Author Topic: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X  (Read 72155 times)

gitsum

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Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« on: October 17, 2011, 11:09:14 PM »
point vs counterpoint

The Sym Wolf is extremely agile and light, but is a smaller motorcycle.   At low speeds the ease of riding and handling are unmatched.  

The TU250X feels heavier and bigger but is smoother,  especially at high speeds where it exhibits superior stability the little Wolf could never hope to match.

The Wolf has a stiffer front suspension, giving it a sportier feel than the TU250X, but the Suzuki rides smoother.

The smaller dimensions of the Wolf make it a cinch to roll in and out of a doorway or garage or to transport in a vehicle much like a scooter.  

The Suzuki has a lot more room for a pillion and luggage options, but is not as easy to park or move around.

The clutch engagement and gearbox on the Wolf have a short positive action, making quick smooth shifts very natural.  The gear ratios are pretty short, and combined with the rev happy nature of the 150cc single it makes the Wolf seem very peppy.  

The Suzuki has taller gears and a lot more low end torque.  You don't have to go up and down through the gears near as much as the Sym, and the clutch pull is really light.

Performance for the Wolf is nothing short of amazing for 150cc.  A free revving engine with close gear ratios and a light 266 lb curb weight give the little motorcycle plenty of reserve power for any situation up to 60+ mph.  

The TU250X has amazing low end torque for a 250cc motorcycle.  The engine is a little slower to rev than the Wolf,  but definitely more powerful.  In any casual riding situation the Wolf could easily keep up with the TU250X.  

But with a judicious amount of throttle and climbing near redline,  the Suzuki easily pulls away from the Sym.  

At highway speeds the Wolf has just enough power, though not much in reserve.  It can't possibly  compete with the extra 100cc of the Suzuki at speeds above 60 mph.

The Sym actually seemed to be a little ahead in the quality department, as well as coming with a few extra perks.   Real chrome fenders and light, fork gaitors, analog tachometer, centerstand, bench seat,  some cool clip-on handle bars, and a front disk that is slightly bigger than the one on the TU250X.

The Suzuki doesn't offer those features, but it does come with fuel injection and the riders seat is in another league when it comes to long distance comfort.  The headlight is more powerful too.

Both motorcycles have access panels to adjust the valves, though on the Suzuki you have to raise the fuel tank to reach the intake valve.  I was absolutely thrilled the Sym had a manual choke mounted just below the instrument pods, and the CV carb is very smooth and glitch free (still not as good as fuel injection).

I love the look of the Wolf, that's why I bought it.  It has a few issues, which I am addressing.
The cool clip on handle bars are just too low for any lengthy rides, thank goodness they have a second setting to position them closer to a standard style.  The mirrors are a little narrow for viewing directly behind you, (so are the ones on theTU250X) but some nice Napoleon bar ends fixed that.  The seat is gonna need some more padding or perhaps something like an Airhawk.  

The Suzuki on the other hands pretty much works perfect just like it is.  It really needs nothing, the mirrors are a minor annoyance and leaning your head out slightly works.  It is more comfortable, faster and the fuel economy at 75-80 mpg is close enough to the Wolf's 85-90 mpg.  It costs $800 more and is really worth it.  

You can't go wrong with either one.  In the end it's really a matter of personal preference to pick which one is better.  Agility and looks vs more versatility and power.  They both fulfill the role of basic motorcyle transportation well, either one will supply you with ample functionality and good times.

We are fortunate enough to have both, but I would have to give the nod to the TU250X if  that was my sole mode of transportation.   Will it ever be as cool as the Wolf?  No I think not.  But the Suzuki is still a brilliant machine with a touch of retro flavor.






« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 11:12:34 PM by gitsum »

thehypercube

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 01:00:01 AM »
awesome write-up. thanks for doing that! these are the 2 bikes sold in the US I am interested in. the tu250 isnt sold in CA though, so it makes my choice easier. have you taken the wolf on the freeway at all? how'd it do?

i wish that honda would bring this to the US for sale: http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/honda_cb223s_2011.php

gitsum

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 10:37:31 AM »
I only have 60 miles on the Wolf so far, so I haven't taken it above 50-55 mph so far.  Trying to limit the revs to 6500 or so until it hits 100 miles and an oil change.  After that  I'll push it to 8000 rpms, then at 250-300 miles I'll see what she's got.  

Yeah, Asia has all kinds of cool smaller motorcycles.  Too bad the rest of the world figured out small bikes are economical and fun, but dumb ass America thinks a big motorcycles are the way to go.  

Hmm, 15-20K for a big motorcycle, 40-50 mpg, insurance premiums as much as a economy car, repair costs like a car?

I think I would just buy a nice new economy car and have more comfort and versatility ;)

How often do you see motorcycles cruising the Interstate at 100+ mph?   Never, they all cruise at 70-75 mph, not sure why you need 1200cc for that?    If I was into taking long trips on the super slab, a Kymco Downtown 300i would be the way to go.   More comfy, more storage, better wind protection, 70 mpg, and plenty of power with a top speed of 95 mph, all for $5400.

But then for me a long two wheel trip is much better on back highways cruising 45-65 mph...
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 10:39:44 AM by gitsum »

thehypercube

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 12:06:21 AM »
Pretty sure you and I are fully on the same page here. Only reason I am hesitant on the 150cc is that it's not much of an upgrade displacement-wise from my Buddy 125. I have been told that with the added control of manual gears, though, a 150cc shifter should outperform a 150 CVT which gives me optimism.

I ride 2-up on the Buddy with my wife a lot around the city. We're a combined 280-290lb. When we sat on the Wolf in the shop, it was already much more comfortable due to the longer seat, but I'm not sure if it allows us to do anything we hadn't already been doing around town (except look cooler). We're in SF and so to go east or north there are no backroads ways available. Just giant bridge #1 or giant bridge #2...

The one thing I think I'd be able to do at least is use the freeway to get from the southern part of the city where I live to downtown, but I'm thinking maybe that is only viable as a solo trip.

I have looked at the Maxi scoots as well. 300i is really enticing, but I have to pick one set of wheels. Right now it's looking like a Wolf, but I'm also not in any hurry. Just passed 10k on my '08 buddy and it still performs like a champ day in, day out. Looking forward to your impression after some more miles! Also if you end up using the stock tires on wet pavement  at all I'm interested in that. I had some near crash experiences on the Buddy when it was new due to it coming with horrible wet-weather tires.

gitsum

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 09:41:17 AM »
I ride primarily solo, though if needed the Wolf can handle a pillion.

If I was going to ride primarily double, the Suzuki TU250X is much more accommodating.

As far as engine performance the Buddy 125 (223 lbs) with 9.52 hp has a distinct disadvantage compared to the Wolf (266 lbs) with 14.79 hp.

The Wolf has a 5-speed gear box with a chain drive and the Buddy 125 isn't really in the same class in terms of power.

I know this from experience because I own a Honda Elite 110 with 8.9 hp and fuel injection.  The Elite is smooth and peppy, but no match for the Wolf in terms of acceleration or top speed.

Don't forget a scooter swingarm/engine design even with 15" or 16" wheels cannot compete against a real motorcycle suspension with 17" or 18" wheels in terms of smoothness or handling.

I'm sure having fun on the Wolf, but I miss the storage of a scooter :(

thehypercube

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 02:21:59 PM »
Ha! 15" wheels... try 10" for the Buddy. I wince when leaning left because of all the center stand scrapes. That said, my obsessive research online has come up with a couple of things I'd miss going from the Buddy to the Wolf that I didn't notice in the store: 1) No fuel gauge? 2) No turn signal clicker

Because my ride is a commuter, probably 90% of my miles are solo so it shouldn't be a big issue and we do have a car for getting out of town.

Storage - I definitely think I will miss this the most. Stupid question regarding that, where do you keep your insurance and registration info on a motorcycle?

gitsum

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 06:36:02 PM »
Both the Wolf and the TU250X have removable side panels with a little tool kit, room to stash a couple of documents sealed in a sandwich bag.


thehypercube

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 02:44:03 PM »
hey just curious where you got the 14.79 hp figure from?
Sym's site shows 12.5 here:
http://www.sym-usa.com/line%20up/rs_50/line_up_rs50.html

Just curious because I just caught wind of this CCW Misfit that looks really nice and is a 230cc engine but puts out 14.08hp. http://www.clevelandcyclewerks.com/misfit-details/

I was thinking it sounded weird for a 230 to put out less hp than a 150.

The torque comparison is a totally different story though - 7.7 versus 11.65 Ft Lbs between the smaller & larger engines.

At only $200 more it's pretty tempting!

gitsum

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2011, 03:12:10 PM »
Here you go, I'm thinking 12.5 hp is more like the 125cc version.

http://alliancepowersports.com/models/Wolf.html

I have seen one or two other websites verifying the same hp and torque figures.

I believe they are accurate for several reasons:

1.  This guy weighs in excess of 210 lbs and got a GPS verified speed of 82 mph
      http://2strokebuzz.com/2009/08/13/%E2%80%99tween-wolf#more-5650

2.  Sym engines use a ceramic coating on the cylinder head, and all of the Sym models seem to be overachieving.
     Sym Mio 50cc 4-stroke air cooled top speed 43 mph, HD125 liquid cooled 4-stroke top speed 65 mph, HD200 (170cc) liquid cooled
     top speed 72 mph,  Sym RV250 liquid cooled top speed 80+.  And all of these use a carb and have a variator/belt drive (less efficient)
     but still got impressive performance.

3. Another thing I noticed was the stock inlet on the Wolf's air box were actually about the same size as the carb intake, not much restriction      there. On my Honda Elite 110, Yamaha C3, and Suzuki TU250X they all used a small hose type snorkel that was pretty weak looking.

4.  At all speeds especially above 40mph the Wolf is way faster than my Elite 110 which is water-cooled and fuel injected.

I saw several websites stating the horsepower for the TU250X was about 16 or so.  I don't believe that for a second.  With a very crisp fuel injected motor and the air box snorkle removed, seat of the pants tells me at least 20 hp.  It feels close to a Virago 250 (21 hp) and faster than a Rebel 250 which is rated at 16 hp for a 234cc carb engine.

While neither the Wolf or TU250X are considered fast or powerful, they still deserve credit for what they can do.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 03:24:48 PM by gitsum »

Mike @ Lance Powersports

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Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2011, 03:31:11 PM »
Please take a look at this review hot of the presses from Just Gotta Scoots' David Harrington 

http://www.twincitiesrider.com/symwolf012.htm

thehypercube

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2011, 04:10:52 PM »
Not doubting the information on Alliance's Classic 150 site, except for this part:

"The underseat compartment is spacious and accommodates a full helmet. Flat floor panel provides wide space for foot resting during long trips."  ;D

I know Mike @ Alliance has been chiming in on these boards. If you see this, Mike, any reason for the discrepancy for the power info on the Alliance site vs the Sym-Usa site?

Mike @ Lance Powersports

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2011, 04:26:36 PM »
Hey HyperCube,  Yes that is of course a typo  and there we many typo's on our new site! We appreciate all of our dealer and SYM owners help in pointing out the many mistakes we made. Look for the corrections soon and also coming soon lots more stuff added to the website. The SYM-USA site we hope will go away soon! Ride Safe. 

thehypercube

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 04:31:09 PM »
Hi Mike - Thanks for getting back to me about that! I was only kidding about the underseat compartment.

Sorry, I was mainly talking about the 12.5 hp on the old site versus 14.79 hp on the new site. Were there separate tests run that gave the new hp figure?

p.s. great write up from David Harrington, congrats

gitsum

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 04:54:14 PM »
When I lifted the seat on my Sym Wolf I had enough storage for several sheets of paper, folded that is!  :D

That's a nice little review from Dave Harrington.  I've got to wonder since everyone thought it was comfortable,  if they didn't already have the
clip on handlebars on the higher position.  I'm thinking they must have 'cuz no one complained about the bars pinching your legs against the gas tank.

I hope he wasn't saying he was topping out at 62 mph, that doesn't seem to jive with the 'Tween Wolf review.   I was able to hit an indicated 55 mph with plenty of throttle and revs left.  I won't know for a couple of hundred more miles, but with the flyscreen and my weight of 165 lbs I would be disappointed if I wasn't hitting a true 75 mph or about 80 indicated.

gitsum

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Re: Sym Wolf Classic 150 and Suzuki TU250X
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 03:12:21 PM »
I fixed the seat issue with a little extra padding.   The cool looking bench seat was a little narrow and hard near the front, after more than 20 minutes or so it was kinda uncomfortable for me, both on my cheeks and inner thighs.

Then again, maybe I was just spoiled by the marvelous riders seat on the TU250X.  You know your seat is good when you never even think about it ;)

I did some searching online looking for the best solution.  I'm not new to seat mods, I've added padding on several scooters I've owned with mixed results.  I came to the conclusion that a very dense foam padding seems to work the best.  A softer less dense foam or memory foam feels great at first, but a little while later they tend to bottom out on longer rides giving only a marginal improvement.

I took an exercise pad I had laying around that was very dense foam 3/8" thick.

Cut it out to fit  the front part of the seat ahead of the seam on the cover.   The seat cover was fastened with metal teeth actually cut out of the metal pan on the bottom of the seat, no staples.   Simply use a standard screwdriver to gently bend them outward and carefully pull the cover off.   The stock seat covering on the Wolf is nice, but it doesn't have much stretch.   I made sure the pad wrapped completely around the sides to make the bench wider and flatter with a little more padding.

It took two sets of hands to pull that seat cover over the additional padding, be ready to put some real elbow grease into it.  This is one reason I also choose to only cover about 2/3 of the seat with extra thickness, plus the back has a lot more padding then the front of the seat.

I was really happy with the way it turned out, it looks completely stock and feels considerably wider and fuller in the front.  Short time in the saddle feels drastically improved, but one can't be totally sure until you put at least a 50 mile ride to the test.



The next project is some internal handlebar weights.    Installing the Napoleon bar end mirrors required removal of the stock bar end weights.
I'm getting just a little vibration above 6000 rpms, just enough to make details in the mirrors look a little hazy but still functional.

Got some 1 lb lead ingots cheap from ebay.  I'm just gonna hammer them into a torpedo shape and stuff them into the handlebars just far enough to clear the mounting hardware for the mirrors.  The original bar end weights were about 12 oz and the mirrors a little more than half that.  So I figure 16 oz a few inches further inboard should more than do the trick.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 03:30:11 PM by gitsum »