Suzuki T series
This series of bikes ran from ~1963 through 1977 in various engine displacements from 90cc through 500cc. All engines were of the piston ported, air cooled, two stroke, two cylinder type. Lubrication was provided via premix or automatic oil injection depending on the year and model. All models through the 1965 model year were of the premix type while all models from 1966 onwards used automatic oil injection. These bikes were very durable and some were high performance machines for the day.
During this period, Suzuki showed that it was serious about staying at the forefront of the motorcycle business. In the fall of 1965, they introduced the T20 Hustler twin (aka X6 or Super Six) as a 1966 model with 250cc displacement, automatic oil injection and the world's first six speed transmission in a production motorcycle. This was a motorcycle that could "stay with the big boys" on the road.
In the fall of 1967, building on their success with the T20, Suzuki introduced the T500/5 (Cobra in the US/Canada markets and Titan elsewhere) as a 1968 model. This was a 500cc twin cylinder air cooled bike with a 5 speed transmission. The novelty here was that no one had ever before built a two stroke twin larger than 250cc. Conventional wisdom said it was impossible to build a two stroke twin larger than 350cc.....but Suzuki did it. It was fast, durable, handled well and went on to be produced in the tens of thousands until the end of the 1977 model year. The "Cobra" model name was dropped at the end of the first year of production, apparently after Suzuki received a letter from the Ford Motor Co's. legal department. Ford, at that time, had an agreement to market Carroll Shelby - modified Mustang cars that were called "Cobra" so they took offense to Suzuki's use of their name. From that time on, the T500 was known as the "Titan" in all markets until the 1976 model year.
In 1976, the Titan was given a facelift and gained a single disc front brake. The "Titan" name was dropped and the designation became, simply, GT500 for both the 1976 and 1977 model years. At the end of the 1977 model year, the faithful 500 was axed after a production run of 10 model years and well over 100,000 examples produced over that time.
Various Models In Ascending Engine Capacity
All engines had two parallel cylinders with air cooling.
- T90 Wolf
- T125 Stinger (or Flying Leopard in the Japanese home market)
- T200 Invader (also know as the X5 in the North American market)
- T10 (no marketing name known; 250cc engine with premix oiling system)
- T20 Hustler (also known as the X6 in the North American market; successor to the T10)
- T250 Hustler (successor to the T20 starting with the 1969 model year)
- T305 Raider (only actually produced for about 1 year ca. 1968)
- T350 Rebel (outgrowth of the T250; actual engine disp. was only 315cc)
- T500 Titan (see this article for additional info)
Additional T Series Models
In addition to the models shown herein, Suzuki also produced some of these models in a "high pipe" or "street scrambler" version. These models were prefixed as "TC". Specific TC models included:
- TC200 (marketed as "Stingray" in North America)
- TC250 (two versions available; one based on the T20 and one based on the T250)
- TC305 (marketed as "Laredo" in North America)
Please note that the TC models listed above had nothing in common with the later off-road models that Suzuki built under the same (TC) model designation. Those later bikes were all single cylinder machines with dual range transmissions and proper knobby-type off-road tires.
Additional Suzuki Models
- Haapamaki, Jarmo website at www.suzukicycles.org