Digging out the SWM TL320

This was my first SWM and its unrestored and in its original condition. Before the Jumbo, did two years of Sammy Miller rounds on it, but have never really written up much about the bike.

Chickens were more interested in the cut-up ground

I’ve not ridden the bike much recently, especially with the Beta going so well, so need to decide what to do with it; ie ride it in a couple of events, or potentially sell it.


It’s had the best engine of all of the SWM’s and though Gavin sheared a Woodruff key on it on the Harry Perry trial a couple of years back its been really reliable. The electrics are now sorted with the condensor up under the tank and out from behind the flywheel.

Modifying the electrics

Finally got round to moving the condensor on the SWM

After frying yet another condensor at the Stump Wood Hill Climb, thought it was finally time to move.

SWM / Rotax stator plate

Like a lot of points-based bikes seem to mount the condensor between charging coil and the points, that is behind the flywheel, otherwise known as the hottest and least accessible place on the bike.

Condensor next to ignition coil

Watching the clip of the 1968 Scottish (on the the Duke 6 from the Scottish DVD), it shows Sammy Miller in-prep with two condensors and coils mounted under the tank. Anyway, with some inspiration from Guiildford and a kindly donated condensor with a tail, it took about 30 minutes or so to make some alterations to place the condensor on the mounting next to the coil. This seems to earth ok and immediately got a spark, so all good and no problems..

Running well

Hopefully this will remove the issues with failures at trials and with a good tighten on the flywheel bolt (hmm, maybe loctite also) should also prevent the other SWM problem of note.

Some other considerations for mods on the TL320, again taking some inspirations from Pete’s bike in Guildford
– rear box on the exhaust system. One of the WES TY250 twinshock exhausts should go with only slight modification
– footrests, they need to wider and also potentially move them down and back from the current stock position. I’ve a spare frame so may do this here, rather than on the untouched original
– carb and jetting has always seemed pretty good but there is probably some room for improvement.

Taking the bike for a spin round the field, moving off of idle is pretty lively and i need to remove some of the snap to make it more controllable (throttle adjustment) and also get the currently cheap (Vee Rubber) rear better placed on the rim. b

Dusting it off…..

Getting the SWM fired up after a 12 month gap, for the WG&DF hill climb at Rockfield

Not ridden much in the way of trials in the last few months so decided to have a fun afternoon out at the West Glos & Dean Forest club Stump Wood hill climb . The night before I decided to fire up the SWM, rather than use the Beta, which wasn’t going to like powering up hills quite so much.

It took five or six kicks of (a non-slipping) kickstart to get it up and running and then carefully pointing the bike out of the workshop door, push it into gear for liftoff. A few laps of the very dark garden failed to free up the clutch and decided to wait for morning to give it a spin on the road. It took about a mile in top and then depressing the clutch lever got the plates to de-seize.

Back in the shed

The hill climb itself was a good fun event, though I did get the bike out of the van quietly amongst the enduro KTM’s and other modern and quick machinery. Ah well.

Anyone, after about 4 hill climb sections the heat of the bike fried the condensor (not for the first time) and that was that. No spark. End of event for me, though did some timing and watching, which was all good fun.

Back in the shed and its time to sort out the condensor, once and for all, by moving it out from behind the flywheel. Its giving a good healthy spark (better than the one on the electronic ignition Beta as it happens).

More on this to come…..