Think scooters are lame, slow, or just not your thing? Well, think again. Sym's Maxsym 400i will not only surprise you, it may just freshen up your ideas as well! The Sym Maxsym 400i is a real inner city hero – all you need do is twist the throttle and go. That's courtesy of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a centrifugal clutch.
Unlike some scooters, this twist of the grip feels directly connected to the single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 399cc engine, with advanced electronic fuel-injection, one of scootering's smoothest, that thrusts the Sym Maxsym 400i easily away from standstill. The initial response is a bit soft, due in part to its weight, allowing well-coordinated drivers to keep with you off the line. But never fear, the big single-cylinder soon reaches its torque peak and begins to tow the Sym Maxsym 400i with real urgency, so much so that it will keep up with many bigger than 250cc motorcycles up to about 80km/h.
As with most scooters with electronic fuel-injection, fuel consumption is good, in combination with the 14.7 liter fuel tank, makes the Sym Maxsym 400i a good big-distance ride.
The experience of acceleration on such a powerful scooter is strange. The CVT keeps the engine operating in the best part of its torque delivery, holding the sound more or less constant while the speed increases. Without the typical engine crescendo, this can be deceiving and surprise you when you look down at the speedo to see serious speed numbers.
Because the Sym Maxsym 400i has a 15-inch front and 14-rear wheel, the Maxsym 400i has good high-speed stability. The scooter has two disc front and single disc rear brakes of the same size (275mm ). The right brake lever controls just the front disc while the left lever operates both front and rear. When used together, the brakes haul the Sym Maxsym 400i's speed down pretty convincingly and the excellent suspension helps to keep the scooter stable.
After some riding in the busy streets of Bangkok, I found some sweeter flowing curves just out of town and was surprised how much the flightiness of the front end faded away, making the Sym Maxsym 400i a serious tourer if your circumstances warrant this easier-to-board alternative. With low center of gravity and a good suspension controlling the wheels, the Maxsym 400i encourages you to have fun through corners.
This is a heavy scooter, though, weighing in at 224kg, but it has way more steering lock than conventional two-wheelers and can be manoeuvred around obstacles very easily despite being so heavy.
Underseat storage is amazing: you can fit two full-face helmets and a not so big shopping bag. Of course, you can use shopping hooks – well, not like you can on a scooter with a flat footwell where you can squeeze a few bags in between the feet.