Author Topic: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners  (Read 322 times)

DigginMySYM

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There does not seem to be a thread about ultimate reliability, in terms of the length of life of the HD 200. I've read somewhere that the bike might go up to 50,000 miles, but don't know if that's true. Being curious to know how long this bike might last and being new to this site, I'll summarize my SYM HD 200 experience and issues and ask how long it might last.

QUESTIONS:
So my 2 questions to you veteran HD 200 owners (anyone with an HD 200 with over 30,000 miles) are: 1. Have you had to put a lot money into your bike to keep it going? & 2. How many miles will the bike ultimately go? Details about my SYM experience below.

I bought my 2013 HD 200 used, in 2014 for $2400. It had 8000 miles on it. It's my daily commuter to work and school, about 10 miles each way, via central LA's rough streets and freeway system, and I've taken it on some longer rides. I routinely run it at 65-70 mph. The odometer now reads 27,000 miles.

I like the way it rides, and the engine seems somewhat reliable for a small bike, but I have had several mechanical and functional issues, some of which others on this site have also had, and which I will describe next. I should mention that I've done oil changes every time the green indicator turns red after resetting it with the ignition key, I guess that's about every 1000 miles.

PROBLEMS:
1st, about a month after I bought the bike from Scooter Dynasty (SD), the ignition coil began acting up, and the bike would lose power at high speeds. SD replaced the air filter at the cost of $20 and coil with a high performance coil for free and the bike ran fine for a while.
2nd, at about 12,000 miles the high performance coil stopped working and SD replaced it with a SYM coil, at a cost of around $90, which has worked fine until now.
3rd, at about 13,000 miles, I had to change the tires and rear shock at a cost of nearly $500.
4th, at about 15,000 miles, I the carburetor went out. That was an ordeal that cost over $1000 dollars. I had it towed to a mechanic in Pasadena who charged me nearly 400 in towing fees and the labor to try to rebuild the carburetor, which he could not do. Then, I had it towed to SD. They had the bike for about a month waiting for the carburetor which they did not have in stock and which cost nearly 400 with tax, plus the towing fees and labor.
5th Shortly after this, the gas tank/cap had the leaking problem that many on this site have described. SD replaced the entire tank at a cost of over $130 plus labor, which was about $90.
THEN, the bike went about 10,000 miles without a problem, until, at 26,XXX miles, the bike simply wouldn't start as I tried to go home from work. I replaced the battery... that didn't fix it. I had it towed to Al's bike shop in Silverlake and they replaced the engine valves and fuel valve at a cost of about $300 including towing.
Now I'm at 27,000 miles and the bike seems to be running well. It has the same zip and power it had when I first bought it, but I've had to spend a fair amount of money to keep it running.

I changed the tires a couple thousand miles ago and the rear shock and wheel again needs replacing, but I don't know if it the cost of $500 is worth it at 27,000 miles, so I have a couple questions.

QUESTIONS:
So my 2 questions to you veteran HD 200 owners (anyone with an HD 200 with over 30,000 miles) are: 1. Have you had to put a lot money into your bike to keep it going? & 2. How many miles will the bike ultimately go?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 05:44:17 PM by DigginMySYM »
'13 SYM HD200 ~Smooth~
'08 Suzuki Burgman 400.... Nice!
Let's Conspire To Ignite All The Souls That Would Die Just To Feel Alive

redridinghood

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 04:49:31 PM »
Maybe for some other rider needing a cheaper solution to a new carburetor... http://symforum.com/index.php?topic=1884.0

I did see the OEM carb is now 'only' $300 through Scooter Dynasty http://www.scooterdynasty.com/carburetorforsymhd200.aspx

I like the shop charging $300 to actually fix something, more than the one charging $400 to give your scooter a ride... I mean, how many hours labor can they charge you for and still sleep at night for not fixing a scooter carburetor?...

You have the right to ask for your old parts that were replaced (at least in California) with new ones, if you request this when they write the service order...

I would have loved to see the engine valves they replaced...

...what a shocker that your scooter, which sounds like it got you to work fine, experienced both a compression (valves) and fuel (petcock) related issue... For only a few $$ more, they could have said your CDI was also faulty and scored a trifecta...Call me suspicious. 😜

Send a bill to Alliance for $220 (faulty gas tank and labor) ride it like it stole you, and run like hell when it quits running! 🙃

At what intervals were the valve clearances checked?

I can't resist adding this video... 😉  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1ikayXMGIAw
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 06:38:51 PM by redridinghood »

DigginMySYM

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 12:44:36 AM »
redridinghood, To answer your question: IDK anything about checking valve clearances.
To reply to your comments: One mechanic said that either a ?"stator" plate? or the engine valves might my most recent problem. Al's cycle shop said it only needed a valve replacement, and opted not to repair or charge me for the stator.

The bike has quit on a few occasions and I didn't run, but now at 27,000 miles, and with everything I wrote about the beginning of this thread, I'm not sure how worth it it will be to replace the rear shock and get a new CVT belt and possibly rollers. If I knew it was going to go another 15,000 miles, I'd have no problem spending the money on those.

****The principle question I hope to find an answer for in this thread is whether or not this bike will make it to 40K or 50K miles with routine oil changes.

I'm going tomorrow, to look at a 2014 Kymco Like 200i with only 275 miles for $1800 from a retired man who was too afraid to ride it after he bought it. Plus, I'll keep  the HD200 for longer, higher speed freeway trips.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 05:43:13 PM by DigginMySYM »
'13 SYM HD200 ~Smooth~
'08 Suzuki Burgman 400.... Nice!
Let's Conspire To Ignite All The Souls That Would Die Just To Feel Alive

Syd

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 01:00:57 AM »
With proper maintenance; replacing oil, gear lube, cooling flushes, belt and roller replacements, and valve adjustments, your HD should last 50k and beyond. Your manual has the service schedule.

(Oh, change the air filter occasionally too)

87112

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 08:58:34 AM »
Diggin

I admire your perservance with the HD, for the $$ you spent and time towing and repairing SYM owes you something. Its very very rare to find people sticking with a ride like you have.

DigginMySYM

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 11:57:10 AM »
Syd, thanks for the advice. On that, I'll do one more round of extended maintenance expenditures plus do what you advised and hope it lasts another 15K.

'13 SYM HD200 ~Smooth~
'08 Suzuki Burgman 400.... Nice!
Let's Conspire To Ignite All The Souls That Would Die Just To Feel Alive

DigginMySYM

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 12:01:48 PM »
87112, Thanks for the encouragement... yet, as much as I'd like to feel that someone owes me something for some of my SYM troubles, one gets what one pays for, and I can't expect much for what I paid.
'13 SYM HD200 ~Smooth~
'08 Suzuki Burgman 400.... Nice!
Let's Conspire To Ignite All The Souls That Would Die Just To Feel Alive

Tromper

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 07:43:14 PM »
RE: Valve Inspection/Adjustment.
SYM notes every 3k km/~1800 miles.  I've had to set mine exactly once on each machine & it hasn't gone out in ~13k on one & ~6k on the others.  I check 'em now and again since they're not that bad, but it's really been 2k miles at best usually more.
08 SYM HD200
07 Suzuki Burgman 650

DigginMySYM

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 03:03:55 PM »
Tromper. Thanks for the advice.

BTW all, I test drove a 2014 Kymco Like 200i. According to reviews, it's a great and reliable bike. It wasn't broken in, and it was a great price on CL, with <300 miles, but I had to pass, and here's why: With it's small wheels, short length between wheels, front end design, and 163cc engine, the Like 200i really stinks in comparison to the HD200 in handling, acceleration, speed, and smoothness ride. I ride the HD200 on the freeway all the time. That would be terrifying on the Like 200i. In the 150-200 cc class, in my experience, NOTHING beats the HD200 for acceleration, high speed, smooth ride, and handling. In spite of my issues with the HD200, some others have had fewer and less significant problems with theirs. I should say that though I've changed the oil, perhaps more often than necessary, I've always ridden it hard, which may have contributed to my bike's issues.

However, I do want something more reliable and more powerful. Today, I'm going to check out a 2008 Suzuki Burgman 400 with 7000 miles. I hear that a few of that year's clutches can go out, but 91% of Burgman owners recommend them highly. The price is more than alright. If I get the Burgman, I'll keep the HD200 around for a backup, but will never buy one again, though I might someday check out the Citycom.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 03:10:58 PM by DigginMySYM »
'13 SYM HD200 ~Smooth~
'08 Suzuki Burgman 400.... Nice!
Let's Conspire To Ignite All The Souls That Would Die Just To Feel Alive

Syd

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 04:18:04 PM »
Wow. A Burgman is the polar opposite of the HD.

DigginMySYM

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 05:47:48 PM »
Syd, Can you elaborate. I've ridden a Burgman around the block sometime back. It had power, yet seemed somewhat clunky compared to the HD200. I didn't get it on the highway. I want to try that. Even so, it is rated #1 in it's class on motorcycle.com and 91% of 130 user reviews love it and would recommend it. I know a mechanic who rides a Burgman and he said it should go 100K with proper care.
I'm curious how you see it as 'polar opposite' to the HD200.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 05:49:48 PM by DigginMySYM »
'13 SYM HD200 ~Smooth~
'08 Suzuki Burgman 400.... Nice!
Let's Conspire To Ignite All The Souls That Would Die Just To Feel Alive

Syd

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 11:15:57 PM »
I'm sure most owners like the Burgy. I worked with a guy who drove the crap out of a Burgman 400 (70,000 miles of hard, highway riding).

But the HD is relatively light, quick, flickable sit-upright scoot. The Burgman is low, not-quick, heavy, feet-forward cruiser. Exact opposites.

As a rule the Burgmans are workhorses, but be aware, some Burgmans require regular valve adjustments that are very difficult (read expensive) to complete.

87112

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 05:52:18 AM »
I have ridden some competitors in the field and only one was kind of more fun than an HD200.

It was the little light PCX 150, what a toy like scooter. Its feels like it weighs nothing and with its narrow tires can handle like a go cart. However if you intend to ride it a bit on the freeway its not good. The motor is tuned for low end and city speed and just wimps out freeway speeds.

The Yamaha Smax imho is all wrong- ugly dash, ugly from some angles and a high center of gravity, bad handling.  I frankly thought it was awful. Plus it felt cramped and I am only 5 feet 6. Many love it though.

I have ridden a scooter with small wheels like the Kymco Like200i, I rode a Vespa 300 for a bit and thought similar thoughs as Diggin, those small wheels on the freeway at 70mph might be kind of scary! Maybe the Fiddle II from is better than the Like200i? I get the impression overall that SYM products are very favorable for handling and power in the entire lineup. Its really too bad we don't get the fuel injected HD200 in the States, that would be so great to not worry about the issues of a carb.

I do agree in the 150-200 class nothing current matches the power, handling, ride of the HD. The 16 inches wheels is a big difference maker to me, when I first rode it I had no doubts I wanted to buy one. Another thing is the exhaust sound of the HD, I think it sounds like a small motorcycle to me.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 06:02:40 AM by 87112 »

87112

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 05:58:07 AM »
Diggin what kind of tires are you using on the HD? When I swapped out the stock Duro for Pirelli Diablo tires it improved the handling immensely.

Tromper

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Re: Top Mileage? Questions For Long Time, High Mileage HD 200 Owners
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 09:01:03 AM »
Heck Digg'n I match my HD off with a B650.
Both have their places.  In the class nobody else has anything like the HD in this country so I'm a fan.
It's great for knocking around town, & can nab the freeway in a pinch.

If I'm going for an all day ride through the countryside though I prefer the big burger. 
Nice to be able to gobble miles fast & reliability when going through less interesting areas.
08 SYM HD200
07 Suzuki Burgman 650