2009 SYM RV1-2 Sports Ride Review: Refined and Capable

Date posted on April 17, 2019
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Another new SYM model that delivers a good balance of price, performance and quality, the RV1-2 Sports is a sure winner for the Taiwanese brand.

After the success of the entry level Bonus X, Mitsukoshi Motor Phils., the exclusive distributor of SYM motorcycles and scooters from Taiwan, introduced another new model to continue their momentum in the market. The new SYM RV1-2 Sports was formally launched at IR-SYM Track Day on July 26, 2009 in Pasay City. The SYM RV1-2 Sports is specifically designed for the Asian market. After its local introduction, it was also sold in other markets like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The new SYM RV1-2 is an evolution of the RV1 Dual Sports underbone. This version has a more on-road sports orientation with sporty enclosed body design, sports front fender, sports-type handlebars, sports type chrome muffler, new and unique headlamp design (an original and exclusive design by SYM), a sporty instrument panel and an engine scoop. The front disk brake even comes with a sporty red caliper that matches the rear suspension.



Instead of knobby tires, this model is equipped with sporty Kenda tires. It is available in three sporty colors: Grand Prix Red, Carbon Black and Bullet Silver.

It is powered by a new smooth 108cc, single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine that delivers 6.2 PS of power. Coupled to a smooth shifting 4-speed rotary type transmission, the engine can take this 95 kg motorcycle to a maximum speed of 85kph. It not only delivers good response but also excellent fuel economy.



After many laps around a wet and tight track at Boomland, our initial impression is that the engine is very strong and the build quality is very good and tight and everything is solidly built. Steering is light and precise with good traction from the Kenda tires. The torque delivery is very linear and perfect for slippery conditions. There is a big and noticeable jump in power compared to its little Bonus X brother.
When we rode it fast on dry open roads, we were able to feel the smooth shifting transmission of the RV1-2 and this reinforced how strong and good the engine is. It is definitely one of the most impressive 110cc motorcycles in the market, its performance comparable to more expensive brands.


The handling is also very good at high speeds with very impressive braking performance. It is easy to move around the bike and the seat is comfortable. However, at higher speeds you do feel the limitation of the stock tires but that is easily addressed when it’s time to change the tires.


The riding position is very good and you feel like you are riding a bigger standard motorcycle. Minimal vibration reaches the handlebar which reduces fatigue and the suspension is quite soft. It is also versatile as it is equipped with a spacious under seat compartment that can accommodate a half-face helmet or few bottles of drinks with some room to spare for wallets or small purse. It is definitely best for daily commuting and long easy tours, which is its intended purpose despite the sporty aspiration.The SYM RV1-2 Sports is another well-packaged bike from the progressive Taiwanese brand. At P55, 900, it delivers a good balance of performance and value with a highly desirable engine.


Al Camba: “The riding position is good. It’s very close to standard upright riding position. It is very comfortable at both low and high speeds even though the bike is equipped with sport type handle bars. The height and position of the bars don’t make me feel like I’m riding a very small sport underbone like in other motorcycles with very low and narrow clip-on. It feels like a small standard. There is good steering leverage and the steering is quick but not twitchy. The suspension action and braking are very good and the handling is light. The ride is generally comfortable but not wobbly. Like in the Bonus X, the new RV1-2’s engine is very impressive for a 110cc. It likes to be accelerated because the torque is very strong, one of the nicest 110cc bikes around. The body is very attractive especially the unique headlamp design and the sporty front fender. Small details like the red brake caliper and the red suspension springs give it a sporty flair. The engine case color also matches the front fork lower tubes and swing arm. I noticed that the kick starter gets in the way of your right leg while using the rear brake or when you try to corner aggressively. The tires offer good traction, and when pushed to the limit, they slide a bit. The nice-looking twin dial instrument cluster has a gear indicator. The big under seat compartment is impressive and deep enough to hold multiple water bottles. It’s an easy motorcycle to own and ride and ideal for everyday commuting. Overall, it’s a very good value bike with a sporty flair.”


Philip Bonza: “The color combination of candy red and black with a good balance of white and dark grey combination is very vibrant. I like the dark grey color of the front suspension and the engine cover and passenger pegs. Riding it, I can feel its power, from first gear to second gear, it’s perfect. The power in third and fourth gears are still ok and my fastest speed is around 100 kph. I like the styling of this bike, especially the front part. I like the design of the headlight and the front fender. The rear tail light is very sporty but very slim. The handling is very light, very easy to maneuver; the position of the handlebar is relaxing but not perfect for my height. I feel like I’m riding a small bike. The shifting is very light, there’s perfect rotation of the shift pedal. The brakes are powerful especially the front brake, very easy to modulate but tires are not that powerful to stop the bike. The suspensions are soft and very comfortable when riding on off-road and over bumps. Overall, I will give the SYM RV1-2 Sports four stars out of five.”


Ricci Abrina: “I like the handling which is very light and quick. The stock tires are good for the roads but not good enough for very high speeds, but the front brake is strong enough to stop you at high speeds. The engine is powerful for a 110 and the shifting is very smooth similar to any other Japanese brands. Styling-wise, the colors are very up-to-date. I like the headlamp which looks modern and “transformer-like!” I like the flowing curves of the body fairing as well. The gauges look fancy but I think it will be much better if it has bigger speedometer face. The space under the seat looks bigger compared to other Japanese models.”


*This article was published in InsideRACING’s  Volume 7 Number 9  2009 issue.