Wolf in Sym’s clothing
Taiwanese brand Sym release Trazer 200 adventure bike and a new naked Wolf 300
The Trazer 200 is a lightweight adventure bike that Sym say is built for beginners who want a bike that can tackle any road. The Trazer has a 183cc single, which produces 18bhp and 12ftlb of torque. It has 19in/17in wheels and off-road tyres, as well as long-travel suspension. It also comes with ABS and in true off-road style, the rear wheel ABS can be disabled. No prices have been confirmed but we expect it to be around £3000, which would make it around £1600 cheaper than the most affordable models from any of the major manufacturers.
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Retro never dies or so Sym say, which is presumably why they’ve unveiled a new version of the Wolf Café Racer 300i – a modern retro for people who don’t fancy the power or expense of some of the bigger brands. The Wolf is powered by a 278cc thumper, up from 250cc in the old model, which puts out just shy of 27bhp and 19ftlb. The new model has a new exhaust, which boosts the midrange and helps the bike stay Euro4 compliant. It’s also got a Bosch ABS system and daytime running lights. There’s no confirmed UK price, but we’d expect it to be around £3500.
Wolf CR 300i
The Sym will be joining an ever-growing market of adventure bikes that are suited to those who have A2 licences and, while they may lack some of the power and top shelf features of their bigger brethren, they mark a perfect entry point into the market. The biggest drawing factor for the Trazer 200 will be the price, which is expected to be significantly cheaper than those offered by the Japanese rivals.
So, what else is there?
Suzuki V-Strom 250
Taking styling cues from the V-Strom 650 and 1000 models, the 250 is the baby in the range. When we rode it back in September, we found it to be a comfy and practical bike that was more at home on the tarmac as opposed to the gravel. We were also slightly underwhelmed by its tame 248cc parallel twin engine, which makes 24.7bhp, concluding that it could do with a bit more poke. At the same time, the easy-going nature makes it an ideal tool for newer riders. Priced at £4,599, it is significantly dearer than the Sym is expected to be.
Kawasaki Versys X 300
Kawasaki’s Versys X 300 impressed us when we rode it back in May. With a comfortable and roomy riding position, the bike proved to be a great machine for those who are looking for something to blast around on narrow back roads and as a commuting tool. The only let-down came from poor gearing, which makes the Versys really revvy, the £5,149 price tag is also significantly more than the Sym, however, it has impressed us in comparison test against other A2 adventure bikes.
Honda CRF250 Rally
The CRF 250 Rally builds on the success of the Africa Twin and capable adventure machine with genuine off-road intent. Based on Honda’s bomb-proof CRF250L trail bike and unlike many of the other adventure bikes in this market, the Rally is a machine that will go nearly any place you point it. It comes at a price though and, at £5,299, will be beyond the reach of some.
If you think of a globe-trotting adventure bike, chances are a BMW badge will be the first to feature in your mind. So, when the G310GS was announced, it created a murmur of excitement in the MCN office. At £5,100, the price of the baby GS is on par with other A2-compatible adventure bikes, and the brand association is worth a lot. The single cylinder engine impressed us on its launch and, with a good turning circle, light clutch and nice gearbox, it’s an ideal machine for beginners. It’s a really important machine for BMW too, being the first small-capacity machine and also the first to be produced by the German manufacturer in the far-east.