SWM SM125 R (2017 - on) Review

At a glance

Power: 14 bhp
Seat height: Tall (35.0 in / 890 mm)
Weight: Low (267 lbs / 121 kg)


New £3,499
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Its price point puts the SWM in competition with ‘premium’ 125s from the Japanese brands rather than cheaper Chinese alternatives and on this front the SM125R certainly holds its own. The seat’s firmness is annoying, and the lack of ABS is a concern, but it looks great and the motor performs as well as any of its rivals’ engines.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Annoyingly, you can’t feel your bum after about five minutes as the seat is chronically hard. SWM are off-road specialists and they have fallen into the trap of fitting an off-road seat to a road bike, rather than a nice comfortable road one, and this does detract from the bike’s fun factor. The handling is good but the linked brakes aren’t as effective as the SWM’s rivals who all have ABS fitted.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The motor, which is built by SWM in their Italian factory and not imported from the far east, has a double overhead cam four-valve head, fuel-injection and even a cool red rocker cover – a subtle hint at its Husqvarna roots. It delivers typical 125cc performance with a decent gearbox and light clutch, but what impressed MCN the most was its total lack of vibrations.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The SWM is built in Italy, not China, which can either be a blessing or a curse depending on your view on these things. It is a premium product, and appears well built, but only time will tell. That said, it comes from the old Husky factory and their bikes are pretty solid and withstand a lot of off-road abuse!

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

With a price tag of £3499 the SM125 is at the top end of the off-road style 125 market, but it is a step above cheap imports in terms of quality. It’s just a shame ABS is lacking and the seat isn’t more forgiving.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The SM lacks ABS, but it does have inverted forks and the sump has a neat bash plate. The dash is a bit basic, and lacks a fuel gauge, but it does have a stopwatch - presumably so you can time your McDonald’s runs.


Engine size 124cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled single
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 7.2 litres
Seat height 890mm
Bike weight 121kg
Front suspension Inverted forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Single shock, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 1 x 260mm disc, three-piston caliper; linked
Rear brake 220mm disc, two-piston caliper linked
Front tyre size 80/90X21
Rear tyre size 110/80x18

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 80 mpg
Annual road tax £20
Annual service cost -
New price £3,499
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 14 bhp
Max torque -
Top speed 70 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 110 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2017: Model introduced

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