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Suzuki T20

In the mid-XNUMXs, motorcycling - right on the side - was saved from certain death. Because motorcycles were on the verge of extinction because the economic situation after WWII had meanwhile become so prosperous that De Gewone Man could afford a car. And if you - at the time still as Head of Family - compare a car as a means of transport and means of transport with a motorcycle? Then there was literally no reason to keep driving. Motorcycling was for poor people such as students and other less fortunate and social fringe figures.


Honda saved motorcycling

And then Honda came up with the Honda Cubs and the slogan 'You meet the nicest people on a Honda'. After that it went quickly. Motorcycling became 'fun'. So the good commuter traffic bikes, which by the way were usually no heavier than 350 cc, dusted in corners. Because the new motorcycling was not only fun, but also dynamic and sporty!

In that light, the Suzuki T20 was the right bike at the right time

It was light (135 kilos), reliable and fast. With 29 hp from 250 cc, it had more power than a 50 cc BMW R500. A substantial part of that power came from the seriously calculated exhausts. Its two-stroke disadvantage was offset by the Posi Force oil injection. It had no less than two gears more than its competitors, good brakes and indicators. The T20 was a fast reliable companion for use on public roads. And of course, his specifications also made him hit the tracks almost immediately.

Also fast on public roads

It was festive shopping for people who wanted to have fun on the public road on a T20 in combat uniform. With clip ons, a huge polyester tank and a small seat plus a set of reclined foot rests, you were the terror of the region. Because back then, motorcycles weren't just supposed to look fast. It was also driven as fast as possible. On the public road. With a pair of - undamped - expansion exhausts and modified carburetion, such a T20 became a machine for which you needed a gun license rather than a driver's license. I remember two T20 anecdotes. In one, a T20 and its pilot hit the dike at an unlikely speed. At the time, no silent capitalist left-wing people who had fled from the Randstad lived along the dikes.

So the dikes were actual circuits

While rolling out, the unfortunate Suzuki pilot was literally rolled into the barbed wire of a broken fence. Unrolling was a painful affair. Another T20 driver did not pay attention. He hit the back of a VW Beetle and rolled over the roof until he was in front of the car. The VW driver was so shocked that he accelerated and ran over the motorcyclist.

Clearly a classic

Because bigger is better, the Suzuki T20 only became popular as a classic when the stock GT750 and T500's ran out. An original T20 is now also a sought-after classic. But the one we get with friend and treasure hunter Alex Janssen - he has a country house at FB where he shows how much fun it can be in the affordable classic world - is one that was picked straight from the second half of the sixties. And with that we happily step from the phrase 'factory original' to 'time original'… We find that heart-conquering. And we dream about all the dormant classics in almost forgotten sheds. Because damn it won't be that Alex is the only one who can find them!

Please note: The current petrol dissolves polyester.

The original

One of friend Alex's most recent finds


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21 Comments

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  1. We drove two converted T 20s, national 250 with the KNMV from 71 to 76.
    As SRTR team, suzuki racing team rotterdam.
    No podium places, but a lot of fun on the street circuits throughout the Netherlands.
    Later there were two Yamaha's TD 2 B in its place, but faster.

  2. 1968. Absolutely crazy about motorcycles. At Motorhuis Riemersma on the Grote Berg in Eindhoven there was a Honda Dream, 305cc. Did I know a lot (then). But… .. he had a racing fairing! And so 700 guilders were paid and proud as a seven-legged monkey I drove home to Limburg. The fun lasted exactly two weeks, because then the oil ran out all over the place ......

  3. A college friend of mine had a T 20 in the late 70s: an extremely reliable bicycle with an electric starter, decent lighting, and always working. On the track it fell through the basket, like so many standard bikes at the time: I went on my nose with his T 20 in the Tarzan corner without any warning from the bicycle part. Even though the Japanese 2 branches had the reputation of being the fastest: with my slightly modified Duc 250 MK 3 I easily overcame them on dikes: also 29 hp, 120 kg, 50 CC GP fairing, factory megaphone and a wildly reliable maneuverability. and forgiveness. These were fantastic times for us poor students ...

    • You on your Duic. Other poverty-mongers drove out of sheer lack of money Liberators Students are already very poor again. But they miss the wonderful times. Well… They have smartphones

  4. nothing to rebuild! there was not a single motorcycle driving around that was not decorated with M steering wheels, racing seats, steering fairings or whatever, beautiful image of the time oh yes, not to forget stickers😃

  5. Completely agree Ap had at that time an H1 500cc the widow maker, 1Was 196950000 km without any problems, when the pistons were completely worn out rattling that it was a pleasure to close gas. Had a lot of GREAT FUN. Was in 1969 afterwards I say NEVER get rid of.

  6. 1967. The local moped farmer switched to the heavier work. A blue one appeared in his display case
    T 20 garaged where I was allowed to sit as a 15 year old boy. The counter to 180 I believed unconditionally. As if I was hit by lightning. Three years later, a new CZ 175 arrived on my doorstep. Not 180 on the clock, not six gears, but probably more than I'd ever gotten on a T20. But how beautiful the Asias of that time are.

  7. You should never get rid of 2-stroke in your collection (in good condition), it will become rare !!! And a real pleasure to shoot with (fun and speed) !!! Cherish them enormously (RD 350 '76 and RD 350 LC YPVS '85), real motorcycles without a computer mess !!!!!!

    • If you define computer trick as a keyboard and mouse, I understand this comment, but a YVPS block really needs more electronics than the ignition alone. Also in engine technology there are few extras for nothing.

  8. 2-stroke, great memories of my Kawa 750, 3-cylinder. Then blessed with a tremendous head of hair tearing over the boulevard and back roads. Problem-free bike for me. Later exchanged for a 900 four cylinder. Never should have gotten rid of me.

    • Completely agree Ap had at that time an H1 500cc the widow maker, 1Was 196950000 km without any problems, when the pistons were completely worn out rattling that it was a pleasure to close gas. Had a lot of GREAT FUN. Was in 1969 afterwards I say NEVER get rid of.

  9. My first motorcycle, bought with a problematic electrical installation and a car mechanic friend who would fix it. The bike was given to him, even too little knowledge of it at the time. The engine eventually ended up with a farmer. I then made the gauges on a Honda CB500. Then it takes a long time before you start asking questions about the T20. And the farmer could not wait. Once in a while an old iron man always came. I still dream of the T20.

  10. What a pleasure I had with my Suzuki 750 3 cylinder 2 stroke. I tore the most with that bike. That I'm still alive is just a miracle of God.

  11. Quickly return to its original condition, with the beautiful tank and paint and front fender. It is a beautiful real sixties / seventies motorcycle. Also reminiscent of the Jawa 350 Oilmaster of that time, but they were real robust workhorses.

  12. In terms of brakes and steering, that Suzuki was a disaster, the T-series all, Yamaha has always been and remained the better and unsurpassed 2-stroke in every way !!!

    • I was just about to say that. The drum brakes and rims were just way too small and they were even on the bloody fast GT500. In my memory, these Suzuki's were not really built sustainably, I think you had to replace the pistons at 30.000 kilometers.

  13. If you listen carefully to your (or her), you know how to pull the most beautiful gems out of barns with some patience.
    Also in Ollanda, you don't have to cross the border ...

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