Yes, in most cases, you will need a motorcycle-specific license to operate a Honda Grom. The Grom has an engine displacement of 125 cc, which is large enough to require a license in most states.
That said, it’s still small enough that it may be classified differently from other motorcycles. For example, in my home state of Arkansas, a Honda Grom is classified as a “scooter,” which is in between a “moped” and a “motorcycle.”
In Arkansas specifically, it doesn’t make any difference because you still need a standard motorcycle license. Still, it’s worth looking into since your country, state, or city might have different laws.
Mopeds vs Scooters vs Motorcycles
Mopeds are defined as having an engine 50 cc or smaller. They must usually not go faster than 25 or 30 mph either. Laws about mopeds vary widely by state, but generally, you don’t need a specific motorcycle license. Instead, you just need a standard driver’s license.
A motorcycle is normally defined as having an engine 250 cc or bigger, though it may simply include everything over 50cc. To operate these, you need a separate motorcycle license, a class M license.
Then there is the in-between zone from 50-250cc. This is where the Honda Grom falls. Depending on the state, these vehicles may simply be classified as motorcycles, or they may have a different category like “scooters,” “small motorcycles,” etc.
This separate classification confuses many people, but the reality is, in the vast majority of states, you simply need a class M license like you would for any other motorcycle.
The only real reason for the separate classification as far as licenses go is that minors with motorcycle permits are sometimes limited to “small motorcycles” under 250 cc and can’t drive full-sized motorcycles.
Separate classifications also exist due to laws regarding registration and insurance. Plus, certain public roadways like freeways and interstates may have engine-size requirements.
In other words, regardless of how your state might legally classify it, you’ll need to get a Class M motorcycle license to ride your Honda Grom on public roadways.
Also see: Do I need a motorcycle endorsement.
Can you take your motorcycle test on a Honda Grom?
No, you probably can’t take your motorcycle test on a Honda Grom. The requirements for the practical motorcycle exam vary widely by state, but they often require a larger engine than the Groms.
Can you drive a Honda Grom on the road?
Honda Groms are street-legal vehicles you can generally ride on public roadways. The only exceptions are freeways and interstates, which may have certain engine-displacement requirements often posted on entrance ramps.
This is an important thing to know for the Honda Grom because it’s usually right on the line. Many states, including Florida and California, require an engine of at least 150cc to ride on the freeway. Others only require 125cc. Other states may not have displacement requirements and instead use minimum speed limits, which the Grom can usually meet.
Is a Honda Grom a scooter or a motorcycle?
In reality, the Honda Grom is a small motorcycle. However, you may see it occasionally defined as a “scooter,” depending on the terminology in your jurisdiction.
Many places don’t differentiate between motorcycles and scooters, but others may define scooters as having engine placements between 50 and 250 cc, which would include the Honda Grom.
Nevertheless, a true scooter features an underbone or step-through frame similar to a moped. This is not the case with the Honda Grom, which has a body similar to larger sports bikes and motorcycles. For this reason, I would call the Grom a motorcycle.