SYM WOLF (2011 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £50
Power: 11 bhp
Seat height: Low (27.6 in / 700 mm)
Weight: Low (342 lbs / 155 kg)

Prices

New £2,999
Used £2,300 - £2,400

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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

Next up: Engine
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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

Next up: Reliability
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

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

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 vs rivals

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

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 (5/5)

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.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 75 mpg
Annual road tax £20
Annual service cost £50
New price £2,999
Used price £2,300 - £2,400
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 11 bhp
Max torque 8 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 262 miles

Model 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.

Owners' reviews for the SYM WOLF (2011 - on)

6 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.

Review your SYM WOLF (2011 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £50
3 out of 5 Stujohnp@gmail.com
29 February 2020 by Stuart Pickett

Year: 2016

Nice to look at in yellow

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Poor electrics.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Brought from a dealer

5 out of 5 my bike
20 July 2016 by spenny

Year: 2013

sporty

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: private 850 paid 800

5 out of 5 Sym Citycom
13 December 2015 by Thomas

Version: Citycom

Year: 2011

Annual servicing cost: £50

this is a very economical bike to maintain and running costs are cheap - excellent fuel consumption and easy on tyres - comfortable seat for long distance - no adverse features as such

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Decent ride - no abs so only four out of five

Engine 4 out of 5

Smooth power delivery however a few more BHP would be nice

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Good quality and fully reliable - ten thousand miles with no issues

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Over 80 miles per gallon

Equipment 4 out of 5

Good lighting and electrics - has a 12V charger in glovebox - optional topbox available

Buying experience: Bought privately

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 problem!! Waste of money for sure!! Whatever you do don't buy this piece of sh**, I'm telling you!!!!!

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 hondas and yamahas and kawasakis!at least thats the comments i receive! :) MCN should reconsider before posting this review!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Better than a CBF125
09 September 2011 by

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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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