What to buy and how much to pay
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.