Side­car� SWM

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS -

It’s al­ways in­ter­est­ing, the things I come across on my world trav­els, and the trip to the Ital­ian world round at Met­zler Of­froad Park at Arco di Trento once again threw up a gem of a find. I am a mas­sive SWM fan, and while at the world round in late Septem­ber I spot­ted amongst the crowd my old friend Pi­etro Ku­ciukian, who I first met in 1978. He had been the Sports Man­ager at the Corse SWM Trial Team and was very in­stru­men­tal in the suc­cess of the brand. The Clerk of the Course was Danilo Galeazzi, the Multi Ital­ian Tri­als Cham­pion on SWM. On-site at the Met­zler Of­froad Park is a small tri­als ship-comemu­seum, and inside I dis­cov­ered this SWM trial side­car. I had seen it in pic­tures be­fore, but here it was in the flesh. Ar­ti­cle: Tri­als Me­dia • Pic­tures: Tri­als Me­dia, Archive Ku­ciukian, Mauri/Fontsere Col­lec­tion, and the Gi­ulio Mauri Copy­right

Ihad seen pic­tures of it be­fore in tri­als re­lated books and more re­cently in the su­perb book ti­tled: Trial Made in Italy 1975-1985, by my good friend Valenti Fontsere and the late Gi­ulio Mauri. I wanted to find out more, and on my re­turn, I con­tacted ‘The’ SWM spe­cial­ist Martin Matthews to find out more. He was very help­ful, and forth­com­ing with in­for­ma­tion.

An In­door Start

It ap­pears that this SWM started life as one of only a hand­ful of in­door ded­i­cated ma­chines, built by the Ital­ians for the more spe­cialised style of rid­ing re­quired to con­quer the man-made arena haz­ards. You must re­mem­ber that when the Amer­i­can Bernie Schreiber came across from Amer­ica on a Bul­taco in the lat­ter part of the sev­en­ties, he also dis­played a new style of rid­ing in­clud­ing the ‘Pivot’ turns. When he moved to SWM, they watched how he per­formed on the ma­chine and then lis­tened to his ideas on what he wanted. They were based on the 280cc Ro­tax Ro­tary Valve Disc in­duc­tion power plant with, as you can see, a much slim­mer ap­pear­ance. To make this ‘Slim-Line’ model more suited to side­car use the fuel tank has been moved to the rear of the ma­chine. On the in­door solo ma­chines, they fea­tured a very small, com­pact fuel tank with a very low ca­pac­ity.

In My Dreams

When the ma­chines were made re­dun­dant, Pi­etro Ku­ciukian had one at­tached to a side­car. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever see one of these ma­chines in the flesh, but it’s so good to see that it has sur­vived in such good or­der. Side­car tri­als ma­chines have in the past — and will in the fu­ture — al­ways con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of the tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle. What’s in­ter­est­ing is that some thirty-odd years on in 2017 that the new TRS has just won the Bri­tish Side­car Tri­als Cham­pi­onship, and yes it’s an­other yel­low ma­chine. No doubt when I re­turn to this venue for the 2018 Ital­ian world round I will find some other rare tri­als mo­tor­cy­cles; yes the Ital­ians are as pas­sion­ate about tri­als now just as they al­ways have been in the past.

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