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If SWM comes to the USA would you be interested?

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I have been following the SWM branded bikes since the EICMA show in Milan this past fall. These are the updated versions of the bikes that were previously sold as (Italian)Huskys and then as BMW-Huskys.

 

It does not appear that there is a USA importer for them yet. I have heard that under the current "exchange rate E$ vs USA$ that they would likely sell for somewhere between the "J" models and KTM/Husky wqith pricing closer to the "J" models. It looks like they only have Enduro/off-road/SM/and Adventure bikes, no mx models. No 2-strokes period. www.swm-motorcycles.it is their website and they have a Facebook page too. Obviously, the "J" bikes really have ignored the "off-road" market for some time other than MX and a pricey adventure bike.

 

Do you think there is a viable market in the USA for them?....and if any of our Euro and other market TT "exotic" members have comments, I would like to have you share them please.

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I probably wouldn't buy one new, because I'm a 2 stroke rider and I already have a plated Husky that does what I want for a dual sport. DS'ing isn't something I do enough to justify a new bike. I'm not really a brand whore, but after trying out newer Ktm's, I have to say that Beta is the best offroad bike on the market. That's why I ended up with a new one in my garage. It have to take a hell of a bike to get me to go to something different.

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The supermoto version and dual sport look really cool. I hope they do come to America, but there is a lot of competition out there.  I'd want to see SWM around for a long term commitment before I would buy one. I would be worried if they pulled out of the US market or went out of business after a couple of years. 

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Even under the Husky brand they couldn't sell. Between reliability, poor management decisions, parts etc etc, Husky couldn't give them away at years end. On top of that, if your trying to charge a premium for a mediocre boutique brand, I don't see people buying. Cannondale, ATK, Vertimati, etc etc all follow the similar path. Maybe SWM should take a lesson from those guys play books as a reference of a what NOT to do...

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Even under the Husky brand they couldn't sell. Between reliability, poor management decisions, parts etc etc, Husky couldn't give them away at years end. On top of that, if your trying to charge a premium for a mediocre boutique brand, I don't see people buying. Cannondale, ATK, Vertimati, etc etc all follow the similar path. Maybe SWM should take a lesson from those guys play books as a reference of a what NOT to do...

Adding to what you said Monk, the biggest reason SWM wouldn't be successful here is the lack of dealership support.  Now if SWM was to get in bed with KTM or BMW for support, like Beta kind of has done, could be a possibility.  Ironically checking out the SWM web site, I would be interested in their dual sport line up on the 300, 500 and 690.  Also like you said, the price point would have to be lower than KTM, Beta, and even the Husky to get customers as the people that would consider this bike would mostly like be in the Market for a Dual Sport KTM.  That Boutique Pricing ain't going to cut it, especially in the beginning stages.  

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The bike would have to be very close to the bar that the Japanese and the Austrian's are setting in performance and reliability.  I think magazine tests would create the demand if the results are good.  I also don't want to order parts from Europe.  Personally I don't care about dealer support since warranty's are typically so short, as long as I can get a good service manual for it.  For people that don't work on their bikes, any shop should be able to handle repairs with a good service manual.

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The bike would have to be very close to the bar that the Japanese and the Austrian's are setting in performance and reliability. I think magazine tests would create the demand if the results are good. I also don't want to order parts from Europe. Personally I don't care about dealer support since warranty's are typically so short, as long as I can get a good service manual for it. For people that don't work on their bikes, any shop should be able to handle repairs with a good service manual.

Repairs aren't the problem, parts are... A crank is a crank, a piston is a piston... If you can't get a piston or shift shaft, or a tiny gasket, thats when you wish you didn't have one...

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Repairs aren't the problem, parts are... A crank is a crank, a piston is a piston... If you can't get a piston or shift shaft, or a tiny gasket, thats when you wish you didn't have one...

And thats my main point. I literally replaced dozens of clutches over the year.  I normally can remove the clutch cover without damaging a gasket, however, some times I do.  Driving to the LMS and getting a replacement part like that beats ordering and waiting a week, maybe 2,  to ship from Europe. This example isn't a good one as in pinch, high temp silicone can be used to "form a gasket", but my point is, having access to the most commonly used maintenance and replacement parts makes a difference. Like I said above, if SMW gets in bed with say Triumph, BMW, KTM/Husky for distribution, and the bike isn't a canner, it could be successful here in the US as a small niche option, kind of like what Beta is.     

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Repairs aren't the problem, parts are... A crank is a crank, a piston is a piston... If you can't get a piston or shift shaft, or a tiny gasket, thats when you wish you didn't have one...

 

That's why I said I wouldn't want to order parts from Europe.  You can have anything shipped in the US from the opposite coast within 2 days or less, so dealerships locations don't matter as long as there's a good central hub to get parts.

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SWM tried to break into the American market in the 80's. Rode endures a lot and met the West coast SWM Importer. A friend bought one to ride enduros. They didn't take off then, not sure they will now. As I remember the motor looked a lot like a Kawasaki motor. They were two strokes then. Haven't seen one since.  

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