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Monday, September 13, 2021



A few posts ago I mentioned that , after nearly 65 years of  riding "proper" motorcycles I had joined the dark side and bought a new "twist 'n go" scooter .

However all those years have so much engraved themselves on my riding that I found the scooter bored me solid. Everything worked, nothing to fettle and the ride was about as involving as a kitchen chair on wheels! So I sold it and bought this "barn find" (6 years at the back of an old garage). A 1997 "classic" with a bit of a difference. Uncommon in the UK but very popular in the USA and OZ. A Suzuki TU250x with 20,000 miles on the clock. Just surface rust on chrome, paintwork good, sounds and goes like a MOTORBIKE. And something with which to get my hands dirty again.

So I fitted a couple of new tyres (old ones cracked with age) and while the wheels were off new chain and sprockets (adding an extra tooth to the front sprocket to drop the revs a bit) and new front brake disk and pads. 

It will chug along sweetly at my preferred 50 mph around the lanes and cruise easily at a legal maximum 60 mph on country main roads with enough in hand for brisk overtakes (it's top speed would be around 80 mph). Motorways I avoid as totally boring.

Yes, that left foot gear change gives me a challenge since my stroke left me with neuropathy in left leg and foot,  but at least it is a challenge and something to practice and smooth out. That scooter felt to me like one step away from an invalid buggy. 

It's wonderful to be back! As long as I can hold it up I'll ride it.


Dave said...

Good for you. It looks a beauty, just polishing the chrome will bring back memories. Suzuki always made good engines and often over engineered.

Tom Stephenson said...

That's nice. Happy riding. Re your last line, I bet you say that to all the girls.

gz said...

Pirate says Ride It Like You Stole It!!!
I say just enjoy looking after it and riding round the lanes in the fresh air!

Avus said...

Yes, the chrome has come up perfectly using Solvol Autosol. Suzuki do seem to have made more characterful bikes than Honda - maybe because they are a smaller company.

Thanks for that. At 82 I think you can be sure that the girls are safe from me!

Pirate's comment might have been relevant some years back,yours will be nearer the mark now. Riding the lanes and fettling.

The Crow said...

Congrats on the new-ish bike, Avus, and many happy hours tooling around the countryside!

Avus said...


Thanks for that. How's life?

Roderick Robinson said...

Gosh, a switch to bold face type, this has to be important.

The phrase "nothing to fettle" brought a wry smile to my surgically distorted face. The justification for hanging on to a dozen outdated and/or badly designed steeds. The reasoning behind treating a breakdown on a deserted rural road as an occasion for joy and not despair.

"A man's a man for a' that," says Auld Rabbie. But without a spanner in his hand and an over-gouged screw-head to tackle he's hardly masculine. Getting from A to B is all very well but nothing beats a blown cylinder-head gasket. I know. I've been there and hated it. Cutting out a new gasket with a pair of scissors which I've borrowed from the garage and am now ruining. Oh unhappy days.

But, gather ye rosebuds while - and where - ye may. I love good engineering. Love the fact that I am lord of a seven-speed automatic gearbox with twin clutches to provide many pre-selection options. And a quick flip to the left if I wish to go manual. So that I may concentrate on the driving and take advantage of the fact I'm travelling in the 'oughties and not being held up by the Jarrow Marchers ahead on a narrow road. Repairs mean something has gone wrong and I find that an irritation. Adding a tooth to the front sprocket is clever but it implies you can outthink Suzuki.

I wish you happy travelling. But I cannot, in my heart of hearts, wish you happy fettling.

Avus said...


As usual an entertaining comment. I half imagined what your response to "fettling" would be, but I do love messing about with bikes and a new one with nothing to do to it becomes boring to me.

I do agree that having to fix something whilst out on the road (and often in the rain in the old days when I rode in all weathers) is a nuisance. But home "fettling" makes the steed reliable whilst out riding .

"treating a breakdown on a deserted rural road as an occasion for joy and not despair." you say. It can be a "zen" thing and often an aspect can help to make it more positive. I still remember a rear tyre puncture on a rural road (a fine day, fortunately). I rang my recovery insurers and whilst waiting for them I wandered up the road a bit, found an orchard where the farmer was selling ripe cherries, bought a punnet and settled down beside the bike to munch them in the sunshine. When the recovery van arrived I helped the driver to run the bike up the ramp, which he appreciated and we had a pleasant chat whilst driving back to my home. The incident became something to remember and retrospectively enjoy.

In the "good old days" (when I can also remember another incident) a puncture would mean taking the wheel out beside the road and mending it there to manage the 150 miles home, dirty finger crossed that it would get me there.

The extra tooth to the Suzuki's front sprocket enhances my way of riding these days. I don't need frantic revs to get the maximum out of the bike. I prefer a sweet and gentle engine to match my now preferred way of wafting the lanes.

Vita said...

Oh, my! What a little cutie that bike is. Congratulations!

Avus said...


Thanks. It is certainly unusual here in the UK, but has the advantage of having the Suzuki GN250 engine which is very common - also a lot of the 250 Chinese bikes use the same engine under licence.

Vita said...

Himself favors , well, all his bikes, but His Honda 100 always brings him home bragging. I'm glad your bike's engine is common, so you can get parts. The Hillman axle is in the machine shop, where the owner went into hospital for back surgery. But, being a Roots car, other cars use the same axle.

Mark said...

Wow you have an immensely positive spirit! I had a Suzi GT125 and 250 back in 1981. Oh and (re your profile) Below the salt was the title of Steeleye Span's fourth album was it not.

Avus said...


Welcome to the blog. I shall sample your many blogs when I have a bit more time. If you have had both the GN Suzukis you will know (I hope) what excellent bikes they are. I have maintained a GN250 for a lady fellow motorcyclist since she bought it 2O years ago. She loves it so much that she says she will ride it until her dotage. Since she is now 75 she also has a positive spirit where life is concerned.

Yes, indeedy. Steeleye's "Below the Salt" is amongst all my Steeleye Span vynl LPs. I have them all-many signed by the band since I have followed them and their gigs since the days when Martin Carthy was a member. Of the originals I guess Maddy Prior is the only one "left on the bus".

Share my Garden said...

I can hear your joy in this post - a good purchase! I think the expression, 'life in the old dog yet' is appropriate!

Pam said...

And you have neatly illustrated the difference between men and women (I generalise). My ideal vehicle is one that goes without requiring any attention. And preferably has a roof and heater.

Avus said...

Share & Pam

Thanks for visiting. I think there is still just a spark in this old dog, Share, it keeps me active and gets me out and about.

Pam; That would be a car then. I have one and admit its excellent convenience. Indeed I wouldn't be without it. The bike is an indulgence and helps to preserve lifelong memories.

Dave said...

Avus, a belated Happy Birthday.
Have you tried ergonomic handlebar grips, I use them on my folder with its straight bars and find them very comfortable as I can rest the heel of my hand on them.
The Cosy Kettle looks good especially with the promotion offer. Most cafes like these love it when a group of hungry cyclist arrive. There is one cafe we use in Cowbridge. Happy Days, who always gives us a few free biscuits on top of our order.

Unknown said...

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