Wolf Classic 150 - A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing
Riders of a certain age instantly recognize the Wolf Classic. It looks exactly like the Honda CB125 that provided thousands of Americans cheap, practical, and fun transportation during the early ‘70s. This is no coincidence. SYM, aka Sanyang Industry, one of Taiwan’s largest vehicle manufacturers, built countless CB125s under license from Honda between 1969 and 2002.
After that joint venture ended, SYM continued developing the model under the Wolf name. The latest Wolf Classic 150 is utterly charming urban transportation that looks and feels just like a classic, smalldisplacement streetbike, but is improved with modern updates like a disc brake, CDI ignition and a bright halogen headlight.
Large-diameter spoked wheels, a bullet saddle and clip-on bars mounted above the triple clamp nail the trendy vintage café racer look. The paint is smooth and bright, the ample chrome is rich, and analog gauges, fork gaiters and a functioning kickstart lend authenticity. Curb appeal is way beyond the bargain, $2999 price—and a centerstand comes standard.
You’ll want to use the old-school choke lever between the speedo and tach—modern emissions regs make the carbureted fourstroke single slightly cold-blooded. Once choked it starts instantly, on the button or midway through the first kick, settling into a smooth, purring idle. A mild state of tune and a ceramic-coated cylinder promise ruthless durability—as proven daily by millions of SYM-mounted commuters and delivery riders around the globe.
Fifteen horsepower is just enough to keep ahead of buses and other urban assault vehicles. Low gearing and decent torque make the Wolf ridiculously easy to ride. It’s almost impossible to stall, and you can start from any of the bottom four gears with just a slight slip of the clutch. Fifth gear covers everything from 30 mph to the 65 mph top speed. It can handle the occasional emergency interstate stint, but best stick to secondary roads— vibes get bad beyond 6500 rpm, corresponding with 55 mph in fifth.
Inside city limits, the Wolf rules. A 49-inch wheelbase and light aluminum wheels keep it nimble, and the front disc (with a braided line!) provides quick stops from any speed the Wolf is capable of. It is 7/8ths-scale small, but the long, flat seat and low footrests accommodate even over-six-footers for short trips. Beginners, women, and shorter-stature riders feel immediately in control.
With idiot-proof operation and EPA-rated 85 mpg fuel consumption, the Wolf Classic combines the economy and convenience of a scooter with true motorcycle functionality. It’s more than just a throwback for nostalgiaminded oldsters, however; first-time riders and downtown-dwelling hipsters are equally attracted to this attention-grabbing bike that offers all the style of a vintage café racer without the same mechanical commitment, and a 24-month warranty to boot. None of the cobbed-up CBs or worn-out RDs on Craigslist can compete with that!
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