Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Suzuki TU250X Does it Again

The weather in central Florida has been wetter than usual lately.  We are known as the sun shine state and the sun does shine nearly every day, but summer is also the wet season.  For the past six weeks we have had rain in the form of afternoon thunderstorms nearly every day.

The storms are grand affairs with huge rain drops that can come down at a rate of 2 inches an hour.  To keep our minds off the heavy rain, the storms also produce some of the most intense lightning anywhere on Earth.  We have the nick name of the lightning capitol of the world.

After a busy weekend with no bike riding, I had been feeling pretty antsy to get a ride in.  There was plenty of moisture in the air this morning, but my plan was to ride to work before the rains came and, depending on lightning severity, ride home through the afternoon monsoon or wait until things died down in the evening to make a run for home.

The ride in was so nice.  I left home a bit early and had very little traffic.  The clouds had that beautiful pink and gold hue that we get when the moisture is high and the dawn is young.  Last nights' dew still smelled nice and fresh on the air as I slipped down the road.

Once at work, I stuffed my helmet and jacket into my office and nipped out to greet customers and fellow employees as they arrived for the day.  (some would view this as dodging work, but I like to think of it as relationship building)  I should have had a camera.  The TU250 attracted attention all day long, there would be individuals and little groups of 2 or 3 around it off and on throughout the day.  A couple of my coworkers stopped by to see how old it was and to learn if I had rebuilt an older bike.

It hadn't rained by 1 PM so I slid out to grab a sandwich.  As I walked to the bike I was chatting with a customer that I thought was also heading out to lunch.  Turned out he had seen the helmet in my hand and just wanted to take a look at what he thought was a restored Triumph.  Now, I don't think the TU  looks much like a Triumph, (maybe a 250 Ducati Mach I) but I was flattered that he thought it was a beautifully restored vintage bike.

After returning from lunch I was hanging around the break room, building relationships again, when 2 of our long term customers sought me out to ask if the bike was an old BSA.  They were plenty surprised to learn it is a modern Suzuki.  Later it the day I saw them out in the parking lot giving it a good looking over.

Around 3 PM the monsoons hit and dumped a good amount of rain on us but not too much lightning.   By 5 the sun was back out.  Whahoo!  As I worked my way out to the parking lot, I was joined by another that had thought the bike was an older restored bike, but the rumor had made it to him that it was in fact a newish Suzuki.  Still, he joined me for the walk out to look it over and listen to it run.

I have to say that this bike draws a lot of attention where ever it goes.  I am flattered that so many people think it is a vintage bike that I have rebuilt, but in truth, it is a thoroughly modern bike and I am very happy that it is.  The TU250X manages to retain some of the beauty and simplicity of the vintage bikes many of us enjoy, yet it is a completely modern machine with an oil filter, fuel injection, disc brake etc.

The ride home was super.  My route neatly split between two big areas of thunderstorms.  Great towering giants to the east and the west.  I had the nice benefit of enjoying the smell of the rain and riding in the cool outflow air of the storms.

So the TU250 did it again! It gave me a great ride both to and from work and helped build relationships with customers and coworkers.  If only it would have done a little more of the work I needed to accomplish in my office...


  1. Great write up - but you are making me miss my little TU250.

    I only had it for a year but it was a great bike. I was continually amazed at the attention it drew. Of course we managed to get the white Suzuki writing off the back of the seat and took the tank badging off so people were quite confused.

    I am so glad you enjoy the TU, they may get overlooked at the dealership, but not out in the real world.

    1. I'll bet without the badges you confused many people. It is a very fun bike and deserves to be a success in this country as it is in many others. I appreciate your nice comments!

  2. That is for sure. My friends talk about them, the guys on the Minimalist Touring thread on ADV lust over them and I watch for them wherever I go. As I've often said before, "I like the concept". :)

  3. Hi Coop. I am amazed at the amount of attention this bike seems to attract. It isn't a bike for everyone, but it really is a fantastically fun and enjoyable motorcycle. The day after I wrote the article, more co-workers and customers asked about it. We plan to keep the TU250 for a very long time!

  4. Back Road:

    The TU250 would make a great commuter bike. Up here insurance is based upon engine size and insurance would be much cheaper and I'd imagine very fuel efficient too. They do look like a vintage bike, except more reliable

    Riding the Wet Coast

  5. Hi Bob,it really is a nice bike. Not one for every purpose, but one that can take you many places and show a rider a lot of good back roads. I may dream up a little mini tour on it for this winter. Our best riding season is now just around the corner.