SYM HD 200 EVO? Any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Dabears, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. blugg1

    blugg1 Been here awhile

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    I've been riding motorcycles all my life. Current ride is a 2012 DR650SE. As I'm 5'8" I've had to lower it (close friend is a DR enduro rider and knew exactly how to do it) and I also bought the factory gel seat (1" lower than stock seat). However, it's still a bit of a reach. As most of my riding is around town (Bisbee, AZ) with an occasional trip to nearby towns (no interstates), I am coming to the conclusion that a SYM 200 HD EVO might be just the ticket.

    I'm going to look at a red 2012 Tuesday. It's nearby and the price is firm at $2295, which seems reasonable considering the original price. It has just a few thousand miles on it. I like the idea of being able to just step into it and sit down. Maintenance seems like a no-brainer. And, out here in the high desert a liquid-cooled engine isn't a bad idea.
    #41
  2. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    You'll be surprised how a twist and go scooter, especially one with a great engine like the HD200, will get with the program off the line. I am a big fan of this scooter. Across town or across the state, it'll do the job unruffled.
    #42
  3. blugg1

    blugg1 Been here awhile

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    Rode the red one today. I was initially surprised by the quick (in comparison to a DR650) steering but soon figured it out and relaxed. Goes right on down the road at an easy 65mph and obviously would go faster, but this road is 55mph and the Arizona Highway Patrol uses Highway 92 apparently as a training area for newbies. Beautiful red paint and flawless fit and finish. I like the 16" wheels, much more pothole friendly than Vespa sized wheels. Also, my old Shoei R200 full face helmet fit under the seat! But I'd not put it there as I've never heard of anyone stealing a helmet down here. Rather use it for storage. I'm going to make him a cash offer tomorrow.
    #43
  4. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    #44
  5. blugg1

    blugg1 Been here awhile

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    I bought the red SYM HD 200 EVO yesterday morning from a man who had meticulously maintained it. Hereford is about 25 miles from Bisbee, where I live, and Highway 92 is a fine, smooth two-lane road and I found myself cruising along at 75mph several times without realizing it. Never felt as though I were pushing it.

    Unlike an earlier poster who didn't like the larger 16" wheels, I chose the SYM precisely for that reason. The larger wheels seem to add stability and they are not as affected by chuck holes. As far as aesthetics go, it's a very handsome machine.

    Birdmove, thanks. I joined the SYM forum. If you read there, I bought gitsum's HD 200.
    #45
  6. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    I saw something like this one in front of me on my way back from California to Texas on the Sports City last week. (without the car just the bike and rv)
    [​IMG]
    #46
  7. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Well that opinion changed. I definitely like the RV200 better, but the dealer 120 miles away wants $4199 OTD for one, and there is a local dealer 10 miles away that went back to being a SYM dealer (basically both dealers told me they were going to "give SYM a chance" and see what happened) Neither could promise future support. But the local dealer has a few brand new HD200s in stock, and is selling them for $3399 OTD. He was also interested in taking my '08 Vino 125 as a trade, while the high priced dealer doesn't take trades. He didn't offer much, but it got the OTD price down below $3000, and gives me room to park another scooter. They are closed for the next 2 days, so I have time to think it over, but $3000 is not enough to be really concerned about, and I have seriously been wanting a freeway legal scooter. The fact that it has a carb is another big plus to me, I can work on it. On the other hand is the possible parts availability issue.


    I saw a 1500 Goldwing hanging off the back of a motor home in Gila Bend, AZ. Must have taken a forklift to get it up there.
    #47
  8. blugg1

    blugg1 Been here awhile

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    I've heard that the RV200 is something like 50-60 pounds heavier than the HD200? If true, and if they have identical motors, wouldn't that make the RV slower and possibly affect gas mileage?

    I see that you live in Chandler. I live in Bisbee. You referred to a dealer 120 miles away. Must be in Tucson. Which dealer was it? Just curious as I don't want to be taken to the cleaners when I need service.
    #48
  9. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    The dealer in Tucson is called Scoot Over. They are nice, but are definitely a "fee" dealer. The price I got from them was for the RV200. I did not even ask about the HD200, since a dealer in Tempe, right next door, has the HD200, and for a very reasonable price. The dealer in Tempe is called Scooter Invasion. It's where I got my '09 Genuine Stella. According to the SYM site, there is only a $200 difference between the prices of the RV and the HD. Pretty sure the rest was in the dealers.

    But again, both dealers used to carry SYM, then quit when the Carter Bros fiasco happened, and have just now started carrying them again. They seem to be wary of SYM from past experience, but hopeful that SYM can get it together. But neither could guarantee future parts availability, and they were up front about that. That depends on Alliance, or whoever might take their place.

    I can get a Buddy 170 for the same price as the HD200, which is about the same actual displacement. IMO, the Buddy wins hands down in the looks department, and has good parts availability. But the SYM is physically bigger and fits me better, has liquid cooling, and a carb, all of which I consider good things if you are going to use it on trips, especially through the AZ desert in the summer.
    #49
  10. Midnullarbor

    Midnullarbor Been here awhile

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    I gather the latest Buddy-170 and Sym HD200(evo) have definite similarities in 170cc engine size, fuel injection, and lack of kickstart [Shame!! Each should have a kickstart plus a small lithium battery "back-up" for the ecu & efi. Admittedly that would add about $100 to the base cost ~ but that extra cost would be forgiven, even blessed, on the first occasion when you discover that the main battery is flat.].

    Apart from that, they are very different creatures : very much apples & oranges.

    The Sym HD200 is about 50 lb heavier, has 16" (versus 10") wheels, and about one-third more power [very noticeable out on country roads, and even more so when against a bit of headwind].
    As a minor point, the Sym fuel tank is about 1 L bigger (7.5 versus 6.5 L) ~ which is not much extra . . . but would give roughly 20% longer "useful tank range" for similar riding conditions.

    For city riders on slow or on very twisty roads, the Buddy-170 would be fine . . . and looks like a classic small scooter (very neat).
    For "Advrider" touring and general country roads [even dirt], the Sym HD200 romps it in. The "high" speed handling and 16" wheels are the clincher, and the other advantages are just icing on the cake.
    .
    #50
  11. blugg1

    blugg1 Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Jerry. I thought it might be Scoot Over. I've been there. Last year I test rode a People 150 but decided it didn't have enough beans for Bisbee's steep hills.

    Cosmetically it's a classy store, jammed full of scooters, very clean, and locals tell me the mechanic is a good one. I think it's owned by two women. When I was certain I was going to buy the HD 200 last week I called them and asked what the price was on a used 2012. Both Kelly and N.A.D.A. just list the MSRP ($3499), but the woman said that if they had it, it would be priced at $2950. When I told her I'd paid $2100 she exclaimed, "Oh my God, you stole it!" I can't comment on their pricing as when I visited I had no standard of comparison, but from what you said, about their prices it's probably because they haven't any competition in Tucson.

    However, there's a rule of thumb here in Cochise County. If a new car is priced at $20,000 in Sierra Vista, the same car will be $19,000 in Tucson and $18,000 in Phoenix. That generally holds more or less true.

    They also sell Royal Enfield motorcycles and had about half a dozen lined up against one wall.

    Midnullarbor, thanks for the comparison of the Buddy and the Sym. The Buddy's 10" wheels would be a deal-breaker for me.
    #51
  12. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    That is my only negative to the SYH HD200. No kick starter. My Kymco People 150n has one. I have criticized the motorcycle industry for removing kick starters on almost every motorcycle. The only exception I can think of right now is some Royal Enfield Bullets. And most people don't agree with me on the motorcycles. But on a motorcycle you have the possibility of a push start. You aren't going to do that on a twist and go scooter.
    I would suggest a yearly, or twice a year, removal and checking the battery in the SYM. It's an easy job. Remove it, check fluid level and add if needed, throw it on a trickle charger overnight, and reinstall.
    One other nit pick is what you have to do to add coolant. Easy to check through a little cutout window to see the level in the coolant recovery tank. But hard to get to the fill cap and radiator cap. This should be an easy job.
    #52
  13. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    I think all scooters and motorcycles should have both kickstarters and centerstands, though it is hard to imagine a kickstarter on a Goldwing or a GSXR. One of the big issues I have with motorcycles, is many still have tube type tires from the 1940s (some combined with ABS brakes!!!) and no centerstand, so you have no way to fix a flat tire. I gave the Suzuki TU250X a long hard look, but just decided it wasn't worth the risk. A flat tire out in the middle of the AZ desert in 115 degree temps, and out of cell phone range could be more than just inconvenient, it could be fatal. If it had a centerstand, even an optional one like the Honda Nighthawk 250, I would have bought it.
    #53
  14. Midnullarbor

    Midnullarbor Been here awhile

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    Good point, JerryH.
    The Suzuki TU250 has got (among other benefits) classic good looks, and presumably the designers went for old-fashioned spoked wheels for "the look" ~ though a tubeless spoked wheel would have cost little more.

    When you look at the safety & convenient-repair issues, it is crazy to choose tubed over tubeless.
    Thank goodness, modern scooter designers have mostly kept clear of the idiocy of old-fashioned "spokes".

    Passing over the slightly strange-looking BMW spoked wheels . . . it is the Yamaha 1200XTZ which shows how Suzuki should have gone with the TU250X.
    Stylists could well produce that sort of spoked-tubeless wheel in a reasonably cosmetic "retro" appearance.



    Admittedly for dirt bikes, tubed is still the way to go, to allow very low-pressure running in real off-road conditions. But even there, for most non-extreme usage, it would be grand to have a tubeless rear wheel.
    The front does pose a problem, with the wheels having very narrow rims [under 2.15"] which would make for difficulties of tubeless design . . . yet the biggest problem remains the lack of choice of off-road/ knobbly rubber, as the manufacturers haven't made "the big switch" to broader-rim tubeless styles.
    * Even now, for the Sym HD200, you have "a choice of one" if you want a decently dirt-capable front ~ the (50/50%) Shinko-244 3.00x16, tubed.
    For the rear, you are pretty much forced to stay with 100% road rubber.



    As you say, the craziest of all are the half-ton giant cruisers with spoked-tubed wheels.
    They look fine & retro . . . but what a pain in real-world usage.
    A triumph of styling over good engineering.
    (Rather comparable to ultra-low-profile wheels on cars.)
    .
    #54
  15. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    The early Gold Wings actually had a kick starter. But it was strapped under one of the fake gas tank covers. You had to insert it into an engine case where it would presumably engage the flywheel. I had heard that they didn't work real well, but at least they had one. Don't know about the later ones. I know this as my old friend had a 1975 "wing. There is no motorcycle made that I am less interested in than Honda's newer versions of the Gold Wing. That monster just isn't a motorcycle....it's a motor home. No thank you Honda.
    #55
  16. blugg1

    blugg1 Been here awhile

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    I bought a 2011(or maybe it was a 2010?) red TU250X simply because it had cool retro looks. Ran perfectly in all sorts of Arizona weather from very hot to very cold. However, it lacked power for 65-70 mph cruising (it was basically wide open at those speeds) and I finally traded it in on a 2012 DR650SE, a much more versatile machine. Downside is that it's too tall for a guy with a 30" inseam. I'll probably sell it one of these days now that I've got the HD200, which cruises 65-70 and isn't actually wide open.

    I didn't like the tube tires on the TU and fortunately never had a flat, thanks to the various Gods, as Cochise County is littered with cell phone dead spots.

    Put a small Seahorse hard case on the SYM's luggage rack today. Waterproof, lockable, and quite a bit cheaper than a Pelican.
    #56
  17. blugg1

    blugg1 Been here awhile

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    I have a 2012 HD200 EVO with 7K miles on the odometer. It's good looking and reliable. I swapped the OEM tires for Shinkos. Big improvement. Switched oil to 5W40 synthetic, changed plug to an iridium one. Great scoot, starts instantly regardless of ambient temperature: below freezing or 100f.

    Congratulations on your find.
    #57
  18. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Congrats, the Sym HD is a lovely scoot. I'm sure you will have lots of fun on it and will be an excellent commuter for you.
    #58
  19. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    We bought a new leftover 2008 in 2009 or so. We shipped it to Hawaii when we mover here in 2011. We have a 2009 Kymco People 150 also. Both are fine rides. The SYM is the powerhouse, the Kymco is smaller, lighter, and more nimble. Think we'll keep both forever. The SYM is fast approaching 15,000 miles. I just got a new belt, rollers, and plastic indexes, as it's still on the original belt. What a great scooter!
    #59
  20. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Congrats on the new acquisition!! :clap
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