Unless you were an off-road enthusiast in the ‘seventies, SWM would not be top of mind.
But back then, the Milan-based manufacturer was putting out some very competitive tackle for observed trails, motocross and enduros. Early models were powered by the ubiquitous Sachs 125cc engine, but as the small company expanded it moved on to Rotax power. The trails bikes in particular are still popular for Classic Twinshock events. Like many others however, SWM failed to cope with the Japanese onslaught of the ‘eighties, and shut its doors in 1984. Thirty years later, the brand was resurrected by Ampelio Macchi who had stints with Cagiva, Aprilia and Husqvarna. In partnership with the Chinese businessman Daxing Gong, SWM is now a go-ahead concern with a range of new bikes that not only resurrect the company’s proud sporting heritage, but launch a subrange of retro-styled roadsters. Melbourne-based Mojo Motorcycles are the Australian distributors for SWM, and in our next issue we will have a full test of the café-racer style Gran Milano and the similar-butdifferent Gran Turismo, both powered by a 455cc single cylinder air-cooled engine producing 22kW, which gives the bikes LAMS eligibility. The engine is produced by the Sineray Group in China and then shipped to SWM’s factory in northern Italy to be united with its locally-produced chassis. Although deliberately old-school in appearance, both models feature good stuff like Brembo brake calipers and an aluminium swinging arm. At $7,990 (Gran Milano) and $7,490 (Gran Turismo) including GST and ORC, the new models are certainly priced attractively, and both carry a two-year 20,000km parts and labour warranty.
For more information visit... swmmotorcycles.com.au
The SWM Milano (left) and Turismo, retro style with modern motors.