2015 SYM Citycom 300i Review

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Maybe it’s the Matte Black color that leaves me cold, but I find it hard to get excited about the new SYM Citycom 300i when it’s sitting in my driveway. Its appearance does nothing for me. An old advertising slogan coined for the VW Beetle way back in my youth keeps going through my head: “No style never goes out of style.” However, if I skip over my antipathy for the Citycom’s looks and throw a leg over the saddle – or should I say through the cockpit – the 300i turns from a wallflower into a remarkably competent city scoot.

2015 SYM Citycom 300i

Editor Score: 77.0%
Engine 14.5/20
Suspension/Handling 11.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 10.0/10
Brakes 7.5/10
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 7.0/10
Desirability 7.0/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score77/100

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Thumbing the starter button brings the 262cc Single to life. While the exhaust note isn’t exactly exciting, the engine purrs along pleasantly. The first time pulling away from a stop might surprise the rider with how precipitously the rpms initially drop, but the little mill chugs along easily leaving all but the most insistent traffic behind. Once up to speed, the engine is so smooth that I frequently found myself rolling along at 60 mph instead of my typical 45–50 mph city speed. (If I’d gotten a ticket on the Citycom, I don’t know if I’d be more pissed or embarrassed.) When the time comes to head onto the local interstate, the SYM pulls along and gets up to speed with much less fuss than I expected from an engine this small. However, if traffic conspires to make you roll off the throttle, thus losing momentum, it doesn’t seem as willing to take a second stab at hitting highway speeds.

Function triumphs over form, making the 300i a competent, utilitarian scooter.

On the superslab, the Citycom pulls easily to what feels like a speed-limited 85 mph. Unlike some of the other scooters I’ve ridden in the last week, the 300i feels like it has the power to go faster, but neither tucking in behind the windshield nor sticking more of my torso outside into the wind blast affected the speed. Where some scooters get squirrelly at highway speeds, the SYM’s 16 in. tires provide adequate stability at top speed. Yes, the response to steering inputs was energetic, but it never felt twitchy or head-shakey. This steering response was also appreciated around town when maneuvering around city traffic. Additionally, while the brakes don’t feature any rider aids like ABS or linked calipers, they got the job done with linear response to rider input. The front disc measures 220mm and the rear 260mm. Both are squeezed by two-piston calipers fit with braided steel lines.

No braking bells or whistles, but it does have braided steel brake lines.

The Citycom’s suspension performs a workmanlike job of handling both rippled pavement and bigger bumps. No, it can’t handle everything tossed at it, but it does a better job than the recently reviewed 2015 Honda Forza. The twin shocks offer four-stage ramped preload adjustments while the standard fork has none.

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The 300i’s riding position is compact and comfortably upright for my 5-ft. 11-in. frame, though the second, elevated footrests on the front of the bike look like they’re made for folks under the 5-foot mark. The 31.5 in. seat height feels a little on the high side, given the compact riding position. The claimed 406 lb. weight is carried low, giving the 300i a balanced feel that shouldn’t be a problem for the short-inseam crowd. The windshield passes well below my line of sight, offering cooling wind flow to my helmet vents but otherwise protecting the rider from the elements.

The riding position is compact but comfortable.

Amenities include the de rigueur grocery bag hook and a locking front storage compartment with a 12-volt power port. The underseat storage is ample, though it struggled to fit my XL Shoei RF–1200 without some fiddling.

Perhaps SYM thinks scooter riders only wear open-face helmets.

In the end, the $4,899 SYM Citycom 300i is a lovable mutt of a scooter that will wag its tail and give you its undying adoration for saving it from the animal shelter. Perhaps it was the Matte Black color that was unflattering in the eyes of our editors. We’d like to see it in one of its other colors: Matte White, Chili Red or Titanium Gray. Regardless of the color, the SYM Citycom 300i will handle the utilitarian duties it was designed to perform – all for a reasonable price.

+ Highs

  • Decent highway speed
  • Versatile weather protection
  • Bang for the buck

– Sighs

  • Limited underseat storage
  • Compact riding position
  • Uninspired styling
2015 SYM Citycom 300i Specs
Engine TypeFour-stroke, liquid-cooled Single
Engine Capacity263cc
Fuel SystemEFI
Front SuspensionTelescopic fork
Rear SuspensionDual shocks, 4-position preload adjustable
Front BrakesTwo-piston caliper, 220mm disc
Rear BrakesTwo-piston caliper, 260mm disc
Front Tire110/70-16
Rear Tire140/70-16
Seat Height31.5 inches
Wheelbase59 inches
Wet Weight405.7 lbs
Fuel Capacity2.64 gal
Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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 1 comment
  • Al Al on Feb 11, 2015

    A few years ago like 2010 this would have been a great scooter. Now this scooter competes with Vespa GT200, Honda PCX150, Honda Forza and Suzuki Burgman 200 (20 HP). The Citycom should be competing with the Piaggio BV350, and Kymco Downtown 300 (29+ HP). A good value scooter.