Almost A Maxi Scooter With Less-Than-Maxi-Scooter Price

Back in mid-2016, Taiwan-based SanYang Motor updated its CityCom line with the new CityCom S 300i that brings a sportier style and upgraded performance to the U.S. scooter market. The factory was going for a more aggressive-looking machine with the chops to back it up, so it boosted horsepower up to 27.9 ponies, and top speed up to an interstate-capable 83 mph. LED lighting increases visibility from the rear for greater safety, and the machine was given a generally brushing up for the next gen. Join me while I dive into the details.

Continue reading for my review of the SYM CityCom S 300i.

  • 2016 - 2018 SYM CityCom S 300i
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    278 cc
  • Top Speed:
    83 mph
  • Price:
    4999
  • Price:

Design

2016 - 2018 SYM CityCom S 300i
- image 776033
The CityCom S 300i has a very mature look that seems to provide a little bit of dignity for the young urban commuter.

The new 300i lives up to its “city commuter” moniker with ample forward rider protection to help you get to the office/job/class in reasonably fine fettle. A large front fender contains the rocks and spray coming off the front wheel. Dual headlights come recessed alongside the front turn signals within the front fairing/legguard area. Above the lights, a simple yet tasteful “shield” feature visually breaks up the visage a bit and ties main fairing and handlebar fairing together as well. Handguards protect your hamburger shovels from the weather and induced headwind with a scoop-type windshield that throws the air upwards for a larger protective pocket than you get from a straight screen. The inner fairing forms a shallow brow for the triple round analog instrument clocks, new this year, that display — from left to right — rpm, speed and coolant temp with a central LCD display for everything else. Oh yeah, the instrumentation includes a low-fuel idiot light, a bright yellow LED one at that, as a backup to the digital fuel-gauge display in case you’re as oblivious as I can be sometimes.

A small glove/phone/whatever box in the inner fairing below the bars provides a bit of small-stuff storage as well as a power outlet to charge your phone, power your fuzzbuster or whatever small electronics you run while on the run. To bolster the inner-fairing storage potential, a sturdy helmet hook doubles as a bag anchor, which is a good thing since the tunnel interrupts the step-through. Even though it does have a flat on top, I wouldn’t use it to try and do the between-the-feet storage trick.

The 31.5-inch high lockable seat flips up to reveal the under-seat storage that has enough room for a full-face helmet plus cargo, or enough room for a reasonable grocery run. Black with red stitching, the seat itself sports a narrow entry to give your inner thighs a break with some extra butt containment for the pilot from the steep rise to the wide pillion pad. Grab rails and flip-out footpegs complete the passenger’s goodies, and recessed, high-visibility LED turn/tail lights finish off the lighting.

A hang-down mudguard mounts the plate with an extra layer of protection for the underframe by the hugger-style fender that rides with the swingmout drive system for a close fit on the rear wheel. Overall, the CityCom S 300i has a very mature panache that seems to provide a little bit of dignity for the young urban commuter.

Chassis

2016 - 2018 SYM CityCom S 300i
- image 776030
Cast-aluminum rims mount 16-inch hoops; not only do these wheels look nice, but they change the handling to something much more motorcycle-like than you get from 12-inch road-doughnuts.

A proper tubular-steel underframe provides the structure here — none of that monocoque bollocks — but the interrupted step-through is the price to be paid to make room for the structure. At 59-inches long, the wheelbase is definitely toward the top of the non-maxi scooter range, as is the 2.64-gallon capacity fuel tank.

Motorcycle-style hydraulic forks support the front end with dual, coil-over shocks to float the rear end and tame the motion of the swingmount drive unit. Cast-aluminum rims mount 16-inch hoops with a 110/70 up front and140/70 out back, and I gotta say, not only do these wheels look nice, but they change the handling to something much more motorcycle-like than you get from 12-inch road-doughnuts.

The factory relegated the drum brake to the history books, and threw on 260 mm discs at both ends with dual-piston anchors to bind them. It comes with both centerstand and sidestand, so you have options for parking and maintenance procedures.

Frame: High Strength Steel
Front Suspension: Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: Adjustable Dual Shocks
Front Brakes: Disc (260 mm)
Rear Brakes: Disc (260 mm)
Wheels: Aluminum
Front Tire: 110 / 70-16 52P tubeless
Rear Tire: 140 / 70-16 65P tubeless

Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 SYM CityCom S 300i
- image 776031
Good fuel economy and a respectable top speed make it a worthy commuter.

Power comes from a 278.3 cc, liquid-cooled thumper that’s bolted to the transmission as a stressed unit to form the anchor for the swingmount drive unit. The four-stroke mill rocks a four-valve head for efficient aspiration and even combustion to help it meet EPA, DOT and CARB regulations and deliver approximately 84 mpg. Ni/SiC Ceramic plating lines the cylinder for increased engine life due to reduced wear and greater thermal conductivity.

Compression is moderate at 10-to-1, so you’ll need 90 octane or better, but you can count on 27.9 ponies at 7,750 rpm with 20.28 pounds o’ grunt when you twist the throttle. Just a twist is all it takes; the continuously-variable transmission and centrifugal clutch handles the rest for twist-and-go operation. Top speed is purported to be 83 mph, plenty for even some limited interstate travel with relative confidence.

Engine: 4-Stroke Engine, Fuel Injection System with 4 Valve Ceramic-Coated Cylinder
Displacement: 278.3 cc
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Horsepower: 27.9 hp @ 7,750 rpm
Max Torque: 20.28 lb/ft @ 6,500 rpm
Cooling System: Liquid
Transmission: C.V.T.
Clutch: Centrifugal, Dry Type
Drive: Belt

Pricing

2016 - 2018 SYM CityCom S 300i
- image 776015
It's almost a maxi at a less-than-maxi price.

At $4,999, the CityCom is priced above the scooter entry level, but is a competitive alternative in the scooter-commuter market. It isn’t quite a maxi, but it strives to deliver beyond what you would expect from a basic, Italian-style scoot.

Warranty: Made in Taiwan with 24 Months Unlimited Miles with Tire to Tire Parts & Labor Warranty Assurance
Color: Arctic White, Matte Black, Chili Red, Titanium Grey
Price: $4,999

Competitors

2018 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733833
2016 - 2018 SYM CityCom S 300i
- image 776025
With a lot more electronic fandanglery, the XMAX gives you a bigger bang for your buck.

In the U.S. market, “mini-maxi” scooters are popular due to their mature finish, increased comforts and non-Sixties looks. Yamaha has one of the best in this displacement range with its XMAX model that came out in late 2017 with metro-tastic overall looks and a sportbike-like fairing and headlight arrangement. It does look like a grown-up’s scooter, but it also looks like a barrel of fun, too. Naturally, the Tuning Fork Company enjoys the advantage in fit-and-finish, but that’s to be expected.

The chassis is a mixed bag for Yamaha. Where the CityCom runs 16-inch wheels, the XMAX runs a 15- and 14-inch hoop on front and back, respectively. Not as much “big-bike” feel, to be sure, but Yammie makes up for it with some ABS on its disc brakes at both ends of the ride. Yamaha piles on the electronic rider aids with a traction control feature that SYM simply has no answer for. Add that to the XMAX’s nearly equal 27.6 horsepower, 21 pound-feet of torque and 80-to-85 mph performance, and the Yamaha starts to look pretty good.

Naturally, the advantages enjoyed by the XMAX comes at a price, and that price is $5,599 to be exact, so it’s only $600 more than the CityCom. The XMAX’s features and price make it a definite threat to SYM’s potential slice of the market.

He Said

“Really not a bad little scoot, even if Yamaha beats it pretty badly in the toe-to-toe. I guess that’s to be expected; it is a Chinese-made scoot after all, though I have to give them props for doing as well as they did.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “SYM may not be as popular here as other brands, but honestly, the CityCom is as durable as other scooters in its class. Acceleration is nice. Tall folks may find it a little cramped because the seat doesn’t allow you to slide back very far, but it is fine for me. I might have gone head-to-head with a KYMCO Downtown 300i, but there are plenty of others that would have been just as worthy. It’s almost a maxi scooter with an almost-a-maxi-scooter price with enough oomph to get you up the highway for a few exits.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-Stroke Engine, Fuel Injection System with 4 Valve Ceramic-Coated Cylinder
Displacement: 278.3 cc
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Horsepower: 27.9 hp @ 7,750 rpm
Max Torque: 20.28 lb/ft @ 6,500 rpm
Cooling System: Liquid
Starter: Electrical Starter
Ignition: ECU
Transmission: C.V.T.
Clutch: Centrifugal, Dry Type
Drive: Belt
Chassis:
Frame: High Strength Steel
Front Suspension: Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: Adjustable Dual Shocks
Front Brakes: Disc (260 mm)
Rear Brakes: Disc (260 mm)
Wheels: Aluminum
Front Tire: 110 / 70-16 52P tubeless
Rear Tire: 140 / 70-16 65P tubeless
Dimensions & Capacities:
Ground Clearance: 4.9 inches
Length: 87 inches
Width: 30.3 inches
Height: 57.4 inches
Seat Height: 31.5 inches
Wheelbase: 59.0 inches
Weight Capacity: 364 lbs
Net Weight: 412 lbs
Fuel: Unleaded (90 Octane or Higher)
Fuel Capacity: 2.64 Gallons
Fuel Economy: 84 mpg
Top Speed: 83.3 mph
Electricals:
Headlight Lamps: Dual Beam Quartz Halogen Head Lights - 12V 35W/35W× 2
Spark Plug: NGK CR 8E
Battery Capacity: 12V 10Ah
Details:
Age Recommendation: 16+
Warranty: Made in Taiwan with 24 Months Unlimited Miles with Tire to Tire Parts & Labor Warranty Assurance
Color: Arctic White, Matte Black, Chili Red, Titanium Grey
Price: $4,999

References

Yamaha XMAX

2018 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733831

See our review of the Yamaha XMAX.

KYMCO Downtown 300i

2014 - 2017 KYMCO Downtown 300i Exterior
- image 535480

See our review of the KYMCO Downtown 300i.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamaha-motor.com, alliancepowersports.com, kymcousa.com, mrbike.gr

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