Well, it’s the dead of winter, and good bikes have been a little thin on the ground of late. Interestingly, some nice vintage track bikes like this Suzuki “Hustler” T250 have been popping up. Maybe racers just plan a bit further ahead than other motorcyclists, clearing out their garages in preparation for the upcoming season?
The T250 was launched in 1969 and, in spite of the “Hustler” name that conjures up images of supersonic Cold War bombers, isn’t really the most exotic model. But don’t let the workmanlike mission of the bike fool you into thinking this is some stamped-steel cheapie step up from a scooter: as was typical of Japanese motorcycles from the period, even this relatively basic motorcycle featured a pretty high-level of specification, with the world’s first production motorcycle six-speed transmission and automatic oil-injection for the air-cooled two-stroke.
That sweet six-speed allowed the rider to make good use of the narrow, stroker powerband and could push the 247cc bike to almost 100mph. Although the bike had little punch down low, it could pull smoothly through the lower part of the rev range until things got more exciting.
This one has been converted to a racing machine which, although it seems an unlikely choice at first, makes plenty of sense upon reflection. These were raced when new with reasonable success when new, and the lower-specification and relatively unstressed nature of the motorcycle means less maintenance during the season. It may not be the fastest little thing on the track, but it should be reliable, and while “win-or-crash” riding can be great to watch on TV, it’s consistency that wins championships: you have to actually finish races to earn points…
From the original eBay listing: 1969 Suzuki T250 Road Racer for Sale
Suzuki T250 racer. Last raced MidOhio Vintage Days 2014. Bike runs great, has good power, shifts flawlessly and handles well. Tires not new, but still good for racing. Has been raced in Ahrma and WERA. Not the fastest bike out there, but will hold its own. Also a great bike to start vintage racing. Selling due to old age, me not the bike. Time to move on to a more sedate hobby. With slight modification to pipes Yamaha DG pipes will work. Runs great as is never exceeds decibles allowed. Engine is basically stock, rotor windings have been removed and bike runs total loss. Battery is under the seat hump. Bump start only, but fires right off. Has not been raced alot, but has been to Daytona and Mid Ohio a couple of times.
With just a couple days left on the auction, there are plenty of people watching this listing: a $1,500 Buy It Now seems like a steal for such a ready-to-go little machine. Not the most illustrious model, but it’s prepared for the track and in really great shape, considering it’s difficult to find any models from the 1960’s in this kind of condition.
And if you’re a road-only type of rider, I don’t think it’d be too hard to track down a charging system and some lights to return it to road use.