A classic off-road ripper

1973 Suzuki TS 250

A midlife crisis is typically played out through the purchase of a powerful road machine, a mechanical metaphor with enough surplus horsepower to provide its rider (or, for those with more prosaic aspirations, its driver) an opportunity to recapture how it felt to be twenty-five. But will a litre-plus road rocket truly recapture the boundless sense of possibility that coloured your youth? Perhaps what your inner punk truly longs for is a machine with agility, versatility, and plenty of old-fashioned moxy.

Enter the Suzuki TS 250.

This charmer harkens, far more than any modern muscle bike, to a time worth missing. A time when the world and its machines were simpler. A time of boundless possibility, of broadening freedoms. A time when having a single cylinder screamer would give you access to any place that could possibly be reached by forests, fields, or footpaths. And some of those beautiful little machines could also carry you—incredibly enough—on the road.

Honestly, who wouldn’t want to recapture that?

In 1968, Japan’s motorcycle manufacturers were fighting each other on multiple fronts; horsepower, handling, pricing, branding. It was in this year that Yamaha, hitherto a minor player in the market, introduced the DT1 Enduro. This 250cc single cylinder two-stroke coupled the long fork travel and snappy powerband of a dirt bike with a neutral riding position and sufficient top speed to make it viable for the roadways. Throw in a headlight, taillight, and turn indicators, and Bob’s your uncle. In one fell swoop, Yamaha had vaulted into a position that placed it head-to-head with Japan’s top motorcycle manufacturers, and had also created a new class of motorcycle: the dual-sport. These were capable trail machines that were also street legal. Naturally, the competitors were swift to develop their own versions.

Of these, none balanced form and function nearly so well as Suzuki’s TS 250. 

Written by: Buzz Nichols; a good friend of the shop. Thanks Buzz.

a beast within the beauty

Two Strokin' Magic

Let's talk about that engine - a two-stroke wonder that could make your heart race just with its sound. If you've ever heard a two-stroke, you know what we mean - it's like music for your soul. The '73 TS 250's 246cc engine was all about that off-road power, making it nimble and quick on its feet.

Singapore's off-road trails may not be as rugged as some other places, but that two-stroke power was perfect for conquering the local terrain. It gave riders that punchy acceleration and responsiveness that's so addictive, especially when you're navigating our twisty, jungle-like tracks.

Could you imagine this bad boy screaming through trails at Tampines Quarry back in the day? It's as if the king of the jungle's letting its presence known.

Pretty Indestructible

Built Like a Tank

Off-roading isn't a walk in the park, and the TS 250 was built to handle whatever you threw at it. It had a tough frame, beefy suspension, and generous ground clearance. So whether you were climbing steep hills, splashing through streams, or dodging roots and rocks, this bike was game.

Not so Quick fact

The Environmental Pioneer

One fascinating aspect of the 1973 Suzuki TS 250 is its inadvertent role as an environmental pioneer. In the early '70s, as concerns about pollution and environmental conservation began to gain traction, the motorcycle industry faced increasing pressure to develop cleaner and more fuel-efficient models. The TS 250, although not initially designed with eco-consciousness in mind, played a subtle yet significant part in this shift.

The TS 250 featured a two-stroke engine, which was a common choice for motorcycles at the time due to its simplicity and high power-to-weight ratio. However, two-stroke engines were notorious for producing higher emissions and consuming more oil compared to their four-stroke counterparts.

Suzuki, aware of the environmental concerns surrounding two-stroke engines, took a step toward addressing these issues with the TS 250. They incorporated innovations in the engine's design and combustion process to make it more fuel-efficient and emit fewer pollutants. While this wasn't a complete departure from the two-stroke design, it marked Suzuki's commitment to environmental responsibility during an era when such considerations were only starting to gain momentum.

As a result, the TS 250 garnered a reputation for being a relatively eco-friendly two-stroke motorcycle. It wasn't just about power and performance; it also embraced the spirit of change and adaptation in the face of emerging environmental concerns. This subtle shift in design and the TS 250's contribution to a more sustainable riding experience showcase how even iconic motorcycles of the past played a role in shaping the future of environmentally responsible motorcycling.

a local favourite

True Blue Singaporean

The TS 250's unassuming yet timeless design blended seamlessly with Singapore's urban tapestry. Its understated elegance resonated with a city that valued functionality and form in equal measure. As riders donned their helmets and set out on their TS 250s, they weren't just embarking on journeys; they were embracing a way of life—a life that celebrated freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of adventure.

In recent years, classic motorcycle enthusiasts have been giving the '73 TS 250 a new lease on life through restoration projects. Finding one in decent condition might require some sleuthing, but the satisfaction of bringing this vintage beauty back to life is worth every effort. Restoring a TS 250 is not just about riding; it's about preserving a piece of motorcycling history.

Feast Your Eyes

We have gotten our grubby mitts on a prime example of this marvellous little bike. This 1973 TS 250, in a fetching silver-grey with blue accents, is in beautiful original, unrestored condition, and is ready to ride—straight into a bright past. This is the perfect machine on which to chase the fading spectre of your youth. Come by the shop, swing a leg over this bike, and get a taste of what raw freedom felt like in the 70s. If it doesn’t give you a bug-catching grin and a respite from focusing on your multiplying grey hairs and increasingly creaky knees, then it’s already too late for you.

Come and see this lil' ripper for yourself at 436 Joo Chiat Road 427649!