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Old 05-09-2015, 07:21 AM   #1
redhandmoto OP
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Hmm...new (?) interesting scoot

How did I miss this last summer?...Lance-branded, SYM-made 150:

http://www.lancepowersports.com/models/cabo150.html

Carbed; cost-effective.

Dealer is 20 miles away; think I'll go take a look...so many scoots, so little money...

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Old 05-09-2015, 08:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by redhandmoto View Post
How did I miss this last summer?...Lance-branded, SYM-made 150:

http://www.lancepowersports.com/models/cabo150.html

Carbed; cost-effective.

Dealer is 20 miles away; think I'll go take a look...so many scoots, so little money...
The scooter seems like an excellent value, priced less that a Ruckus, etc. However, it's probably made in China, and if so, I wouldn't touch it.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gec343 View Post
The scooter seems like an excellent value, priced less that a Ruckus, etc. However, it's probably made in China, and if so, I wouldn't touch it.
Ah.

Well, more for me, then, as Pee Wee would say; the SYM-of-Taiwan made Lances are quite as good as most marques, and enjoy a deserved reputation for reliability and value.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by redhandmoto View Post
Ah.

Well, more for me, then, as Pee Wee would say; the SYM-of-Taiwan made Lances are quite as good as most marques, and enjoy a deserved reputation for reliability and value.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1063924

Obviously I agree!
Close to 10k miles on it and never a burp. It's not china made that's the problem, it's who is having it made there. My little lance looks and runs as good as it did on day one.

I've ridden the Cabo and its a cool scoot. Good fit and finish and a solid motor.
Yep right now the lance products are a hell of a value.

For those who have done their homework anyway.
http://www.justgottascoot.com/cabo150.htm

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Old 05-10-2015, 01:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gec343 View Post
However, it's probably made in China, and if so, I wouldn't touch it.
Thanks for keeping the price down on Chinese scooters for those of us who know how to keep them running Chinese bikes will be selling for under a $1k indefinitely!!
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by redhandmoto View Post
How did I miss this last summer?...Lance-branded, SYM-made 150:

http://www.lancepowersports.com/models/cabo150.html

Carbed; cost-effective.

Dealer is 20 miles away; think I'll go take a look...so many scoots, so little money...
Definitely take a look!! I am a big fan of the fat-tired off-road-ish scooters, and this fits the bill nicely.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by redhandmoto View Post
Ah.

Well, more for me, then, as Pee Wee would say; the SYM-of-Taiwan made Lances are quite as good as most marques, and enjoy a deserved reputation for reliability and value.
That Cabo looks appealing.

In my experience, things made in Taiwan tend to be, on average, of higher quality than things made in mainland China. A scooter made in Taiwan wouldn't give me pause at all. China...eh, I'd probably be more skeptical. It's possible to get decent manufactured goods out of Chinese plants, but stuff coming out of there is really inconsistent and even established companies from outside the country struggle with getting their Chinese factories to keep quality up. It's a challenging business and manufacturing environment, lots of corruption, etc. They are continually improving, but still have a way to go on the whole.

Sym's weakness in my area isn't quality of the scoot, it's spotty dealer support. Sadly, our Sym dealer (only very small one in a metro of over 2 million) gives the impression of a fly by night, hole in the wall operation. The Kymco dealer comes across as a lot more established and professional. Of course, you have the multiple Yamaha, Honda, etc dealers...some of which are real good, some mediocre...but there are enough of them to where you can at least easily find a decent one.


I wish some larger, solid dealer around here would pick up Sym. In 15 years of living in Kansas City, I've seen a grand total of one Sym scoot on the road. Unfortunate.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Culcune View Post
Definitely take a look!! I am a big fan of the fat-tired off-road-ish scooters, and this fits the bill nicely.

Had been planning on going up there this week anyhow to get some final drive work done on my wife's scoot that is well beyond my skill/tool set. The danger in such forays, for me, is in seeing scoots in the flesh that I'd been reading about & researching online: that's how we ended up with six at one time.

People are slowly becoming aware that plants in China making bikes/components for Taiwanese, Japanese, Italian - and yes, American -marques are run under strict on-site supervision of engineers and managers from the parent companies who brook no compromise in materials and tolerances.

Aside from all that, for some time I've been reading in websites devoted to a hobbyist subculture that uses common and wretched "China bikes" as platforms to see what can be done on the cheap to achieve astounding performance and reliability.

Begun, it seems, as mutual self-help resources for people who got a scoot online, from a hardware or auto parts store because that was all they could afford, they continue in that role but have evolved as a kind of Poor Man's Research and Development centers for the sheer challenging fun of it.

The written and video technical resources of one site in particular are exhaustive; the founder there hews strictly to classic scientific protocol, and he has produced a set of videos on the PDI and tweaking of the much despised TaoTao that is brilliant. The enthusiastic membership community there regularly bails out despairing and clueless owners - it's a lot of fun, and not expensive.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
Sym's weakness in my area isn't quality of the scoot, it's spotty dealer support.
SYM has had some appalling luck with getting decent US distribution. First, there were the lamentable Carter Brothers, overextended and overstocked, for whom arson was the answer in getting out from under the mess they helped create.

It has taken all this time for SYM USA to begin to recoup. A new dealer network is very slowly being re-established, growing from West-to-East; Lance-branded SYMs seem to be a way to help at least get the bikes out there. If you want a SYM in my part of the East, you go to a Lance dealer, hence my trip later this week.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:09 AM   #10
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Thanks for keeping the price down on Chinese scooters for those of us who know how to keep them running Chinese bikes will be selling for under a $1k indefinitely!!
Yup. And worth even less.

My Son-of-a-VOG had what turned out to be CHRONIC camshaft-chain slip. First time it happened it was under warranty. Took the shop, which had a Xingyue dealer franchise, ELEVEN MONTHS to get the parts needed to fix it.

And then two months and 500 miles later...it repeated. Out of warranty by this time. The shop had given back their Xingyue franchise - they didn't want to see any of them ever again. Including mine.

Could I have fixed it on a bench? If I had a full workshop....AND if I had parts...AND if I could speak Chinese to ORDER parts (part of the problem the shop had with the warranty repair; they just wouldn't send the correct parts).

That was $2400 flushed down the toilet. When I moved it wasn't worth packing; I gave what was left of it away.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by redhandmoto View Post
People are slowly becoming aware that plants in China making bikes/components for Taiwanese, Japanese, Italian - and yes, American -marques are run under strict on-site supervision of engineers and managers from the parent companies who brook no compromise in materials and tolerances.
I wish I could remember where I read this now to link to it, but a while back I read a post by a guy online who worked with a Chinese company getting some m/c or auto parts made, can't remember specifically which right now.

But anyway, it was a fascinating story of how tough it was to get consistent high quality out of their Chinese plant. Sure, they could produce good stuff, but producing good stuff consistently was a huge problem. Despite lots of oversight, and picky QC rejecting subpar parts that were produced, it seemed there was always something coming up that made it hard to deliver high standard product on a regular basis. Basically, he said there just wasn't a commitment, a lot of the time, from the individual worker to have that ownership mentality that leads to consistent high quality product. So although it was possible to get good product manufactured, it was hard, and the second you looked the other way, your suppliers or workers or hired managers were cutting corners somehow.

He also went into the amount of graft that goes on over there. It's kind of like the wild west, a lot of who you know and greasing the right palms of the right officials on a regular basis.

My dad knows a guy who is familiar with manufacturing in China for a large US company. He said they learned really quickly to budget a certain percentage for bribes, basically. A cost of doing business. From talking to that guy, sounds a lot like the guy I mentioned above that wrote the article I read on the challenge of operating a factory in China.

It's possible for very good stuff to come from that country. But they also flood the market with a lot of stuff built to the lowest possible price point, knowing that when the item fails, it will be tough to come back and challenge the manufacturer from overseas. Examples...bad drywall, OSB, etc. Some of the "no-name" Chinese scooters have shockingly bad welds, etc, when you look closely. Better on the units made for foreign companies, I think.

I think they'll have their act totally together (Chinese manufacturing), and be consistently world-class at some point in the not too distant future. But I'm not sure they are quite there yet. Maybe 75% there.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:33 AM   #12
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Could I have fixed it on a bench? If I had a full workshop....AND if I had parts...AND if I could speak Chinese to ORDER parts (part of the problem the shop had with the warranty repair; they just wouldn't send the correct parts).
From what I can see, there are now US/Canada businesses that specialize in China bike parts: most everything is available. That doesn't help you in a warranty situation, of course; Chinese "warrantees" are a joke). One outfit that specializes in electric and electronic components tests every single part they sell for function before they send them out.

So it can be done, but as you say, it ain't for everyone. I myself will not be splitting an engine case anytime soon, but it happens that even the 'name' bike networks can underperform...I don't even wanna think about my Piaggio/Vespa experiences...or my Yamaha stock variator gremlins.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
I wish I could remember where I read this now to link to it, but a while back I read a post by a guy online who worked with a Chinese company getting some m/c or auto parts made, can't remember specifically which right now... But I'm not sure they are quite there yet. Maybe 75% there.
I saw that article! Hilarious! Where the heck was it?

75%? Mmmmm...mebbe, uh, 50%...
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
I wish I could remember where I read this now to link to it, but a while back I read a post by a guy online who worked with a Chinese company getting some m/c or auto parts made, can't remember specifically which right now.

But anyway, it was a fascinating story of how tough it was to get consistent high quality out of their Chinese plant. Sure, they could produce good stuff, but producing good stuff consistently was a huge problem. Despite lots of oversight, and picky QC rejecting subpar parts that were produced, it seemed there was always something coming up that made it hard to deliver high standard product on a regular basis. Basically, he said there just wasn't a commitment, a lot of the time, from the individual worker to have that ownership mentality that leads to consistent high quality product. So although it was possible to get good product manufactured, it was hard, and the second you looked the other way, your suppliers or workers or hired managers were cutting corners somehow.

He also went into the amount of graft that goes on over there. It's kind of like the wild west, a lot of who you know and greasing the right palms of the right officials on a regular basis.

My dad knows a guy who is familiar with manufacturing in China for a large US company. He said they learned really quickly to budget a certain percentage for bribes, basically. A cost of doing business. From talking to that guy, sounds a lot like the guy I mentioned above that wrote the article I read on the challenge of operating a factory in China.

It's possible for very good stuff to come from that country. But they also flood the market with a lot of stuff built to the lowest possible price point, knowing that when the item fails, it will be tough to come back and challenge the manufacturer from overseas. Examples...bad drywall, OSB, etc. Some of the "no-name" Chinese scooters have shockingly bad welds, etc, when you look closely. Better on the units made for foreign companies, I think.

I think they'll have their act totally together (Chinese manufacturing), and be consistently world-class at some point in the not too distant future. But I'm not sure they are quite there yet. Maybe 75% there.
What this illustrates is WHY Chinese scoots will remain bottom-shelf or even less.

The Chinese figured out industrial assembly quickly. They figured out how to quickly tool up and supply to a price point.

What they lack, at this point, is the understanding of the ethics of manufacturing and trade. I can hear readers snicker; but let's face it: Honda or Yamaha or Toyota, all stand behind their products. They all mostly listen to their customers and improve their products to meet demands.

China, as mentioned...the Chinese companies feel themselves protected. Physlically isolated and legally untouchable. So they ship obviously inferior product and thumb their noses at their North American importers and their customers.

And their customers - INCLUDING ME - want NOTHING to do with their trash, EVER AGAIN.

They will be DECADES getting past that self-imposed hurdle...once they actually DO implement quality. I'm old enough to remember when Made-In-Japan meant shoddy and cheap. The Japanese wanted to do better; and found the people and the tools to teach them and allow them to.

The Chinese are finding the legal and political protections to prevent immediate repercussions; but their market will never expand for that reason. Only new crops of suckers will be tempted by their low prices.
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