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Upcoming Trail Ride Event

Mar 28 2021 - 15:00
Llandovery (SA20 0NB Wales)
Llanerchindda Farm, Cynghordy
£110.00
£340.00

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A lot of blue.... but no blues!

 

  A lot of blue …but no blues!

 

 
Yes, to find a blue SWM is quite rare…
Actually very rare, being the only one in UK except a 125 RZ a friend own
SWM after a rocketed success in enduro from late 70’s, did in 1982 try to develop and market some strange machines
Few 50cc moped appeared and that of course did not reach UK, mostly in Italy, Switzerland and few in France
These were actually very good, but still… the scooters were number one on the market.
So, another opportunity arise, and again mostly for the above named countries with fantastic mountainous regions
A trail bike that will challenge the Beta or Fantic already leading this “Alpimismo” trendy models (meaning …ready to conquer the Alps)
They did it already with the SWM 320 TLM…
That is mine…. A 99.50% original since 1978!
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yes! that is unpainted engine fins or casing…great stuff!
 
 
 A trial bike as you may know the first red & white Trial beauty…
they added a longer seat, lowered the foot rest a bit,
fitted a mirror and some passenger foot rest,
changed the gearing for a bit more rideability in all terrains.

 
That was not enough….
as they wanted to attract younger and less minded/expert riders that normally goes with SWM logo.
Then they mixed bits from their road bikes,
 with bits from the RS.GS and the trial series,
a very optimistic speedo, few indicators and very much a bike for two, long seat etc.  
 
We have a 315 GTS …. In BLUE  
The side panels were labelled RACING GTS ??? Not that racing! 
That was a good looking and potentially fun machine, cleverly design around the 125cc and 280cc engine they use already, so style and substance for everyone.
 
 
 
Well, that was unfortunately not to be a commercial success
Not so many sold… but a strike of luck came to the rescue when the Italian army shown interest and bought few hundred!
 
Then came a limited edition of the same…just painted in different green and called the RACING VERDE ….the green one, as well nicknamed the hunter bike 
 
 
 
So, now ……… may I present you mine?  
 
 
 
OK, it does not look at all like the original above
 
I bought it already with many original features missing, which became a negotiating asset to purchase this bike from Italy…at reasonable price!
"First date" with this blue and odd machine….huummm… not totally a love affair at first sight but saw some potential and was not indifferent of what could be a good trail bike.
 
My mind was already set to paint it red & white ….it may come one day?
But after few days gazing it in my garage I was found the “Blue package” quite pleasing
First things first, it did start and run not too bad at all, so mechanically was “healthy” and not too much to spend
Very agreeable was the exhaust noise, not as restrained as the Trial bike and not as noisy as most SWM enduro with our old un-repackable mufflers
 
Look at this silencer, does it already inspire serenity?
 
 
 
The GTS placed the bench, oil out and started to scrutinise all areas, seat superb with an original cover, mudguards, not bad at all, the blue is actually not faded and the rear mudguard is original.
Handlebars, Domino levers and throttle, switch, even a mirror (which in Italy was compulsory) Wheels, shocks, centre stand etc…
  95% of the bike is there and in good condition  
The front fork does not belong to this model, great! It’s a better one taken from an enduro bike, just a bit too long stanchions, so it has to be a good 2” over the top yoke.
OK the frame and the engine casing could do with enamel painting, but hey!
 I have enough bikes that look stunning and are confined to an heated shed, so this one will be used until …it breaks!
 
Now the “messing about” starts
 
So, let’s get rid of the original wiring ….to be precise, all including the battery, battery holder, cables, large switch, headlight and 2 indicators I had left…all equal 2.4kg
 
 Even with the new loom, essentially simplified as all enduro models, it would be about 2 Kilogram less
Full service, lots of fiddling with the carburation (new jets and air filter), new trail type tyres, new MOT…. And an age related number plate…Yippee!
I have now a “beast” of 25 BHP  …. Smooth as peanut butter and a good all-rounder machine that hopefully I can ride for hours in Wales (yes that is another story!) or in the Catalonian mountains without consuming too much of my energy (which is diminishing rapidly with age, more enthusiasm than vigour)
 
How does it ride?
 
Starts first kick (as SWM’s do) it feel very light and agile, very impressive steering angle, shocks are a bit short of travel, but the bike goes forward with lots of torque and after all it’s the Trial engine
 
I really enjoyed in the rough terrains of Wales...
Used 25% less petrol for the same distance than my 250 GS
Goes in 4th gear over the rocky and steep hill with a comforting pace
 no drama…no wheel spins, all under control!

 
But!
From the moment the tracks lengthen and you may use full throttle, that were it become obvious that it will not set you heart pulse wild…. And that were I miss my RS.GS
 
So, if I had to have this bike only?
 
 Huummmm?
 
it would be in few years ahead,
when I would not be eager anymore to go debauched in some occasion…
for the moment I enjoy to have some choices and like we experience in Wales for 10 days,
both SWM performed well and did bring me a large grin on my ugly face.
So, nearly a perfect world!
 
 

 

 

 

Photo of the Month 

 

 

 

 
That will be an unpleasant discovery
 
The seller forgot to tell me that behind the famous SWM headlight cowl was this dilapidated top yoke
 (The cable must have been rubbing for a century to get to this point!) 
 
Luckily I have a spare set, and of course....
   another SWM will be rescued next year!

 

 

 

 

 
Wales 2012
 
Well, simply very wet first week
 
Very sunny second week
 
I may not have done any ISDT in my life (I wished I had!)
So, never done a six days event…..BUT!
 
I rode my machines for 9 days consecutively this spring

OK, it was time to stop as both SWM did suffer a bit, most of all my 250cc GS that need now a lot of attention. 
I Thanks my friends that came to this annual gathering…
All shapes, manufacturers and models from the past did perform as expected, so few changes of plugs, but all finished proudly!
 
 
 
 
Beautiful isn’t it when sunshine joins us…
 
The Jawa in this picture is a proper machine
 from the 1975/76 Vase Team
It does everything brilliantly…. The rider is not bad either…
and comes from the same era  
 
 
 
Another group join me in week2
Do not have a picture yet… but Nick from Motoduro came with his Yamaha IT 200
Then some more SWM and even a Honda 200cc…
So, all good and my conclusion is simple
Take your classic out of the shed
and trail ride with it!
I never yet encounter someone regretting it
 Even when she get dirty (the machine of course!)   
 
 
 
That was my usual dose of SWM madness
I needed it!
Saying that we shared machines during this remote interlude
 
The H7 Montessa is quite a beast that may not be the cup of tea of everyone… a 370cc SWM was equally vigorous and needed to be tamed....and tuned!
The 200 IT was actually a fantastic machine…but it’s a Jap one!
So, so long
catch up with you within few months with….
 
A special interview with David Knight …. And more SWM tales