Back road belter
However, if the mood takes you and the roads are sufficiently twisty, the SWM has a party trick up its sleeve. With those competition bike roots, the Superdual is satisfyingly nimble and capable of flicking from side to side with the best of them. The agility is aided by relatively narrow 110/80 and 140/80 tyres and plenty of leverage from the wide bars, plus heaps of ground clearance. On tight back roads it means SWM’s Adventure bike is a belter, delivering a surprising amount of fun and pace.
None of the other dynamics let the side down either. They tyres themselves are Metzler Tourance, with a 19 inch front. They stick well, deliver good feedback and there’s no vagueness despite the blocky ‘adventure’ type tread. The Brembo brakes are fine, with enough power and feel, though they do lack ABS (which surely can’t last, as EU regs made ABS compulsory on bikes over 125cc from the beginning of last year). There is a slight suggestion of weave at higher speeds but it never went further than a suggestion. And the fully-adjustable suspension can deliver any balance you want between comfort and ultimate control.
Suspension adjustment is easy peasy
Living with the Superdual 650
Minor irritations aside, the SWM makes for a practical everyday companion. Okay, at 890mm the seat is high. But despite looking like it would be as comfortable as a puriri log, it’s actually not bad on an all-day ride.
It’s economical, too. With an 18 litre tank, range is outstanding.
The Givi panniers are not the most convenient. Undoing the sideways-hinged top means undoing three catches after unlocking, and the aperture is not the biggest. Opening the whole side requires another two clips. Simple hinge-up tops are far easier. The panniers make it wide, too, requiring some caution in traffic.
With the panniers, off, however, the Superdual turns into an urban superhero: narrow and high for great visibility and filtering ability, with huge lock that makes tight turning a breeze.
Despite initially cursing the fiddly ignition placement and old-school cold start procedure, the SWM is a bike that gets under your skin. It has a charming underdog quality. In a world where ‘Adventure’ bikes have gone nuts in terms of size, weight, power and complexity it has something else, too: authenticity. As a Husky Enduro bike in drag, you really could take this bike almost anywhere on a real adventure.
And at just $11,990 plus on-roads, there really is no excuse not to.
Charm, back-road agility, affordability
Pesky ignition switch placement, home-made feel in places
Model: SWM Superdual 650
Cost: $11,990 + on-road costs
Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC single
Fuel System: EFI
Transmission: 6-speed, chain drive
Seat Height: 890mm
Dry weight: 169kg
Fuel capacity: 18l
Demonstration machine courtesy of SWM motorcycles NZ