A charming motorcycle
The composition of SWM’s Gran Turismo may reflect current globalisation trends, but it’s a decent bike to ride
WORDS & PICTURES BY OLIVER HULME
Ever since the 1970s there have been regular calls from classic motorcycle buyers for a new, simple, straightforward motorcycle to use rather than a flood of whizzy hi-tech offerings. There’s also been much discussion about whether people would actually buy such a motorcycle if it were available brand-new.
The SWM Gran Turismo could have been designed to fill that apparent gap. It’s powered by a simple single cylinder engine and built by reborn Italian brand SWM on the shores of Lake Varese. Just a few miles from MV Agusta and with the Moto Guzzi factory over the next mountain, it’s in Italy’s motorcycle-making heartland. The SWM Classics are Italian-built from Italian,
Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese-made
parts and SWM are keen to emphasise their Italian heritage. The Gran Turismo has a four-valve 445cc SOHC twin port single that owes a lot to 1980s Honda designs. There are even vintage type cues, with hex-head tappet covers similar to those fitted to Honda SOHC fours and late Sixties Triumphs.
The engine has an oversquare bore and stroke of 90mm x 70mm, a 10:1 compression ratio and produces 30bhp and 27ft/lb of torque at 5500rpm.
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