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Taiwanese scooters have never been the prettiest looking machines, people may say ‘you don’t look at the mantle piece whilst poking the fire’… but they’d be lying!

Sym Jet Scooter

Taiwanese scooters have never been the prettiest looking machines, people may say ‘you don’t look at the mantle piece whilst poking the fire’… but they’d be lying!
When it comes to scooters in the 21st century, it certainly helps if your mates like what you’re riding and to be honest the Sym Jet range of scooters never quite had the street cred that was necessary to succeed in the battle for small scooter supremacy. It’s a shame really because the Jet is a very capable little machine, the build quality; reliability and parts back up have always been very good but in the past you’d only have ventured out on it after dark! Well those far eastern designers have woken up and realised that it’s not a crime to make something look nice…and about time too!

It Ain't Half Hot Mum
So on the hottest day of the year I took the 100cc two stroke version of the newly re-launched Jet out into the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. The scooter was brand new and had only just been unpacked from the crate and had its PDI. As with all new scooters the engine felt a bit tight to begin with, although it still had a bit of poke for a 100cc. machine and soon reached a believable 55mph which meant I was able to keep up with the flow of traffic quite easily. I would even feel safe doing short stretches of motorway on this scooter, so if you want to commute on it don’t be too afraid.

No Flies on Me
To begin with I wasn’t too sure of the handling, the scooter seemed to drop into corners a bit too quickly for my liking but before long I’d got used to this and learnt to trust it as I buzzed through the country lanes. On closer inspection I noted that the tyres were made by Duro as opposed to the usual Maxxis, which could explain why I was struggling a bit getting used to the handling. I took the scooter across some farm tracks, the front suspension was a bit softer than I like it to be but it still coped quite well with the dodgy terrain that I was off - roading along and the forks only bottomed out on the deeper potholes. Back onto the tarmac again and I was enjoying myself in the sunshine, the local wildlife seemed to like the Jet as well, many of the Kamikaze airborne creatures even committed suicide on its nice new legshields as I rode along…I’m still picking dead flies from my teeth as I write this!

SYM Jet 100
SYM Jet 100 The front twin pot disk brake is quite powerful, I reckon with a bit of practice you’d soon be doing stoppies. The rear drum brake though leaves a lot to be desired; it was pretty lack lustre and didn’t really inspire Sym Jet Scooterconfidence but when used with the front (as it should be) they did the job. Acceleration was fairly good for the size of the engine which meant I was able to overtake even the fastest combine harvesters with ease! The Sym pulled like a tractor up hills as well with hardly any drop off in speed which was quite surprising.
I spend most of my time riding larger capacity scooters so usually when I find myself testing 50’s or 100’s I’m a bit reluctant at first but I actually found myself enjoying this scooter. Providing you don’t want to ride from Lands end to John ‘O Groats every day the 100cc class is a useful and cheaper way to get around, you will also benefit from cheaper insurance and better fuel economy than you would if you bought a larger capacity machine. For town use the 100cc is well up to the job and you can still make longer journeys if necessary. I didn’t have chance to test the fuel economy on this scooter because I only had it for a couple of hours but I put £1.75 in the tank when I picked it up and the needle had hardly moved by the time I took it back 60 kilometres later, so its not going to cost you an arm and a leg to run.

What's New
The main differences with this latest Jet are the styling and paintwork. The finish on Sym scooters is very good, paintwork is nice and you even get a colour coded rear spoiler and go faster stripe on the back end! Other subtle details include the chrome heat shield on the exhaust and new wheels. The large twin headlights and clear indicators look stylish, unheard of in Taiwan! The speedo and fuel gauge remain pretty much the same and a small digital clock sits above the instruments which is always a welcome addition. The mirrors are large and useful but don’t protrude too far so as to get in the way. The scooter also boasts a helmet bay that was large enough to take my helmet, not that I would risk leaving anything of value in there though. The fuel tank is located on the floor and is covered by a lockable hatch. Electric start comes as standard and is backed up by the kickstart. The Sym trademark ‘mud muncher’ rear splatter guard does its job well to keep the muck from spraying you from behind as you ride. The great British bumps are soaked up at the rear by a single un-adjustable shock which worked ok for me. Ground clearance is quite good on the Jet as well, so you can terrorise the local tearaways as you get your knee down on the roundabout!

SYM Jet 100 Conclusion
I think the Jet 50cc and 100cc scooters have been overlooked in the past, mainly because of their dated image. With its new bodywork and nice paintjob I think the jet looks quite aggressive now from the side profile. Most youngsters have gone for the trendier scooters without even considering the so called budget end of the market but now that the Far East has started to catch up in the scooter styling war maybe its time for the kids to have a second look at what’s on offer. The Sym jet 50 retails at an on the road price of £1499 and £1599 for the 100cc. Which certainly puts them a few quid below most of the competition, with the cash you save you can afford a decent lock or some go faster goodies for your new scooter.

Used by kind permission of:
Ian Grainger 'Iggy' Freelance Journalist and photographer
iggy.scooterfeatures@ntlworld.com
Mobile: 07790 677125
www.scooterlifestyle.co.uk


 

 

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