Speedy Working Corp, or as it was once more popularly known, SWM, is back from the dead after finalizing a funding agreement Chinese motorcycle and ATV manufacturer Shineray, a.k.a. China Chongqing Shineray Motorcycle Co.,Ltd.
Granted, a lot of people have probably never heard of SWM. But those who do remember the Italian motorcycle brand have fond memories of some of the best motocross and off-road motorcycles in the market back in the 1970s and 1980s. SWM sadly closed shop in 1984 and since then, numerous attempts of reviving the brand never materialized.
It wasn’t until Shineray stepped into the picture in 2014 that dreams of once again seeing SWM on the road began to take shape. Now it looks like the company is on the verge of coming back to life with talks of introducing as many as seven models in 2014.
It even has a new CEO, Ampelio Macchi, a legend in Italian motorcycle circles with years of experience under his belt from stints with Cagiva , Husqvarna , and Aprilia .
Macchi is all set to helm the post for the reborn SWM, even going so far as to promise the arrival of seven motorcycles this year. Not surprisingly, the company will continue to stick to its endure and motocross roots with the introduction of three enduro models - the RS300R, RS500R and RS650R - and two Supermoto bikes - the SM500R and SM650R - as among the first wave of models that are schedule to arrive this year.
There’s also talk of launching two road bikes, including the scrambler-inspired Silver Vase 440 and the Gran Milano 440 streetfighter. These two models will at least provide a measure of diversity for the brand as it tries to re-enter a market that it departed a long time ago.
More models are scheduled to arrive in 2016, but for now, expect SWM to arrive first in Europe, Australia, and North America, before setting its sights on Asia, South America, and Africa soon thereafter.
I’ll confess that I don’t know a whole lot about SWM before news broke of its arrival, or as I should say, return from the grave.
Having dug into the history of the company, I’m kind of amazed that it took this long for somebody to take a stab at bringing back the brand. SWM was a heavyweight in its heyday, winning its fair share of endure championships before going into liquidation in 1984.
The company has since undergone a confusing maze of ownerships, most recently with KTM, who in turn eventually sold the rights to SWM to Shineray. The Chinese motorcycle brand is now prepared to infuse new life to the forgotten Italian company and if everything falls into place, we could be seeing as many as 10 new models in a couple of years.
Should that happen, it would be an extraordinary turn of events for a company that was once revered for its impressive line of motocross and enduro bikes. Whatever happened that led to its liquidation will be inconsequential if Shineray can pull off what SWM’s previous owners couldn’t.
I’m personally rooting for this to happen because from what I’ve seen, SWM was really huge back in the day. Those who knew of the original company and kept their SWM bikes tucked in their garages might not be as excited to see the brand return, but for those who never got the chance to ride those old Italian dirt riders, we’ll finally get the chance to see for ourselves why SWM was so popular back in the day.
Thank you images and information from TopSpeed.com
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