There are 300cc and 500cc
dual-sport bikes that are
based on the TE450 that existed between 2004 and 2009.
There’s also a 600cc adventure bike based on the 2011
TE630 from the BMW years. If
that sounds like old bikes and old technology, there’s one
other factor to throw into the mix—the bikes are projected
to sell for old prices. Expect figures in the $7000 range for
the 500 and 600. For reference, the 2011 TE630 sold for
$9000 when it was new.
We went to Italy to check out the SWM factory and ride
the bikes on the road and in the dirt. We’re pleased to say
that there have been clear improvements since the BMW
era. The fuel injection is decidedly better, with throttle bodies by Mikuni and processors by Athena. There are clearly
some cost-cutting measures. Some of the engine cases
come from Asia, although most of the important parts like
the head and crank are European. The 300 and 500 will
have a KYB fork and a Sachs shock, whereas the 600 will
have a Fastace fork from Taiwan.
There’s still much we don’t know about the U.S. models.
As we’ve learned, the U.S. homologation process can be
slow and tedious. But, the U.S. importer, who also imports
Scalvini exhaust systems, is hopeful that bikes will be
on the way by the end of 2017. It should be interesting,
so check back on www.dirtbikemagazine.com for riding
impressions when the bikes finally hit these shores. ❏
SWM, 2018 The name SWM might not mean much to the average American, but
it has a legacy for making Rotax-powered off-road bikes in Italy
though the ’80s and ’90s.
One of the most interesting of the new-era SWM products
is the Superdual, which is similar to the 2011 Husqvarna
TE630 but without the BMW-inspired price tag.