SWM Super Dual T first ride review
Meet the first of the SWMs that will arrive on our shores
Say hello to the Super Dual T – the first of SWM's motorcycles that will come to India via Motoroyale. It will be the first big-single off-roader to make it to our shores and that has got us all excited.
What is it?
The Super Dual is SWM's interpretation of an adventure-tourer. It fits right alongside motorcycles like the Kawasaki KLR650 and the Suzuki DR650. It's a big single, uses spoke wheels and has enough ground clearance and suspension travel to do almost everything short of real enduro shenanigans. The Super Dual can be had in either the T or the X variant, the latter of which will go on sale later this year globally. Between the two, the X is the more off-road focused machine and comes with off-road friendly gearing and a full-size, 21-inch front wheel. The chassis and suspension remains the same – a proper, off-road ready tubular double cradle frame made of light alloy combined with 45mm USD forks with adjustable rebound and a fully adjustable single rear shock from Sachs that give you 210mm and 270mm of travel at either end. Power comes from a 600cc, liquid cooled, single-cylinder motor that makes 56bhp.
It looks like a proper off-roader with its off-road fenders and a relatively low kerb weight. The kerb weight helps make the motorcycle manageable considering how tall the seat is (898mm!). The motorcycle also gets a little windshield up front and the option of hard luggage bags at the back hinting towards its suitability for long distance travel. The ergonomics too are well suited for it. Tall seating with an adequately wide seat makes for a commanding riding position.
How does it perform?
To start with, the Super Dual feels nice and torque-y. It is a big single after all. There is enough grunt in all gears to pull away calmly. Being a big single, so refinement isn't one of its strong points. You can feel all the work the engine is doing at all times. That said, it isn't a stressed engine. It delivers power well without ever feeling like too much. I did have some starting and fuelling issues with my test bike. On more occasions than one, it wouldn't crank up.
But it felt more like a faulty ignition switch, so that should be an easy fix. However, the throttle did pose a bit of an issue. It felt super snappy and not in a way that, for example, the old Brutale 800's felt. It just feels badly tuned. For the first few degrees of rotation, there is no power being sent to the wheel and then it suddenly lurches forward. Near-idle rpm too felt very erratic and there were big variations in engine speed when rolling to a stop with the clutch engaged. This will definitely need fixing.
The engine otherwise seems well suited for highway and back-road work. With the amount of torque on tap, it should also fare well in most off-road situations. Highway speeds too shouldn't a be a problem. In sixth gear, the motorcycle felt at ease cruising at speeds above 100kph.
Does it handle well?
Well, it feels like a big, tall motorcycle. If you're looking for a motorcycle to set the canyons on fire with, this is not it. It makes all of its height felt. Tip it into corners and you're not going to feel comfortable or confident the way a Multistrada or a Versys makes you feel. But take it easy and the Super Dual will take you wherever you need to go and you will also find that the Metzeler Tourances offer great traction on tarmac. The ride is super pliant without ever feeling unsettled. Over bumps and dips, the suspension never feels badly damped. The chassis stays level and doing this without the ride taking a hit is no small feat.
The steering is a little vague and that hinders it from going seriously fast around corners. The 19-inch front wheel and the long travel suspension are the culprits here, causing a lot of vagueness from the front. Also, the brakes could do with some more bite. It's not scary, but a bit more stopping power could go a long way.
What's the verdict?
The thing about most of these off-road 650’s is that they all now feel rather old. The moment you ride them the age shows. It is a segment that has gone relatively untouched for a very long time. This feeling stays strong with the Super Dual too. It is a very nice bike, no doubt about that. But the key here will be the price at which it comes. If Motoroyale can manage to keep the price around the ₹5 lakh mark it'll do well. And if they manage lesser than that, they'll sell by the bucketload. But that's not for us to decide.
What I can tell you is that the Super Dual is a great motorcycle to have if you want to travel the countryside, off the beaten path. It's light enough to be manageable, has enough power for every situation and can adapt well to smooth tarmac as well. That said, there are some issues that will need to be looked into. Silly things like a throttle cable that runs right across the speedo and blocks it completely and a handlebar that needs a little more ergonomic work to mention a few. And not to mention that fuelling issue. If these issues can be fixed, the Super Dual will make for a nice touring motorcycle.
Specs: 600cc, liquid cooled, single cylinder, 56bhp
Verdict: A lovely off-road motorcycle that is, unfortunately, marred by some quality issues.