SYM Citycom 300i Review
BY: Buddha, PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Buddha
So you’re looking for a scooter that will get you from A to B via C and runs well on all roads, including motorways? You could do a lot worse that go past the latest mid-range offering from Taiwanese company SYM
We all know the saying "you should never judge a book by its cover", but sometimes you have to blow the cobwebs off the cover and read a few pages before you can get your teeth into what turns out to be a good read. The same thing can apply to scooters, so it's worth taking a closer look at them instead of just dismissing them without even taking a test ride. This new Sym Citycom 300i may not be the sort of scooter that will jump up and bite you when you walk into your local bike shop, but hop on the thing and take it for a test ride. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
So the SYM Citycom 300i is a bit of all right then? Oh yeah. Unlike some two-wheelers I have had the pleasure of riding, this scooter didn't need to grow on me. Once I'd picked up the keys from Dione at Triumph (the SYM distributors in NZ), I rode it out the driveway, hooked a left, wound the go-stick and went 'hmmm, this is ok…in fact, bloody nice!'.
Now this SYM is a fairly long beastie and isn't a featherweight, weighing in at 184kg, but once you get moving, the Citycom sheds weight faster than Kirsty Alley at Fat Camp. On the road the Citycom is superb. The engine makes a healthy 20hp and 23.5Nm of torque that propels the scooter along at a surprisingly rapid pace.
Now large-wheeled scooters might not appeal to a lot of the scooter crowd out there. Sixteen-inch wheels may look the part on a motorcycle but they do tend to look a bit out of proportion on most scooters, which can put off the fashionistas. If you can manage to see past the large wheels though, you'll benefit from the sturdier feel and superior handling that bigger rubber brings to your riding experience. It's a fact that most small-wheeled scooters are a little bit twitchy and even the smallest bumps and pot holes can upset the handling, which to an inexperienced rider can be quite unsettling. Not so on this scooter. Thanks to those large wheels and a well set-up suspension, road imperfections passed by smoothly and effortlessly.
How easy is it to use on that daily commute, I hear you ask? Well, the Citycom is about as good as it gets for a full-size scooter. There's a large under-seat storage area that will actually fit a full-face helmet, wet weather gear and a six-pack of Speights, provided you pour said six-pack into an empty wine bladder. The only issue is the full-face helmet needs to be for smaller heads. If you've got a monster melon, then your helmet won't fit. And fair enough too. If your head resembles a small moon, take the bus.
Up front there's a lockable glove box and a nice set of gauges.
Given the bike's size and weight, I figured fuel economy would be
slightly lacking, but the Citycom surprised me with a healthy 40km
per litre when kept at city speeds.
Now, I did find a few grumbles with this SYM. The screen for one. Unless you're four foot tall, the airflow smacks you squarely in the noggin. Not too much of an issue round town but rather annoying on the motorway. The other thing? The seat is a little on the tall side for shorter riders and, with the weight factor, can make low speed maneuvering slightly tricky.
I briefly mentioned the looks of the scooter before and whilst it won't be to everybody's taste, it's not meant to be an award winning design inspiration.
Nonetheless, SYM have done a lovely job with the Citycom 300i. It is one of the best value for money full-size scooters on the market. The scooter is functional and competent in all situations, and while it may not be loaded with electronic gizmos or trick parts, if you want a scooter that will burble along at 100kph all day long or just something that will get you to work and back and manage occasional weekends away, the Citycom 300i is definitely worth a closer look. The scooter comes with an on-the-road price of $5795, which makes it extremely competitive. Try before you buy and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Engine: 262.8cc 4-valve
Max Power: 15.4kW @ 7000rpm
Max Torque: 23.5Nm @ 5500rpm
Fuel Supply: Fuel injection
Length/ Width: 2210mm/785mm
Seat Height: 800mm
Dry Weight: 184kg
Fuel Tank: 10 litres
Brakes Front & Rear: 260mm Disc
Front Suspension: Telescopic forks
Rear Suspension: Adjustable twin shocks
Front Tyre: 110x70x16
Rear Tyre: 130x70 x16
Transmission: Auto Twist & Go
Fuel Consumption: @ 50kph, approx 35k-40km per litre
Max Speed: 128kph