SYM WOLF (2011-on) Review

Published: 29 July 2011

Good-looking roadster mixes style with basic mechanicals

SYM WOLF  (2011-on)

Good-looking roadster mixes style with basic mechanicals

  • At a glance
  • 125cc  -  11 bhp
  • 75 mpg  -  262 miles range
  • Low seat height (700mm)
  • Suitable for A1 licence
  • £2,999

Overall Rating 2 out of 5

The Sym Wolf SB125Ni is a fuel-injected learner-friendly motorcycle from the Taiwanese giant. Sym pumps out around half a million two wheelers (albeit mostly scooters) a year, and this is one of their first steps into the UK motorcycle market. But… despite its great looks, the £2999 price tag puts it way above more attractive budget options, while the quality of the ride and engine simply isn’t good enough to challenge the 125 Dukes and YZF-R125s of this world.

Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5

Not confidence inspiring. It feels poorly balanced and is consequently awkward to manoeuvre at low speeds. Most cheaper bikes get away with adequate or ill thought out design by being so light it really doesn’t matter. At 155kg dry the Wolf just can’t get away with it. The brakes are very basic twin piston callipers at the front with a drum at the rear, giving adequate stopping performance but nothing more. The gear change is sloppy, imprecise and ill-positioned. Deeply irritating.

Engine 2 out of 5

Not exciting. Vibration picks up as the old-school, air-cooled four-stroke single begins to approach 70mph. You’ll want to back off soon after. Keeping it pinned and moving along at 62mph is the norm. Acceleration is slow and breathless. The only redeeming feature is the fuel injection, which makes starting it and keeping it running as simple as pushing a button. Essentially the performance is feeble. Even for a 125.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

General quality is adequate while failing to match major European or Japanese rivals. Sym haven’t so far shared any details of warranty cover, and it remains to be seen how the Wolf will handle winter conditions and the drops and scrapes learners will subject it to.

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

Yes, you get a lot of equipment for the money. You get almost as much as on KTM’s 125 Duke and for over £500 less. But, if you do buy the Wolf, you’ll wish you splashed out just a little bit extra for a Honda CBR125R or the like. In short, the equipment’s a bargain, the quality of the ride isn’t.

Equipment 5 out of 5

By far the Wolf’s biggest selling point. A very tidy LCD dash – complete with sexy blue backlighting – shows off a slick digital speedo, a trip meter, fuel gauge and the current time. It has LED lights and neat styling touches like the CB1000R-styled alloy wheels. The screen is good looking and colour coded and the grab rail is extremely good. The ease of the fuel injection is a great bonus too. Only downside is a slightly rattly pillion seat that doesn’t clip in with much confidence.

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their SYM WOLF (2011-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.7 out of 5
Engine 3.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.7 out of 5
2 out of 5

Awful!!

24 October 2013 by fiudsc

Very unreliable bike for sure. Less than 6 months of owning this bike, it had a fuel injector issue. Kept cutting out at junctions, wouldn't above 30mph and I spent a fortune on this bike. Got the fuel injected issue fixed, but again 6 months, same... Read more problem!! Waste of money for sure!! Whatever you do don't buy this piece of sh**, I'm telling you!!!!!

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wicked Bike!

07 May 2012 by SteliosAl

Ok I am the owner of a wolf 250cc and all I have to say is that this review is utterly invalid!the bike is a complete success, sym engines are very reliable, handles like a charm, gear change is really smooth and precise!as for the looks it beats the... Read more hondas and yamahas and kawasakis!at least thats the comments i receive! :) MCN should reconsider before posting this review!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Better than a CBF125

09 September 2011 by Anonymous

OK. Yet another innaccurate and unfair road test by MCN. The tester states that it has a "drum brake at the rear". Erm... no it's a disc actually (look at the photo's). There's nothing wrong with the gearchange either; it's neither sloppy nor... Read more imprecise. I have never missed a gear or had any problems whatsoever with the gearchange, and to say it is "badly positioned" is frankly ridiculous. It's easily adjustable just like most other bikes, so what's the problem? "General quality is adequate" Are you serious? I'm beginning to think this guy hasn't even seen the bike, never mind ridden it. The build quality on SYMs is easily on a par with the Japanese brands and knocks spots off Honda's cheap and nasty CBF125.What is meant by "Sym haven’t so far shared any details of warranty cover"? If you go to the SYM UK website, it clearly states that models 125cc and over come with a 3 year warranty. Talk about lazy journalism! If you're thinking of buying a Wolf 125, ingore this "road test" and go to your local SYM dealer and see for yourself.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2011
Year discontinued -
New price £2,999
Warranty term One year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 11 bhp
Max torque 8 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 75 mpg
Tank range 262 miles
Specification
Engine size 125cc
Engine type Air-cooled, 124.5cc fuel-injected, single cylinder four-stroke
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 13 litres
Seat height 700mm
Bike weight 155kg
Front suspension Telescopic fork
Rear suspension -
Front brake Disc brake with 2 piston caliper
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 110/70 - 17
Rear tyre size 130/70 - 17

History & Versions

Model history

2011: Sym Wolf SB125Ni launched

Other versions

2011: Wolf SB125N (£TBA) – lower spec. carburated version not currently available in the UK.

Photo Gallery

  • SYM WOLF  (2011-on)
  • SYM WOLF  (2011-on)
  • SYM WOLF  (2011-on)
  • SYM WOLF  (2011-on)
  • SYM WOLF  (2011-on)
  • SYM WOLF  (2011-on)