It seems that many manufacturers are struggle for design ideas when it comes to their small capacity commuters, he bikes look dated with old technology abounding.
Well, SYM did not get the memo. Their latest offering is a thoroughly modern bike that actually looks good too. It is called the SYM Wolf SB250Ni. It adds flavour to a category of bike that is forever destined to carry a big box on the back with some business name stenciled on it. Looking at the Wolf’s lines it would be a sin to stick a delivery box on this bike. As for colours, you can choose between matt blue or matt red. It is an unusual paint scheme but it just shows that SYM took a sledgehammer to the mould.
From our first acquaintance, the build quality was evident. I have ridden a SYM before and that is where I realised that this is no cheap import. The switchgear falls easily to hand and it feels solid. The front brake lever feels substantial and even allows for four-way adjustment. At the other end of the lever is a radial mounted caliper providing stopping power. There is even a rear disc.
The engine delivers a modest 24hp, but feels surprisingly smooth, I suspect there are some balancing shafts working overtime in the 249cc mill, which in turn is mated with a 6-speed gearbox. The most important test for me was whether the Wolf could maintain highway speeds.
The acceleration is not the stuff of legends, and you need to grab a hefty dose of throttle to get the bike to scoot along, however 120km/h came up eventually, and the bike still felt unstrained.
Next up was lane splitting. The handlebars are narrow and the side mirrors wide, which made lane splitting a breeze, and you could keep an eye out for faster bikes. So far so good. Direction changes can be affected with the minimum of fuss, the bike sure feels nimble.
The instrumentation consists of a large tachometer and an LCD display for speed, gear position, fuel level and speed. The seating position is slightly sporty as the pegs are set back, but the handlebars are quite upright. My legs did feel slightly cramped, but it added to the sporty look and feel of the bike, something that is rounded off with a neat little belly pan. At R58 995 you get plenty bike. 2017 will see the introduction of a number of small capacity bikes, so SYM has fired the first salvo. It is a very capable little machine and I really enjoyed riding it. SYM is imported, distributed and supported by Kawasaki South Africa.– Brian Cheyne