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HomeZA BikersBike ReviewsKMSA Welcomes Two New Motorcycles To Their Range

KMSA Welcomes Two New Motorcycles To Their Range

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Time and time again we at ZA Bikers preach about riding little motorcycles. This so-called preaching becomes more so relevant each year to us South Africans—especially with elections underway and with all that has happened in the past few years. With uncertainty slowly becoming our newfound pollen in the air, most of us are looking at some serious lifestyle changes to keep afloat and sometimes it’s tricky to put a finger on what lifestyle changes are going to help us save money.

As you all may well know, we talk the language of motorcycles on this platform and we are not financial advisors (well one of us might be), but what we can do is point out how downscaling your ride or subtracting a few wheels and gear could increase the thickness of your wallet and decrease your stress levels. Granted a small-capacity motorcycle or scooter may not be for everyone, however, if you are interested in a more cost-effective transport solution, it’s certainly worth looking into.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Interesting fact: Neurobiological studies have proven that riding a motorcycle decreases hormonal biomarkers of stress by 25% and with that it helps improve riders’ mental well-being.

We know downscaling or jumping onto a scooter may have never crossed your mind, but as our habits and expenses adjust to these unsettling times, it is definitely a mode of transport that shouldn’t be ruled out. With that said, KMSA has adapted to the times and now welcomes two new motorcycles to their “keeping up with the times” line-up: the Lifan Machete 125 and the SYM Orbit II 150.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Yes, KMSA have welcomed a new brand to their family and it’s one that has been around for over 30 years. Lifan is no new kid on the block, but rather a transfer student that’s integrating into our crazy South African delivery and commuter system. The Machette goes to class with the SYM 125-K, Honda ACE 125, Big Boy Velocity, Bajaj Boxer, Hero Eco and the TVS HLX. I know, the sub 150 cc segment is a proper boxing match at the moment!

Class room aside the Machette stands out from the rest with its compelling price of just R15,995. Don’t be fooled, the low price doesn’t mean it’s any less bike than its competitors or any less to consider. The Machete’s simple package offers all the bare necessities for delivery and inner city commuting: a simple carburettored 125 cc air cooled single cylinder motor, centre stand, double shocks at the rear, tubeless wheels, a carry rack, drums brakes all round and a light weight of just over 100 kg. Right now, you will also see selected Lifan dealers currently offering the Machette 125 with a free delivery box.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

In the case of the Machete 125, the less is more approach just works, it keeps the price down and leaves potential owners with fewer servicing and maintenance items to deal with down the line. On the road the Machete rides like a BMX with a motor attached to it, it changes direction without much input and it is stable enough to cruise at open road speeds.

With the 5-speed gearbox, the little 125 cc is happy to be lugged around and short shifted from robot to robot. When ridden like our local delivery riders (on the red line), the Machette keeps up with the best of them with minimal vibrations through the pegs and bars. You should sit comfortably at 80 km/h cruising speed and you’ll red line just after 110 km/h, that’s if you need to get a move on.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

We have yet to stretch the little legs of the Lifan but you should see fuel figures around the 3l/100 km range and with its 10-litre tank, that will get you just over 330 km on a tank of fuel. Its good fuel economy makes up for its small fuel tank and like most of the features on the Machette, it’s all about keeping things lightweight. With the lightweight, even the drum brakes in 2024 can’t be sweated about.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Ultimately, it is difficult to criticise a means of transport like the Machete, especially when it costs as little as 3 months of an electricity bill or 3 months of filling the fridge. It does what it says on the box and Lifan is backed by KMSA, which means you can service your Machette at any SYM or Kawasaki dealer. As an added benefit to the daily commuter or leisure rider the Machette comes with a 3-year/30,000 km warranty and for commercial use 6 months/15,000 km. As we speak the Machette is one of the most affordable delivery motorcycles in the market and it gets a thumbs up from us.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

To a more familiar face, we turn our heads to the SYM Orbit II, but with a 150 cc sticker for 2024. We see the Orbit grow to a 150 from a 125 for this year and inherit the same performance that we have come to enjoy on the SYM Fiddle II 150. Much like the Fiddle the Orbit now has increased go off the line and a punchier mid-range allowing easier overtakes and less full-throttle action to keep up with traffic.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

For the inner-city commuter, there are endless advantages to using a scooter: they are easy to park and take up less space, cutting through traffic is easy going without a clutch, they are generally more comfortable, and they have more space for storing luggage. I would highly recommend and consider buying a scooter for the daily run as they offer so much more practicality.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

From a business perspective, SYM has always had the X-Pro to take care of the delivery side of things with its upgraded luggage rack and double shock absorbers at the rear. The Orbit is more for your daily commuter who is looking to get from point A to B and save rands on parking and fuel. The Orbit can still be used for commercial, but the X-Pro takes care of business as mentioned above.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The updated Orbit II 150 is selling alongside the outgoing Orbit II 125 for just R1000 more and R4000 less than the Fiddle II 150. It is a fantastic little commuter that helps you leave the ego at home and at the same token it will pay for itself in fuel savings in the long run. It’s light on fuel at 3.5L/100 km, the seat can be sat on all day (which will never need to be done) and the under-seat storage will keep your 13” laptop, camera or groceries out of bad weather.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

We have always enjoyed SYM’s scooter lineup, a lot of the riders in our team have picked favourites over the years and mine has always been the Jet 14 200. After spending some seat time on the bumped-up Orbit II 150, I can say that it offers very similar performance and the same practicality for a lot less money. It gets the brain cogs turning!

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

So, KMSA has introduced a commercial and an updated daily commuter scooter to their line-up. The Machete can still be used for the same application as the Orbit, but you’ll be sacrificing storage and looks. The Orbit can also be a jack of all trades but will cost you more on servicing as it runs a belt and roller system. Whichever you decide on, both of these models bring great bang for your buck in an already competitive market.

For more information on the bikes featured in this article visit – www.sym.co.za or www.lifanmotorcycles.co.za

Bjorn Moreira
Bjorn Moreira
My name is Bjorn Moreira (Senior Editor at ZA Lifestyle) and I always long for the next adventure. Why yes this may be a problem, but I’m what you call a #LIFEAHOLIC which I have been since my very first breath. My passion leads me to enjoy capturing memories on camera, riding motorcycles, cycling and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors.
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