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.