In the mid-XNUMXs, motorcycling - right on the side - was saved from certain death. Because motorcycles were on the verge of extinction because the economic situation after WWII had meanwhile become so prosperous that De Gewone Man could afford a car. And if you - at the time still as Head of Family - compare a car as a means of transport and means of transport with a motorcycle? Then there was literally no reason to keep driving. Motorcycling was for poor people such as students and other less fortunate and social fringe figures.
Honda saved motorcycling
And then Honda came up with the Honda Cubs and the slogan 'You meet the nicest people on a Honda'. After that it went quickly. Motorcycling became 'fun'. So the good commuter traffic bikes, which by the way were usually no heavier than 350 cc, dusted in corners. Because the new motorcycling was not only fun, but also dynamic and sporty!
In that light, the Suzuki T20 was the right bike at the right time
It was light (135 kilos), reliable and fast. With 29 hp from 250 cc, it had more power than a 50 cc BMW R500. A substantial part of that power came from the seriously calculated exhausts. Its two-stroke disadvantage was offset by the Posi Force oil injection. It had no less than two gears more than its competitors, good brakes and indicators. The T20 was a fast reliable companion for use on public roads. And of course, his specifications also made him hit the tracks almost immediately.
Also fast on public roads
It was festive shopping for people who wanted to have fun on the public road on a T20 in combat uniform. With clip ons, a huge polyester tank and a small seat plus a set of reclined foot rests, you were the terror of the region. Because back then, motorcycles weren't just supposed to look fast. It was also driven as fast as possible. On the public road. With a pair of - undamped - expansion exhausts and modified carburetion, such a T20 became a machine for which you needed a gun license rather than a driver's license. I remember two T20 anecdotes. In one, a T20 and its pilot hit the dike at an unlikely speed. At the time, no silent capitalist left-wing people who had fled from the Randstad lived along the dikes.
So the dikes were actual circuits
While rolling out, the unfortunate Suzuki pilot was literally rolled into the barbed wire of a broken fence. Unrolling was a painful affair. Another T20 driver did not pay attention. He hit the back of a VW Beetle and rolled over the roof until he was in front of the car. The VW driver was so shocked that he accelerated and ran over the motorcyclist.
Clearly a classic
Because bigger is better, the Suzuki T20 only became popular as a classic when the stock GT750 and T500's ran out. An original T20 is now also a sought-after classic. But the one we get with friend and treasure hunter Alex Janssen - he has a country house at FB where he shows how much fun it can be in the affordable classic world - is one that was picked straight from the second half of the sixties. And with that we happily step from the phrase 'factory original' to 'time original'… We find that heart-conquering. And we dream about all the dormant classics in almost forgotten sheds. Because damn it won't be that Alex is the only one who can find them!
Please note: The current petrol dissolves polyester.
One of friend Alex's most recent finds