One of the delights of running Bike EXIF is the occasional stumble across obscure vintage motorcycle brands. Like this machine: it’s an SWM, an Italian factory that built trials, enduro and motocross bikes from the early 70s to the mid 80s.
This is a 320TL trials machine, powered by a 280cc Rotax engine, and owned by Lorenzo Buratti. He wanted a bike that his 17-year-old daughter could learn to ride on, while doing double duty as a light scrambler for slow rides in the woods. “I’ve raced enduro for years now,” says Buratti, “and sometimes enduro riders miss the beauty of a quiet ride, with an open face helmet, stopping to talk with farmers or watch animals or enjoy the landscape.”
So this SWM is the Buratti family’s perfect escape machine, with easy handling, a low seat, a place to fix a backpack with sandwiches, an old but reliable two-stroke engine, and a timeless style.
While refurbishing the SWM, Buratti decided not to repaint the engine or frame. (“I like the idea of a bike that carries signs of the times.”) But Buratti polished the forks, painted the exhaust black and fitted a new tank. “I bought it at a swap meet — it was originally from an old Motobecane enduro bike.” The air filter is protected by a can that previously held tomatoes.
The rear fender is actually the front fender from a Kawasaki Z900, cut and shaped with a hand grinder. The front fender, handlebar, grips, levers and lights are all swap meet finds.
“It didn’t take too many hours to realize this bike,” says Buratti, “and not so much money either.” But it’s stylish and effective and with a certain vintage charm. Young Ms Buratti is a very lucky lady.
If you like Buratti’s style, check out his Yamaha YZ250 flat tracker conversion.