SWM Gran Milano 440. A newcomer on the scene Café Racer, the Gran Milano 440 marks the return of SWM. Middleweight with elegant vintage look, his test subject are surprises in dynamics. See why! In the early 70's and 80's in the Milan area, SWM produced offroad motorcycle, enduro and trials in particular recognized for the qualities of their chassis suitable for single cylinder 2 stroke Sachs or Rotax engine references of 'time. Faced with tenors Fantic, and other Bultaco Montesa, SWM was subjected to tough competition. However, the brand claims a few titles on the international competitions, including a beautiful world crown on trial in 1981, awarded to Gilles Burgat aboard his 320 TL.
Following the financial difficulties, the SWM Production stopped in 1984. the fate of the brand was sealed, at least until the end of 2014 where the Eicma seating six new models were unveiled SWM! A resurrection, made possible by the investment of Chinese Shineray group, which supplies the engines of the new SWM, always assembled in Italy. In 2016, Chinese Drum equip three enduro models of (RS 650, 500 and 300 R), its supermotards (SM 650 and 500), and these unpublished neo-retro road models that are the scrambler Silver Vase (soon to the test on the station!) and the racer Gran Milano coffee 440. New representative of the past greatness of the manufacturer of Milan, it is precisely the latter that we offer today in the trial. With his name already sounding like a big arabica and also look moose its color, the test looks very tasty. Corsica ? Not really.
A charismatic and welcoming cafe Racer
For the SWM 440 Gran Milano is above all an easy bike devoted daily, which already offers a warm welcome to its driver. Equipped with handlebars bracelets, it imposes a typical racy riding position like that, torso tilted to the front. However, as its controls are installed above the upper bracket, already high, they do not induce a painful support the wrists. Pardoned! As for the saddle, it is accessible (perched 809 mm from the ground) and available footrest provides some comfort to the legs bent, but not too much! Finally, knees naturally coil up against the sides of the large tank (22.5 liters anyway!). Unfortunately, his hard edges at its base are not more pleasing to the crotch, unless sufficient power is back on the car seat, complicated thing here for your servant 183 cm blocked by the seat cover.
On the board of the SWM, the view of the instrumentation stripped funds on white analog meters (embellished with a small LCD block for partial and odometer) is perfect. Setting in motion of the cylinder housings SWM adopting the look of old machines, the sound that escapes the two outputs "old" is conspicuous by its singularity, distilling a "pom-pom" the serious tones of the friendliest but never intrusive! Flexible clutch control, passing the first report a manly nothing on our test machine at very low mileage, the first laps aboard the Gran Milan are now open to us!
"Gli Artigiani Della Qualità"
And Paris, where we just edit the Café Racer middleweight at Paradise Motorcycle, dynamic discovery is a joy. It must be said that the Gran Milano reveals slight (168.6 kg with full, according to the Moto-Station balance), short, and he has a very good turning radius. With its natural orders, taking his hands is instantaneous, is reassuring its driver, even novice, happy also to benefit from the good biting conferred by radial caliper assembly 4 pistons / master cylinder Brembo signed and the large disk 320 mm. This does not laugh!
In addition, the absorption capacity of the fully adjustable suspension is not very open to criticism on the streets of Paris. The rear shock absorbers with separate tank react indeed very progressive and inverted fork is characterized by its flexibility in the first half of the race. The beautiful signed Fastace gear (rather specializes in off-road models, the ATV Pit Bike) that initially contrasts with the tire up Golden Tyre (GT road model 260). Admittedly, the exotic brand is recognized on the international off-road scene, but few "on-road" are bikers to have experienced. However, in the dry town and now on the small roads in corners of the Paris region, these radial tires retro look has not betrayed us.
Playful but limited
Rather flexible carcass, these envelopes part in the general comfort of the Gran Milano. Of course, their grip is less convincing than the Sport GT-market benchmarks, but like a modern custom tire, grip is still good on the corner. However, these tires give heaviness before the train, which penalizes the Gran Milano in chains. To tack, it is indeed "take him" to the body, but once seated in its trajectory, handling and heading hold hardly lend themselves to criticism. Bene!
This well-bred chassis gives inevitably want to have fun riding the Gran Milano. And its playground of the secondary network, its small cylinder is not stingy with approval. Comparable to Mash Five Hundred and Scrambler and also produced by Shineray, this block inspired by that of the late Honda XR 400 gives its sap from 3000 towers with a straight answer to the handle. Not really enough to undermine motor skills, rest assured, the lower performance of the Gran Milano (34 horsepower at 7000 rev / min and torque 3.6 daNm at 5500 rev / min) in the preserve indeed. However, between 3500 and 5500 revolutions, quite responsive found to secure the times when doubling as foster raises curves outputs. All in a sound atmosphere of the friendliest, much to the acceleration in deceleration. His pots sing!
But that vibration! Past the shelling of mono below 3 000 r / min, the usual beach reveals a progressive increase in diet, accompanied (exponentially) vibration present on all points of contact / motorbike driver, except at the base, filter well. Fortunately, the staging of the box 5 reports promotes the exploitation of torque on the lower speeds where the vibrations are reduced. Also, the extension of this little engine is a priori to put aside, at least on our test model just out of cash in cruel lack of running. Past the 6000 rev / min, is struggling to reach the switch located at 9000 rev / min. As for the Gran Milano top speed, it could not be fixed at 142 km / h GPS (against a 150 meter), on the last report in 7250 towers. Unable to go beyond!
Anyway, the Café Racer SWM was not born for touring. For besides the dynamic rides on small departmental, niche him rather urban parade where he excelled for its originality. Nicely equipped (mudguard and steel casings, padded saddle, beautiful matte brown paint and golden typo, pretty black treatment of the chassis, suspensions as the control station, rims radiated titanium look), except for some unsightly son who dangling and barely a lambda probe too apparent in the pot, the overall achievement is encouraging. What shine in society!
Better than Mash but more expensive!
Café racer midsize Italian, Gran Milano is pretty good for a first born SWM signed road bike. Certainly, the manufacturer will have to work on his motor to drive the excess vibration as tweaking some finishing details, but it is clear that this new representation of the neo-retro movement does not lack arguments.
|This image by; moto-station.com|
His competitive Mash can not compete with it in terms of fabrication and equipment. However, the rates side vintage motorcycles from the Sima still retain a great advantage. For SWM today shows the Gran Milano 440 to € 5,960 (€ 5,690 count for scrambler SWM Silver Vase 440), a price still certainly very accessible (to 09/20/16), but face Mash Five Hundred (€ 3,990) and Scrambler 400 (€ 4,990) - without mentioning the promotions currently offered on the Japanese roadster 600 cm3 - confer some bitterness in this new model roasted.
- successful look
- manufacturing quality
- accessibility and hands engaged
- cutout on side stand
- Service and network test
Price: € 5,960 (at 09/01/16) Color: Brown, gray Warranty: 2 years parts and labor - Approvals: Euro3