Scooter Sport: SYM GTS300i Sport
Every year the quality of scooters seem to increase and the SYM GTS300i Sport illustrates that very fact…
The Sanyang Motor Company (SYM) has been around for quite some time now, and the Taiwanese factory has been pumping out automobiles, motorcycles and scooters since the ’50’s. It’s fair to say that with more than 16 million scooter and motorcycles manufactured in that time that most of the bugs have been ironed out, and the latest offering of scooters from SYM are getting seriously high tech and the new LAMS approved GTS300i Sport in no exception.
The Sport has taken over the mantel from the Firenze that had been the old 300 segment warrior for the company. The new Sport has a healthy power increase – up 29bhp from the Firenze – which gives the scoot a very zappy feel in acceleration. It’s hard to believe that it’s a LAMS approved machine with plenty of usable power available to the rider in an easy to use power band.
The learner approved 300 can sit on 110kph all day long and with a 12 litre fuel tank some serious miles can be covered. SYM claim the fuel injected GTS uses 2.8 litres per 100km, but the Sport can extend its range, especially when city cruising by enabling the start stop technology switch on the left hand switch block. It works the same as some of the new smaller cars and switches the motor off at the traffic lights or in traffic jams to save wasted fuel. To restart the engine just twist the grip and the scooter automatically reignites and gets underway.
It doesn’t matter if you’re experienced or not when riding the Sport as the centrifugal clutch makes starting a breeze with no jerkiness and a completely linear feel to the twist grip. Sitting on the 300 gives you a feel of quality that just seems to improve every year from the non-Japanese manufacturers. The switches are high quality as is the appearance of the dash and you get the feel that you are sitting on a scooter built for comfort and weather protection.
Once underway the short screen surprisingly works extremely well keeping the wind off your chest. For those colder days there is a heater mounted in the lower centre of the foot well and that has an on/off adjustment depending on the positioning. It was less that 20 degrees the day I tested it and out on a country road or even buzzing around at 60kph it was difficult for me to tell if it worked efficiently or not. Maybe it’s a bit of a gimmick but in general the ride position and weather protection negate the need for it any way.
The ABS equipped brakes work well and pull the scooter up very smartly. Any bike fitted with ABS needs a good test so I jammed the front brake on pretty hard on a slippery damp road to check its effectiveness. Good news is it works well and is certainly capable of helping in cases that sometimes might catch the rider unawares. The front wave disc certainly looks the part and adds to the high quality feel and the braking power provided by the brakes.
It’s a very nimble scooter to ride and change of direction requires no effort at all meaning you don’t have to be a superman to manhandle it through the traffic. It also importantly feels quite light and manageable to push around and park which is certainly something to consider when buying a new scooter. Placing your feet on the ground is also an easy affair with nothing threatening to catch your trousers at that critical moment just as your feet need to hit terra firma.
On board inside the right hand glove box you will find a USB port and also a cigarette style charger which can come in very handy to charge one’s devices on the run. The dash is similar to the MaxSYM400i with the main features being a speedo and tacho which are both easy to read. A fuel guage, clock and trip metre are the other important instruments that tick the boxes and make life more informed out on the street. Every scooter’s major asset is its ability to carry luggage and although this SYM carries the moniker Sport it doesn’t disappoint with the massive cavern under the seat. You could easily fit a couple of helmets and jackets with room to spare. Accessing the storage is by button on the left switch block and is a job carried out with ease.
The other area SYM have spent money on R&D is visibility. There are running lights, huge indicators and even a fog light which can be activated by a special switch located just under the dash.
Down Under SYM have sold more the 30,000 units and the 278cc new edition to the family should increase the speed that the brand flies out the doors. I enjoyed my short time on the 300i Sport and at only $7,599 plus on roads, which also includes a four year unlimited kilometre warranty, expect them to be popping up everywhere…