One retro ride that caught my eye was this Sym Wolf Classic 150, which uses a simple four stroke engine based on the immortal Honda CB 125 from the 1970s. Sanyang Industry Ltd, is a highly respected Taiwanese company founded in 1961 that has built countless small engines for manufacturers and now builds it's own lines of successful two wheelers. In the US they are represented by Alliance Powersports which is building a network of dealers after a disastrous warehouse fire set back the company's expansion efforts.
At the moment Key West's dealer is the badly run Honda shop that the owner is moving to White Street which is where I found this delightful example of the little motorcycle.
I like the details on this motorcycle which is offered at a buck under three thousand dollars. Front disc brake, drum rear, nicely angled clip-on handlebars, full instrumentation and even gaiters on the forks to give that old time look and protect the suspension, just like I have on my Bonneville.
This is a motorcycle so there is maintenance to be done. Tubed tires no doubt with the spokes are a struggle to replace for a wuss like me, a clean four stroke engine has two valves to check and a cam chain to adjust, and fairly frequently in an old fashioned engine like this, every four thousand miles, easy enough but still a fiddle. Change the engine oil every two thousand miles, and then there is always the final drive chain to lubricate and adjust of course, all of which is absent on the P200E Vespa referred to above as my future commuter.
The finish on this machine is good but delivery messed something up on the fuel tank paint:
It's got all the practical touches, center and side stand, grab rail for the passenger and a nice range of colors, seen on their website: Sym USA. Consider also a 3.3 gallon tank at 80mpg will give a real range of 240 miles which is superb.
With a rated top speed of 65mph, not unlikely I think, and possibly 85mpg this is a fine machine for the Keys and anyone with a use for a small bike that will likely give decades of service just like the CB125 by Honda from forty years ago.
I remain a fan of the Vespa concept for my needs but I have to recognize not every rider wants to be seen on a scooter, and many riders enjoy the frequent fiddling of routine maintenance. If this bike goes into a rental fleet I may very well take one for a day and see how it goes. Splendidly, no doubt.
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