19 July 2018

Harley-Davidson Battle of the Kings 2018

Battle of the Kings is the ultimate Harley-Davidson® custom motorcycle build-off and for the first time since its launch in 2015, Australian dealers will compete against impressive machines entered from all over the world including Europe, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the Middle East and South America.



Voting for the top Australian custom bike will open to the general public from 1st August 2018, and the overall 2018 Australian Custom King to be crowned in September, 2018.

For the first stage of the competition, seventeen Harley-Davidson dealers from across Australia and New Zealand will go head-to-head with their one-off, two-wheeled creations. The base bike must be a ride-away Harley-Davidson® Dark Custom motorcycle. Models eligible include the Street 500™, Street Rod™, Iron™ 883, Iron 1200™, Forty-Eight™, Forty-Eight Special and Roadster™, as well as two models from the 2018 Softail® range, the bare-knuckle Fat Bob™ and the bare-boned Street Bob™.



Once crowned, the ANZ winner will take to the global stage going head-to-head in a showdown between the national champions to select the 2018 World Custom King. The ANZ finalist will be on display with the global finalists at the EICMA show in Milan Italy where the winner will be announced in November 2018.

Continuing to lead as one of the most customised motorcycle brands in the world, Harley-Davidson offers a vast range of Genuine Parts & Accessories that provides owners immediate customisation choices for a personalised look and tailored ride with increased performance over a ride-away model.



Keith Waddell, Harley-Davidson ANZ Marketing Director commented, “Harley-Davidson dealers are no strangers to the build-off competition. This year the dealers are going to up their game with a focus on brand and product relevance for new and younger riders, showcasing the local talents and possibilities in bike customisation.”

Dealers have a maximum customisation budget of $10,000 AUD and at least half of the parts and accessories used in the build must be from the Genuine Harley-Davidson Parts & Accessories range, and, once complete, the bike must be approved as road legal.

For information on the Battle of the Kings contest visit www.h-d.com/customkings

16 July 2018

SWM Motorcycles: Italian renaissance


Webspin: SWM Superdual



I have to confess when I saw the line-up of SWM motorcycles at Adelaide Motorcycle Centre, Stepney, I had no idea about this brand.

Parked next to the Ducatis, Indians and Nortons in the sunny showroom were a line-up of garish offroad machines and a couple of classic naked street bikes.

Dealer principal, Mike Hampton, explained to me SWM began life in 1971 in Italy as a niche manufacturer of small capacity motocross and trials bikes using customer engines from first Sachs, then Rotax. They burned bright for a few years before flickering out in 1984.

Superdual X in full adventure kit (supplied)

An injection of Chinese money saw a revival with six new models unveiled at EICMA 2014 under the engineering gaze of Ampelio Macchi, formerly with Cagiva, Aprilia and Husqvarna. SWM now occupies the former Husqvarna factory at Lombardia, just outside Milan.

With a break in the wintry weather, I took the 600cc single-cylinder adventure bike, the Superdual, for an extended test ride into the Adelaide Hills on the well-known network of roads from Summertown to Birdwood with a few gravel detours in between.

Starting at just $10,490 (+ORC), this feisty number is sure to appeal to adventure riders shopping at the entry level end occupied by the likes of Royal Enfield's Himalayan ($6990) and Suzuki's V-Strom 650 ($8,799).

Taking a breather along the Gorge Road

The Superdual is a tall machine best suited to folks 180cm plus and those with some grounding in dirt bikes. The liquid-cooled single-pot EFI DOHC 4-valve likes to rev and I found the bike light and easy to ride around the many twisty bends and switchbacks on the Hills roads Adelaide riders are all too familiar with.

The 18-litre fuel tank affords decent range and the enduro frame is set for ready-made panniers at extra cost.

SWM Gran Turismo 440 - A cool Italian LAMS bike (supplied)

Otherwise, learner riders should definitely put the smart Gran Turismo or Gran Milano on their testing lists at $6990 and $6490 respectively.

More: www.swmmotorcycles.com.au

Test bike supplied by Adelaide Motorcycle Centre, 29/31 Magill Rd, Stepney. Ph: (08) 8130 0700