What to buy and how much to pay

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - BUYER'S GUIDE -

Many a TS50X ended its days as a field hack but amazingly the ba­sic mo­tive and cy­cle parts will have sur­vived quite well. It’s the cos­met­ics such as the side-panel-cum-faux-com­pe­ti­tion-num­ber-board, the head­light cover, air scoops and mud guards that are likely to cost se­ri­ous money. Ac­cord­ing to Suzuki guru Martin Crooks, some of th­ese are still avail­able but the colours have been ra­tio­nalised to ei­ther black or sil­ver which doesn’t help much on UK bikes. So even if you can get the bits you need they’ll still need ad­di­tional ex­pen­sive paint­ing and this can soon add up. Miss­ing in­stru­ments and light fit­tings are also go­ing to add to the bill. En­gine wise it’s good news with over­sized pis­tons, rings, bear­ings, seals and pretty much most of what you need read­ily avail­able off the shelf. Our rec­om­men­da­tions go one or two ways. You could buy a seized cheap com­plete bike with us­able or read­ily re­stor­able pe­riph­er­als and rebuild the mo­tor cheap as chips. Al­ter­na­tively it might be worth hunt­ing down a good hon­est used ex­am­ple and sym­pa­thet­i­cally ren­o­vat­ing it as and parts and funds be­come avail­able. There’s a slightly more up­mar­ket TS50X ana­logue out there sold circa 95-02 as the RMX50 which ar­rived here as a grey im­port. Made in Suzuki’s then Span­ish fac­tory it’s an amal­ga­ma­tion of TS and RM parts util­is­ing a wa­ter-cooled mo­tor. It’s su­per trick in com­par­i­son to the of­fi­cial bike but ap­par­ently spares are tricky and build qual­ity isn’t stunning, there­fore avoid. Prices have risen some­what of late and the fifty quid bar­gain rarely comes up. A to­tal shed aka the in­evitable bar­gain will set you back around £500, a vi­able if scruffy run­ner will be swiftly grabbed for £800 and from there any­thing up £2500 for a mint ex­am­ple. or­tho­dox looks the bike be­came the TS50ER which ran un­til circa 1994 when ite re­ceived its fi­nal and most sig­nif­i­cant up­grade to the TS50X. Although there had never been any sig­nif­i­cant is­sues with the pre­vi­ous it­er­a­tions it has to be said that the fi­nal of­fer­ing em­phat­i­cally looks the busi­ness. With its mo­tocross style tank, long seat, plas­tic air scoops mir­ror­ing ra­di­a­tor duct­ing and the sil­ver painted swing­ing arm the lit­tle 50 looks the busi­ness. Suzuki got a lot of mileage out of the TS50X with the last mod­els be­ing sold around 2002. The bike falls un­der the slo-ped um­brella and was al­ways the tar­get of tin­ker­ing teenagers des­per­ate to get a few ex­tra mph out of what is a heav­ily re­stricted en­gine. Many ap­par­ently stan­dard ex­am­ples will be run­ning big bore kits, af­ter mar­ket ex­hausts and car­bu­ret­tor up­grades. It goes with the ter­ri­tory to be hon­est but if it’s pos­si­ble to se­cure the orig­i­nal items at the time of pur­chase th­ese will al­ways add de­sir­abil­ity to a sub­se­quent sale. It ap­pears that global sales of the TS50X were co­pi­ous to say the least and the bike was some­times sub­stan­tially mod­i­fied for spe­cific mar­ket power re­quire­ments. For some coun­tries in or­der to hob­ble the tid­dler’s per­for­mance even fur­ther Suzuki sim­ply omit­ted to fit the reed valve as­sem­blies which must have had a pro­found ef­fect on fu­elling and us­abil­ity. If you want the fastest or most tune­able of the genre then look to­wards Yamaha’s DT50 which is sub­stan­tially eas­ier to tweak. That said, if you fancy tun­ing the Suzuki there are in­nu­mer­able op­tions. A big bore kit will over­come the miserly fac­tory port­ing, a big­ger carb will flow more fuel, a der­e­stricted air box will get around the choked stan­dard ver­sion, and a set of per­for­mance reeds will max­imise the po­ten­tial on this side of the bar­rel. An af­ter­mar­ket ex­haust will be manda­tory as well. Fi­nal note of cau­tion; our sources tell us that the bike may also be limited in power via it’s CDI unit so pos­si­bly you may have to do some fo­rum surf­ing to find a so­lu­tion to that one. Ul­ti­mately Suzuki TS50X own­er­ship is not about per­for­mance; it’s purely a nos­tal­gia thing. If you had one when you were a pup you’ll pos­si­bly want one now. One thing’s guar­an­teed; the Suzuki TS50X is still ar­guably the best look­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.