the lack of power… around town, at least.

The Honda Grom is tiny but sit on it and you dont feel at all cramped thanks to a relatively generous riding triangle. The seat is comfy enough for around town duties and because its so light and nimble, you can weave your way to the front of the queue no matter how heavy the traffic. And if the gap isnt wide enough? Well, its easy enough to pop the superlight 101kg Grom up a gutter to get around obstacles, although we would never condone such dangerous and anti-social behaviour.

Once youre at the front of the queue and the lights go green, the little Grom gets away quick enough that wont be swallowed up by gargantuan SUVs and 4X4 utes. The fueling is spot on, the clutch is super-light with progressive engagement, and the gearbox shifts through the ratios smoothly, so you always feel confident when going for quick getaways or gaps in the traffic.

As for handling, the Honda Grom steers as quick as anything on the road thanks to its tiny 12-inch wheels. It wears an IRC 120/70-12 tyre up front and an IRC 130/70-12 at the rear, both of which offer decent grip on the road.

I made the mistake of taking the Grom out on the open road where I shared the left-hand lane with semi-trailers on steep inclines, struggling to maintain 70km/h no matter how far back I wound the throttle and no matter whether I selected third, fourth or fifth in the five-speed box. It simply doesnt have enough power to ride safely in 100km/h zones. Sure, it will do 100 clicks on a flat bit of blacktop, but not if theres a headwind.

Crest a rise and point it down a long enough descent, however, and gravity helps the Groms digital speedo climb to an indicated 120km/h, but to do this the little single is revving madly at the 8200rpm redline in fifth gear, with the shift light illuminated in false hope the gearbox has magically spawned another cog.

Ridden in the environment for which it was designed, however, and the performance is more than adequate; cruising along a coastal road in a 60-kay zone, for example, is quite enjoyable, even if you still have to work the gearbox to maintain speed in undulating terrain.

The non-adjustable suspension is on the firm side, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Theres a trick-looking 31mm USD fork up front and a monoshock rear, and the suspension tune offers good control with enough travel (100mm up front and 104mm at the rear) that it doesnt bottom out every time those tiny tyres are swallowed by big potholes.

The brakes are plenty strong enough for the weight of the bike and rider. Theres a single 220mm disc up front with a twin-piston caliper and a 190mm disc out the back with a single-piston caliper. Brake feel is good, front and rear, although newbies will want to be careful they dont lock up the back wheel because, as mentioned, theres no ABS at the blunt end.

The fuel tank is a tiny 6.0litres, but the Grom is so frugal you wont have to top it up very often. On test it averaged 2.6L/100km, so youd easily get a couple of hundred clicks between refills which, for a commuter, is plenty of range.

Build quality is decent with typical top-notch switchgear, but the LCD dash is basic and looks dated, even if it offers plenty of info including speedo, tacho, fuel gauge, clock, gear-position indicator, odo, a couple of tripmeters and instant and average fuel consumption readouts.

The Honda Grom may have been around for several years now but it caught the eye of other riders and bystanders like it was some kind of secret prototype. I was felt as though the stares it attracted were from people expecting me to do something silly on it though, so I obliged on several occasions by grabbing a handful of throttle and dropping the clutch. I didnt pop any wheelies or pull any skids, but I still had fun on the Grom, and after all, thats its raison d’être.