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Old 04-07-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
Dabears OP
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SYM HD 200 EVO? Any thoughts?

Went to our local Vespa, Genuine, SYM dealer today to look at options for something to carry behind our RV. SYM wasn't on my radar, but after sitting on a variety of scooters and comparing specs the HD200 seems to bubble up to the top.

It's water cooled, has front and rear disk brakes, and while it has a carb instead of FI, the top speed seems to rival some larger scooters. Price was near $1000 less than a comparable 150cc Vespa. It's under 300 lbs, and is supposed to carry two up reasonably well.

I did not test ride it, as I wanted to do some research first. My wife actually liked the matte gray color, which to me made the not too exciting appearance tolerable.

I am familiar with the whole previous Carter brothers debacle. It sounds like Alliance is working hard on repairing the damage to the US image.

I'd like to hear from any of you who have experience with SYM, and especially the HD 200. This is NOT my dream scooter, I'm trying to find a solution that will allow me to avoid towing a car. If it turns out that this is a comfortable, reliable scooter that can keep up with traffic I could use it for work as well. How bout it scooter junkies? Any words of wisdom?
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
wanna bECO
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have you read this review?
http://www.justgottascoot.com/symhd200.htm
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wanna bECO View Post
Actually I read that one some time ago and completely forgot about it- thanks for the link! I guess the only difference is the new ones have the rear disk rather than drum....It was a good review- just the kind of info I'm looking for.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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I worked for a SYM dealer briefly and although I did not ride the bike I did gather some opinion of the bike and SYM.

The bike feels like a quality build. Suspension and braking action feels good just from pushing the bike around. Seating position seems good for bigger riders and has good floorboard space that is flat.

Maintenance is a bit on the high side in my opinion. I think it was every 1,000 miles you were changing the oil or adjusting the valves. Also, the parts prices for genuine SYM replacement parts is very high. An accident could equal a total loss through insurance very quickly. Maintenance parts, still costly. Parts that are not available can often leave you down for weeks waiting for them to arrive.

The knowledge gained above is what steered me away and looking into other options.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
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I wanted to buy a Sym HD200 a year and a half ago, or so. I road two and was favorably impressed. Couldn't buy one however because of the distribution debacle. I still have little confidence in parts availability, and of course the aftermarket is pretty well non-existent.

I don't think Sym is ready for prime time, in the US anyway.

I wound up getting a Vespa GTS 300 last summer and I couldn't be happier. A very refined, powerful, good handling, low maintenance scooter with great dealer support, parts availability, and the best aftermarket (by far) of any scooter.

I wouldn't bother with a small frame Vespa (150cc) based on what your intended use is. The large frame (200-300cc) Vespas are the way to go I think. If the cost of new is outside your budget there are usually low mileage 250s from time to time. The 200s are carbureted BTW.

My 300 gets 70mpg and has great power and brakes and for two up duty is far superior to smaller scoots.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #6
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I had a good long test ride on a HD200 (the rear drum brake version) and thought it was a very good scooter, but had an oportunity to buy my Scarabeo instead, but if not I would have bought the Sym. Nice quality scoot.

However, for your intended use, I would strongly consider the Vespa GTS 300 as it has real nice tie down points. Strapping a scooter down securely is very difficult, but with the Vespa tie down points on the frame it looks easy-peasy.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
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if you're really traveling, thien I would suggest an FI model
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'82 Honda passport
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And an E Bike
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaBETAdog View Post
I had a good long test ride on a HD200 (the rear drum brake version) and thought it was a very good scooter, but had an oportunity to buy my Scarabeo instead, but if not I would have bought the Sym. Nice quality scoot.

However, for your intended use, I would strongly consider the Vespa GTS 300 as it has real nice tie down points. Strapping a scooter down securely is very difficult, but with the Vespa tie down points on the frame it looks easy-peasy.
"Canyon Dancer " handlebar Tie Down Strap works GREAT on a scooter..
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by oldwingratbike View Post
"Canyon Dancer " handlebar Tie Down Strap works GREAT on a scooter..
Thanks for the tip on the Canyon Dancer Bar Harnesses! I looked at their website and looks like just the ticket when tying down my scooters.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by alphaBETAdog View Post
Thanks for the tip on the Canyon Dancer Bar Harnesses! I looked at their website and looks like just the ticket when tying down my scooters.
Just be aware you cannot use them on a shifty type scooter (like my old Vespa) without risking destroying the controls and steering head.

They're great if you have a 1 piece handlebar assembly that extends from one handgrip to the other. Avoid them if you have split handlebars (I'm talking scooters here, not cafe bars on motorcycles).
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:52 PM   #11
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I don't know about your distribution situation but the scooter is rock solid. I've had mine from new for just under three years now and with over 18,000kms on the clock I couldn't fault it. Not as much as a broken light bulb and it might not have EFI but I don't care because it still starts the first time, every time. I admit it is not the most exciting looking scooter on the market, but its beauty is more than skin-deep. The only thing I don't like is its small(ish) storage space.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ferrix View Post
I don't know about your distribution situation but the scooter is rock solid. I've had mine from new for just under three years now and with over 18,000kms on the clock I couldn't fault it. Not as much as a broken light bulb and it might not have EFI but I don't care because it still starts the first time, every time. I admit it is not the most exciting looking scooter on the market, but its beauty is more than skin-deep. The only thing I don't like is its small(ish) storage space.
Ferrix-

Excellent info- thanks- Nice to hear reports of someone who has put lots of distance on one and no issues.

Question for you- do you do your own servicing? How frequent and hard are the valves to access and adjust?
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #13
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Ferrix-
Question for you- do you do your own servicing? How frequent and hard are the valves to access and adjust?
Sorry I can't answer that one as I let my mechanic to worry about all that detail :) Service intervals are a bit frequent at every 3,000km, in common with other SYM scooters... although I think I read somewhere SYM recently extended them across their whole range. It seems to me recommended service interval is really an almost completely arbitrary number and if you were doing your own work you could probably get away with less frequent services.
Then again if you don't ride much this might not be a major issue for you.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ferrix View Post
Service intervals are a bit frequent at every 3,000km, in common with other SYM scooters... although I think I read somewhere SYM recently extended them across their whole range. It seems to me recommended service interval is really an almost completely arbitrary number and if you were doing your own work you could probably get away with less frequent services.

Then again if you don't ride much this might not be a major issue for you.
Them Service Intervals is usually just valves and oil changes I'd bet. Using a good quality synthetic oil, you can usually go even further than the recommended. Valves? Well I ain't touched em on my Elite 150 in 8K and they recommened a lot more frequent. No problems I's gonna check em now though.

But as ferrix meantioned if you says youse only fixin to ride 2,500 miles a year, sounds like 1 service a year is all!
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:18 AM   #15
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Them Service Intervals is usually just valves and oil changes I'd bet. Using a good quality synthetic oil, you can usually go even further than the recommended. Valves? Well I ain't touched em on my Elite 150 in 8K and they recommened a lot more frequent. No problems I's gonna check em now though.

But as ferrix meantioned if you says youse only fixin to ride 2,500 miles a year, sounds like 1 service a year is all!
this is pretty right on, i think. the service intervals for some of these scoots are for "severe duty" and otherwise. more frequent then necessary. especially if not mecnanically inclined in the least

valves every 2500 miles? well it sure will save a DIY'er a good chunk of change to at least be able to check them if not confident enough to adjust them. but even so, most likely they are ok

guys on the Kymco board with over 15,000 miles on their scoots without ever touching the valves

i am against over servicing a scoot :)
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