Budget thrills with four new SWMS
Dripping in Italian flair, and with attractive European cycle parts, can the reborn Speedy Working Motors compete with the best?
Many will never have heard of Speedy Working Motors (SWM), but in the 1970s and early 1980s this small Italian company were making big waves in the off-road world. Using Sachs engines, they built a range of 50cc, 100cc and 125cc bikes at their Rivolta d’adda headquarters and on their competition debut in Spain in 1971, Pierluigi Rottigni and Giuseppe Signorelli grabbed the firm’s first silverware with second and third place finishes in the 125cc and 100cc classes respectively. As well as taking several Italian national titles, SWM also won the prestigious Six Days Silver Vase and even a world trials championship before shutting its doors in 1984 as the enduro market collapsed.
The brand was resurrected recently with former Cagiva and Aprilia project manager Ampelio Macchi at the helm, with backing from Chinese manufacturer Shineray Group’s owner Daxing Gong. Taking over the old Husqvarna factory in Biandronno, Italy, which was thoroughly modernised under BMW’S ownership before Husky were sold to KTM, SWM are now back in business.
The new 12-bike line-up isn’t just a collection of styling exercises masking the same chassis and engine platform beneath – it encompasses a range of bikes that include 300cc and 500cc enduros, air-cooled 440 retros, 125s and even a 650 supermoto. There’s even a soon-to -be-released 650 Superdual adventure bike waiting in the wings that has all the allure of Yamaha’s nowdefunct adventure icon, the XT660.
Don’t get sucked into thinking that these bikes also follow the route taken by myriad other manufacturers – trading off old names or with funky new ones – because, despite the Chinese funding, the SWM range is all made in Italy using European components wherever possible, which the firm believes is one of their unique features.
So if you fancy an SWM, just what’s on offer for road riders? MCN visited SWM dealer Stevelin Motorcycles of Ramsey, Cambridgeshire (www. stevelinmotorcycles.co.uk) who stock the full SWM range to pick four of the best from the new SWM family.
‘With Chinese backing, SWM are back in business’