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Sheep in Wolf's clothing

Published: 29 July 2011

Sym's latest offering, the Wolf 125, looks familiar and that's entirely deliberate.

The 'mini Honda CB1000R' (if you don't believe me compare the headlamp cowl, wheel design and seat) is the Taiwanese manufacturer's latest attempt to show how its style and quality is now a match for the best from Europe and Japan - and at first glance the Wolf, or Sb125Ni to give it its full name, certainly has a lot going for it.

The maker should be taken seriously, too. The Taiwanese giant currently pumps out more than half-a-million two wheelers, albeit mostly scooters, a year.

It's a fuel-injected 125cc learner/commuter that - at just shy of £3000 - is aimed at the higher end of the starter market. That price includes 0% finance and free insurance.

Traditionally, manufacturers in Taiwan, Korea and more recently China have had one big weapon in their arsenal: price. But at £2999 the new Wolf is so far out of the budget league that it's now trying to compete with the likes of KTM's £3495 125 Duke. And that's where it falls down.

It's easy to see why Sym thinks its Wolf is worth three grand, but go beyond the OK styling and reasonable equipment and the Wolf quickly fails to live up to that £3k price tag.

Read the full review in this week's issue of MCN (27 July), on sale now.

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