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SWM

SWM logo.png
rightA 1981 SWM TL320 with UK specification metal petrol tank


SWM (Speedy Working Motors, later SWM Motocicli Palazzolo Milanese) was founded in 1971 by Piero Sironi and Fausto Vergani and was based in Milan, Italy. SWM manufactured Observed Trials, Enduro, Motorcross and off-road motorcycles in the 1970s and 1980s. They started with small capacity Sachs engined enduro bikes and began making Rotax engined trial bikes in 1977. The other main manufacturers at this time were Fantic and Spanish bike manufacures Bultaco and Montesa.


1977 SWM Cross Boy with a Minarelle 6 hp 50 cc Engine and 4 Speeds

History

Trials Bikes

SWM started making Rotax TL125 and TL320 trials bikes in 1977. Rotax built a special trials version of their rotary valve motor, with development input from Sammy Miller and Charles Coutard. Acerbis made the plastic mouldings, and suspension was by Marzocchi. These first trials machines were red and white.

In 1979 yellow and black models appeared, and in 1980 these were fitted with Girling Gas shocks and Betor forks.

Gilles Burgat won the 1981 Trials world championship on an SWM.

In 1982 a 240 model was produced with a blue frame, acknowledging Pernod's trials sponsorship.

In 1983 all bikes got alloy swing arms, and the TL350 Jumbo was introduced. This was a new reed valve motor and frame wearing the same yellow and blue colours.

In 1984 the 125 and 320 were put in the new frame, but then production ceased.

1974 SWM 125 ES


Enduro Bikes

SWM RSGS and SWM TF1 in capacities 125, 175, 250, 350, 370, 440, 506

Joan Riudalbá, riding an SWM TF1 of 125 cc was Enduro Spanish Champion in 1980.

When SWM went into liquidation Armstrong of Bolton, England bought the rights to the SWM XN Tornado, a Rotax engined enduro machine of 350cc or 506 cc. With CCM, Armstrong developed and marketed a military version, the MT-500, which was so successful Harley-Davidson bought the manufacturing rights in 1986, and further developed the bike as the MT350E.


SWM today

SWM Superdual

SWM went in liquidation in 1984 and production ceased. There are still people out there riding SWMs in classic and twinshock trials in the UK. Rotax engines spares are still readily available, with many of the other spares that went out of production, like the Acerbis plastics, are being produced and distributed by specialist companies such as MotoSWM in the UK and MidWest SWM in the U.S..

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