The Sym Jet X 125 is a Taiwanese scooter that matches its Japanese and European 125 scooter rivals for tech, style, performance and sophistication but with a price tag that’s hard to resist.
The 2023 model’s new (for Sym) liquid-cooled, fuel injected, 4v motor ticks every Euro5 box and delivers the sort of performance you’d expect from a scooter of this size.
But the keyless ignition, all-LED lights and a neat digital instrument display align the Jet X with arguably more desirable alternatives from Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia and others.
Ride quality & brakes
The Sym Jet X runs on 14in cast wheels so its steering and turn-in are quick and light but without being twitchy – the preserve of some smaller-wheeled lightweights.
The non-adjustable suspension is basic (motorcycle style 30mm telescopic forks up front, twin shocks at the rear) and adequate in most circumstances. Ride quality is comfortable, mainly down to the deep seat that’s pillion compatible, but large potholes and bumps can quickly overwhelm the damping and drastically impair rider comfort.
Strong side winds can be an issue on open roads due to the surface area of the bodywork and the bike’s modest 135kg mass.
The brakes – a 260mm front disc with twin-pot caliper and 220mm rear with a twin-pot caliper – are linked rather than ABS equipped, and perfectly suited to the bike’s weight, size and performance.
The Jet X is fitted with Sym’s cleanest engine yet, boasting fuel injection, liquid-cooling and a SOHC four-valve head.
The [email protected] power output (that’s 3bhp up on Sym’s air-cooled 125 engine) equates to a top speed of around 70mph, depending on rider size/weight and conditions.
It’s brisk off the mark rather than quick, but the Jet X can easily keep traffic at bay up to 30-40mph, so it’s fun and effective in town.
Reliability & build quality
The Sym might be cheaper than many of its main rivals (Honda’s Forza 125 scooter is a whopping £1650 more) but the Jet X doesn’t feel cheap.
In fact, it’s got a feel and build quality more than capable of going head-to-head with both Japanese and European rivals.
The fake carbon touches around the clocks play into the bike’s sporty style and the Ducati Panigale-esque look of the headlamps is far from a coincidence. No red flags in terms of reliability. The Jet X comes with a two-year warranty; minor services are every 3000 miles, majors every 12,000.
Value vs rivals
Part of the Jet X’s main appeal is how easy it is on the pocket. HP is available over 60 months, after a £299 deposit, for £65 a month. Insurance is group 6. And if you can’t get at least 120 miles out of the 7.5 liter tank you must be riding everywhere flat out.
The main Japanese rival is Honda’s Forza 125, while European competition comes from Aprilia’s excellent but more expensive SR GT 125.
You could also consider Yamaha’s NMax, although it doesn’t have the same level of styling as the others here, it is cheaper.
There’s a lot to like in terms of equipment on the Sym Jet X. The digital instruments are clear, easy to read and provide everything you need to know about a 125 scooter – speed, rpm, fuel range, time, mileage.
The LED lights (taillights and indicators are LED, too) are bright enough to ensure you’re seen by other road users, as well as picking out the road ahead.
Storage is a disappointment, however. There’s just enough room under the seat for a full-faced lid, but barely anything else, and the only other storage is a small cubby hole in the leg shields that’s only large enough for a phone or lightweight waterproofs.
There’s a center stand though, for easy parking, a rear rack, decent mirrors, chunky switchgear and a keyless ignition.
The bike is turned on and off by a dial switch; the key fob is separate. Additionally, there’s an inbuilt alarm which is great for security and insurance costs, although Sym says an updated, slightly less sensitive system is going to be fitted from 2023.
Model history & versions
2021: First Jet X arrives late 2021. Liquid-cooled, Euro 5 compliant 125 with 13bhp, LED lights, keyless ignition, standard alarm and up to the minute styling.
2022: Five color options; red, white, matt black, matt brown, grey.
2023: Updated, less sensitive alarm promised, along with an improved seat.