What's the difference between this and a normal 125cc bike?
My $.02 as a 150cc scooter rider ...
Bike looks awesome but the 50MPH top speed is pretty close to a deal breaker for certain types of safe urban riding. It does not happen always but even in busy urban environments there are main routes you often need to ride where the traffic cruises or at least averages around 50 mph or higher. The big issue with the tiny little "legal everywhere" 50cc scooters is that they can't go above ~30mph without really straining and in some situations that can be dangerous for the rider and surrounding traffic when you become an actual impediment to the flow.
I ride a 150cc vespa that requires a motorcycle license in my state mainly for this reason - the speed is there when I need it and I can ride safely and comfortably within and around normal traffic on all urban roads - congested and/or wide-open.
~$3000 is inexpensive?
I've never been able to find any advantage to a scooter over a small motorcycle. The toy size wheels on scooters versus the smoother, safer ride over bumps, holes and obstacles a full sized motorcycle wheel gives you is the real deal breaker.
For a new motorcycle, yes. Although for my ~$3000, I'd get something from Cleveland Cycle Works Misfit. They are bigger bikes than the Grom though, and I'm not a novice rider.
Eh. While I like the idea of smaller, lighter bikes in order to get more people interested with motorcycles (I made the switch after a dalliance with mopeds), $3K can buy a, for lack of a better word, real motorcycle. At least, a very decent used one.
I was interested right up to this line: (You'll be lucky to touch 55 mph in a straight, though I did hit that once going downhill.)
It's not the maximum speed you need to be concerned about in traffic, it's the torque and acceleration. Top speed is useless in a dangerous situation unless you can reach it quickly.
It looks like a pretty little 'not a scooter' bike, an alternative to the Honda ST series of 'monkey bikes' (actually a misnomer, the Monkey and the Gorilla were even smaller than the ST, but 'monkey bike' seems to have stuck!). The disc brakes and electric start look like fun, and 125cc is just about enough to make the bike work (and is the maximum capacity for learners here in the UK). I have an ST70 with a 125cc engine dropped in, and it's a lot of fun (and has proper gears like the Grom) but if it went walkies I'd now be hard pressed to choose between a Grom and a Honda ST clone from the likes of Jincheng, Lifan, Panda, or Redcat (a bit cheaper, but rather less clever!).
Any practical commuting bike has got to be able to merge and keep up on the freeway. Otherwise you may as well be pedaling.
Didn't Gilera make something like this?
I need something to commute on, but it'll need to go faster than 45mph comfortably or I won't survive. Any suggestions? I quite liked the idea of getting a Ural or a Royal Enfield...
You could get a good used CB250 for less.
They're bulletproof, top out at about 75-80mph, get about 60mpg and weigh about the same.
I've been riding for over twenty years and can tell you from experience that the ability to quickly get out of the way is more important than a few mpg.
I've got a couple of Harleys for sale if you decide to move to the opposite end of the spectrum.....
I'm in a college town. This means no superhighway riding needed to get to and from work (about 5 miles to work, big hills). I would love to just bicycle, but I get to work sweaty when I do so, and I have to look professional.
I bought a Chinese 50 cc scooter, rode the hell out of it for two years, then upgraded to a Chinese 150 cc scooter (google GY6 for the engine and scooter type). These 150 cc scooters are really impressive.
Mine was shipped from TX via some eBay reseller. My total cost was $1040 including shipping. It came in a giant crate on the back of a truck. It took me several hours to put it all together, check fluids, and so on--this was not serious mechanic work but I would not recommend it if you, for instance, have no idea how to swap out a light fixture or can't trade out a kitchen faucet.
For about $1000, I have a cycle that is quiet, fast (I've hit 65 MPH on level ground), ridiculously cheap, comfortable, has great storage under the seat and in a separate trunk, and gets over 80 mpg. It is very easy to service and seems bulletproof so far. I tell my friends that it's 80% as fun as a "real" motorcycle at 20% of the cost.
Heck, the specs on the Super Cubs and Dream 110s are pretty close to this thing and they are full size underbone bikes.
My friend always says all of the danger of a real motorcycle but none of the Swag...