Date posted on August 15, 2019
For people used to riding small bikes all their lives, they treat maxi-scooters like most big bikes. They are relatively big, heavy and cumbersome to handle for everyday use. Not this SYM’s maxi-scooter which surprised us with its ridiculously easy to ride qualities on top of its amazing engine performance.
There are two kinds of riders who would get a maxi-scooter. Those who are primarily big bike riders who are seeking a bike that is easier to live with on a daily basis yet still want to enjoy the big bike level of performance; and those who never learned how to shift and are diehard twist-and-go riders who want to upgrade to a more powerful and bigger mount. Both of them usually expect maxi-scooters to handle slowly and heavily if not awkwardly due to the expected heavy weight and smallish wheels. Both groups will be surprised with SYM’s Citycom 300i, which is not only fast but also one of the easiest two-wheel machines to ride.
Yes, the SYM Citycom 300i at P238,000 is relatively expensive compared to smaller bikes, but when compared to machines that deliver the same presence, exclusivity, prestige, performance, efficiency and technology, this maxi-scooter can strongly justify its value.
Mitsukoshi Motors Phils., Inc., the exclusive distributor of SYM in the country, released the Citycom 300i early in 2010. It was the first maxi-scooter in the Philippines to feature SYM’s EFI Intelligent Injection System. Designed in Europe, the Citycom is powered by a Euro-3 compliant, 264cc, 4-stroke, water-cooled EFI engine coupled to a CVT. Because of EFI, it starts easily and is able to run smoothly immediately. The spread of torque and power is impressive and smooth in its delivery. It doesn’t feel like it needs more power even at high speeds. The EFI system also ensures optimum performance and efficient gas mileage.
Styling-wise, the Citycom combines sophisticated fashion and functionality. The monochromatic color and elegant lines make it look very European and very sophisticated. The sporty dual-headlight is not only eye-catching in design but also provides better visibility for safety concerns as the 35w lights give the best visibility in the dark. It has an impressive instrument panel which mimics those of sports cars in both appearance and function. The under seat luggage compartment is big enough to fit in 2 helmets and the front glove box is big enough for drink bottles and maps. Fit and finish is high and the overall quality is higher than smaller motorcycles or scooters. The safety feature of an engine kill switch on the bar, a breaker switch under the seat and a side stand engine off switch are just some of the nice technologies the Citycom has.
The high quality of materials and workmanship coupled with the quiet and vibration-free engine operation make the Citycom truly a machine with a high level of refinement.
It is equipped with big and wide 16-inch wheels and tire combination that give it its stable handling both at slow speed and at cruising or triple digit speeds. It’s excellent for daily commuting and cruising in all road conditions in and out the city. Believe it or not, despite its size and 182kg weight, the Citycom’s handling is light and stable at any speed while its ride is very comfortable. Some big bike riders might find the Citycom too easy and comfortable to ride that they might get bored with it.
Initially available in Metro Manila, Citycom buyers are supported by a sufficient service support program with well trained technicians capable of servicing the EFI system, having undergone full training direct from SYM engineers.
The SYM Citycom 300i is a good choice for riders who want a big and powerful scooter for day to day commute in the city as well as for long and relaxing touring rides in the provinces. It is an ideal ride for the mature and sophisticated riders. SYM has done a superb job with the Citycom. Considering the overall package, it really is one of the best value-for-money maxi-scooters in the market, adding to the trend that some of the best scooters are coming from Taiwan.
Al Camba: “It’s expensive; big, very nice and rides solidly. Being used to small scooters, a 300cc maxi-scooter will naturally be heavy. But when you actually ride it, it’s not as intimidating to ride as you would initially think. Once you get going, the steering lightens and the maxi-scooter is very stable. The low center of gravity actually makes it easy to ride very slowly and maneuver. It’s a big maxi-scooter with a wide saddle so average height riders like me at 5’7” need to tiptoe. But it didn’t create any problem for me as it’s easy to get used to. The 16-inch wheels make the scooter handle very well, both at high speed and low speed. Believe me, it is not that heavy to handle. It’s very easy to maneuver, but of course, the machine’s extra wide size and the fixed wing mirrors make it hard to filter through traffic. I like the rear mirrors which adjust similar to those found in cars. At high speeds, the windshield directs air straight to my face and into my eyes, so a full-face helmet is recommended. The European styling is great and the wide seat is very comfortable. I like the big under seat compartment which easily fits a full-face and another half-faced helmet. The instrument panel composed of analog dials and LCD indicators is quite nice and starts like that of a high end sports car. For safety, there are three things you need to take care of before you could start the engine. Aside from the engine kill switch in the handle bar, there is also a concealed circuit engine off switch on the underseat as well as the side stand which automatically kills the engine once you bring it down. Performance-wise it’s expected to be good. Having 300cc and fuel-injected means acceleration is very good. It’s easy to start and you don’t need to warm it up. It runs smooth immediately. Braking is strong but super strong as you need to have a full braking effort especially during emergency stops. Naturally the Citycom’s heavy weight needs more braking power so I advise the usage of both brakes when heavy braking is required. It’s a big bike but the handling is very nice, very stable. It’s perfect for long range touring as well as for short around the city hops.”
Philip Bonza: “I like the very cool style, it’s very European. I like the contours of the panels, the monochromatic color and the sporty yet elegant look. I’m very impressed by the engine power from low speed going to the mid-range. It is very easy to accelerate from 0 to 100kph. The brake control levers are firm and the brakes are powerful. The front and rear suspension are okay. What I really like most about this bike are the safety features: There is an engine kill switch on the bar. There’s also an extra button in the underseat compartment to prevent theft and the engine refuses to start when you engage the side stand. The instrument panel is very cool; it looks like it belongs to a sports car. For my height, the handling is very comfortable especially at low speed or under heavy traffic. The windshield, for my height, is very helpful. Overall, for the color, style, power, comfort and handling, I give four stars out of five.”
Ricci Abrina: “In terms of looks, it is very European and the lights are very nice, very good, very well-designed and it blends with the whole character of the scooter. The back part looks wide and it looks like a big bike. The seat is a little high for me, you really have to tiptoe with both feet when stopping on a traffic situation but having said that, it’s not really hard to balance the Citycom and it’s nice to ride it even in heavy traffic situations. The Citycom’s throttle is kind of hard to twist. You need to have all your hands to grip the throttle so that you can twist it, unlike other scooters. I also felt that for my height of 5’8”, the edge of the windshield is blocking my view when riding. The engine is strong, it can go from 0 to 100 kph in a jiffy and it’s smooth, very smooth for a scooter. Since you have 16-inch wheels, the bumps get absorbed very well and you don’t get stressed by the suspension which is soft and stable. For a big scooter, I think the ride is quite good; you can go through traffic with ease unlike other scooters that I ride, although you tend to feel some hesitation of going to tight spaces. I also like the gauges which are very unique. They are easy and soothing to look at with the blue background. I noticed that with SYM models, there’s a safety switch under the seat compartment to prevent theft. You can also open your seat compartment from the ignition; you don’t have to move the key from the ignition and go down and unlock it. Another positive for the SYM Citycom300i is the way it handles. It seems big but you can actually control the scooter well. You also have a big seat compartment which swallows a full face helmet and still have a space for other things. You can load gasoline easily from the front tank without you opening your seat compartment.”
*This article was published in InsideRACING’s Volume 8 Number 10 2010 issue.