Test and previews Wed 17 October 2018

SWM SUPERDUAL X: A TRUSTWORTHY BIKE!

I’m at the departure of the Harditaroad 2018, a 2-day endurance rally dedicated to maxi enduro bikes that connects Trento to Trieste; its itinerary is 60% woods, dirt roads and mule trails and 40% paved roads following GPS tracks that include day stages and a long night leg. What better opportunity for us to test the new SWM SUPERDUAL X, the new bike of the manufacturer based in Varese (Italy)?

At first sight, the bike is compact in size with basic instruments, the off-road look is enhanced by the generous hand-guards, the skid bars and the 21” front wheel; windshield, central kickstand, LED high beam and luggage rack for long trips complete the look. If this standard setup doesn’t seem enough, the GT PACK kit includes two large 33-liter side cases equipped with frames to hook them to the bike.
The SWM handles easily on the country roads of the province of Trento as well as in city traffic.
Its 169 kg are well balanced allowing for agile changes of direction, the 18 liters of gas in the tank do not affect maneuverability while granting good mileage; the Brembo brakes and the front and rear ABS system effectively assist when entering curves. The front end is stable at high speed and the high mudguard doesn’t cause turbulence or oscillations; it’s a pity that over 4000rpm engine vibrations are elevated affecting riding smoothness.
Off-road starts after  a number of switchbacks; it is time to disengage the rear ABS via a handy pushbutton on the handlebar and test its off-road qualities!
The bike has a good stability on dirt, graveled roads, the power output of the 600cc engine is 40kW (54CV) and, since it isn’t a skittish horse to be tamed, it can be easily handled in-between skids and sideslips; actually, in my opinion, the sprocket is a bit too small making the bike too lazy at lower revs and when picking up, but even if you have a gear that’s too long the engine won’t abandon you and you will climb to the top! It’s to be noted that the same engine is available even in a version detuned to 26kW (35CV), suitable for riders with an A2 driving license!

The ground changes, I’m now riding over roots and on loose-rock mule tracks: at first I didn’t trust the suspensions that didn’t seem up to the task, but I must admit that the 45mm diameter fork with hydraulic brake and adjustable stroke, and the rear shock absorber with stroke that can be adjusted via clicks and adjustable spring preload, do their job! You must not expect a performance equal to that of the most celebrated suspensions on the market, but any unevenness is well dampened without sudden bucking or handlebars side kicking.
The wide handlebars, like a “true” enduro, ensure good control; on the other hand, the seat is too recessed and more suitable for a tourism use, since it doesn’t allow shifting forward and backward to help control the bike with the rider’s weight. Even standing up on the pegs isn’t very simple; let’s say that for a 1.8 meters high person like me the bike is a bit too small.
The first day ends but only for a few hours; at 1:00 AM we leave for the night stage! In addition to the halogen low beam I turn on the standard LED high beam … now I can see the roots and rocks along the trail in the woods; the onboard computer, with minimal but essential instruments, is also well illuminated and visible.
Kilometer after kilometer … rock after rock … hour after hour … at 2:00 PM I get to the finish line of the Hardita, ending this wonderful marathon in the Unità d’Italia square downtown Trieste! I finally reached a conclusion on this motorcycle: the adjective that better suits this bike is TRUSTWORTHY!

rustworthy because, without expecting the highest performance and the Hi-Tech accessories that are a must on the more expensive latest generation motorcycles, this SWM Superdual X takes care of the job; a multi-purpose bike that, with its leisurely but loyal engine, can be used on both paved and dirt roads. Thanks to its accessories and compact size, it can be used for fun trips as well as every day to go to work in city traffic … it must be said that the manufacturer of Varese dedicated a lot of effort and dedication to this totally “made in Italy” project, going from the design on paper to the first prototypes to the assembly lines of the standard motorcycles supplied to dealers.

Price: € 7.300

Text: Marco Dugato

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