SYM CityCom 300i – Freedom of the City #ScooterRevolution

Back in the ‘80’s South Africa went through a “petrol crisis”. I was working for a Honda dealership at the time and we would sell upwards of 50 bikes a month!. Bike salesman were order takers, and printed money as bikes flew of showroom floors. The challenge was to get enough stock to meet the […]

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Back in the ‘80’s South Africa went through a “petrol crisis”. I was working for a Honda dealership at the time and we would sell upwards of 50 bikes a month!. Bike salesman were order takers, and printed money as bikes flew of showroom floors. The challenge was to get enough stock to meet the demand. Motorcycles made huge sense as fuel efficient transport then, and they make even more sense now. So why are bike sales not off the charts? Our resident youngster, ZA Bikers photographer, Bjorn, has an interesting theory. Thinking about it, he may be on to something. Bjorn reckons that parents feel uneasy about their children’s safety on South Africa’s roads and don’t want them on bikes. I get it. When my kids were at school I too was not keen to have them on bikes. Transporting them here, there and everywhere was a mission, so what was the solution? A Yamaha B – Whizz scooter, that’s what. My daughter, the older of the two, scooted to school without any mishaps, as did my son when he inherited the little Yammie. Here’s the thing guys. Nothing has changed. Scooters just don’t have the “motorcycle” stigma. Once folks have got used to their kids scooting around, the transition to motorcycles is so much easier as we now have a safe track record and a traffic smart and aware kid.

Enter the “Scooter Revolution”. There is simply no better way to negotiate snarled up city streets than on a modern Scooter. This was brought home to me with a bang by a couple of weeks commuting on Sym’s brilliant CityCom 300i. I use motorcycles as my everyday transport, only resorting to driving a car if there is no way a bike can work. For example when you have to load a whole lot of stuff. The day that we collected the Sym from KMSA Distributors SA, the importers for these quality Taiwanese scooters, I was asked by a buddy to help him take his bike for service in Centurion. Gerry is a big guy, weighing in at around 100kg’s. I had my doubts about the ability of a 300cc scooter to haul 180kg’s at highway speeds, but was keen to give it a go. Fact is, we where blown away! Not only did the plucky scoot maintain highway speed with us both aboard, it did it in comfort!. In the weeks that followed I was impressed by not only what the scooter did, but how it did it. The Sym never feels laboured. It cruises at 120 on the highway at 6500 rpm, with another 2000 rpm to spare. Totally chilled. It is so willing that you find yourself backing off the throttle to reign it in as it runs to 130 plus.

Scooters carry their weight really low with both fuel and engine slung really low in the frame. This makes steering light and effortless. The 300i sports 16 inch wheels which add to the stability and excellent all round handling.

Suspension is conventional forks up front and twin shocks at the rear which are adjustable for preload. On their second preload setting they managed everything, including the two up duty admirably.

Typical of most scooters, the ride can be a little choppy over uneven surfaces, but that is being really critical. All in all the comfort is superb. Twin 260mm discs with twin puck callipers and braided hoses makes stopping from any speed a cinch.

The motor is a gem. A 278,3cc single, water cooled with a single overhead cam and a ceramic coated bore is peppy and super smooth, both in town and on the highway. It simply never feels strained or stressed with the CVT transmission seamlessly punting you along, easily outpacing the general traffic.

The practicality of a scooter is brilliant. I needed to pick up some bird seed. I normally buy in bulk and therefore have to use the car. No problem with the Sym. Two 10kg bags under the seat and a third hanging from the bag hook in front of my knees. There is a cubby with a power point for charging your phone or whatever. The under seat storage takes a full face helmet and rain suit quite comfortably.

An extended time with this Sym also showed it to be very fuel efficient. The ten litre fuel tank is good for 300k’s of typical Gauteng commuting. By that I mean a combination of highway and around town. I averaged 32,3k’s on a litre with typical riding.

Styling is modern and really handsome. Build quality is above reproach too. The windshield works really efficiently and the body provides proper wind protection. This 300 really hits the sweet spot in terms of overall balance. For me it is the perfect size. A tad smaller than a maxi scooter, but with adequate performance and real ease of use that makes it an ideal day to day ride.

At last the penny has dropped for me. I am going to do what half of Europe has already done. I am going to join the scooter revolution and get the freedom of the city! I’ll keep my bigger bikes for what they are built for and enjoy “scooting” around the city.

At R55 odd grand the 300i will make a perfect addition to my garage. Do yourself a favour, go ride one and discover for yourself how to slice and dice traffic like never before. Could just turn you into a revolutionary too.

For more information visit: www.sym.co.za/citycom300i

Review by: Dave Cilliers / photos by: Bjorn Moreira / www.zabikers.co.za

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Further innovations for KX250F in 2018

Kawasaki has just unveiled its eagerly awaited 2018 model year MX2 class racing machine with a host of changes for the coming season.. and it’s the most technically advanced yet. Revisions to the front fork components and settings are joined by adjustments at the rear for better all-round bump absorption and suspension action. And action […]

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Photo credit: Kawasaki Direct

Kawasaki has just unveiled its eagerly awaited 2018 model year MX2 class racing machine with a host of changes for the coming season.. and it’s the most technically advanced yet. Revisions to the front fork components and settings are joined by adjustments at the rear for better all-round bump absorption and suspension action.

Photo credit: Kawasaki Direct

And action is certainly at the top of the agenda in terms of engine updates. With reduced lap times as the ultimate goal – as well as more emphasis on holeshot acceleration out of the start gate – the new KX250F sees changes to the fuel injection function, the engineering of the inlet area and a new approach to the exhaust system.

Photo credit: Kawasaki Direct

Along with revised Fi settings, the fuel pump pressure is increased for the new season and the injector mounting angle is shallower. In terms of the inlet tract itself, this is reshaped and there is a shorter intake funnel. To complete the picture, the inlet timing is now slightly more advanced than previous models. This matched to a lower compression ratio at 13.4:1 and creates more power and torque over the current machine.

Photo credit: Kawasaki Direct

Contributing to the dual benefits of extra power and torque is a re-shaped exhaust that is both longer and wider as it exits the cylinder head and travels towards the silencer. The result? Better bottom end and mid-range, improved power feeling across the entire rev range and smoother power engagement effectively making the high RPM range even easier to use.

Photo credit: Kawasaki Direct

Focussing on the holeshot advantage, smooth, easy power and torque plus innovative upgrades, the new 2018 KX250F boldly starts as it means to go on, as quarter litre first choice in MX.

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Alex Rins Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP Wallpaper Online

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 21. To celebrate Alex Rins’ third MotoGP™ podium of the season at Motegi in Japan aboard the GSX-RR this weekend, Suzuki has produced a…

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Team Suzuki Press Office – October 21. To celebrate Alex Rins’ third MotoGP™ podium of the season at Motegi in Japan aboard the GSX-RR this weekend, Suzuki has produced a...

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Race Win For Waters At Philip Island ASBK

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 17. Josh Waters – GSX-R1000 – 1-7 Markus Chiodo – GSX-R1000 – DNF-DNF Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia’s Josh Waters ended the 2018 Australian Superbike…

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Team Suzuki Press Office – October 17. Josh Waters – GSX-R1000 – 1-7 Markus Chiodo – GSX-R1000 – DNF-DNF Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia’s Josh Waters ended the 2018 Australian Superbike...

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Ten In A Row A New Record For Rea

On the same weekend that Kawasaki won the WorldSBK Manufacturers’ Championship Jonathan Rea (KRT) made another little bit of history today with a new record of ten consecutive race wins. Tom Sykes (KRT) improved through the second 21-lap race in Argentina to secure a top five finish. After heavy overnight rain the second race day […]

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On the same weekend that Kawasaki won the WorldSBK Manufacturers’ Championship Jonathan Rea (KRT) made another little bit of history today with a new record of ten consecutive race wins. Tom Sykes (KRT) improved through the second 21-lap race in Argentina to secure a top five finish.

After heavy overnight rain the second race day at the all new San Juan Villicum circuit threw up even more unknown challenges for KRT riders Rea and Sykes, as did the hot track temperature of over 50°C at the start of the race.

Rea, launching from ninth on the grid after his race one win on Saturday, had to use all his skill to pass his rivals on a new track surface that had one clear racing line. Into second place by lap four, Rea chased down the fast-starting leader Xavi Fores on lap nine and set about recording his unique fifth double winning weekend in succession.

The four time champion was particularly pleased to have won another race from the third row, given that he took ill on Saturday evening and was awake most of the night.

In recording his 55th victory on a Kawasaki, as part of his career record of 70 race wins in all, Rea has now equalled the greatest number of wins scored with a single manufacturer in WorldSBK racing.

Rea’s 16th win of the season has taken him to within one victory of equalling the record of race wins in a single year, with two races remaining at the final round.

For Sykes, race two started in a challenging fashion, going from third on the grid to ninth at the end of the first lap. With a strong overall set-up and a different front tyre choice to suit the hotter conditions of race two, he worked out his best way forward and set competitive lap times right through to the end. He passed several competitors as the race unfolded and he ended up fifth.

After 12 rounds, and with one more to go in two week’s time, Rea has set a personal target to try and beat his own record points total of 556, which he scored last year. Jonathan now has 520 points, Davies 348, Michael van der Mark 324 and Tom – still fourth overall – has 294.

The final championship round at the Losail International Circuit will be held between Thursday the 25th of October and Saturday the 27th of October. The two races will be held under floodlights, as is now traditional at the season finale.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was on the podium on Saturday in Argentina but he gradually slid back from second place on lap three to finish seventh today. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) overcame his first day disappointment with a battling 12th. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was 13th and Gabriele Ruiu, (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 14th, scoring two points.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is really special to come to a new track, where everyone starts from zero, and be able to take the same kind of results. To be fast in the hot conditions and keep our tyre that was the key to the race. It was probably the hardest race win from the third row of the grid. If I went off line to pass, I could not be creative with my line choices. Everybody was pretty much on the same line so the passes had to be set up a few corners in advance. Once I settled into my rhythm I was able to clock off the lap times and pick off riders one by one. When I got clear track to Fores I tracked him down quite fast, but then there was the matter of passing him. Today has been difficult because I caught some kind of virus last night. I was ill all night from one o’clock until five this morning. It was good to have the race at 4pm because most of the day I have been sleeping in the cabin, regaining energy!”

Tom Sykes, stated: “We are just trying to get our heads round why we are one of the fastest on the track – at Magny Cours, and here in both race one and race two. We have got incredible speed but the start was strange and I struggled with a couple of gear selections anyway. I just got into the dirty part of the track, but that was not the big issue. We ended up down to ninth and then made a recovery. The lap time near the end was very impressive. We changed the front tyre for race two and that took a little bit of getting used to. With the hot conditions I suffered initially, but then got my head around it at the end. Just at the beginning of the race I was not able to get the corner speed. I am disappointed not to be on the podium, if I am being honest. The positive to take is how consistent and fast we are in the last third of the race.”

2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2018: Races 24, Wins 16, Podiums 21, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 70 (55 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 133 (91 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 24, Wins 1, Podiums 7, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 107 (106 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 47 (47 for Kawasaki)

6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 126 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 378 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 80 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

#RE4CH4MP

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