Haven’t heard of SWM? Don’t worry, not many have outside of trails and offroad circles will be familiar with the reborn Italian brand.
SWM produced off road focused machines in the 1970s through to when it went into liquidation in 1984. Now it’s back and better than ever with a host of road going offerings based on pre-KTM ownership Husqvarna derived single cylinder engines.
We secured the first press ride of the new RS650R from importer Europe Imports in Auckland and it’s safe to say we’re impressed with the new bike.
Built in the former BMW-Husqvarna factory in Italy, the SWM is loaded with quality parts and high standards of build quality and is priced at a sharp $10,490 + orc.
Forks are supplied by Marzocchi and are adjustable for damping, while the brakes front and rear are Brembo supplied units.
Despite the name, the SWM RS650R is not a 650cc machine, in fact, it sits at the perfect point of 600cc - meaning it’s neither too small, yet is small enough to fit within the cheaper registration bracket.
There is a catch however. While normally a 600cc single cylinder would in theory fit perfectly into the LAMS scheme, unfortunately for Learner and Restricted licence holders the RS650R is not LAMS approved. That’s because it weighs a featherweight 144 kg dry, so even with a full 12-litres of fuel and a couple of litres of oil it is still well under 160 kg.
While the factory doesn’t list power figures, the bike is rumoured to have somewhere in the region of 40kw and 50Nm of power on tap from the 600cc single cylinder.
The first authorised dealers are Experience Motorcycles in Kingsland and Motorad Wellington, with other dealers to be announced at a later date.
Currently there are 12 models in the global SWM stable, with the RS650R enduro ($10,490+orc), SM650R supermoto ($10,990+orc) having already arrived in New Zealand, with the learner approved 440cc Silver Vase and Gran Milano the next to head our way.
Offering astonishing value for money at under $11,000, SWM will be an entry into the New Zealand motorcycle market to watch in 2016.
We’ll have a full road test of the SWM RS650R coming to Driven Magazine in the near future.