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LONG TERM UPDATE: SWM RS500R Part 3 | Back End | Bike Reviews | News

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not a fan of the SWM RS500R’s seat. It’s bone hard and plain uncomfortable for any ride much further than Maccas.


So I was as toey as a Roman sandal when I rode out to see Steve ‘Wolfman’ Smith at Adventure Moto, distributor of Seat Concepts kits from the U.S.

I’ve run them on two previous bikes and they are the bomb. But try as Wolfy might, he just couldn’t get me a result. We started with a 2010 Husqvarna TE510 kit, but fast discovered the SWM’s seat is way different to that on the Husky it’s based on.

This is borne out by the fact the SWM’s radiator shrouds and sideplates are quite different to those on the TE. Then we hunted through Seat Concepts kits for various other bikes, hoping for a match, but none hit the jackpot.

Finally, Wolfy went back to the TE510 kit, pulled a long, sharp blade from his back pocket and started cutting. Shards of seat foam soon covered the floor but, even after all his carving and sculpting, it was clear we were on a hiding to nothing.

I had to put the stock seat back on and ride it home for my dose of Rectinol. All is not lost.

SWM Australia has since supplied Wolfy with an RS500R seat to send to the States for Seat Concepts to work their magic on. And won’t I be counting the days.

Having notched up a couple of rides since last issue, the SWM is now closing in on the 1000km mark and as the kays roll by we’ve been enjoying quality time.

At just shy of 700km I dropped the oil for the first time and replenished the cases with Motul 5100 10W50 4T motor oil, as recommended in the bike’s quick reference manual. With an oil filter change the motor takes a healthy 1.7 litres of oil.

The filler is on the right side of the motor, as is the sightglass. After the first change, the manual recommends 2000km intervals.

Air filter servicing is another regular maintenance chore, as it should be on any bike, and the SWM scores big on two counts here. First up, the bike is fitted with a quality Twin Air foam filter. And second, access is as simple as undoing the Dzus seat fastener.

The battery sits in the rear of the airbox (held in place by the seatbase) and you can move it around to give you a little more room to get the filter out and back in again.
Speaking of the airbox, there’s a big gap between the seat and the top of the airbox. Take care when washing not to spray the water jet here and inadvertently give the filter element a soaking.

Right now the RS500R is in MRD Motorcycles, a SWM dealer at North Richmond in Sydney’s north-west for its 1000km service and check over, plus there’s the promise of new mapping specs to help the Italian stallion bark harder and stronger. Excellent.

Then it will be time for some fresh rubber and taller gearing than the stock 13/47 set up, which the torquey motor will easily pull, then we’ll be off into the sticks for some quality roosting. Sweet! Clubby

MODS THIS MONTH: Seat salvage attempt
MODS NEXT MONTH: Mapping, tyres and gearing