Wednesday, 23 May 2012

SYM VTS 200 Motor Scooter: Two wheels or four?

I have to say I've been pondering for a long time whether to go for a bike over here.  I've ridden bikes for a lot of my life but they have mostly been 750 - 1,000cc.  In Europe such bikes are fine (if expensive!!), with plenty of wide open (and in some cases deserted) roads and weather that is not too hot to prevent you wearing full protective clothing, leathers, kevlar, gloves, boots and full-face helmets.  In Penang though it's different.  Yes there are open roads here, out of town at least (especially on the mainland) but the busy and narrow nature of many of the roads, especially in town, coupled with the weather (which would make wearing full leathers a nightmare IMHO) pretty much rules out the need for a big bike, for me at least.

There are times however when a bike would be very useful. Quick runs to the gym, short trip to the supermarket, zipping around town (especially in rush hour) to pick up bits and pieces from here and there.  The fuel economy of a bike is also often very good.  All you need to do of course is ride defensively, avoid the myriad of other 'suicide jockeys' (many of whom sadly ride without any concept of safety and / or self-preservation), dodge the rain showers and inconsiderate car drivers.  Nothing to it........ ;-)

So, if I were going to go that route, what would it be?  In Thailand, for me, no contest, Harley Davidson Electra Glide.  But that's Thailand with less import tax and if I went that route I'd ditch the car.  Coming down a few hundred cc, and again in Thailand, no contest again, Honda PCX scooter.  But the PCX is sadly not available in Malaysia.  It's a shame because it has a decent size engine (150 cc) now, good luggage capacity and 14" wheels.  As an example the 125 cc can deliver up to 40 km per litre of fuel.  So what to go for.

Still not 100% decided to be honest BUT I suspect if I did opt for two wheels it would be the SYM VTS 200.  This to me is a very stylish machine and I've actually come to like it more than the PCX.  Why?  Well:

1) 200 cc engine
2) Bigger bike with more storage
3) Larger windscreen for long distance

In Penang the VTS 200 retails for between RM 9,100 - 9,300 and dependant on where you go dealers will throw in some other extras such as a free helmet and/or discount on other goods bought with the bike.  One such dealer is Sun Sum Motors at the junction of Jalan Irving and Lebuh Naning.  From them the bike is RM 9,100 and they offer 50% discount on helmets and such like if bought at the same time.  I'm not sure if this applies to top-boxes also, a very useful addition to increase luggage capacity.

My only slight concern is that Sun Sum is not an authorised SYM dealer and I'd need to look into the implications of that.  But it is one of the largest dealers I visited and carries a wide range of accessories.  SYM have quite a few registered dealers in Penang and have details on their website here.  The closest two dealers for me would be:

1) Chang Motors, 224-E Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus
2) Suang Leong, 114 Jalan Fettes, Tg Tokong

I have always erred on the side of caution before and bought from authorised dealers, thinking it's better that way if you want any servicing or warranty work doing.  As I've mentioned, I'd need to check the implications of buying from a non-authorised dealer before I did so.  Like I say, still not 100% decided but with the number of short runs I do and the problems of parking, it's a very attractive proposition and a very attractive bike.

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