SWM SM125 R (2017 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
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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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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 qualityNext up: Value
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 rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled single|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||7.2 litres|
|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||£22|
|Annual service cost||£150|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||14 bhp|
|Top speed||70 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||110 miles|
Model history & versions
2017: Model introduced
Owners' reviews for the SWM SM125 R (2017 - on)
1 owner has reviewed their SWM SM125 R (2017 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Version: RS 125 R Factory
Annual servicing cost: £150
Best: Equipment, design. Worst: Bike tarnished by poor build, post sales support and workshop service. I would not recommend it, better get some established brand (Yamaha WR 125 R).
Very good to ride when all is good. Brakes (CBS) were very good. Driving pillion 1 hr. max. before brake is needed, rider also.
Engine performance was good. Problem was cam chain and tensioner making noise on 1500 km. Hassle having to remove fuel tank, cylinder head and lots of stuff to change spark plug, takes around 1 hr. Newest problem was losing power/low max. speed/overheating on 7000 km.
Very poorly built, every 400 km something happens. Side stand screw fell out, then side stand leg, then problem with side stand sensor, washer under foot peg missing, washer under seat lock fell off, rear left turn signal burned by exhaust, OEM battery (Exide) dead after 1 year, speedometer/odometer working on-off. Corrosion on wheel spokes, nuts, bolts, lambda sensor. Around 1500 km cam chain and tensioner making noise, ignored in workshop, fixed by importer around 7000 km. Soon Gremlins started and bike lost power, overheat, (suspected piston + electrics 300€) sold for 2200€ as a result.
0 km service 100€ 1st service 750 km (Factory 1000 km) 100€ 2nd service 2700 km (Factory 5000 km) 100€ 3rd service 7000 km (Factory 10,000 km) 150€+ rear turn signal 25€ + battery 25€
Factory model packed fully. Handguards, steering foam guard, extra adjustable suspension, Arrow aluminium muffler, racing ribbed seat, decals. The only official thing left to mount was Arrow carbon muffler. OEM Kenda tyres were ok, mounted even better Dunlop Trailsmart MAX/Trailmax.
Buying experience: Bought new from dealer. Was asked 1000€ (4000€ full price) deposit on invisible bike (no showroom example). Only good thing got more expensive model (4500€) due to waiting extra 1 month. Disappointing for brand and owners, only 2 (125) bikes sold in 4 yrs. mine was last so far, that says it all.