Small-capacity supermoto offers style at a sensible price
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.