17 Nov 2017
4 min read
The SYM GTS300i is a scooter that looks hardly anything like the type of scooters currently available in Nepal. That’s because the GTS300i happens to be a maxi scooter. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, a maxi scooter is a massive, touring scooter that features larger frames and bigger engines than do the usual commercial scooters. And with the GTS300i, that becomes quite obvious at the very first glance. It’s different. It’s peculiar. And it definitely makes a bold statement.
First impressions aside, this scooter’s size poses a fairly obvious question for everyone: how would such a huge monster of a scooter fare in the congested, overcrowded streets of Kathmandu? A straightforward answer to that question would be this: the GTS300i is a highway cruiser as opposed to a city rider. That’s not to say that it can’t hold its own in busy traffic, but it’s been built specifically for uninterrupted touring on long, stretched-out highways. But regardless of what type of terrain you prefer riding on, the scooter looks futuristic and angular when it comes to styling.
Obviously, the scooter announces its presence. Let me try to make it easy for you to picture this machine: I have a six foot frame, and I must admit that I look rather small while riding it. So it goes without saying that this scooter was built more for purpose than solely for looks.
Yet another prominent feature of this scooter is its large twin phoenix eye headlights with LED linings. To further up the scooter’s style and functions, it has mirror-incorporated blinkers and a classy four-dial instrument panel, which includes a classic analogue speedometer, a tachometer, and temperature and fuel gauges. We get a pair of standard tubeless tyres (110/90-13) on the front and 130/70-13 on the rear, and the good news is that it also comes with ABS (anti-lock brake system).
The SYM GTS300i comes with a 12-litre tank that is positioned in the footwell, and this helps add to the machine’s already low centre of gravity. There’s a huge lockable storage-area located under the seat that has enough room for a laptop, a helmet, and then some. And for added functionality, the scooter has a built-in 12v charger as well as a killswitch for the engine.
Another amazing feature that this baby can brag about is a leg heater. Yes, the GTS300i comes with a leg heater. So, having addressed the size and the looks, let’s see how it performs and how comfortable it is and whether or not it is actually practical to take it out on longer rides and tours.
Let’s just say this scooter feels like a sofa. The seat has ample cushioning and offers oodles of space for both the rider and a pillion rider. And the elevated seating position of the pillion means that the pillion rider also has a view of the road and not just the backside of the rider’s helmet. The long ride that I took on the highway as well as in the city proved that the GTS300i was indeed one of the most comfortable two-wheelers I have ever ridden.
The scooter’s 278.3 cc, four-stroke, water-cooled engine produces 27.4 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm, and 21.3 KW of power at 8000 rpm; and to add to that, the CVT (constant variable transmission) auto setup ensures that riding the GTS300i is always a pleasant experience. The initial pickup is great, and it rides like a breeze in the mid- and high-speed ranges.
The manoeuvrability of this scooter is perfect for highways, but because of its size, the turning radius isn’t as tight. It can be ridden in the city, but the experience won’t necessarily be pleasant. The suspension is great, but while riding with a pillion rider, the ground clearance can prove to be insufficient on bumpy roads. But give it a good stretch of highway, and you’ll be in for a thrill.
So here’s my verdict. This scooter is not for everyone. This machine is made for someone who wants to tour on a luxurious, extremely ergonomic two-wheeler. It is far more comfortable than any motorcycle I’ve ridden. With the right travel route and preparation, this could be the ultimate tourer for a cross-country ride.