The 2010 SYM SYMply 50, an entry-level scooter made by Taiwan-based SYM, has been a popular model ever since it was introduced to the U.S. market in 2006. The 2010 model was manufactured in one of SYM’s recently developed plants on the Chinese mainland, but that doesn’t mean it’s a Chinese scooter. The company has a long history of producing bikes—and cars, for that matter—for Honda, so its standards are high. According to the company, the SYM SYMply 50 is designed to meet the needs of budget-conscious students and urban commuters; it is sold in Europe, Canada, and Australia as the “Orbit.”
A step-through scooter with a steel frame, the 44-inch-tall SYMply 50 has a wheelbase of 52.2 inches and a width of 26 inches. It rides on 12-inch aluminum wheels, with 120/70-12 front tires and 130/70-12 rear. Weighing in at 240 pounds, the plastic-bodied scooter can carry more than double its weight—a total of 549 pounds (its payload is 308 pounds), though additional weight will, natUrally, affect both speed and mileage.
Safety features include an exhaust guard, front and rear fenders, and fork guards. High-visibility dual mirrors also contribute to the rider’s safety. The standard one-piece vinyl seat, for driver and passenger, sits 32 inches above the road, and the floorboard is long enough for both riders. A helmet hook and lockable underseat storage large enough for an open-faced helmet are standard, as is a rear rack. The scooter is available in blue or silver in the U.S. market.
Unlike some entry-level scooters, the SYM SYMply is not too small for taller riders—a five-foot, nine-inch man won’t come away with bruised knees—but neither is it too big for a petite woman to handle. Handlebars are at comfortable height, and the fairing, while minimal, protects the rider’s legs from road debris and wind.
Featuring SYM’s trademark “Engine of Life,” a ceramic-coated cylinder engine that comes with a lifetime warranty, the model is a carryover from previous years. Powered by a four-stroke, 3.16-horsepower, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine, the SYMply’s top speed is 30 mph, which makes for great gas mileage—expect about 140 miles from the 1.45 gallon tank. The belt-driven engine works with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and offers 2.14 pounds of torque. Ignition is an electric kick starter; front disc and rear drum brakes are standard. A telescopic fork provides front suspension, and the rear suspension is a twin-sided swing arm; the combination feels firm but not stiff and handles road bumps just fine.
The instrumentation is pretty basic, as you might expect from an entry-level machine: it comes with a speedometer, an odometer, a fuel gauge, high-beam indicator, and turn signal indicators. This is a no-frills vehicle for close-to-home jaunts, well-suited to city or campus use. It does feature one little nicety—an antitheft button hidden in the storage box. Its light weight and short turning radius makes it easy to park and to maneuver in tight spaces, but it is not intended for the open road, where speed is required.