New DRG Sym scooter is a little dragon that is fiery in corners
In the Sym scooters line-up, the new DRG BT 160 stands out for its aggressive and sporty styling.
Named after drago, or dragon in Italian, if you look closely enough, its sharp grab rails do resemble a dragon's tail.
The front panel above the LED lighting system reminds one of a dragon's horns.
But what struck me most on the compact 158cc automatic scooter is its firm suspension. It feels like it has a hidden steering damper to iron out the shakes when riding on bumpy roads.
The truth is the scooter has none - just front telescopic forks and a diagonally positioned rear shock. Yet, it feels like a well-sprung circuit bike.
Most small-wheel scooterists know riding over bumps will inevitably cause the handlebars to wriggle in protest.
Scooter riders adapt to bumps by avoiding them altogether.
But not on the DRG, which has slightly bigger 13-inch aluminium wheels. Over bumps, it maintains its composure. Over dips, the DRG, which comes to life silently at the push of the ignition button, coasts effortlessly.
What makes it a pleasure to ride is its 50:50 weight distribution between front and rear wheels.
The balanced Sym wants to lean into a bend naturally and stick to its cornering line. With a maximum lean angle of 42 degrees and a 132kg weight, it is not hard to manoeuvre the Sym in corners or in stalled city traffic.
The DRG, equipped with anti-lock brakes, has a strong brake feel at the levers.
Just slightly forward of its mini-ape hanger handlebars is the oddly shaped digital speedo. It is basic enough and shows you what you need to know.
When the sun is not blinding me as it is reflecting off the non-adjustable speedometer, I know that by keeping the revs above 6,000rpm, the DRG is ready to accelerate hard to its 10,000rpm rev ceiling.
It is clean fun on the Euro-4 spec Sym, which has 15bhp and 15.4Nm of torque.
What most would appreciate is the economy on the Sym with its 7.4 litre fuel tank.
On a single litre of petrol, our test DRG achieved a distance of 39.2km.
While the scooter can surely go the distance, taller riders may need to take scheduled rest stops.
The contoured rider seat and limited feet space prevent riders from stretching their legs on longer rides.
The DRG has a machine price of $5,000 before taxes, certificate of entitlement and insurance.