Suzuki TS250 1981
This Suzuki TS250 is in nice original condition showing just 4k miles and with just two owners from new. It benefits from recent new tyres, a new battery and runs and rides as it should.
Suzuki TS and TC Series
The Suzuki TS series was a range of bikes usually referred to as trail bikes, dual-sport bikes or Enduros. The TS and TC were very similar except for the low ration gearbox on the TC version. This was accepted to be the best way Suzuki could attempt to overcome the lack of low-down torque of a two-stroke motor against its four stroke rivals.
The TS and TC series were characterised by a single cylinder two-stroke motor and off-road styling with high ground clearance, knobbly tyres and exhausts swept up away from the ground. Having their heyday in the 70’s they did feature more chrome than the offerings which came later from other manufacturers.
These included engine capacities of 50, 75, 80, 90 100, 125, 185, 200, 250 and 400. The most popular, and the ones available for collecting now, tend to be the 100, 125, 185 and 250 cc models.
As with all enduro, or trail, types of bikes, there were trying to offer a bit of everything. You could ride them on or off-road but they had pillion footrests and dual seats and they were generally pretty reliable. They had some presence on the road but were still light and easy to manage. Road handling was compromised compered to a road bike of course and they were perhaps easier for the taller rider.
Speeds were not out of line with basic road machines of the day, the 125 version managing around the mid 60’s for example. With kick starting and drum brakes, the bike didn’t attempt to be sophisticated but did feature automated 2-stroke lubrication and produced a respectable 14 horse power compared to 11 horse power for the 100. It also featured a tachometer, something which was not provided on the smaller 100. The slightly larger 185 produced 18 horse power which was enough to give a top speed in the mid 80’s.
Buyers mostly seemed to buy these bikes for their looks, something which has survived to this day. Are they a jack of all trades and master of none? Or are they a great way to get a bit of everything in one bike (a Swiss Army bike if you will)? Does that single cylinder two-stoke sound take you back to your youth? Or does it fill a gap in a collection?
One thing is for sure, most people admire a nicely restored expensive road bike, but they smile at a Suzuki TS or TC still ring-dinging along. And that says it all.