It’s probably not since the 1980s Yamaha Passola, ridden by the hottest girl in school, that we thought of budget scooters as cool. Until now.
Is it just another scooter?
A scooter is a scooter is a scooter right? Well, for the most part, yes. The scooter market is immense and most scooters are just Chinese copies of one another. It would seem that the Sym Crox is not much different from other scooters from the Far East. But Taiwanese company SYM has been around from the 1950s and built up a reputation for quality over decades. On top of that the Sym Crox does have intelligent characteristics that make it stand out from the rest. By the way, its name is pronounced “cross”, not “crocs” or “sea rocks”.
Does it look good?
Are you blind?! Based solely on its looks, the Crox is an attractive option. Most scooters follow a similar design, or a complete lack of design. The Crox is a really handsome little scooter, with a purposeful, angry look to it. The best feature is the digital speedo with trip meter, fuel level and clock. It’s stylish and compact, yet displays all the info you need and looks futuristic and cool. It also means less clutter in front. The small (albeit useless) windscreen has no purpose but to make the Crox look good, and it works in that regard. The seat also lifts up as usual, and storage underneath is adequate for an open-face helmet. Annoyingly it does not accommodate all types of helmets, as my helmet did not fit. It seemed that most types, except maybe open face helmets, would not fit in there.
How does it perform?
Well, like a normal scooter, with just a touch more. The suspension is noticeably harder and sportier than on the average scoot. This makes for a scooter that handles like a go-cart, as I discovered on a twisty road, going 115km/h downhill in the slipstream of a big SUV. The little Sym corners aggressively, with brakes that offer more stopping power than you need. If you don’t have a truck or SUV to “hide” behind, you will have to be content with an absolute maximum of an indicated 95km/h. Not bad for a 125cc. The only disappointment came when launching it from standstill. The automatic (CVT) gearing felt just a little too pedestrian.
What do I like about it?
With those hand guards and knobbly-looking tyres it looks like a dual-purpose scooter. It would definitely stack up in my top five best-looking scooters on sale. The sporty handling was a real surprise, as was the little front disk’s superb stopping power.
What did I dislike?
The tame acceleration from a standstill. I so badly wanted more go-get-em-tiger in that little scooter when pulling away from a traffic light. This scooter needs a 150cc power plant under it, but for the kid on his way to school, the 125cc engine will still satisfy.
I also found the compartment under the seat too small. The one large advantage of scooters like these is that you can store things, like your helmet, under the seat. My helmet, which isn’t particularly large, did not fit.
Lastly, I did find the fuel consumption worse than expected. A 125cc normally gets 35-40km/litre, yet I got only 25-30km/litre during my week with the Crox. It could be because I was having so much fun with it, though.
The Sym Crox is a fresh and attractive alternative to the normal scooter crowd. It looks good, has exceptional handling, and will stay in style much like the Yamaha BWS.
Specifications for SYM Crox:
Price R14 500 (Available in blue or white/red)
Engine Four-stroke 125cc single-cylinder, carburetor, air-cooled
Transmission CVT auto
Power 8.8 kW
Fuel capacity 5.2 litres
Fuel consumption 28km/l (city riding)
Tank range +- 140km
Servicing 300 km, 1 000 km, 3 000 km, 6 000 km and so on
Review by Stephan Lourens, August 2014
Photos Supplied by KMSA