The SYM Classic lives up to its name with a vintage Japanese 1960s design style. The riding experience is all 21st century however. Lighter and smaller, and far less expensive than most entry level standard sized motorcycles, this 150 cc standard motorcycle was added the SYM lineup in 2010. With its take on the new bike, this will be a perfect bike for an entry level rider or a fan of the retro motorcycle genre.
This bike is an all new retooling of the popular-in-Asian markets, 2009 SYM Classic scooter. 2010 brought a complete design change from scooter to standard motorcycle, with promises of taking SYM into the American market with its vintage look and modern engineering, with SYM’s innovative designed ceramic cylinders.
Two-tone paint options are available in green and white, or red and white with the side covers and fuel tanks the only painted type parts. The front and rear fenders are all retro, built with stainless steel, not painted plastic, like the rest of the body parts. These sit on a 75 inch steel frame with a seat height of just 29.3 inches; a perfect height for an entry level teen male, or female rider of any age, and light enough also, weighing in at only 266 pounds, and carrying up to 502 pounds, with an overall height of 41 inches.
The rubber cushioned steel foot pegs for passenger and driver, are both are mounted in comfortable riding positions. There is lots of chrome to dress up the looks, with the single exhaust, handlebars, mirrors, rear passenger grab bar, horn cover, all coming off the assembly line chromed.
The seat is a one piece, two passenger vinyl style, although the performance drops with a passenger. The seat and handlebar are adjusted for an average type driver and they’re both fairly comfortable. This bike has no bells and whistles – don’t look for saddlebags or fancy handlebars options – what you see is what’s available.
The one cylinder 4 stroke, 9.1 cubic inch (149 cc) two overhead valve, air cooled engine is plenty peppy enough, producing 12.7 HP at 7,000 revs. Maximum torque: 9.04 ft./lb. at 9,000 revs to support the combined passenger/payload weight with a 12.5 horsepower, single carbureted engine. The starter is a push-button electric and kick type, which can be convenient with a low battery. With a five speed standard, chain drive, transmission (one down, four up, toe only) it’s perfect for small town jaunts but achieves freeway speeds (just) at a top speed of 65, without a passenger.
Fuel capacity is 2.45 gallons reaching up to 118 combined miles per gallon – not bad considering the price of fuel. The suspension is comfortable at lower speeds, sporting a telescoping front fork type and rear twin swing arms, with rather unattractive bright yellow shocks (the only feature that mars this great looking bike). There is a higher speed (45 and higher) vibration that could use some improvement, however it’s negligible.
The stopping power is perfect, with a four piston front caliper, combined with an 11 inch rotor. The rear is a five inch drum type brake, sitting next to a 17 inch tire on a chrome, spoked, steel wheel; the front wheel is a matching 18 inch. The instrumentation is minimalist with an easily readable chrome-framed tachometer and speedometer. The fuel “gauge” is an old style low-fuel warning light and a trip reset. The electronics follow suit with the instruments; the ignition is a simple 2 position switch, and the turn lights are housed in black and operated with a single rocker switch (right, left, center) that takes a bit of getting used to.
This motorcycle is well-suited to the city or even light duty off-highway, with smooth shifting and braking. It handles itself well in the twisties with 7.7 foot pounds of torque to help out. All in all, a fun ride with a great vintage styling.