Motorcycle USA Article
MotorcycleUSA.com Article
Gabe Ets-Hokin
Gabe Ets-Hokin
Contributing Editor
Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Gabe Ets-Hokin is a well-known motojournalist, but he knows scooters well, too: he's been a factory sales rep for Derbi scooters, re-built a Vespa motor in room 107 at the Elvis Presley Motor Lodge in Memphis, TN and has edited several scooter buyer's guides. He unapologetically loves da' scoots.

The Symba is Taiwanese company SYM's modern take on the classic Super Cub, although the technology hasn't moved along that much in 50 years. It uses a pressed-steel monocoque chassis with plastic bodywork. Suspension is a telescopic fork and adjustable dual shocks. Brakes are drum - 130mm in front, 110mm in back. Wheels are spoked 17-inchers with inner tubes and Duro bias-ply tires. Amenities include an LED-light fuel gauge, passenger seat pegs, and if you remove the passenger seat, you'll find a small parcel rack...but since the bike is only rated at 199 pounds of carrying capacity, you should just leave the passenger seat for when you find a 40-pound passenger. The Symba weighs in at a claimed 209 pounds with its one-gallon tank topped off.

The powerplant is a 101.4cc air-cooled Single with overhead valves, fueled by a good ol' fashioned carburetor, good for a claimed 6.5 hp at 8500 rpm. The four-speed gearbox works with an automatic centrifugal clutch to transmit power to an enclosed chain drive.

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So much fun.

I was able to quickly build my confidence with the Symba. It’s like a pet — terribly good company — like a friendly labrador that is just excited to be out and about. It’s forgiving and unassuming handling simply makes you want to keep riding it. I told Ryan I’d be back in 15 minutes. Now I wanted to take an hour. I wanted an afternoon. Damn it all, I wanted a Symba.

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The Symba is a beautiful, well-made bike, but nothing (aside from maybe a vintage Honda Cub) will prepare you for clutchless foot-shift 4-speed....

...suffice to say that the Symba felt like (with apologies to Smog) a wild horse on a collision course with the sun, and we dug that feeling.

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