SYM’s HD2 is a clear winner when it comes to the daily commute.
by Allen Drysdale, scootersales.com.au
The HD2 is an evolution of the HD 200 from SYM, and whilst not a great deal has changed over the years, this scooter still represents some of the best value for money on today’s market. The big wheeled platform combined with a punchy, liquid-cooled, 4-valve engine makes the HD a bit of a commuters dream.
There have been a host of upgrades since I last rode SYM’s HD. Notable changes include disc brakes front and rear. The wave discs measure 220 mm on the front and 226 mm on the rear, they both feel responsive. The new dash takes a European analogue approach and now includes a digital clock. New styling around the front end is dominated by twin headlamps. In the on position, the left hand light performs low beam honours. The new HD2 badges do look classy.
Ongoing features that have worked in the HD’s favour include 16 inch wheels front and rear. The engine is still SYM’s 4-valve unit, the motor now runs fuel injection and remains liquid cooled. Power output is a respectable 11.2 Kw’s from 171 cc’s. From an additional security standpoint the HD2 features an engine on/off switch under the seat.
The flat floor comes in handy when carrying additional loads via the bag hook. The rear rack is box ready and there’s enough room under the seat for a half faced helmet or some spare wet weather gear. The underseat storage area opens via the ignition and there’s also two external helmet hooks if required. The glove box is fairly small and in reality just allows access to the coolant reservoir.
The rear suspension runs dual adjustable shocks, the front is the usual telescopic fork arrangement. The fuel filler for the 8 litre tank is externally mounted at the rear and opens by key. The rear passenger gets two flip-out foot pegs of their own. The HD comes with a centre stand and sidestand, the latter will let the motor run when down – I did find this handy when opening the garage.
When riding the HD2, the first thing you notice is just how sorted and refined this model is. It’s not big or bulky, it’s light and easy to ride, very easy to manoeuvre. The HD turns into corners well and balances all this with fairly good stability at high speed. When filtering, you immediately realise how thin the proportions are. Like I said, the HD2 is very well sorted.
The engine provides enough punch to accelerate away from traffic and the HD will easily cruise at a steady 100 km/h. Two-up and the HD still manages well, it just requires a bigger twist of the wrist. The passenger sits comfortably on the raised seat section and their feet remain clear of the riders. Ergonomically the HD is very sound.
Probably the only negative would be the raised seat section itself which tends to force the rider forward. The HD2 also lacks a 12 volt charger, though I don’t remember the last time I charged my phone on a scooter, especially when only commuting across town.
The HD lives in that zone we call the middle ground. It’s not classed as a large capacity scooter and it’s not a budget commuter either – it’s somewhere in-between. The benefits are plentiful. Fantastic fuel economy, low registration costs due to the capacity and a really nice balance of weight and power.
The HD2 retails for around $5000 on the road registered. That’s just over a grand more when comparing it with the majority of budget commuter scooters, yet the HD2 offers so much more when it comes to flexibility. You don’t need to shy away from motorways and you’ll still have a really “easy to live with” commuter friendly scooter that can pillion if needed. The HD2 provides the best of both worlds.
We had the HD2 for an extended trial over a two month period. It performed faultlessly, performing duties from daily shop runs, to extended days out two-up. The engine in my opinion, can be placed in the same class as Piaggio’s Quasar, it’s an absolute cracker that has a real sense of reliability and refinement about it. The more k’s we placed on it, the better it felt.
No surprises that I really did fall for the HD2, this is one SYM I could easily own myself. Not forgetting the HD2 also comes with a 4 year warranty, a true indicator of the importers trust in this model. The HD2 would make the perfect step-up from the budget commuter class or even makes sense as a first-up learner option, one that’ll give you plenty of scope for the future.
If the budget will stretch, the HD2 is one of those “must see” test ride models. Find your local dealer @http://scoota.com.au/retail.html
For more information, check out http://www.scootersales.com.au/news-reviews-5122/sym-hd2-review.aspx