SWM Sil­ver Vase 440

£4699

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

There will be sev­eral vari­a­tions on SWM’S retro classic theme, all us­ing the same ba­sic frame and en­gine. The Sil­ver Vase faith­fully repli­cates the street scram­bler style of the early 1970s, with twin high-mounted si­lencers, semi­knob­bly tyres and a pro­fu­sion of chrome. It’s all a bit gar­ish com­pared to the se­ri­ous-look­ing Gran Mi­lano (left) but cer­tainly looks the part of a Honda street scram­bler circa 1972.

The rid­ing po­si­tion is up­right and re­laxed, with plenty of support from the broad and comfy ribbed seat and wide high bars. The en­gine and box are iden­ti­cal to those of the Gran Mi­lano, so you get the same snatch­i­ness at low speed and fine midrange power – there’s good ac­cel­er­a­tion in the lower gears, but you can still leave it in fifth on a twisty B road, the 440cc sin­gle pulling you out of sweep­ing bends. Like the Gran Mi­lano, the gearchange is a lit­tle sticky but ours was a low-mileage test bike, which might also ac­count for the in­tru­sive vibes over 5000rpm. It’ll hap­pily cruise at an in­di­cated 70mph, but much more than that and the in-thewind po­si­tion will have your neck mus­cles strain­ing.

Some parts on the Vase look a bit cheap com­pared to the Gran Mi­lano. The rims and swingarm are steel, not al­loy, with gaitered forks and a more ba­sic front brake (though still a four-pot caliper). It’s all enough to cope with the per­for­mance, and the Sil­ver Vase cer­tainly han­dles well, but al­though the bike is £300 cheaper than the Mi­lano, it feels as if the price gap should be big­ger. Still, the Sil­ver Vase is a truly in­di­vid­ual bike – there’s else noth­ing quite like it out there.

Sev­en­ties chic but the qual­ity can’t match the Gran Mi­lano

An­other ar­rival on the retro scram­bler scene, this time from Ital­ian brand SWM

Chromed dash for that 70s im­age

Swingarm fit­tings look a bit cheap

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