Review: SYM Fiddle II

What is it?

The Fiddle is made by San Yang Motors in Taiwan and they have been around since 1961. It’s a retro-style scooter that copies the design of the Vespa LX series. KMSA, who imports Kawasaki bikes, also imports SYM scooters. My wife bought one and this is what we think of it.

Engine

A single-cylinder 124.6cc (to be precise) air-cooled motor powers the Fiddle with 6.25kW.

Style, instruments and equipment

The Fiddle comes with almost everything you need on a scooter as standard.

The storage space underneath the seat is very useful and I’m surprised by how much food my wife can fit in there when she goes shopping. A large full-face helmet also fits with ease. The instrument panel is basic with a speedo and a fuel gauge. A top-box can be fitted on the rear as an extra. I love the windshield, which looks good and does a good job.

The fuel gauge was broken from day one. The dealer said they will fix this minor problem on the first service at 300km. I took the bike in and after four hours they found and fixed the problem. Two days later it broke again.

Performance

The 125cc motor really impressed me. My wife and I went from Cape Town city centre to Noordhoek for breakfast via Chapman’s Peak and the Fiddle loved it! Cruising at 80km/h comfortably, we had 30km/l consumption for the day.  On the highway a top speed of 100km/h is possible with no passenger. Top speed two-up is 85km/h.

Acceleration from 0-40km/h takes about five seconds; perfect for city riding. Running small errands in town has never been this quick, cheap and easy.

Ride and handling

The Fiddle has a very smooth acceleration and the 10-inch tyres feel stable at high speed.

I have a problem with the brakes though. Firstly, the front disk brake feels as if the disk has a rough spot, so when approaching a robot at slow speed and breaking slightly the brake feels like it’s biting and releasing the whole time. At the rear a drum brake does the stopping.

Cornering feels good but scraping the centre stand when riding with a pillion on the back is too easy for my liking.

Likes/Dislikes:

Like: The price, fuel consumption and its looks.

Dislikes: Bad technical support, brakes could be better.

Verdict and rating:

Compared to the Chinese scooters this Taiwanese scooter stands out in full colours.  7/10

Also consider:

The SYM Fiddle II 150 or the real deal: a Vespa LX-150.

Specifications for the SYM Fiddle II

  • Engine  Four-stroke, 125cc single-cylinder, air-cooled
  • Gearbox  CVT automatic
  • Power  6.25kW @ 8000r/min
  • Torque  8.33Nm @ 6500r/min
  • Weight  108kg
  • Seat height  800mm
  • Fuel capacity  5 litres
  • Fuel consumption  28km/l (city riding)
  • Tank range  +- 140km
  • Warranty and servicing  Two-year guarantee and two-year AA roadside assistance.
  • Price  R12 500
  • Ridden by Bikeroutes  March 2013
  • Review by  Desmond Louw

 

 

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