Symba

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by uraldog, May 24, 2009.

  1. 73Mustang

    73Mustang Been here awhile

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    The downfall for the Symba is the manual pedal clutch/shifter.
    The local SYM dealer warned me that the mechanism is clunky, and he refused to order one for me. (Dealer refusing money. :scratch)
    I ended up buying a second-hand one from Craigslist.

    The first few weeks, the manual pedal clutch/shifter was a novelty and fun.
    I up and down shift using my toes..
    After a few weeks, the shifting became a hassle. The novelty was gone.
    I started getting frustrated because I was missing a lot of shifts and it gets real jerky when I screw up. I think the mechanism is really designed for 50cc, but they pair it with a 100cc motor. It takes effort and concentration to do a smooth shift.

    The upside of the Symba is the awesome stock luggage area. I mean it's awesomely robust. Very strong.
    The rack is mounted to very strong stamped metal.
    I think you can put a passenger and an additional 200 pounds of luggage with no problem.

    The Grom, on the other hand, has a weak-looking cantilever-style subframe, like dirtbikes. It can't carry any kind of serious load. That's why Grom is a bad Round-the-world bike. One would need to do some serious welding to make a Grom world-ready.

    It would be super awesome to put a Grom motor into the Symba and add long travel suspension; that would be the bike.
  2. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Skeletor sparklemuffin.

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    Honda has been using it on their step-throughs since 1959, it's a proven clutch system that outnumbers manual clutched bikes around the world.

    It's been used on bikes from 50cc's to 125cc's without any trouble for years and years. It's also the same clutch used on Honda Trail 90's for like forever. I had a PowRoll 125cc stroker engine in my 71 CT90 and put over 15,000 miles on that bike. Without any trouble...

    It sounds like operator error or your claw clutch part needs adjustment to me. They all work well when in adjustment and not abused, but you have to be deliberate and firm when shifting, as you are momentarily disengaging the clutch when you shift, you cannot speed shift these bikes. I've owned over a dozen step-through Hondas since 1977, there's nothing mysterious or finicky about their transmissions.
  3. 73Mustang

    73Mustang Been here awhile

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    Yes, that's what I mean too. If I'm deliberate, everything is okay. There's no being lazy about it. You have to step on it with some pressure, and you have to time throttle input. It takes a great deal of skill to shift smoothly. Most people nowadays don't want to learn the skill. I realize I just want to ride and enjoy the fresh air...not have to put my attention to shifting. The less I have to deal with, the better.
  4. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    The symba gear change is not the same as the cub gear change so don't talk about them as they are. The honda is much smoother then the sym. To get the smoothes shift out of the symba let off the gas for a bit first then give a firm quick shift.
  5. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Skeletor sparklemuffin.

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    SYM's Symba bikes are Honda clones. How can they be any different, they were licensed copies?

    They all use the same ball bearing and ramp clutch release, unless the Symba's are coming with their clutch ramps way out of adjustment, this just doesn't make sense, especially since the SYM CVT bikes I serviced were pretty nicely finished and running bikes.
  6. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    parts are not interchangeable, similar but not the same, yamaha has a version of an auto clutch too that came out about 8years ago.....more then one way to skin a cat
  7. wanna bECO

    wanna bECO Long timer

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    I don't have a pic or time to get one right now.. my 1982 honda passport has a SYM stamp on the motor. I have had several of these bikes and this is the only one that has the SYM stamp. It is a real runner. And I am sure it is made it Taiwan. The passports all have their idiosyncrasies but they are easy to shift.. yes a mis shift will jerk you like crazy. You can get used to it, but if you would rather dump that crappy sym, send it on to phoenix to me! :rofl

    I must say though that DBC has really ridden every small bike and knows his stuff. I would follow his advice since he rode a symba just about as far as anyone can stand to
  8. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    Shift like this is old school , kind of like double clutching an old auto trains or semi truck. Take a little bit to learn but once you do it's become second nature .
  9. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    I remember the clunky shifting on my '81 Passport, decades ago. I have found that being slow and deliberate on a Japanese bike with a clutch always results in a missed shift or a loud clunk. I prelead the shifter, then pull in the clutch, blip the throttle, and shift all at the same time. It almost always snicks silently into gear. Even my Enfield, with a 60+ year old transmission design shifts very well that way. Unlike a car, which has Synchronizers, on a bike you have to manually synchronize the road speed and engine speed. Old trucks had to be double clutched. Newer trucks (Peterbilts anyway) can be shifted without the clutch if they are not under much of a load, just by rev matching, once you get a feel for it. I never got a feel for that Passport.
  10. ErikDK

    ErikDK Been here awhile

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    You can't preload the shifter on the these bikes
  11. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    Had a Symba at the same time I had (still have) my Passport. Symba shifts lighter, easier, crisper...just lightly tap it up or down. The Passport is fine too, just a bit heavier. I think they were all made with the heel - toe shift in mind because so much of the world rides these in sandals-or flip flops.
  12. Beltho

    Beltho Adventurer

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    I've always found the shifting on my Symba to be pretty smooth (and when it's not it's user error :D). But maybe it's what you're used to. The only other scooters I've ridden have been CVTs. As nice as my wife's Kymco People is, when I ride it I find that I miss the shifting. For me it just makes the ride a little more fun (with the exception of when I'm in stop and go traffic, but when is that ever fun?).
  13. vintagegarage

    vintagegarage Been here awhile

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    The Honda Supercub 110 rear rack that I ordered on eBay from Thailand two months ago, arrived here yesterday. Just like I was able to easily fit a Honda C70 Passport front rack on my Symba, it looked to me like a Honda Supercub 110 rear rack would also fit a Symba. It shipped promptly from Thailand, but sat about 45 days at the "ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS)". In any event, it fits well, and allowed me to move my Prima top box off the Symba standard rear rack, and put the factory jumpseat back on the standard rear rack.

    I used my press to gently narrow the rack just a bit:
    [​IMG]

    And then test fitted it to the Symba and marked where I needed to drill new mounting holes in the Supercub 110 rack:
    [​IMG]

    I drilled a couple of new mounting holes in the Supercub brackets:
    [​IMG]

    I put thin rubber pads between the chassis, the new rack and the original rack and screwed everything in place:
    [​IMG]

    Lastly, I installed the factory jumpseat on the original rack, and my Prima top box on the new rack.
    [​IMG]

    This is how it looks from the rear:
    [​IMG]

    The ironic thing is that as soon as I finished installing the new rear rack, an NOS Symba bench seat came up for sale on eBay. I bought it, and then bought another Passport C70 front rack, and another Supercub 110 rear chrome rack, so now I am need of a second Symba to put it all on. LOL I'd appreciated any leads for a Symba for sale in Florida, blue or black preferred.. much appreciated. I'll post this on symforum.com as well..
    HelloPitty, scootaloo and pnw like this.
  14. minimac

    minimac Long timer

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    Nice installation and looks great!
  15. wanna bECO

    wanna bECO Long timer

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    Hope I don't get slapped for saying this.... Nice Rack!
  16. =retread=

    =retread= more MPG

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    :bash :fight :fishie
  17. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    The new SuperCub is much smoother then the Symba in shifting especially under hard acceleration up or down shift.
  18. vintagegarage

    vintagegarage Been here awhile

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    DaBinChe .. I almost can't hear the Supercub 125s shift, but get a loud clunk on every up or down shift with the Symba. I assume the clunk is normal on the Symba, but I don't know.. is that the way you would describe it?
  19. vintagegarage

    vintagegarage Been here awhile

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    Lots of activity on this topic a few years ago when Symba's were new. I think now that I might be the only inmate who is new to Symba's. Have one, now looking for another.. I'd also like to buy a chrome rear rack that looks like this, used ok, and I'd expect some rust showing by now:
    external-content.duckduckgo.com.jpg

    Also, will pay $50 for the correct bench seat rear anchor bar, used ok, see red arrows in this photo:
    SymbaBenchSeatAnchorBar.jpg

    Also looking to buy a Symba in Florida with a Florida title, running or non-running.. what have you?
  20. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Honda when it first went into the Taiwan market they teamed up with SYM. After some time the two parted ways. By then SYM was large enough and have enough know how to produce their own bikes. They haven't been in partnership for over 30years. Back in the 70's Taiwan was still a very restrictive place, they were concern about China subversion and still are. People there back then were not yet allowed to vote.

    Another example of Honda partnering up is in India with Hero. Same story there and just this past decade that the partnership parted ways. Because of what they learned from Honda, Hero is now able to produce their own bikes, just like SYM.

    I believe these partnerships was how Honda got into these markets. Lots of countries in the past, and some still are, more restrictive with foreign businesses unlike the USA where anyone can start a business on their own. With these restrictions a foreign company had to partner up with a domestic company to be allowed to do business in that country. As time went on laws changed and markets become more open and what was once required partnerships are no longer needed.

    The old Passports/SuperCubs aren't the same as the current SuperCubs. Thinking so is like saying a 1985 civic is the same as a 2020 civic, only same in name and that both are cars made by the same company is the only common thing. Honda's semi-auto has come a long way in 40years, much more refine and improved now. Honda has been doing semi-auto continuously for a long time, it is in their kids dirt bikes and works fantastic in those, especially the later models the last 20 or so years. Going from Z to XR to CRF designations for their kids dirt bikes since the old Passports nameplate with each newer model came improvements. I have ridden and owned many many Honda 50/70/110cc dirt bikes with auto clutches and as time went by they got better and better. The Symba is clunky in shifting, an obvious clunk, if you off throttle for a moment before shifting to let the revs drop then the clunk can be reduce. I just think SYM hasn't done as much improvement/refinement with their version of auto clutch partly because of what they have to offer. They simply don't have the sales numbers to do as much as Honda in the R&D for the auto clutch. The Symba is a very sturdy bike, one of the things that was very noticeable was how heavy it is. It has been ten years since I had a Symba but my SuperCub125 doesn't feel nearly as heavy.

    One thing you will feel/see on the old SuperCubs was how small and light they were. The construction was bascially all stamp sheet metal welded together. They didn't feel as solid and stable compared to todays SuperCub or Symba.
    KansasKawboy likes this.