The His­tory of Suzuki's GT250

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CLASSIC RIDE -

“And we’re away, flick­ing through some of the best bends and gra­di­ents this side of the Alps. Choose a gear, the change is slick and smooth then give it some beans and lis­ten to those si­lencers emit a de­li­cious scream which echoes nicely off the Welsh hill­sides!”

The GT250 be­gan life back in 1971 as a Ja­panese mar­ket only ma­chine look­ing very sim­i­lar to the last T350 sold in Europe and Amer­ica. With a thick black stripe down the tank, a twin lead­ing shoe front brake along with old style clocks it was step­ping-stone be­tween the 60s de­signs and the forth­com­ing 1970s line up. Ja­pan re­ceived the GT250 II in 1972, ar­riv­ing pretty much as we re­call the early UK GT250S with gaitered forks and a front disc brake. The GT250K was sold into Europe in 1973 where it proved to be an in­stant suc­cess. The sub­se­quent L and M mod­els re­ceived only mi­nor and mostly cos­metic changes such as a chrome head­lamp shell along with the rub­ber fork gaiters be­ing drooped on the M ver­sions. The dog bone rear light was also axed in favour of a more anony­mous unit. Again they sold well and ranked as the num­ber one learner bike. A re­vised A-model ap­peared in 1976, mi­nus the Ram Air cowl­ing but now with a four port SCAV mo­tor said to de­liver more power. This change may have upped horse­power, but the gen­eral feel­ing was that the changes had left the en­gine lack­ing in drive be­low 4000rpm. From the A-model on­wards the some of the gear ra­tios were re­vised, the air-fil­ter was now a wash­able one and, cru­cially, the crank now ran four main bear­ing not three as pre­vi­ously: the sub­se­quent B-model sported black side-pan­els and head­lamp bowl and a re­vised paint scheme. The fi­nal it­er­a­tion came in 1978 with the C-model re­turn­ing to painted side-pan­els and again re­vised cos­met­ics. At the end of the model year a to­tally new GT250 de­sign was launched and mar­keted as the X7. Be­ing al­most 20 ki­los lighter than the old ma­chine and sub­stan­tially faster it meant deal­ers still left with stocks of the old GT were obliged to of­fer them at ob­scene dis­counts just to get shot. The GT250 was dead. Long live the GT250!

The 1975 GT250.

The suc­ces­sor: the X7.

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