After a partnership with MV Agusta has seen Kinetic Motorcycles - Motoroyale division bring down beauties like the F4, F3 and the Brutale, a new tie-up with another Italian manufacturer, SWM Motorcycles, could be in the works. While there is a wider range of models, initially we could see the 650cc, dual-sport (Superdual) and the 440cc, cafe racer (Gran Milano 440) make their way to India via the CKD route.
SWM Motorcycles' factory is based in Varese, Italy, and was formerly used for motorcycle manufacturing by BMW, Husqvarna, KTM and a few others. SWM in itself has started manufacturing motorcycles here since 2015. Last year it sold 4,000 bikes in 25 countries, including those in South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It aims to sell about 6,000 by next year. The models that could come to India are the Gran Milano and the Silver Vase (based on the 440 platform), and the Superdual T/X. The 440 platform is manufactured in China, while the bigger 650 platform is made in Italy.
GRAN MILANO 440
With retro-styled motorcycles becoming all the rage right now, the Gran Milano 440 could be an interesting proposition for the Indian market. Although it gets retro styling, a few modern bits have been thrown into the mix.
It gets a 4-valve, SOHC 445.3cc single – which is an air-cooled – 4-stroke motor that produces 29.9hp of power and 36Nm of torque. The engine is both air- and oil-cooled. While riding it in the hills around Varese, this engine feels more relaxed in nature. The seating position is a bit on the aggressive side but still comfortable. The bike's handling is predictable and although it isn't extremely nimble, it should be a fair amount of fun to ride in the twisties. The brakes from Brembo offer more than sufficient bite and stopping power. There was, however, a fair amount of vibration present in the handlebars and footpegs.
In terms of dimensions, it gets a 1,416mm wheelbase, 2,082mm length, 724mm width and 1,110mm height. The seat height is a decent 813mm and it gets 183mm of ground clearance. It weighs 145kg. Since this motorcycle will make its way to India via the CKD route, we expect the pricing to be competitive and in the range of Rs 2.5-3.5 lakh.
Another segment gathering steady momentum in India is the Adventure Tourer. And why not! With their long travel suspension and comfy ergonomics, they'd be great for our Indian road conditions.
The Superdual gets a 600cc, single-cylinder, 4-valve DOHC liquid-cooled motor that makes a healthy 57hp of peak power, although SWM also offers a lesser powered version that makes 47.5hp. This motor is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. As expected from a large, single-cylinder engine, there's ample torque on tap and power delivery is predictable and linear.
The frame is a dual cradle made of steel pipes with a lightweight alloy sub-frame. Up front, the Superdual gets chunky 45mm upside down forks which offer rebound adjustment, while at the back, the bike is suspended on a Sachs monoshock that is fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound. Suspension travel is a plentiful 210mm at the front and 270mm at the rear, making it ideal to handle bumpy and broken roads.
It also offers a fair amount of ground clearance of 180mm, though that does make the saddle height extremely tall at 898mm, even besting that of a lot of full-size adventure touring bikes. This riding position, however, is tall and commanding, and quite comfortable overall. It would do well for some light off-roading too. The overall length, width and height are 2,240mm, 905mm and 1,240mm, respectively. The wheelbase is 1,510mm. Dry weight is kept to a fairly light 169kg and the Superdual gets an 18-litre fuel tank.
The 19” front and 17” rear wire spoke wheels are on the T version, while the X version gets 21" front and 18" rear wire spoke wheels. Braking comes via a single, 300mm disc at the front and a 22mm disc at the back. Both front and rear brake calipers are floating-type and equipped with off-road ABS.
This is a motorcycle that could show a lot of promise for the Indian market if Motoroyale gets the pricing right. So far it has been mentioned that this bike could be priced under Rs 5.5 lakh. If that is the case, or Motoroyale manages to price it even lower, this motorcycle has the potential to sell in India.
The Silver Vase is a retro-scrambler motorcycle made by SWM and based on the same 440 platform as the Gran Milano. Barring the Ducati Scrambler, there aren't any other scramblers around.
The Silver Vase is powered by the same 445.3cc, single-cylinder SOHC air- and oil-cooled 4-stroke engine that the Gran Milano gets. With electronic fuel injection, this short-stroke motor makes 29.9hp of peak power. Drive is sent to the rear wheel through a 5-speed manual gearbox.
It's a fairly compact motorcycle at 2,142mm in length, 1,170mm in height and a maximum width of 813mm. Wheelbase is a relatively tight 1,441mm. At 191mm, it offers ample ground clearance, yet manages to keep saddle height at a fairly low 820mm. It has a dry weight of just 151kg and, just like the Gran Milano, offers a massive fuel tank with 23.5 litres of capacity.
The Silver Vase’s frame is single-tube, double-cradle made from high-strength steel and it sports 43mm conventional telescopic forks up front and dual shock absorbers at the back. Travel at the front and back is 125mm and 99mm, respectively.
Further, it gets a single, 260mm disc brake at the front and a 220mm disc at the back. They are made in China. It, however, does miss out on the larger brakes from Brembo that are seen on the Gran Milano; this is quite evident and these brakes really do fall short. Wheel sizes are 19” and 17” at the front and rear, respectively, and the Silver Vase is equipped with 100/90 and 130/80 tyres.
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
While more motorcycles are always a good thing, the pricing of these machines will be crucial to their success when and if they do make it to India. Homologation of these motorcycles will begin shortly and should be completed by the end of 2017. We do look forward to riding the Superdual in India. Although, the 440 platform could do with a little more refinement and better levels of fit and finish before the actual production models make it to our shores.