November 28, 2013

A 1973 Suzuki TS185 on the horizont

I've been looking for another bike to add to my Yamaha SR400. I wanted something classic, powerful, agile, badass ad of course within a reasonable budget.

It came down to basically a few bikes: the Suzuki A100, the Yamaha DT100 and the Suzuki TS125.

After a few weeks of research I came across an ad for a very nice Suzuki TS185, year 1973. That makes it 1 year older than me, but she seems to age much better...

Thankfully, the owner speaks English well enough, so off I went to check out the bike in Bangkok. As was to be expected, it had a few age related blemishes. The thread on the speedo was bad and wouldn't connect to the cable, the tank lid wouldn't lock 100% and there was some clear oil dripping from the carb (I think). The last one was my biggest worry, so I asked the seller to fix that and contact me again once done.

The test ride was quite surprising. For such an old lady she still "paekks a punch" (as Rossi would say). The 2-stroker is supposed to have around 18hp. Rather refreshing after the efficient but unexciting Suzuki Shogun Axelo, our family bike.
Brakes were so-so, but handling was great. All in all I really liked it and I can't wait to get it. :-)

Kamen Rider on the 250cc version of the TS

From Wikipedia: The Suzuki TS series is a family of two-strokedual-sport motorcycles produced by Suzuki Motors from 1969 to 2005 and sold in several different countries. Most of the TS line had an air-cooled engine and most models were introduced alongside the closely related TM (Motocross) or TC (Trail) models, also the DS (for Dirt Sport, which had no turn signals, and simplified lighting) which in most cases shared engine and chassis designs. Suzuki's first motocross bike, the TM250, was introduced in 1972 and was based on the TS-250 that first hit the market in 1969. The TS series were the first Suzuki trail bikes sold on the mass market. They were robust, reliable and performed well. They were best suited to unsealed roads or off road in dry conditions-the limit being the lack of tyre grip with the standard tyre. Possibly the pick of the models was the TS185 which had the weight of the 125 and nearly the power of the 250 but with a much more free reving motor.The larger Ts series, 125 and over had piston port engines while the smaller TS serier-90 and 100 had rotary valve induction. A factory race kit was available for the TS90 which consisted of an expansion chamber,light piston and rings,carburetor and harder(colder range) plug and head which increased the size to 100cc. Different gearing was available for most models.

Here's a very nice review plus specs:

Link to the Suzuki TS forum with tons of diagrams, owner's book and service manuals:

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