Old Knob­blies

Classic Dirtbike - - Swm 370 Tf1 -

Fancy a go at one of these trail chal­lenges? Then go to Philippe Van­der­walle’s Old Knob­blies web­site www.old­knob­blies. com for the lat­est info on the next one. The web­site is the home of clas­sic and twin­shock en­duro and re­flects Philippe’s mo­tor­cy­cling pas­sion – en­duro bikes and com­pe­ti­tion – his other pas­sion is food and, as the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chef at the Ritz Casino in Lon­don, he has lots of ex­pe­ri­ence in this field too. But it is the en­duro scene we’re con­cen­trat­ing on here. The Old Knob­blies web­site has lots of things for the ded­i­cated en­duroista and is well worth check­ing out. orig­i­nal but would be of the pe­riod. They are matched to Domino con­trol levers, that would be orig­i­nal and also a Gun­nar Gasser throt­tle, again a pe­riod ac­ces­sory.

En­duro mo­tor­cy­cles are, or can be, road le­gal and also have lights fit­ted. It isn’t nec­es­sary to have lights on a mo­tor­cy­cle – or car for that mat­ter – in or­der to be road le­gal, it just means if the weather turns bad then you’re stuck. The electrics on an off-road bike are quite sim­ple and con­sist of a head­light, which can be dipped, a tail­light with a stop fa­cil­ity and, for post 1973 ma­chines, an elec­tric horn. The ones on this 370 work very well in­deed.

The fi­nal bit to add to the ma­chine was the ex­haust and it is one of Philippe’s own re­pro­duc­tions. Ac­tu­ally, it’s the pro­to­type test sys­tem with the orig­i­nal in­ter­nal vol­ume ex­actly the same as SWMS and, once it had been proved, pro­duc­tion started.

Although it is a good re­pro­duc­tion of the orig­i­nal, a chance was taken to make the si­lencer re-pack­able, which makes a big dif­fer­ence to two-stroke per­for­mance and the end spout was tweaked slightly too.

All that re­mained was for Philippe to add the mod­ern Mikuni car­bu­ret­tor, new cables to the bike and it was ready for its out­ing at the ISDT cen­ten­nial meet­ing in 2013. Philippe de­cided at our trail chal­lenge that his 370 would be tem­po­rar­ily re­tired af­ter it. “It has been used for four years now,” he ex­plains, “and some things are get­ting a bit tired, it needs fresh­en­ing up…” If only riders could have the same treat­ment. 

SWM’S 370 cer­tainly could cope with all the en­duro world could throw at it.

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