The Cabo Gets Fuel Injection For 2018

Lance Powersports — importer of SYM products to the U.S. market — brings the new Cabo 200i to our side of the pond to replace the outgoing Cabo 150 for the 2018 model year. The family line has always been about fun, and though the factory sells it with a “not intended for off-road use” caveat, I believe the owners are just trying to limit their liability and that the knobby tires tell the truth of the matter. This scoot could possibly pull double duty as a pocket-adventure platform. Street knobbies support that theory, as do the rally-style over-under lights, but the 11.8-horsepower engine and claimed 65-plus mph top speed indicates a certain amount of urban mobility as well. An interesting ride, to be sure, so let’s dive in and see what else SYM has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Lance Cabo 200i.

  • 2018 Lance Cabo 200i
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    169 L
  • Top Speed:
    65 mph
  • Price:
    2699
  • Price:

Design

2018 Lance Cabo 200i
- image 773952
An edgy front fender and bellow gaiters combine with the knobby hoops to reinforce the look of 'off-roadability' that sets the Cabo apart.

Lean and sporty, the Cabo 200i carries on the family tradition in style with an angular entry and LED DRLs in the lights that ride within a stylish black panel that breaks up the legguard area quite nicely. An edgy front fender and bellow gaiters combine with the knobby hoops to reinforce the look of off-roadability that sets the Cabo apart.

The flyscreen that tops the frontal protection actually protects little beyond the all-digital instrument display, but it does look cool all the same. (I’m talking about the flyscreen, ’cause the display doesn’t look very cool at all.) A full step-through and flush deck leave plenty of room for easy mounting with some ’tween-feet storage space to boost the storage capacity afforded by the lockable under-seat storage compartment.

The seat itself comes with two-tone black materials, but its the red stitching that really makes it pop. Not quite a bench seat, the saddle has the slightest break that segregates it from the pillion. A grabrail and molded-in footboards complete the passenger’s goodies and give you a place to hang a bungee net for a little backseat storage. LED lighting finishes off the rear with a hang-down mudguard that may actually get to see some mud in spite of the factory’s caveat about road use.

Chassis

2018 Lance Cabo 200i
- image 773943
Some scooters are rolling with 16-inchers now so there's definitely room for improvement.

The Cabo uses a proper steel underframe for its main structure — none of this stressed-skin monocoque business — with motorcycle-style hydraulic forks and coil-over rear shock unit to provide support and damping. Bellow gaiters do more than just look good, they also protect the swept portion of the inner fork tube from grit and grime, thus preventing early failure of the fork seals. Oh, but don’t go off-road with it, wink nudge.

As usual, a swing-mount unit articulates the rear wheel with the engine and transmission as a stressed unit that replaces the swingarm and mounts the rear wheel as an all-in-one unit. Aluminum rims mount 12-inch tires with a 120/70 up front and 130/70 in back, and I don’t mind pointing out that some scooters are rolling with 16-inchers now so there’s definitely room for improvement there.

Sport-style wave rotors slow both wheels, and I’m glad to see the disc in back because drums belong in the band, in the history books, and nowhere else. Dual hand levers supply pressure to the combined-brake system that automatically divides braking effort between the front and rear calipers with a 190 mm disc and 220 mm disc, respectively.

Front Suspension: Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: Unit Swing
Front Brakes: Disc (190 mm) with Sport Style Wave Rotor and CBS-Combined Braking System
Rear Brakes: Disc (220 mm) with CBS-Combined Braking System
Front Tire: 120/70 - 12 Knobby Tire
Rear Tire: 130/70 - 12 Knobby Tire
Wheels: Aluminum

Drivetrain

2018 Lance Cabo 200i
- image 773956
Top speed should be sufficient for highway work depending on rider weight and grade.

In spite of its “200i” moniker, the Cabo engine actually displaces a total of 169 cc; close enough for naming conventions I suppose. The air-cooled thumper runs with a ceramic-coated barrel that is meant to do the same job as a sleeve insert, just with less weight and greater thermal conductivity. Compression will have you at the mid-grade pump at 10.2-to-1, but it’s largely responsible for the 11.8 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 9.21 pounds o’ grunt at six grand.

Lance claims 65-plus mph with an 89-mpg fuel economy rating, and the whole package comes with EPA, DOT and CARB approval. A continuously-variable transmission provides twist-and-go operation with no need for a clutch or foot shifter, it’s all automatic via a V-belt drive system and centrifugal clutch.

The advertised top speed should be sufficient for highway work depending on rider weight and grade, but you’d do well to avoid the interstate ’cause even if you can get up to speed, you’ll have absolutely no power reserve on which to draw.

Engine: 4-Stroke (EFI) Electronic Fuel Injection Engine (OHC) with Ceramic-Coated Cylinder
Displacement: 169 cc
Compression Ratio: 10.2±0.2 :1
Horsepower: 11.8 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 9.21 lb/ft @ 6,000 rpm
Cooling System: Air Cooled
Transmission: C.V.T.
Clutch: Auto Centrifugal Type
Drive: Belt
Starter: Electrical Starter

Pricing

2018 Lance Cabo 200i
- image 773944
MSRP is quite affordable and it comes in a handful of matte colors.

The new-for-2018 Cabo 200i rolls for an affordable $2,699. That gets you a 200i in a matte finish with red, white, green, black and “Stealth” on the menu, and it comes with a 24-month SYM warranty.

Colors: Matte Stealth, Matte Black, Matte Green, Matte White, Matte Red
Price: $2,699

Competitors

2016 - 2018 KYMCO Super 8
- image 660222
2018 Lance Cabo 200i
- image 773953
KYMCO wins at the checkout counter, but you also get less bike for your buck.

KYMCO’s Super 8 150X came to mind immediately when I started studying on the Cabo, so let’s see how these “non off-road” bikes match up. The 150X sports similar street/soft-surface treads and has an overall youthful panache, but doesn’t look quite as ready to get down and dirty as the Cabo.

A recessed light panel illuminates the way ahead from behind a clear cover that just doesn’t convey the same level of fit-and-finish, and I gotta’ say that impression continues throughout the scooter. Suspension is likewise similar, and vanilla, though KYMCO clings to the past and runs a drum brake in back, whereas the Cabo runs a disc front and rear. Disappointing, but we’ll see some of that reflected in the price. At least the KYMCO factory will come right out and state that the hoops are “dual-purpose tires” rather than beat around the bush about it.

The 151 cc KYMCO thumper falls just a skosh short at 10.3 horsepower and 7.8 pounds o’ torque, but that’s in the ballpark of the Cabo’s 169 cc with 11.8 and 9.2, respectively. Will you feel that in the heinie-dyno? It’ll probably depends on how much you had for lunch. At the checkout, the Super 8 150X scores a win with its $2,099 MSRP – that’s $600 less than the Cabo — but it’s clear that the Cabo delivers more bike for the buck.

He Said

“I don’t know why the factory insists on playing down the obvious off-road details on the Cabo. Probably liability reasons, so in other words, it’s the fault of the lawyers. Whatever the reason, I can see this new Cabo as useful in more situations and conditions than most scooters.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Well, I gotta say that I agree with my husband on this one. Who puts on knobbies and gives you eight inches of ground clearance and then tells you it’s not supposed to go off-road? Ha! That aside, the Cabo is my favorite out of the Lance lineup, and I’m happy to see fuel injection making its way into the stable.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-Stroke (EFI) Electronic Fuel Injection Engine (OHC) with Ceramic-Coated Cylinder
Displacement: 169 cc
Compression Ratio: 10.2±0.2 :1
Horsepower: 11.8 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 9.21 lb/ft @ 6,000 rpm
Cooling System: Air Cooled
Transmission: C.V.T.
Clutch: Auto Centrifugal Type
Drive: Belt
Starter: Electrical Starter
Ignition: ECU
Chassis:
Front Suspension: Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: Unit Swing
Front Brakes: Disc (190 mm) with Sport Style Wave Rotor and CBS-Combined Braking System
Rear Brakes: Disc (220 mm) with CBS-Combined Braking System
Front Tire: 120/70 - 12 Knobby Tire
Rear Tire: 130/70 - 12 Knobby Tire
Wheels: Aluminum
Dimensions & Capacities:
Weight Capacity: 333 Lbs
Net Weight: 240.3 Lbs
Fuel: Unleaded (90 octane or higher)
Fuel Capacity: 1.37 Gallons
Ground Clearance: 8.1 in
Length: 75 in
Width: 27.16 in
Height: 48.74 in
Seat Height: 31 in
Wheelbase: 52.16 in
Top Speed: 65+ mph
Fuel Economy: 89 mpg
Details:
Age Recommendation: 16+
Instrument Panel: LCD display with the ability 3 colors shifting LED backlight
Daytime Running Lights: LED Daytime Running Lights
Seat Two-Tone Material Seat with Red Stitch
Colors: Matte Stealth, Matte Black, Matte Green, Matte White, Matte Red
Price: $2,699

References

KYMCO Super 8

2016 - 2018 KYMCO Super 8
- image 660580

See our review of the KYMCO Super 8

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: lancemotorsports.com, kymcousa.com

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