LEARNER CLASS

Small-ca­pac­ity su­per­moto of­fers style at a sen­si­ble price

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jon Urry MCN GUEST TESTER

New for 2017 and with a host of Euro4­pleas­ing parts such as new brake sys­tem and fuel-injection, the SWM SM125 also looks so trick. This 125 is mean and pur­pose­ful and has lots of de­tails that you don’t of­ten get on a small-ca­pac­ity bike with a £3500 price tag.

The mo­tor, which is built by SWM at their Ital­ian factory, has a dou­ble over­head cam four-valve head, fu­elin­jec­tion and even a cool red rocker cover – a sub­tle hint at its Husq­varna roots. On the chas­sis front you get in­verted forks while the shock’s spring preload is ad­justable and I love the hand­hold cut-outs just be­low the seat as well as the en­gine’s sump guard. The dash lacks a fuel gauge, but it does have a stop­watch, pre­sum­ably so you can time your runs to Mcdon­ald’s!

Bikes un­der 125cc don’t re­quire ABS for Euro4 and the SM in­stead has a linked brake sys­tem where the front lever only ac­ti­vates the front caliper and the rear lever di­rects 70% brak­ing force to the rear, 30% to the front. It takes a bit of get­ting used to as the front brake is quite soft, pos­si­bly to pre­vent a lock-up, while the rear has too much bite.

On the road the SM is very good. The en­gine de­liv­ers typ­i­cal 125cc per­for­mance with a de­cent gear­box and light clutch, but what im­presses most is its to­tal lack of vibrations. The ex­cel­lent mir­rors re­main crystal clear and you hardly feel the mo­tor’s pres­ence at all, which is great.

An­noy­ingly, SWM have fallen into the trap of fit­ting a hard off-road seat to a road bike, rather than a nice com­fort­able road one, and this does de­tract from the bike’s fun fac­tor. For the money, there’s a lot to like, but a cou­ple of silly nig­gles let it down a bit.

The SWM SM125 looks the part and has some lovely touches

The dash could do with a fuel guage, but it does have a stop­watch!

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