The SYM Fiddle II, introduced in 2008, is a step-through scooter with retro styling that pays homage to vintage Italian scooters. Small, lightweight, and jaunty, it comes in two models, Fiddle II 50 and Fiddle II 125. Many features are the same, but of course the 125 is a peppier machine that can handle some highway use.
Both models are available in red, white, and green and the 125 also comes in black. Regardless of the paint color, the stepped one-piece vinyl seat (for driver and passenger) is white. Plastic bodywork sheathes a steel frame; Taiwan-based SYM, the manufacturer, is noted for the quality of the fit and finish of its scooters. Belt and exhaust guards, front and rear fenders, and upper fairing contribute to the rider’s safety and comfort. The dual mirrors are well placed for good rear visibility. For the rider who wants to add a little flash, a chrome front bumper is optional, as is a chrome rear rack.
The instrument panel has a speedometer, an odometer, and high beam and turn signal indicators. It also has one surprising little feature: an extra seat release switch. This lets a rider release the seat latch while the scooter is running, rather than having to turn the motor off to use the latch release that’s integrated into the ignition switch.
Underseat storage will hold a large helmet with a little room left over; a standard rear rack expands the luggage space, and a top box can be added. Total payload capacity is 330 pounds, so the machine can carry a rider and luggage or a passenger without too much trouble, though mileage will suffer accordingly.
With a seat height of 30 inches, a 74-inch length, and a curb weight of 240 pounds (for the 125; the 50 is just 218 pounds), the scooter is comfortable for a rider of average height. Taller riders might find the knee room a little tight. The floorboard is long enough for a driver and passenger.
Featuring an air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine, the Fiddle II 50 has a top speed of 30 mph, standard for a 50cc scooter, which means that the driver does not need a motorcycle license to operate it. The 125, with a top speed, per the manufacturer, of 72 mph (though some feel that SYM, and in fact most manufacturers, is perhaps a bit optimistic in assigning top speed ranges), does require a motorcycle license. It does not, however, require the driver to learn a heel-toe shift pattern, because the scooter uses a belt-driven continuously variable transmission—essentially, an automatic. A windshield is optional.
Front disc and rear drum brakes provide adequate stopping power. A telescopic fork in front and dual rear shocks smoothly handle road bumps at moderate speeds, and the 10-inch front and rear wheels generally feel stable. The gas tank for both models holds 1.3 gallons, and the manufacturer estimates fuel economy at 116 mpg for the 50cc model and 106 for the 125cc model.
Maneuverable, nimble, and adept at handling tight spaces, the SYM Fiddle II is a sporty little machine well suited to urban commuting.