Thursday, August 27, 2009

SYM Classic 150 vs. Bullet Classic C5

How does the Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500, on sale now in the U.S., compare with the SYM Classic 150, due to go on sale in March 2010? Incredibly, we already know, in part.

Phil Waters of POC Scooters took a pre-production SYM Classic 150 on a road trip, accompanied by a new Royal Enfield C5 (as the Bullet Classic 500 is called). He wrote up his impressions of the SYM Classic 150 for the blog 2StrokeBuzz. The Royal Enfield is mentioned only in passing but, if you read between the lines, it sounds as though the two motorcycles kept pace admirably and even burned the same amount of fuel.

Waters referred to the Taiwanese SYM as "the Wolf 150" but the Wolf name has been dropped for the U.S., according to Pete McIntosh. He is with the marketing department of Carter Brothers Manufacturing, exclusive U.S. distributor for SYM. The Classic 150 is just one of the SYM scooters and ATVs Carter markets here. One really cute SYM product is the Symba, by all appearances the rebirth of a Honda Super Cub step-through.

The "hunter green" version of the SYM Classic 500 will be sold with a standard bench seat, but the solo seat, pillion pad, left-side saddlebag and front pedestrian-slicer license plate will be available. The license plate will say "SYM 1954," marking the birth of the company now known as Sanyang Industry Co. Ltd., or SYM.

The 1954 notation, green color and options could all be seen as a tribute (or a challenge) to Royal Enfield, in business since 1955 in India. The two-tone red and white SYM Classic 150, looking more like a small Japanese motorcycle of the 1970s, will be sold as well.

McIntosh and SYM enthusiast Nate Dahl tell me the SYM Classic 150 is a four-stroke motorcycle, with 5-speed manual transmission, carburetor, electronic ignition and a curb weight of 266 pounds. Carter Brothers is targeting an introductory price of only $2,999. McIntosh said they hope the bike will prove popular with motorcycle training courses.

Will the SYM Classic 150 prove popular with riders who were considering buying a Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500?

What do you think? Leave a comment here.

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