SWM Gran Milano 440 Exposed
Fans of boutique motorcycle brands of the 1970s and ’80s will remember the initials SWM, even if they never knew it stood for Speedy Working Motors or that the company was based in Milan.
Racking up a Silver Vase in the International Six Days Enduro plus a Trial World Championship (with Frenchman Gilles Burgat aboard) in the company’s 13-year run, the little brand that could succumbed to bankruptcy in 1984.
Previously the technical manager at Cagiva/ Aprilia/Husqvarna, Ampelio Macchi is reviving SWM, basing it in Lombardia, Italy. Giving Macchi needed financial muscle is Gong Daxing of the Shineray Group in China. Shineray purchased leftover Husqvarna assets in Italy from BMW, including factory facilities and engine designs.
Among the range of new SWMs that includes supermoto and enduro bikes sporting the BWM-era “red head” Husqvarna motors, is this striking retro streetbike — the SWM Gran Milano 440.
While the SOHC powerplant is air-cooled to give it an authentic look, the oversquare 435cc engine does boast EFI, digital ignition, electric start, and an oil cooler.
Adding to the vintage look of the SWM Gran Milano 440 are fork gaiters, rear drum brake, twin peashooter mufflers, twin shocks, chrome fenders, round analog clocks, and drop-down café bars.
With a six-speed transmission, a generous 5.3-gallon fuel tank, and a ready-for-gas curb weight of just 330 pounds, the SWM Gran Milano 440 design should prove to be quite versatile. Pirelli MT90 city enduro tires are mounted to alloy rims, which suggests adherence to Italian standards for handling.
Keep the name Shineray in your mind. The 20-year-old Shineray Motorcycle Company has the stated goal to “specialize in off-road motorcycles and develop into a Chinese KTM.” At this time, Shineray manufactures over 100 models of motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs that are exported to 86 countries. Plans are underway to expand SWM beyond Europe into Australia and South America, before entering the Asian and North American markets.
Story from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here.