Friday, December 11, 2009

It's ironic that the most thorough review of the Symba done so far is in a city newspaper rather than a motorcycle or scooter magazine (or website)! The LA Times put together an intelligent and rider-oriented piece that really does the Symba justice as a non-Vespa, but still very classic, choice for urban scooterists. Great video, too! Click on the LA Times masthead above to to to the review. The video is posted below.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Symba Generation is Born!

This is the first Symba ad I've seen in the mainstream press. It appeared alongside a very positive review of the Symba in the October '09 issue of Scoot Magazine. I picked up my copy at Border's Books just the other day. It's a good ad, although a bit slogan-heavy with three different versions, as if the designers of the ad liked them all and couldn't make up their minds which to go with. My choice would be, "The Symba Generation is Born!", because it's forward-looking. However, the large photo of the Symba parked next to a vintage Super Cub really works with, "Make new friends and keep the old" in a very special way. The third one is, "The Wow is Now!", which only really means anything to those of us who knew the bike back when it was only available in Taiwan as the "WoWOW" and for years pestered/cajoled/begged Carter Brothers to bring it to America.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Symba Owner's Manual - Available Online Now...

It's always good to have a digital copy of important documents, and every Symba owner should have the Symba Owner's Manual on their PC or Mac. I've posted it here. Download it to your Symba folder for safe keeping.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Download Your Copy of The Symba Wiring Diagram

Planning to install an electric accessory? Here's the Symba wiring diagram!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Symba Review at What a Crock!

Do you agree with the above? I certainly don't, and I'll bet if you are a fan of the Symba you won't, either. It's the rating given the Symba over at based on ONE review - posted by somebody who definitely does not "get it", and thinks the Symba was designed for "grandmas". Oof!
Please, please - if you have a few moments to spare, go here and post your impressions of the Symba. Let's set the record straight!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Team - Don't Skimp on Protective Clothing!

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've given "the wave" to a passing harley or GSX-R and noticed that the rider was wearing shorts, t-shirt, sneakers, and no gloves. Once a rider on a Buell came up along side me on my Symba at a red light and, in a nice way, made fun of my wearing a Shoei RF-1000 (full-face) helmet.
Fact: if you're not wearing the proper protective gear, you can get just as messed up hitting the pavement at 40 mph on a Symba as on a Sportster. So please, my fellow Symbaistas, don't skimp on the protective riding apparel! That means: gloves, jacket, full-face helmet, long pants, and riding boots. Every ride - no exceptions.
For some important information on the value of protective riding gear, please visit the Gear Up! Project website*.
* The Gear Up! project is copyright 2009 Kate Rhodes. The Gear Up! image is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Symba Has its Own Song in Taiwan...

As most of us know, the Symba is made in Taiwan. Over there the Symba is known as the "WoWOW", and it has quite a following among young people. Here is the popular band, "Wonfu", performing the "Every Day, WoWOW!" song at a concert in Taipei.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Symba Accessories - The Catalog is Here!

SYM USA has released its 2009 Accessory List (click to download the PDF file). It's the whole catalog for all SYM vehicles, including two pages of items specifically for the Symba. I've ordered the wind screen, the hard-side cases, and the black bench seat - when installed, I'll post some pics!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Symba Forum - Let's All Join In!

There's a new forum dedicated to the Symba, and already quite a few Symba owners are starting to talk and trade info. It's time for all of us to join in. Please go to and bookmark the Symba sub-forum.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Justgottascoot Tries Out the Symba Bench Seat...

We've been hearing for weeks now that has been working on a review of the Symba. The word on the street has been that one negative in their unpublished draft was how the solo seat forced some riders into an uncomfortable riding position (I think they'd find a lot of agreement on that point). But, being of the gentlemanly sort, they held the review until Carter Brothers was able to get them one of the new (longer) "bench" seats, and now the review has been published. It's one of the best, most positive, and also very detailed. Have a read, here. As for me, I really like the look of the seat, and have one on order.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Holy Upsell - Check out the Symba Accessories...

Many of the much-anticipated Symba accessories are starting to appear in SYM dealerships: the front rack and basket, the windscreen, the rear hard case, etc... I can't wait for the long seat and the hard side cases!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

SYM is Raffling off a Fiddle II 50!

Sign up for SYM's newsletter and you'll be entered in their drawing for a brand new Fiddle II 50cc scooter! Just the thing to keep your Symba company in that big, lonely garage. And, you'll have a scoot to take out in the rain (after all, nobody in their right mind would let their Symba get rained on)!
UPDATE: (Sept 18, 2009) The winner of the drawing is Chris Dunning of Oswego, NY. Congratulations!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Check out the SYM Facebook Page!

SYM is now on Facebook - check it out, team, and be sure to click on "Become a Fan" to receive news and updates on your own Facebook page direct from SYM.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Rear Rack Coming Soon!

Is the stock Symba solo seat giving you a case of fan-agony? When you ride, do you find yourself butting (no pun intended) up against that bar on the rear rack? Help is on the way: SYM-USA is manufacturing - right here in the USA - a new rack that makes it possible to stretch back a bit more and use the pillion seat for "expansion", while not limiting at all the rear storage capacity. Expect it to be available from Sym dealers in a month or so.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Important Update: Cleaning the Symba's Oil Strainer

SYM-USA just released a correction to the Symba Owner's Manual that shows how to remove and clean the oil strainer - this was incorrect in the original version that was shipped with the first wave of Symbas sold in America. I'd recommend that you download this correction and keep a printed copy with your Symba Owner's Manual. The oil strainer should be cleaned regularly - I'd do it at every oil change (every 1500 miles or so - of course, the oil should be changed more often during the break-in period - about every 150 miles for the first 600 miles).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tune in to Just Gotta Scoot for a Symba "Audio Review"!

Dave Harrington of Just Gotta Scoot recently posted his "audio review" of the Symba and an interview with four people who are involved with the Symba on an intimate basis: a large SYM dealer, a SYM regional sales manager, SYM-USA's marketing director Pete McIntosh, and.... yours truly (representing Cub enthusiasts)! It's a good review and discussion - about 42 minutes of interesting and enjoyable "Symba" talk, including some special news from SYM regarding new Symba accessories! Click here to have a listen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Symba Review and Video at

Discerning scooter enthusiast and blogger Ryan Carden spent an afternoon with the Symba and has posted his review and video on his site. I have to admit that when I first saw the article I held my breath, because Ryan is pretty blunt and outspoken in his reviews, both positive and negative (which I greatly respect). He is a shill for no brand. Also, he is the proud owner of a '60's Honda Super Cub that he has restored himself: the fact that the Symba is a new interpretation of the Cub theme can either appeal or offend anyone who appreciates the original. How did the Symba fare? Well, far be it for me to characterize - read it for yourself (here).

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Meet the Nicest People Writing About the Symba...

Not surprisingly, bloggers are starting to write about the Symba. This article just appeared on "Scootin' Old School", and I'd say it's one of the best urban-centric reviews of the Symba so far. In the author's words, the SYM Symba and Portland, Oregon are just "Perfect Together"!

Friday, May 15, 2009

First Symba Accessory Sighting!

Discussion groups are starting to buzz about the Symba, as they start rolling out of showrooms and onto American roads. This is the first one I have seen that has an accessory - notice the front rack. It looks to me as if it's a rack off a Honda C70 Passport. I'm not surprised!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

2nd USA Symba Sighting!

The above photo was recently posted by a SYM dealer in Tennessee. Ah, at last a red one! Well, it looks like the initial USA allocation of Symbas has been pretty well distributed by now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First Symba Sighting!

The above is, as far as I know, the very first photo taken of a Symba from the first shipment of bikes that just arrived yesterday! It was posted by a SYM dealer in Lexington, KY.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Official Symba Countdown!

Yes, it's finally official: The ocean freighter carrying the first shipment of Symbas is on the way, and is scheduled to get here on May 5th. That's... NOW!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Heads Up, USA, Here They Come!

Well, this certainly is a good sign! SYM's USA website was recently updated with this tantalizing graphic on the home page. I guess that means bikes are almost, "on the water", which means we could see them by sometime in May! I plan to get confirmation of this by the relevant authorities at SYM, but I doubt they'd put this message up on the site if they didn't feel pretty confident that SYM dealers will be rolling these beauties into their showrooms before long!
One thing that I've always appreciated about the way the SYM-USA group conducts its affairs: they don't say anything that can't be backed up by action, and they do not cut corners, either with the truth or the quality of their products!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Symba! Where are You?

This is getting to be like "Waiting for Godot"! I feel like I did as a kid, after ordering something from the back page of a comic book (they had cheap stuff back there that appealed to 12 year-old boys: "practical joke" supplies such as onion-flavored gum, whoopee cushions, smoke bombs, handshake buzzers, etc...) and counting off the "allow 8 weeks for delivery", which always stretched to 9 or 10 weeks with me running to the mailbox every afternoon, etc.... The good news is, we know for sure that the Symba is coming - a boatload of them! Unless the ship strikes a leftover WWII mine or something, we're going to see them soon. The wait is making my Joie de vivre go a bit groggy, though!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just in! Video Introduction to the Symba!

Steve Guzman of The Scooter Scoop and John from Moxie Scooters give us a video overview of the Symba. It's the two of them walking around the bike, talking about its features and the "timeless, classic" design - they got that right! Click on the screen shot above to view it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Heads-up, USA scooter market - here comes the Symba!
"...this year, after benefiting from a 40-year relationship with Honda, Taiwan's Sanyang Industry Co. Ltd. (SYM) plans to bring ... the SYMBA, to the United States."
Click on the image above to read the full article.

Monday, February 23, 2009

SYM-USA Website is Updated: Hello, Symba!

Fellow Symba fans, the day when we can zip down to the coffee shop on our Symbas has just gotten much closer. The SYM-USA website has just been updated, and the Symba is now officially part of the line up!
Last I heard, there remains one - just one more hurdle for SYM to jump before the first shipment leaves Taiwan.   They won't say exactly when the ship will sail until they are absolutely sure that the way is clear, and I respect them for that. Once I get word, the news will be posted here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

SYMBA is a Hit with Motorcycle Dealers!

It's a good thing I had a "press" badge for the Dealer Expo show - getting in an hour earlier than the dealers was the only way I could get on the SYMBA and have my picture taken without drawing a crowd. Once the doors opened, dealers flocked around the bike as if it was Jessica Alba in a string bikini handing out free beers! I took a bunch of photos, posted here, or you can view the slideshow below. Click on any image to see a larger version in a new browser tab/window.
News from Carter-SYM is good - a full line of SYMBA accessories is being prepared for us to customize our bikes, such as the longer seat, front and rear chrome racks, side cases, SYM-branded helmets and even apparel.
SYM dealerships should be receiving their initial shipments of SYMBAs in the next couple of months. I'm told that the exact timing depends on a number of factors, including how early your local dealer gets their order in - so if you want to be sure to get one, call your nearest SYM dealer soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SYMBA Ad Campaign Begins!

Here's a look at the new full-page ad from Carter-SYM. It appeared in the Dealer Expo Show Preview Special Issue of Dealernews magazine. Click on the ad to see a larger version. Note the text toward the bottom, "Demand for this bike in the US market has been extraordinary. Don't miss out on selling this recession-proof bike". If this is based on input from dealers (which I assume), then better get your order in soon if you want to get the color of your choice for the 2009 riding season!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SYM Factory visit report...

The top photo is me standing just outside the front door of the SYM's main assembly plant in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Notice the jacket - it does get chilly during the winter months, even there, and the temperature never got over 55 that day.
There were many happy events and surprises during my morning with SYM, but sorry to say a major disappointment also: no pictures allowed inside the factory! So, aside from the photos posted above, there are none that show the high-tech vehicle assembly line, the extensive quality and safety check department, and SYM's equally-impressive robot-driven warehouse facility.
The middle 3 shots are of the showroom/lobby, and the bottom photo is of my son, Jon, standing at the welcome desk with our very welcoming host, Mr. Eddie Lu of SYM's Overseas Marketing group. Thanks go out to Eddie for a very pleasant tour and discussion. Thanks also to Pete McIntosh at Carter-SYM for his help in arranging the tour in the first place.
It's amazing to see how quickly a scooter comes together on the assembly line - from the machining of pistons, cylinders and valves into complete engines; from steel tubing into welded and painted frames; from bins of wire and connectors into complete wiring harnesses - and then the merge of all these different lines into the final assembly where in about 50 feet and 15 minutes, out comes a finished, running vehicle. From there the scooter is ridden about 10 yards into a test area where all the functions and sub-systems of the scooter are run through stringent quality and performance tests. After that, it's whisked to a holding area in preparation for crating and shipping (or storage in the warehouse). Amazing!
When we arrived in the warehouse, there was a Symba! Eddie turned to me and to my surprise and delight, handed me a helmet and said, "Want to take it for a ride"? Naturally! So, up and down the factory roads I went for about 15 minutes. Acceleration: good; ride and handling: good and solid; seat comfort: good; braking: good (although I never got over 35 due to having to dodge people, fork lifts, and various other equipment). Overall impression: pretty much exactly what I hoped for.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Symba Emblem

Here it is, folks - the official Symba emblem. It's the badge that will go on the front of every Symba sold here in the USA. You can see it on the styling prototype in my previous post. What do you think? Personally, I'm pleased. There's nothing "Wo Wow"-ish about it - which means, a guy can ride the bike around town without fear of being asked if it belongs to his wife or girlfriend. Thank God it's not a cute little lion cub!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The first SYMBA hits US shores!

True to their name, the Scooter Scoop has got the scoop on the 2009 Symba! They actually have one down there in Austin and have taken it out for a couple of rides. It seems it's not the "full" USA version, however, as Steve mentions the speedometer reads in KPH. I presume it's one of the styling prototypes they made to nail-down the colors and Symba-specific badges and markings (I see a nice "Symba" badge in the pic. Sweet!).
Steve promises more test rides and details to come - we'll pick up whatever they report and post it here, of course!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can't wait to order your Symba? Moxie Scooters is taking reservations now!

If you live within driving distance of Colleyville, Texas, you can order your Symba now for pick-up in April! It might be a good idea to do this, particularly if you've already made up your mind: who knows how many units Carter Brothers is going to be able to get in the 1st shipment from Taiwan? Moreover, how many out of that quantity will your local dealership order or be allocated? My "local" dealership in Brooklyn NY seems to have a tiny showroom and not much space to store inventory. With a pre-order, you'll have a better chance of getting one from the first bunch from the factory, as well as your color selection. I assume dealerships such as Moxie that take pre-orders will definitely be allocated at least the quantity they have already sold to (anxious) customers!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Symba MSRP: $2598.00. Availability: April, '09

Team Symba has just been informed that the suggested MSRP for the 2009 Symba has been tentatively set at $2598.00. That puts it right next to the Fiddle-II 125. I think with fully restored antique Super Cubs selling just under that range, the updated features of the Symba, plus the 2-year warranty and SYM's outstanding reputation for quality all put together make this price a very good value for the American Cub enthusiast as well as the scooter/light motorcycle community!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Symba Factory, here I come!

In about a week from now, I"ll be on my way to Taiwan! During my 10-day stay in this beautiful and exciting democracy, I'll be visiting the SYM factory in Hsinchu, Taiwan's high-tech science and industrial center located about an hour's drive from the capital city of Taipei.
It's not my first trip to Taiwan by any means - I've been a regular visitor for the past 20 years as part of my carreer in the computer hardware manufacturing business.  It was during just such a trip in the summer of 2007 that I first saw the SYM "WoWOW" on the streets of Taipei.  As a long-time Cub enthusiast, that really gave me a pleasant surprise!
I go to the SYM factory hoping to get a look at their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility (perhaps even the SYMBA production line) and also come away with a better sense of the history of the company and their plans for the future.
I'm very grateful to the public-relations people at SYM, who have been very kind in accommodating this rather sudden drop-in by an American Symba fan!  Thanks also to Pete McIntosh at Carter Brothers here in the USA for his help.
- Nate