April 12, 2021

Ultimate Drive

Your FREE Motoring Publication in the Western Cape


Adventurers are born!

When you turn 16 in South Africa, you can take your learner’s license test for a 125 cc motorcycle. That piece of paper is more than a document to say you can ride a bike legally – it becomes your passport to freedom and adventure. For two years you are restricted to 125 cc bikes, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

The Taiwanese manufacturer, SYM, has just released the NH T 125 here in South Africa and it is rather pleasing to look at. The SYM has many styling elements of bigger adventure bikes. Of course, there is the beak that has become almost a signature item on adventure bikes. It even has a bash plate under the engine and a large 19” front wheel. The wheels are spoked to add to the rugged look. All lighting on the bike is modern LED units.

Performance from the 124 cc single-cylinder engine is not exactly earth-shattering, but then, this is not that kind of bike. Rather than for the speed freaks, this bike is certainly aimed at the youth with an adventurous streak. The engine only produces 10 hp but it felt lively enough. Equipped with a five-speed gearbox the engine hits the rev limiter at an indicated 116 km/h.

Braking is taken care of by SYM’s Combined Braking System that I first experienced on one of their scooters. With a beefy 288 mm disk at the front and another disk at the back, stopping the SYM proved effortless. Obviously, at the R25 995 price point, there is no ABS.

For such a small capacity bike, it is fairly tall. The seat provides a lot of support and is nicely sculptured. The little SYM performed well in an urban setting, but obviously we had to take it off the tarmac to see if the rugged looks translated into any off-road capability. I was surprised how easy I could stand on the pegs and still reach the handlebars comfortably. It handled the gravel sections well enough.

The NH T 125 is more than a dressed-up city slicker. It has the adequate off-road capability for when you do want to venture into the great unknown. Around town, it is small and nippy and can squeeze through the smallest of spaces. With a USB charging socket fitted, it can also keep your electronics charged.

The NH T 125 is just the ticket for youngsters to take their first tentative steps into the adventure lifestyle.

SYM? Is this a new brand?

Sanyang Motor Co., Ltd. was founded in Taipei in 1954. The company’s headquarters is established in Hsinchu County, Taiwan and sells its two-wheeled products under the brand name SYM. The company manufactures and sells scooters, motorcycles and ATVs under the SYM brand, while it also manufactures automobiles and mini-trucks under the Hyundai brand. Since it began, the company has produced more than 800 thousand automobiles and 16 million scooters and motorcycles. The annual sales revenue of the company exceeds 1 Billion US dollars and it produces about 600,000 units of motorcycles and 20,000 automobiles per year.