Wednesday, July 6, 2011


After waiting a long time for SYM to get their act together with parts, I gave up. Now Billie, my Symba, has an O-ring chain and brand new SunStar sprockets . The O-ring chain is no doubt overkill since I have a covered chain and now know how to take care of it. I don't care. Overkill sounds just fine by me.

I've been very pleased with the difference the new sprockets and chain make. It is almost like having a different bike. It is much more responsive off the line and cruises at 45mph+ easily. I am very happy. Because the chain was pretty well cooked, I've been staying close to home this summer. I haven't even been riding Billie over to see granddaughter. Now, I not only suspect this will change, but that there may be some longer adventures on tap. We shall see.

Since riding a 101cc motorbike puts me somewhere between a touring bicycle and a motorcycle I decided to add a flag to increase my "being seen" factor. It's not a traditional orange triangle, but the dots are reflective and the green is hi-vis. I figure what can it hurt? And, besides I think it looks almost cool.


  1. Years ago, I rode my bicycle down Baja California to Cabo San Lucas and had one of those orange flags. I got a lot of comments from bus and truck drivers that they could see the flag waving for over a mile back. They thought it was a great idea.


  2. I second that, the flag is a great idea, I have a scarf doing the trick for me. Worked great so far.
    101 cc is a little thin, when I ride my 200cc I sometimes crave for a little more umph. But many times it is more than enough. You take care and happy continued riding on Billie.

  3. The chain will make a huge difference, mine is due soon so will let you know how I get on. Enjoy your riding.....not to sure about the flag thing, but hey if it works go for it! Now go and do a long trip I want to hear all about it.

  4. Dear Keith:

    What is the problem with replacement parts at the dealer? Are they just not available or is your model of bike being phased out? I made a list of parts for my bike that are subject to constant wear, and which may be hard to find in certain parts of the country. These include things like spare clutch cables, certain kinds of tiny, but essentil mounting hardware, odd bulbs and other stuff I keep handy. So if it goes, I am not left waiting for the part. And on long trips, I carry them.

    I think anything you can do to improve rider visibility is a plus. Still, you are likely to find that with some drivers, a neon sign is not enough. I am working on a computer program that senses approaching cars, determines if the driver is texting, then sends a message that says, "Look up."

    Fondrest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  5. Sym appears to be a quality product, it's to bad that they are having all the trouble with their distributor. Hopefully they can things on the move.

    Your new "overkill" chain will last a life time, right?

  6. Overkill is always a good solution. As I say, I prefer long term solutions. The flag is a good idea. I have an American flag on the back of Rosie. It seems to help reduce tailgating.

    Glad you're rolling again.


  7. Keith:

    having a flag is good but couldn't you find one in Hi-viz Pink (or Orange) ? instead. I'm glad you are thinking of venturing farther from home.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  8. In an interesting twist a new chain makes you feel more unchained? Well I guess you do call your blog Twists and Leanings!

  9. Richard,
    I'm glad to hear the comments you received from bus and truck drivers. Yesterday was the first day I rode to work with the flag mounted. I received a "thumbs up" from a woman driving a SUV. I have no idea what she was giving me the thumbs up sign, but chose to think it was the flag.

    Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment.

  10. Sonja,
    There are times when I long for more zip, but these are seldom when I'm commuting to work. More often it is when I wish to escape the Metro area. There are hills that I'm lucky to climb at 25mph(40km/h). I would like more get up a go in these situations. Over all I'm quite happy with the Symba. It slows me down and lets me discover what's around me.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  11. Roger,
    The change has been remarkable. I look forward to hearing about your experience. I hope to do a daylong ride before long and I promise you will be among the first to hear about how it goes.

    I think you would need a stronger pole for a flag at the speeds you sometimes travel :)

    Thanks for the comment,

  12. Jack,
    The problems with the chain started with some poor advice, miscommunication, or incompetence on the part of the service tech I trusted my bike to. After the damage was done with it being on warranty I wanted to use OEM parts. Well, I got caught up in the saga of SYM and it's distributor divorce. I was able to nurse the chain, if I'd of needed a part I couldn't ride with I could have gotten parts from SYM Canada. I chose to wait since it appeared the situation was clarifying. I'm not sure it is. SYM makes great scooters and bikes. Mine can use many of the parts that are used on the Honda Passport/Super Cub and the CT90. Parts are out there and I now have a service tech who can and will find them for me.

    I have nearly 10k miles on the bike and all it has needed is a new set of tires, new sprockets and a new chain. I'd say that's pretty good.

    Let me know when you get that computer program ready, I'm well aware that there are many drivers out there that could daydream/text/spill themselves into the back of a semitrailer painted neon pink.

    Again, thanks for your support. It is much appreciated.

  13. Art,
    I'm hoping this is the last set of sprockets and chain I ever need for my wee chariot.

    I sticking to what I've said before: "SYM's build quality will keep it in the American market, but there marketing strategy will keep them a marginal player at best." It is sad. They have such nice products.

    The new distributor has shown me very much, but they may come around. It would have been killer if Genuine would have hooked up with SYM rather than PGO, but that's not what happened.

    Good to hear from you. I keep hearing about all these blogger getting together and meeting each other. Perhaps we should come up with a plan to span the great distances between us and meet.


  14. Allen,
    I appreciate your comment. I,too, like long term solutions.

    I do think folks are conditioned to notice flags. I would be delighted if it cuts down on tailgaters.

  15. bob,
    When I bought the flag last Autumn my helmet was orange and my jacket was hi-vis yellow. I decided to go for the traditional trifecta and add green. They do make rather outstanding pink flags. It is a company named Purple Sky Flags. Nice folks.

    Thanks for your comment and for reminding me there is never too much pink in the world :)

  16. Irondad,
    Nice word play. You definitely brought a smile to my face.

    Thanks for commenting. I'm humbled that you took the time to read my blog.


  17. Anything that makes you seen more easily is a good thing, that is why I have a pink jacket & pink helmet. During wintery weather I donne a hi-viz traffic vest over my jacket. I would personally rather look dorky and be seen, when it rains here cagers don't see you at all.

    I hope your new fixes work and Billie has 10k miles more before you gave to fix him/her again. Happy summer scooting!

  18. It never hurts to be more visible.

    And hooray for being able to go longer distances. I am sure your granddaughter will be happy with impromptu visits.

  19. too bad you're having trouble with parts. I'm all too familiar with that thanks to the sidecar.

    my sv is also due a new chain. i finally ordered it last night. I'm looking forward to riding with a new chain.

  20. Chris,
    The new chain has made a profound difference in the way the bike rides out. It was long overdue, so the difference has been dramatic. It will be interesting to see what you notice.

    Fortunately, other than the chain I've not had any parts trouble. I'm hoping it remains so.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  21. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Hi Vis Jackets

  22. prolix,
    Welcome. Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad both you and your cousin find my "carrying on" worth your time.