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Suzuki GT250

Suzuki GT250
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Yes: "A heavy one is your true one!" And that heavy Suzuki also had at home. Those were the 500 cc two-stroke twins and the GT750 already discovered by enthusiasts. That 500 started its life as a heavy, fast machine and ended its days for 3.999 guilders as a kind of Jawa XL on steroids.

Suzukis were two-strokes

And Suzukis were competitively priced. In addition, they were usually very nicely finished and detailed… The large Suzuki's were the standard bearers. But as competitively priced as they were, they were too expensive for many people. That tension between dreaming and what was feasible played across the breadth of all brands. But where BMW played the game by offering the same engines with different cylinder capacities (R50 / 5, R60 / 5, R75 / 5), the Japanese did it less subtly. They simply made their own engine for each cylinder capacity. And the mid and lighter segment engines? Those were actually the money earners for the companies. Simply because more were made and sold.


The Suzuki GT250 was such a top seller

Certainly in the States, but also in the UK where the machines were subject to favorable tariff arrangements. Suzuki's returned to the mainland are no problem. In England, the handlebars on motorcycles are on the same side as here. And whether such a Suzuki GT250 was heavy enough? He was very lucky and drove faster and steered better than most of the competition. In addition, it remained intact and consumed little oil due to the lubricating oil injection. And the copies from 160 with the Suzuki RAS (Ram Air System) heads also looked a kind of futuristic. For the twins, that system was more optically than technically necessary. Something that was technically necessary, but was long underestimated, was adjusting the front brake. Such an early Suzuki disc looked modern enough. And he braked fine. As long as it wasn't raining.

It never rains in California ...

Because the Americans, as the largest customers, usually do not drive with rain, this problem was underestimated ex works. Here in Europe, attempts were made to tackle the problem by making holes, slots and cranks in the disc. But it didn't work out until Suzuki started using a different material for the brake pads.

From medium to fairly light

In the meantime, 250 cc motorcycles had become more 'light' than 'medium'. But that made little difference to sales.

We are now of the age that we have heard people say "It will never work with that Japanese shit." That situation has changed considerably. Japanese are now widely recognized as classics. And as classics they are popular. We met our photo model just before delivery during a coffee stop at Albert Venema. He happily told that the Suzuki had been on his site for two days before it was sold. Of course it helped a lot that the twin was almost new. Because unrestored Japanese classics are even rarer than honest politicians and diving goggles for hippos. Avoid buying a machine with a lot of work. Restoring classic Japanese is expensive. Painting a Suzuki GT250 is quite difficult. And all that polished and chrome stuff is, if you can find it, very well priced.

Also read:
- Suzuki GT 750. An internet opinion
- Suzuki T500 (1968-1975) From God son to stunt price offer
- The Suzuki RG250 Walter Wolf
- Suzuki GT380, Suzuki not so heavy three-cylinder

3 Comments

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  1. A few years ago I had a GT250 in the Wisper-Classics collection. Just like with every other classic I have for sale, I always drive a few hundred kilometers to test if everything works as it should. It was with great pleasure that I covered those kilometers on the GT250. Delicious block, nice and fast and with an excellent gearbox. I found the handling surprisingly good.

  2. The Japanese have rediscovered their classics; previously you were the (Japanese) man if you were on an old English motorcycle, or even more beautiful; an old American was seen, nowadays old Lilac's, Honda's and more grut-ûût-own-soil are traced and re-imported.
    These Suzuki's are (also) seen there as a must-have, and prices are rising ...

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