SYM JET X 125 (2021 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Cheap but well-spec'd scooter
  • Cleanest-burning engine from the Taiwanese firm yet
  • Fully Euro5 compliant, liquid-cooled SOHC 125

At a glance

Power: 13 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.3 in / 770 mm)
Weight: Low (298 lbs / 135 kg)

Prices

New £3,499
Used £3,000 - £3,400

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Sym Jet X 125 is a Taiwanese scooter that matches its Japanese and European 125 scooter rivals for tech, style, performance and sophistication but with a price tag that’s hard to resist.

The 2023 model’s new (for Sym) liquid-cooled, fuel injected, 4v motor ticks every Euro5 box and delivers the sort of performance you’d expect of a scooter of this size.

But the keyless ignition, all-LED lights and a neat digital instrument display align the Jet X with arguably more desirable alternatives from Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia and others.

Sym Jet X 125 left side on the road

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Sym Jet X runs on 14in cast wheels so its steering and turn-in are rapid and light but without being twitchy – the preserve of some smaller-wheeled lightweights.

The non-adjustable suspension is basic (motorcycle style 30mm telescopic forks up front, twin shocks at the rear) and adequate in most circumstances. Ride quality is comfortable, mainly down to the deep seat that’s pillion compatible, but large potholes and bumps can rapidly overwhelm the damping and drastically impair rider comfort.

Strong side winds can be an issue on open roads due to the surface area of the bodywork and the bike’s modest 135kg mass.

Sym Jet X 125 front

The brakes – a 260mm front disc with twin-pot caliper and 220mm rear with a twin-pot caliper – are linked rather than ABS equipped, and perfectly suited to the bike’s weight, size and performance.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Jet X is fitted with Sym’s cleanest engine yet, boasting fuel injection, liquid-cooling and a SOHC four-valve head.

The 13bhp@8000rpm power output (that’s 3bhp up on Sym’s air-cooled 125 engine) equates to a top speed of around 70mph, depending on rider size/weight and conditions.

It’s brisk off the mark rather than quick, but the Jet X can easily keep traffic at bay up to 30-40mph, so it’s fun and effective in town.

Sym Jet X 125 engine

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Sym might be cheaper than many of its main rivals (Honda’s Forza 125 scooter is a whopping £1650 more) but the Jet X doesn’t feel cheap.

In fact, it’s got a feel and build quality more than capable of going head-to-head with both Japanese and European rivals.

The fake carbon touches around the clocks play into the bike’s sporty style and the Ducati Panigale-esque look of the headlamps is far from a coincidence. No red flags in terms of reliability. The Jet X comes with a two-year warranty; minor services are every 3000 miles, majors every 12,000.

Sym Jet X 125 badge decal

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Part of the Jet X’s main appeal is how easy it is on the pocket. HP is available over 60 months, after a £299 deposit, for £65 a month. Insurance is group 6. And if you can’t get at least 120 miles out of the 7.5 litre tank you must be riding everywhere flat out.

The main Japanese rival is Honda’s Forza 125, while European competition comes from Aprilia’s excellent but more expensive SR GT 125.

You could also consider Yamaha’s NMax, although it doesn’t have the same level of styling as the others here, it is cheaper.

Sym Jet X 125 headlights

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

There’s a lot to like in terms of equipment on the Sym Jet X. The digital instruments are clear, easy to read and provide everything you need to know of a 125 scooter – speed, rpm, fuel range, time, mileage.

The LED lights (taillights and indicators are LED, too) are bright enough to ensure you’re seen by other road users, as well as picking out to the road ahead.

Storage is a disappointment, however. There’s just enough room under the seat for a full faced lid, but barely anything else, and the only other storage is a small cubby hole in the leg shields that’s only large enough for a phone or lightweight waterproofs.

Sym Jet X 125 dash

There’s a centrestand though, for easy parking, a rear rack, decent mirrors, chunky switchgear and a keyless ignition.

The bike is turned on and off by a dial switch; the key fob is separate. Additionally, there’s an inbuilt alarm which is great for security and insurance costs, although Sym say an updated, slightly less sensitive system is going to be fitted from 2023.

Specs

Engine size 125cc
Engine type liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4v single
Frame type Steel backbone
Fuel capacity 7.5 litres
Seat height 770mm
Bike weight 135kg
Front suspension 30mm telescopic forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin shocks, non-adjustable
Front brake 1 x 260mm disc, two-piston caliper, CBS
Rear brake 1 x 220mm disc, single-piston caliper, CBS
Front tyre size 100/90 14
Rear tyre size 110/80 14

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 90 mpg
Annual road tax £22
Annual service cost -
New price £3,499
Used price £3,000 - £3,400
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 13 bhp
Max torque 8.1 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 120 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2021: First Jet X arrives late 2021. Liquid-cooled, Euro 5 compliant 125 with 13bhp, LED lights, keyless ignition, standard alarm and up to the minute styling.

2022: Five colour options; red, white, matt black, matt brown, grey.

2023: Updated, less sensitive alarm promised, along with an improved seat.

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