Trail Rides

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Upcoming Trail Ride Event

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

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Many projects...not enough time!



The garage is getting colder and soon will have a running nose while checking all these electrics and engines
One bike is nearly finished and as I did not have much to write in this issue, I will try to fill up at least a bit of space….
I did warn you....SWM it will be....
SWM 370 MC TF1/2
one of the first model of the big cc RS.MC
I love them because of the metal tank, its always satisfying when it’s properly painted and these colours are gorgeous
So, it all started with a picture from a mobile phone from a friend…. With very little to see except a pile of rust and beside the engine in sorry state…it was a big gamble.
But frankly…. These early SWM do fascinate me like nothing else.

 above is the original mobile phone picture ...

and yes, someone will say ... "that was my bike..I sold it to someone that sold to....then it been sold to" etc..


"After collection of the rolling frame and few bits
What did I really got?"
.        The forks where rusty/pitted (even if not noticeable on the picture)
·        Wheel spokes beyond repair
·        Rear shocks not original but can be serviced
·        Ignition and electrics not useable
·        Engine with no piston (but unexpectedly with an overall very good condition internals)
·        Cylinder to be changed or resleeved
·        Plastics not reusable or missing
·        Seat was a real mess and an housing for foreign crawling creatures 
·        Been many years un-used, still with lots of good Welsh mud everywhere
·        Break shoes completely worn and blocked
·        Rear sprockets impossible to dismantle (took hours and Oxygen to release or break the bolts)
..... and lots more ........  

 So, the fun started 6 months ago…

only the best will be fitted over the coming weeks/months...



First some nice stainless spokes, all new even the rim tape, grippers etc…and some top tyres… Metzeler MC4
Engine fully open, connecting rod was actually great,so, only all bearings and the usual, kick start assembly, clutch plates, few springs
and lots of seals…
Now the top end…that is where big money goes…new sleeve, new piston (a real Helko) etc…
Engine reclosed with care and gosh this orange paint looks good on these large fins and magnesium casings.
All bolts, bits & bobs, even the gear lever etc… been electroplated (after lots of polishing, blasting with smooth bead etc…)
Call my friend Martin to order the plastics and few bits…
We are progressing…The tank, frame and the rest, comes back from the painter (the exhaust painted as well in heat resistant powder coating…the result is great, will not change colour or scratch for very-very long time).
Then it’s just a bolt on and crazy few days
 just to see how it will look
Of course…it will be fantastic!...I really hope!
Engine in, silencer packed, tank filled with little premix.. just to try, no oil leaks, no tank tap leaks, kill switch fixed…. And we have a blue spark…
So it’s time to wear my MX boot (yes only the left one)
One flat screw driver in my pocket (that will be for fiddling with the carburettor if the beast decides to start)
A bit of apprehension, always the first time….like any first time 
then at the second kick Start it fired, and for once not these kind of few seconds and you panic as something goes wrong or it dies on you….
not at all... it does not stop to run, just quickly turn the air screw and the idle screw and here we go…from many years laid in a barn to now a lovey engine sound
Then I cut the engine….I am nearly suffocating into my garage, cannot even see anything (silly me I have a powerful blower, but was not on and in the excitement, I could not stop the engine that quickly….)
Ourgh ....that I smell petrol fumes, it stinks!
But so happy about the results that this time around all doors open to create a draft, blower on and I kick again, first kick it runs….Heepeeee!
I must confess to my astonishment that this 370c is not that difficult to start….
What happens years ago with my 440cc is still a mystery,
could not kick the Bl*** thing …too hard, it must be this matter of compression ratio that some people believe that you will get a real beast by lowering the gaskets or skimming the head….that is fully a big mistake and will only damage the machine and the rider
I spare you all the details, but trust me as 90% of the bike is built on new parts
Just few example for you to appreciate what I mean by quality items
and not cutting corners.
£100+ Regina VX Chain, £255 per wheels (including tyres & best grooved brake shoes) £220 very rare new original seat (not pictured)New old stock original Magura Throttle and the list goes on...
And here we go…



That will be a rare bran new Helko Piston "red dot" so 84.25mm









 Et Voila!
 Still few things to finish, few tweaks 
(probably completed by the time you read this newsletter)
and before some "eagle eyes" tell me the the SWM decals on the tank should have been verticaly...I know...
Just got in the new ones   


and then... 
 it will be time to start the restoration of my best ever SWM
a 250 TF3 GS with GP Olhins and few interesting bits...
Accomplishments do not come around the corner without efforts
For the past few years I tried to rectify a little matter,
of course associated with SWM's and at last got some results
Ok, that is not walking on the moon… but all SWM’s owners should benefit!
You may have bought some clutch cables or front brake cables,
these were not 100% accurate, most of all the overall length
and a bit slack for the clutch, that will be few millimetres too long of clearance cable .
Resulting in ...even from brand new, you did have to use both adjusters to compensate….and that is pity as you may need this tension in the future as your clutch plates or brake shoes worn out….
 So, after weeks and lots of emails, phone calls and drawings we got somewhere.
And that will be from the best manufacturer in UK,
Venhill cables
I am pleased to say … that they were fantastic to accommodate my requests, changes and more changes…Thanks to Neal and the management.
So, I will be holding a stock of new cables for appropriate SWM models
  RS.GS from 1977/78
TF series up to 1982
Front brake & clutch cables
Before they were very good, now they will be perfect!!!!
That is IF…..
You have Magura or equivalent levers for 8mm Nipples and you route your cables correctly (as now you do not have too much spare, just a copy of some originals I was lucky to source)
Will be thinking of the throttle cables after …but that need more time.... that I am short of….
I know I go on a bit with inviting you to send me stuff to write about...
so, the newsletter will be now every 2 months...
or whatever...
I have so much to do .... including preparation for the Telford Classic Of Road Show in February...
at least I got my banners ready  
Photo of the month...
haaaa...those French ..... they do classic enduro meeting
with a twist....or two...
Choucroute anyone?????
(By the way, that was for about 120 riders & guests)
"The way it was"
a friend ...looking tired but cool with his 80's hair style
Beach race in 1983... in UK
2 places left!!!!


That will be for next spring
5 Days in Wales
07th till 11th May
13th till  17th May
(In some fantastic surroundings on the foothill of the Cumbrian Mountains)
·         4 full days trail riding you favourite vinduro bike (bring a second one if you wish)
·         Beautiful settings, great food & accommodation, guide and few surprises
·         9 riders only per group
·         Due to popular demand, 2 different sets of dates/groups for next year!
·         £210 per persons (all above included)   
·         Only one rule (Be friendly and enjoy the ride!)
What you have to do:
·         Go to this website     http://www.cambrianway.com/index.cfm?id=106
.   Start the vision...
·         Entries now open...First dates/group is already full as last year riders come back for a second "serving"
·         Accept to send Philippe a non-refundable deposit of £50.00 whatever happen (I booked the farm already)
·         Then relax, you know it will be a great little break , hopefully memorable, refresh a bit our techniques and make new friends
·         Your motorcycle need to be road legal and insured.
           Itinerary will be sent by the end of March
if interested, click "contact" on this site, then I will send you my address or PayPal link.
9 out of 10 riders from last year comes back, so ...it must have been captivating and we all need to re-visit this fantastic "playground"
That is all for this issue
Thanks for reading and cheers,