SWM RS300R REVIEW: budget but quality dual sport bike?

From http://www.crosstrainingenduro.com Our SWM test review! No, SWM bikes aren’t manufactured in China, they are manufacturered in Italy but with Chinese funding. SWM have also tweaked the 2016 SWM RS300R engine to provide a bit more grunt and a fraction less top end. This makes sense. Being an older design, SWM are better off taming these bikes a little to bridge the gap between enduro and dual sport bikes, instead of trying to compete with more modern full fledged enduro bikes. The SWM RS300R is a rebadged and slightly tweaked Husqvarna model from around 2010. They are built in the same Husqvarna factory that passed to BMW and now finally to SWM. So what’s the SWM RS300R like? She’s definitely an enduro engine for this SWM test review. It lugs well for a small four stroke, nice mid range and then really starts to sing in the upper revs. If you like to rev this 300 will be plenty fast enough. A healthy 1.8 litre oil capacity for the SWM RS300R should see a good run between oil changes and if the reliability is the same as the 2010 Huskies then you have a long way to go before needing any engine work. It looks as though in 2017 SWM still have the same quality control as Husky did back in 2010 and the finish is excellent. The SWM RS300R comes with the well known Kayaba suspension and Brembo brakes, and in Australia you also get an Arrow exhaust to replace the twin muffler setup. Then we played with the clickers and upped the speed on the SWM RS300R.

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Australasian Dirt Bike SWM review
The RS300R fits somewhere in between a Yamaha WR250F and a Suzuki DR-Z400E. Standing up and guiding it through singletrack is just as easy as any race-bred enduro bike, just don’t expect to snap open the throttle and wheelie over a log just metres away… The RS300R and RS500R feel like more docile versions of their ancestors and perfect for trailriding… at a touch over AUD$8000, they’re certainly worth considering next time you’re in the market for a serious trailbike.

The SWM RS300R 2016 handles very well. As with many manufacturers I suspect the claimed weight of 111 kg without fuel may not be accurate. We some weight lifting comparisons with other bikes and it felt more around the 118kg mark to me. A bit porky by modern enduro standards but the SWM 300 is far lighter than dual sport bikes. This SWM 300 demo bike was derestricted with remapping of the ECU and the Arrow exhaust which apparently is what most SWM riders are doing. At this price, the SWM 300 is a fantastic alternative to your usual dual sport bikes such as the DRZ400, WR250R, CRF250 and XT250. It’s in the same price bracket but you get far better suspension, brakes and engine, and it’s a much lighter bike too. Suspension? We started on the softer settings and it was beautifully plush and great for dual sport riding.

Ride Expeditions SWM review
The SWM is a well-built and very competent dirt bike at an astoundingly good price, and on that basis ticks all the boxes… we like all those attributes in any bike. Inevitably with a smaller capacity four-stroke motor, the SWM is going to find more fans within mainland Europe than perhaps in Australasia or the US, due to both the nature of the trails and maybe a false allegiance to the 450 machines that is still plainly evident. But the SWM is a great machine that can play with the mainstream manufactures on equal terms – it’s well worth considering.

It does bridge the gap between dual sport and enduro extremely well, and in stock form would suit the beginner rider and yet still be very capable for the vast majority of dirt riders unless you are doing gnarly terrain or developing a lot of speed. It was still plush but handled the big hits a lot better. A very aggressive rider will find the limits of this setup quickly, but then that’s not what this SWM is set up for.

Bike Sales SWM 300 review
The RS300R is perhaps the ultimate LAMS [dual sport] machine… entirely capable of pootling down to the shops, commuting to work or getting down and dirty on the trails come the weekend. With a retail price of AUD $8290, it’s aimed more at the trail market than the hardcore win-at-all-costs race set, but in saying that I’d still be happy to give it a run in the heat of competition. Its pedigree stems back to the Husky 2010 TE310 and that was a ripper bike…

2016 SWM RS300R
Electric start
Fuel injection
Wheelbase 1495mm
Fuel capacity 7.2L
Seat height 963mm
Warranty 6 months


Eternaldream00 says:

Would this be a good pick if I wanted it as a do it all bike for commuting, shorter trips, easier trails etc.? I was considering the CRF or KLX as those are the only ones of the bigger names they sell here. This one’s cheaper but it seems to me to be a bit too dirt centered. Anyone?

Dougie P says:

Is it just the ECU mapping that derestrictes the bike or are there physical changes as well?

PerthWA Random Videos says:

Do you still have the bike?

hundaco says:

Interesting review … $8,300 retail?, Would you recommend it over the Japanese made Suzuki DRZ400 for 7,990 retail (+ORC) …

Hunter Sinnott says:

wow never heard about the smw

Brendon Silvertree says:

Great Review. Have you done anything on the 500 yet?

Helavatar says:

I have looked at SWM and it already looks heavier than other similar bikes. What scares me most is that it uses the older BMW / Husqvarna design and if you look at the competition history of this model it isn’t good. Most BMW/Husqvarna bikes had DNF’s due to mechanical failures. Different seals blowing out or timing chain skipped some teeth. But on those the chain was at a constant tension the sprocket was installed on the swing arm pivot point. Since there was no give – mud, branches, rocks broke chains and seals behind the sprocket.

Matthew Way says:

I saw this and the x training channel review and at First thought it was going to be double posted but I was pleasantly surprised to see it was different.

I’m waiting to see the first update from the beta 480 adventure series. wonder if the rs500r would be a contender for the mythical bike. as well as the upcoming ccm gp600 or the KTM 390 adventure.

the rs300r looks to be a great bike for those of us not 70kg and above sea level, a good short range dualsport .

Mike B says:

We need in the US!! I’m interested!! What model husky do I want to read about for reviews and such (from 2010)?

CaptainCranky says:

Great review, thanks for sharing your thoughts on your ride. Does the bike come trail ready or, like the big names, do you have to buy bash-plate, guards etc?

Charley Smith says:

filling the gap where honda & yamaha refuse to supply a dependable mid spec bike that becomes a canvas on which many interpretations are applied. Here’s to them growing & in 5 years selling 2017 fe501s in Tour-Enduro spec for reasonable $’s … l wish them great success.

Aleksander Trlik says:

And what can you say compare it to Beta RR-S 300 or 390 for beginer rajder?

Welsh Trials And Enduro says:

The new fantic 250e casa looks like a good budget option too. Any chance of getting a ride on one?

dazza421970 says:

Great Job Andrew.

Mothership Videos says:

Well that was interesting I wonder if they sell them here.

The Constitution says:

I would love to hear if anyone has taken the SWM RS300R on any kind of longer ride. I am interested in doing the Trans America Trail and think the SWM might be a good option. Do service intervals have any bearing on using a bike like the RS300R as a dual sport?

Greg bristowe says:

I don’t understand why your saying it;s heavy the specs say it weighs 107 kg which is lighter than a wr250, and now they are offering a single arrow system for free which would make it even lighter, my husky 2015 te 300 weighs 104 kg so it would around the same weight

ski bum says:

Checked these SWM bikes out just yesterday at a local bike shop $4000. U.S. price tag ……great price I was thinking !

Devin Miller says:

you got any thoughts on the Africa twin?

WADZ UP says:

interesting. thx

maxim0200 says:

great video mate, it will be good to see how the reliability goes

frogzie says:

Thanks for the review, Andrew. Interesting!

internetilliterate says:

Hey Barry, thoughts on the AJP PR7?

eveRide RAW says:

Looks like a solid bike!

Bla Bla says:

Bikes and bits!

quigonjay9 says:

Would love to see you do a review of the SWM superdual or the RS650

Gordon Bell says:

I have the 2010 TE250, so same everything except the engine, and I love it. It’s light, agile and capable. The only thing I would recommend is trying to find an IMS tank for it, which I have on mine and gives me a range of 200-300km, depending on the how much I twist the fun handle. The gearing is also limited on mine with a tall 1st, and short 6th, but minor issues really. Also mine is road legal with turn signals and such, so I would think this could be too, as I don’t think they would alter the wiring harness too much. My .02 cents.

The Noble and Mighty Beaver says:

I know these bikes have been available in Australia for a few years now. Wondering if anyone out there has had one for a couple of years and what their thoughts are?

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