In 1971, a new Italian motorcycle manufacturer came onto the scene: SV.VM (Sironi Vergani Vimercate Milano), better known as SWM Motorcycles. Based out of Milan, the company produced trials, enduro, and motocross bikes, competing with brands such as Montesa, Bultaco, and Fantic — mainly utilizing Sachs and Rotax engines. In 1981, Gilles Burgat won the world trials championship on an SWM, and the company’s enduro models took home national championships as well.
In 1984, however, the company went out of business. The bikes are still popular in vintage trials, with several aftermarket companies making parts for the machines. What’s more, UK manufacturer Armstrong bought the rights to SWM’s Rotax-engined enduro, the XN Tornado, working with CCM to develop a military motorcycle based off the design, the Armstrong MT500. Later, none other than Harley-Davidson bought the rights to that bike, developing it into their MT350E.
But the story doesn’t end there. In 2014, Ampelio Macchi — a former engineer with Cagiva, Aprilia and Husqvarna — announced the resurrection of the SWM brand with funding from China’s Shineray Group. The company’s headquarters are in Lombardia, Italy, at Biandronno near Varese, in an old Husqvarna factory.
“Just a few miles from MV Agusta and with the Moto Guzzi factory over the next mountain, it’s in Italy’s motorcycle-making heartland. The SWM Classics are Italian-built from Italian, Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese-made parts and SWM are keen to emphasise their Italian heritage.” —Classic Bike Guide
The SWM Grand Turismo is a 445cc single that harks back to earlier, simpler days of motorcycling, long before traction control, ride modes, GPS, and more.
“Ever since the 1970s there have been regular calls from classic motorcycle buyers for a new, simple, straightforward motorcycle to use rather than a flood of whizzy hi-tech offerings… The SWM Gran Turismo could have been designed to fill that apparent gap.”
Enter the “extreme constructor,” Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo — one of the world’s most prolific and highly-regarded builders. Sponsored by SWM Madrid (Heros 66), he set out to build a streamlined, lightweight single for his own use:
“My everyday bike for the Madrid Streets.”
The result is the “Sport 440” — a lovely, streamlined single that takes us back to the golden days of motorcycles. Below, we get the technical details, as well as more stunning shots from photographer David Perse Trazandofino.
SPORT 440 by XTR (2020)
Donor Bike : SWM Gran Turismo (2017)
SWM six days fuel tank.
SWM six days seat.
MASH led rear light.
MASH TT40 footrests.
MASH front light.
XTR clip ons.
XTR front mudguard.
Derbi senda front and rear 17 inches aluminium rims.
Bridgestone soft compound tyres.
Wolfman 2-in-1 exhaust system with modified SWM megaphone.
Fire in Madrid: “Sport 440” Roadster by XTR Pepo-“My everyday bike for the Madrid Streets.” In 1971, a new Italian motorcycle manufacturer came onto the scene: SV.VM (Sironi Vergani Vimercate Milano), better known as SWM Motorcycles. Based out of Milan, the company produced […]
Custom Ducati 999 “Paprika” by XTR Pepo-The Ducati 999, built from 2003-2006, boasted a liquid-cooled L-twin Desmodromic engine capable of 138 horsepower and 80 lb-ft of torque. While the 999’s styling — which was the work of South African designer Pierre […]
“Pantah” Ducati Monster 821 Cafe Racer by XTR Pepo-The Ducati Pantah (“Panther”), introduced in 1979, heralded a whole new generation of modern Ducati V-twins, with belt-driven camshafts and trellis frames — features that remain Ducati hallmarks to this day. What’s more, the Pantah […]
Mash Five Hundred Tracker by XTR Pepo-Mash Motorcycles is a French marque founded in 2014, which currently offers scooters and motorcycles in the 50cc, 125cc, 250cc, and 400cc class. The Mash Five Hundred is a fuel-injected, 400cc single that offers 28 […]
Ducati Monster 1200 R Custom by XTR Pepo-“Il Padrino” — the Godfather of Ducati Monsters… Pepo Rosell, aka the “master constructor,” is the man behind Spain’s XTR Pepo, building some of the hottest, most trick motorcycle specials on the planet. In his […]
Harley-Davidson Sportster by XTR Pepo-Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo continues to turn out stunning customs at a rate that defies belief, each strikingly unique yet bearing the signature, race-inspired style of the “master constructor.” One thing we haven’t seen […]
Honda Hornet Cafe Racer by XTR Pepo-A modern cafe racer inspired by the Honda CB500 Four… We’re not quite sure how Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo turns out so many staggering builds, each unique but incomparably his own. Today, we’re thrilled […]
Bultaco Lobito Tracker by XTR Pepo-Our hearts always leap when a new XTR Pepo comes our way. This time, it’s a 1973 Bultaco Lobito 125 MK7 flat tracker. The Lobito (“Little Wolf”) was an enduro built from 1966-1976, most popularly […]
Mobylette Cafe Racer by XTR Pepo-From 1949 to 1997, French manufacturer Motobécane built a series of Mobylette (or simply “Moby”) mopeds. In French, the word “Mobylette” has come to mean nearly any moped — not surprising, given that nearly 14 […]
BMW R nineT Paris Dakar Scrambler-If you know the Paris Dakar rally, you have heard the name Hubert Auriol. Auriol was the first man to win the Dakar on both a bike and in a car. In 1981 and 1983, […]
Ducati Monster Custom by XTR Pepo-Nobody builds bikes quite like the “master constructor,” Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo. His bikes tend to take their inspiration from the realm of motorsport, with paint schemes and high-performance engines, suspension, and brakes that […]
Triumph Legend TT Cafe Racer by XTR Pepo-Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo continues turning out incredible builds at a staggering rate, each of them with its own history, influences, and homages to racers and builders of both past and present. Now Pepo […]
BMW R100R Cafe Racer by XTR Pepo-Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo has turned another stunner. This time it’s a 1992 BMW R100R endurance racer. The bike is nicknamed “Don Luis.” Says Pepo: About the name of the bike, this is the […]
Ducati 860 GT Cafe Racer by XTR Pepo-The Ducati 860 GT was built in 1974 and 1975, a highly stylized Italian standard with a 60-horsepower v-twin heart and 109-mph top speed. The highly angular design of the fuel tank and engine covers […]