by Stephen Heller
It’s hard to argue with a winner, but if someone does, just point to the scoreboard. In Honda’s case the scoreboard says 60 million plus. That is the number of Honda Cubs produced worldwide since 1959. But in the US it is very difficult to find a Cub that wouldn’t qualify for collector plates even though they are being produced today at an enormous clip.
Vespa doesn’t corner the market on two-wheeled nostalgia. Many people didn’t grow up dreaming of La Dolce Vita, they were too busy riding their Hondas. Now wanting to relive their childhood, they have a couple of options: The SYM Symba and Fly Scooters Scout. Both seem to be right off of the Honda Cub line, but they are not.
The SYM Symba has been on the market for over a year, oozes nostalgia and comes with modern touches not found on the Cubs of the past including a telescoping front fork and a chrome headlight. The Fly Scooters Scout will be on US shores in April and still has the traditional leading-link front suspension and an enclosed “scooter style” handlebar. Best of all, both are free of misuse and abuse and come with a factory warranty. It is hard to gauge how well the Symba is doing, as SYM doesn’t report its sales. From my seat-of-the-pants estimate it is probably on par with the Genuine Stella in terms of interest and sales in its first year. The Stella is a clone of the Vespa PX and has the eye of the Italian vintage scooter crowd.
If Honda brought in their newest version of the Cub, the 110cc fuel-injected Wave, I feel it would outsell both the Symba and the Scout, but don’t ever expect to see it legally here. This is my opinion. People looking to relive their past can find it on the Sym Symba and the Fly Scout. But there are a lot more people just looking for easy transportation and they won’t find it on a foot-shifting moped. And that’s just fine.
It is still too early to do a realistic comparison of the Symba and the Scout because the only Scouts that are in the US are prototype testers and haven’t had the bugs worked out. The country of origin (Scout, China; Symba, Taiwan) says a lot, as does the price and warranty. The Fly Scout sells for $800 less than the Symba. The Scout’s warranty is 12 months parts, 2 months labor vs. 24 months parts and labor for the Symba. If they didn’t look the same and have virtually identical specs, I wouldn’t put them in the same category. The Symba is a nicer scooter all around, from fit and finish to the engine and plastics. You have to weigh the initial cost against quality.
Good luck and happy riding!