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.
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.
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!
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.
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.