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Commuter Bike Perfection: 2LOUD’s Jewel-like SYM Wolf

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
Commuter motorcycles don’t usually excel in the styling department, but they don’t need to either. As long as they’re cheap, sip fuel, and are dainty enough to weave through traffic, you’re good.

On the bustling roads of Taiwan, the commuter bike is king. One of the world’s largest manufacturers of scooters and small-capacity motorcycles, SYM, is headquartered there. And it’s also the home of Max Ma—the sole operator of Taipei-based custom house, 2LOUD.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
In the short time that we’ve been following 2LOUD’s work, Max has consistently wowed us. This time, he’s created a stylish city runabout using the vanilla SYM Wolf 125. (It’s a smaller version of the Wolf 150 sold in the US for just under $3,000.)

And it does run about; the owner is an interior designer, who uses it to navigate Tapei’s crowded streets as she hops from project to project.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
That meant Max had to do more than just make the SYM look pretty—it needed a performance boost too. “I hoped to make it elegant, refined and bright,” he tells us, “and make it more versatile.”

Max started by swapping out the 2007-model Wolf’s 125 cc motor for a 190 cc unit, sourced from an obscure Chinese manufacturer. The swap was reportedly not too hard—all Max had to do was fabricate a new engine mounting bracket.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
“At first, I didn’t dare to use the Chinese-made engine,” he says. “But after a few friends used this engine, they gave it a good evaluation—and only then did I use it.”

A power boost alone wasn’t enough though. Max wanted to ensure the SYM stopped as well as it went, so he upgraded the front brake with a four-piston caliper from RPM, a 300 mm disc, and a Brembo master cylinder.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
The wheels were swapped out for laced units: 21” up front, and 18” out back. Max lowered the front forks a touch to tweak the stance, then replaced the rear shocks with a pair lifted from a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883.

Max tells us the 883’s OEM spring rate worked out perfectly for the lighter SYM. The shocks are now hooked up to a longer-than-stock aftermarket swing arm.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
Up top, Max shortened and looped the subframe and designed a new leather-covered seat to match, stitched with a classy vertical tuck-roll pattern. (Judging by the passenger pegs, it’s designed for two people…but only just.)

Lower down, Max cleared out the air box in favour of a pod filter, and rewired the SYM for a cleaner look. The steel side number boards are his handiwork, as is the leather and canvas bag mounted on the left. And the ignition’s been relocated to the right hand number board.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
At a glance, the SYM’s fuel tank looks like a restored trail bike item from the 70s, but it’s actually been custom-made for this bike.

Many other parts are one-offs too—from the wide, tracker-style bars, right through to the stainless steel exhaust header and can. Heck, even the fuel tap’s lever has been crafted by hand.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
Then there are the little bits in between: the exhaust hangar, the license plate bracket, and the nifty headlight mount that ‘hangs’ a 4½” light off the triples. Max has kept the cockpit as minimal as possible with Biltwell Inc. grips, a new throttle, and bare-bones switches.

Details like the 2LOUD badges on the seat and muffler give everything a factory fresh vibe.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
Thanks to Max’s keen eye and skillful hands, this petite commuter is hardly recognisable any more. And isn’t that color scheme just flawless?

Max picked a white finish for the frame and swing arm, and a metallic silver as the base for the bodywork. Then he complemented it with orange, and white and gold striping. Zoom in, and you’ll notice that the gold is actually gold leaf—a subtle, but effective, detail.

Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125
To our eyes, this is the coolest commuter bike we’ve come across. And after all, who needs a 500-pound behemoth when you’re just nipping across town?

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Commuter Bike Perfection: A custom SYM Wolf 125

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