2022 SYM Fiddle IV Scooter Evaluation – First Journey


I’m accustomed to begging scooters from the Huge 4, from the businesses I do know – Kawasaki excluded since they don’t make a scooter – and hanging onto them so long as I can. You’d be stunned. However Honda could also be sore after I crashed that final ADV150 whereas testing its tires over railroad tracks, though I provided to purchase it (at a reduction, because it was crashed). Come to think about it, they could even be nonetheless sore about the Metropolitan we crashed in our 2002 Scooter Smackdown. A few of these big companies have impressively lengthy reminiscences, however atrocious short-term ones. Yamaha has no scooters within the present check fleet (horrifying), and Suzuki has no Burgman 200s. Dunno what’s change into of Kymco? There’s no love from Vespa.

Excuse me for sounding like a damaged report as I as soon as once more espouse the worth of getting a scooter round the home for all these little errands and outings, a minimum of for these of us trapped within the metropolis or the ‘burbs.

A scooter saves put on and tear in your different autos, in your physique, since scooters are gentle, simple to journey, and stress-reducing – and on the planet. Scooting to the shop for a can of cat meals, a field of wine, and a bunch of cilantro, or downtown for an Early Chicken particular after a grueling day on the ol’ Macbook, is simply plain enjoyable. It’s no Alps tour or Barstow-to-Vegas, however even a 10-minute motorbike journey brightens the day.

M.O.M.

Lastly staring into the abyss of getting to spend my very own cash for an inexpensive two-wheeled conveyance, I discovered myself checking the same old on-line locations for a used Honda Forza or perhaps a Yamaha Morphous. Whereupon I stumbled upon HB Scooters, close to me in Huntington Seashore. What are these items? SYM? Lance? Real Buddy? I’ve been vaguely conscious of them, however knew zero. I crossed fingers and tapped out a pathetic plea on the e-mail machine.

Two weeks later the superb and sensible individuals at Alliance Powersports had been dropping off a brand new SYM Fiddle IV 200i and a Lance Cabo 125 on the casa, each with zero miles. Pinch me! They don’t also have a check fleet on the Alliance HQ in close by Eastvale, California, however they busted open a pair crates for Motorbike.com anyway. That is extra just like the therapy we grew accustomed to within the print days. And we don’t must get into that complete China debate, as a result of these scooters are each from Taiwan.

Fiddle IV (click on to zoom in)

Let’s begin with the larger, dearer SYM Fiddle IV 200i, and we’ll get to the Cabo 125 subsequent week.

SYM Fiddle IV 200i

It seems to be like we’re going for that Vespa look, and why not, because the Vespa is just about the Ferrari of scooters. Really, the Vespa GTS300 is, however the SYM’s 169cc engine places it within the Vespa Primavera camp. Vespa charges that 155cc thumper at 12.5 horsepower and 9.1 pound-feet; SYM says its motor makes 11.8 hp and 9.2 lb-ft. 

As an alternative of being stamped from metal just like the Italian model, the SYM’s metal skeleton is roofed in “European-styled” plastic, all of which inserts good and cushty, and the Phantom Gray plastic on our unit is excessive class. The large spherical headlight and retro instrument pod keep it up the traditional theme, the taillight is an enormous LED unit, and the LED working lights are supposed to extend your visibility. The one stylistic fake pas can be the sore-thumb entrance blinkers and their bracket, necessitated by US regs requiring them to be a sure peak from the bottom. It doesn’t seem like it will be onerous to ditch them and fix the wires the place the designer supposed within the faired-in entrance: The bulbs are already there.

Really the instrument housing is sort of retro, however the  LCD instrument itself actually is extra ‘90s low-cost watch. At the very least the large speedo numbers are simple to learn, and there’s additionally a gasoline gauge, odometer, tripmeter and a clock. There’s a USB port proper down there on the left too.

Launch the Kraken

The 169 cc air-cooled Single is reluctant to start out from chilly, though SYM says its “good intelligence EFI Clever Injection System makes use of laptop packages to calculate the oxygen content material ratio within the air and management the gas emission to realize full combustion, full energy, fast start-up, gas effectivity, low air pollution and acceleration enhancement. Notably in respect of environmental safety, this method might help scale back air pollution as much as 30% and reduce gas consumption by 15% with none catalyzer system.”

I’m gonna guess with no catalyzer, she’s working fairly lean. You might want to crack the throttle a bit to get the engine working from chilly on 50-degree mornings, and it takes a little bit of cranking. As soon as warmed up, the little Single fires proper up and responds to the throttle nice. Sprightly even. However now that we’re used to every little thing having a catalytic converter, the odor of inside combustion hangs within the air. 

169cc of air-cooled OHC Single-cylinder fury

Not like the cautious prep a loaner Japanese scoot will get, the SYM solely acquired launched from its crate and ridden round a car parking zone earlier than being launched into our clutches. We’re informed there’s a easy idle adjustment screw on the facet of the throttle physique to make ranging from chilly simpler, however I’d have to take away the “seat bucket” to get to it, which seems fairly simple. However, because it seems, after a pair weeks of using round and getting 60 break-in miles on the little pricey, she begins simpler and runs higher/smoother: the odor of gas throughout warm-up is manner much less noticeable. I do know the pc in my automobile has to relearn issues at any time when the battery is disconnected; perhaps that ECU studying sophistication extends to scooters now?

Your ceramic-coated cylinder is by way of a “particular compound-electroplating course of to disperse Ni (nickel) particles and SiC (silicon carbide) particles on the cylinder wall collectively, which kinds a specific cylinder with the compound-electroplating layer (Ni/SiC), and brings the standard to excellence.” 

Sanyang Motor

SYM shouldn’t be some fly-by-night mother and pop store. In addition to producing scooters, small bikes, and ATVs, Wikipedia informs us that Sanyang Motor, SYM, additionally manufactures Hyundai vehicles and mini-trucks. It was Taiwan’s first motorbike producer when it started constructing bikes for Honda in 1961; later, it constructed small Honda vehicles. In 2002, the Honda relationship was changed by the Hyundai one, which has change into a fairly profitable vehicle producer.

Allow us to scoot

The step-through design means you don’t must be tall in any respect to clamber onto the properly padded 29.5-inch seat, and as soon as I’m up there, I can’t contact far more than each units of toes down directly on the finish of my 30-inch legs. Whereas there’s room and good aluminum flip-out footpegs for a passenger, there’s not as a lot room as on a Honda PCX150: That, or we’ve each placed on a couple of kilos within the final 12 months. In reality, we’re in all probability bumping proper up in opposition to the SYM’s 333-pound max capability. Wheelbase is 52.4 inches, which is definitely longer than the PCX’ 51.7 inches. Vespa’s Primavera 150, which the SYM most needs to be, has a 52.7-in. wheelbase atop its 12-in. Wheels.

One good factor is, in contrast to most Japanese scooters which have methods to maintain Individuals from hurting themselves, you possibly can let the Fiddle heat up on the sidestand – although it comes with an easy-to-use centerstand too. Away you go. The CVT, in fact, means you’re shiftless. Twelve-inch wheels at both finish present a wonderfully ample compromise between stability and fast dealing with, although fast dealing with acquired the higher a part of the deal. Altering course is as fast as interested by it, however every little thing hangs collectively anyway leaned over on damaged pavement with the gasoline pinned. SYM is pleased with its A.L.E.H “Anti-Elevate Engine Hanger System,” which it says enhances stability, particularly whereas accelerating and braking.

Cruising floor streets within the 40 to 50-mph zone feels just like the candy spot. Tucking in a little bit behind the entrance cowl, I noticed 63 mph on the digital speedo earlier than I ran out of highway, just about tapped out; my iPhone GPS says it was truly 57, and disagrees wildly with the SYM speedo a lot of the time. (As she breaks in, I’ve seen 65 mph indicated a few occasions.)

Both manner, you don’t wanna Fiddle round on the freeway apart from very quick stretches. Benefit PCX150 once more, which we clocked at 69 mph. (In equity, we trusted the Honda’s speedo, which was in all probability a mistake, however is claimed to be fairly correct by different publications.) Off the road, although, the Fiddle’s fairly feisty/torquey.

Suspension is fundamental however completely okay, with a thin telescopic fork and twin coil-over shocks out again, preload adjustable. Seems like about three inches of journey at each ends, and the journey’s about what you’d anticipate with 12-inch tires and the engine performing as swingarm. Really, it’s higher than it oughta be, and it’s so nimble you type of journey a scooter like a hardtail – use your abilities, search for the sleek line. 

The “mixed braking system” is surprisingly good: the left lever applies the 226mm entrance disc and the 220mm rear, whereas the correct lever works the entrance disc solely and its two-piston slide caliper. You solely want the entrance more often than not, however grabbing each levers slows the Fiddle surprisingly onerous. There isn’t a steenking ABS.

In different phrases, all methods are go on the Fiddle IV: engine, suspension, brakes all completely good, and no rattles, squeaks, bizarre vibes, clunks, or harshness. This seems like a first-world product.

Stow it

Clicking the ignition key simply to the left pops the seat open, underneath which there’s sufficient storage for a pair luggage of groceries or a backpack and a Completely satisfied Meal. Cautious the seat doesn’t flop again down onto your arms, since there’s no strut (Honda’s PCX has a strut to maintain you from by accident decapitating your gerbil, though the handbook says no pets in there). You rapidly study to flip the seat over heart, the place it stays. Until the fork turns left and bumps it down onto you. I can match my dimension L open-face Shoei in there, however not a full face: No worries, as there are two helmet hooks on the entrance of the seat, proper subsequent to its hinge.

A field of scrumptious Vella Merlot measures 9 x 11.5 x 3.75 inches. There’s a extremely useful hook that pops out from the entrance apron to hold a bag or two or your purse, and the wraparound seize bar offers loads of bungee web attachment factors for lugging larger objects round. There’s additionally a SHAD-designed color-matched high field accessible for $199.

Backside line

The explanation you purchase a Chinese language or Taiwanese product over a European or Japanese one is, let’s face it, you’re a chiseler. The official steered retail worth is $3,599, which compares very favorably to the $5,499 Vespa Primavera 150 the Fiddle IV is sincerely imitating. And in reality the Primavera doesn’t look a lot completely different than Vespa’s top-of-the-line GTS 300 HPE to the informal observer, which sells for $7,799.

Hold stuff from the hook, 1.6 gallons of gas lasts a very long time, and there’s your USB port.

On the SYM, you’ll be snubbed by the true scooterati, however nobody else will know, and saving that sort of cash perhaps you received’t care? If it’s that traditional Italian fashion you’re after, the Fiddle IV’s a wonderfully good scooter that seems like it can maintain up simply nice – and comes with a two-year guarantee. 

My private drawback is that I don’t actually need Vespa styling, I simply want one of the best scooter. And on this dimension/worth vary, the Honda PCX150 that popped up a pair occasions on this assessment can be onerous to move over: The PCX is simply $300 greater than the SYM, at $3,899. I’m down with the Honda’s extra fashionable sporty seems to be, and I’m much more down with its 10-mph high pace benefit, and its 14- and 13-inch wheels, which give it a greater journey and composure. 

However, in the event you just like the lower of the SYM’s jib and received’t be needing greater than 60 mph, within the couple of weeks I’ve been having fun with it, I haven’t but uncovered any causes in any respect why you wouldn’t settle into an attractive long-term relationship. I’m solely not delaying giving it again as a result of SYM stated they’d perhaps change it with their new Jet 14 200i, which is a little more PCXey. Christmas got here a bit early this 12 months for little Johnny.


We’re dedicated to discovering, researching, and recommending one of the best merchandise. We earn commissions from purchases you make utilizing the retail hyperlinks in our product critiques. Study extra about how this works.

Turn into a Motorbike.com insider. Get the most recent motorbike information first by subscribing to our publication right here.