Suzuki TU250

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Suzuki TU250X[1]
2010 Suzuki TU250X at Aurora Suzuki 2.jpg
Manufacturer Suzuki
Predecessor GN250
Class Standard
Engine Model J438, 249 cc (15.2 cu in), 4-stroke, 2-valve, single-cylinder, Air-cooled, SOHC, Fuel Injection, 9.2:1 comp.
Bore / stroke 72.0 mm × 61.2 mm (2.83 in × 2.41 in)
Top speed 75 mph (121 km/h)[2]
Power 16.1 bhp (12.0 kW) @ 7200 rpm[2]
Torque 12.54 lb·ft (17.00 N·m) @ 4500 rpm[2]
Ignition type Electronic
Transmission Wet multi-plate clutch, 5 speed gearbox, constant mesh, O-ring chain
Frame type Steel backbone
Suspension Front: telescopic, Rear: swingarm
Brakes Front: Tokico two-piston caliper single disc, Rear: drum
Tires Tube-type Cheng Shin,
Front: 90/90-18M/C 51S,
Rear: 110/90-18M/C 61S
Wheelbase 1,375 mm (54.1 in.)
Dimensions L: 2,070 mm (81 in)
W: 750 mm (30 in)
H: 1,075 mm (42.3 in)
Seat height 770 mm (30 in)
Weight 140 kg (310 lb)[3] (dry)
149 kg (328 lb) (wet)
Fuel capacity 12 l (3.2 US gal)
Fuel consumption 82 mpg-US (2.9 L/100 km) claimed,
64 mpg-US (3.7 L/100 km) tested[4]
53 mpg-US (4.4 L/100 km) tested[2]
Turning radius 2.4 meters, 7.9 feet.
Related TU250 Volty, TU250G Grasstracker, TU250GB Bigboy, ST250, GZ250

The TU250, marketed also as the TU250X, ST250 and ST250 E-Type, is a single-cylinder, air-cooled, single overhead cam (SOHC), four-stroke, chain-drive motorcycle launched by Suzuki in 1994 as a lightweight, street bike with a standard riding posture and styling resembling the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM) of the 1960s and 1970s.[5][6]

Now in its second generation, the TU250 is manufactured at Suzuki's ISO 14001 certified assembly plant in Toyokawa, Japan and has been marketed in Asia, Oceania and North America.

First generation[edit]

The first generation TU was introduced to the Japanese domestic market (JDM) in 1994 in both 125cc or 249cc models.

Variations of the bike marketed in the JDM and other regions include the VanVan (Asia, Europe), Grasstracker (TU250G)(Asia), Grasstracker Bigboy (TU250GB)(Asia) and 'Volty'(Asia, Europe).

Confusingly, the first generation TU250, marketed in Asia as the Volty, was marketed in Europe from 1997-2003 — also as the TU250X Volty.

Second generation[edit]

The second generation TU debuted at the 37th Tokyo Motor Show 2003, described at the time by Suzuki as:

"a street motorcycle with a traditional, simple design, the ST250/ST250 E type is styled to create a feel that's both familiar and nostalgic. Its performance and equipment make it optimally suited for casual, daily rides."[7]

The bike was formally introduced to the JDM in December 2003 for model year 2004 as the ST250 and ST250 E-Type, the latter featuring a higher level of trim, including a two-tone fuel tank, polished engine, chromed exhaust pipe, CDI ignition and a kick starter as well as electric start. Suzuki Motor of America began marketing the second generation motorcycle in North America for model year 2009 as the TU250X — with a hiatus for model years 2010 and 2014, allowing the manufacturer to adjust importation to demand. The bike was introduced to Australia in 2011 as the TU250X.

The TU250x features a twin valve, single cylinder engine with a closed-loop[8] Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system featuring a 32-bit ECU,[8] oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, integral cold-start system,[8] 32mm throttle body[8] and 10-nozzle injector.[8] In the United States, the TU does not meet California emissions requirements and has remained a 49-state model.[8]

The air-cooled engine features a gear-driven counterbalancer[8] as well as a proprietary cylinder wall plating similar to a Nikasil coating. The coating, marketed as Suzuki Composite Electro-chemical Material or SCEM, is a race-proven nickel-phosphorus-silicon-carbide coating that reduces weight (by eliminating a steel liner) and improves heat transfer, allowing for tighter and more efficient piston-to-cylinder clearance.[9] Valves are adjustable via 'screw and locknut' type clearance adjusters.[8] The engine features an oil sump sight glass, enabling visual oil checks, and uses 87 octane fuel.[10]

Specifications include a five speed transmission with cable-actuated clutch,[11] electric starting (with kickstarter in the JDM), clutch and side stand interlocks (cut-outs), electronic ignition system, maintenance free battery, tubular steel frame with load bearing (stressed member) engine,[8] rear drum brake and front 275mm dual-piston caliper disk brake by Tokico, chrome-plated locking gas cap, passenger pillion separate from the driver's seat, plastic front and rear fenders, factory equipped tool kit (under the right side panel),[10] helmet lock,[6] tapered chrome muffler,[10] and chrome wired wheels.[11] Cheng Shin tube-type tires are fitted as standard equipment — 90/90-18 front and 110/90-18 rear.

Instrumentation includes an analog speedometer with trip odometer and indicator lights for turn signal, high beam and fuel injection status — as well as a larger fuel warning and neutral light.

The bike features a 329 curb weight (wet),[8] rake of 25°55', trail of 3.62" — and an unladen weight distribution of 47.4% front, 52.6% rear.[8]

Reception[edit]

Reviewing the bike for its 2009 U.S. introduction, Scott Rousseau at Motorcycle Consumer News described the bike as having "1960s-era British aesthetics" as well as a "rev-happy thumper motor, lithe handling and surprisingly competent suspension."[8]

Canadian Moto Guide conducted a long term review of the bike in 2013, saying "The only ongoing niggle with the TU was the rear suspension which is just not that compliant when it comes to dealing with road irregularities."

In late 2014, The TU250X (Japan-built) placed fifth in a five bike comparison by Motorcycle.com, against the Yamaha SR400 (Japan-built), Suzuki GW250 (China-built), Royal Enfield Continental GT (India-built), and Honda CB300F[12] (Thailand-built). The reviewer noted the TU's engine developed 14.8 hp @ 7300rpm with 11.5 lb-ft of torque, returning 67mpg. The reviewer said "the elegantly styled retro bike is overwhelmingly competent in many areas. Four of the five testers gave it favorable reviews", adding “it does everything it’s meant to do – turn, brake, accelerate – with unquestionable proficiency. For the novice, especially one who is slight in stature, the TU is simply the best bike on which to learn how to ride a motorcycle.”[13]

Describing the TU250x, author Pete Brissette of Motorcycle.com wrote that Suzuki had "returned to the simple formula of the UJM, and with it brought back the pleasures of riding a friendly, straightforward motorcycle."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Suzuki Cycles - Product Lines - Cycles - Products - TU250X - 2009, retrieved 2009-12-15 
  2. ^ a b c d Cernicky, Mark (June 2009), "Suzuki TU250X; A commuter goes classic", Cycle World (Newport Beach, California: Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.): 80, ISSN 0011-4286 
  3. ^ Henning, Ari (November 2009), "2009 Suzuki TU250X - Retro Redux; Tragically Hip, Penny-Pinching Commuter", Motorcyclist (Source Interlink Media): 36, ISSN 0027-2205 
  4. ^ Kysely, Arden (August 2009), "2009 Suzuki TU250X; Fuel-Sippin’ Single", Rider, retrieved 2009-12-15 
  5. ^ "2009 Suzuki TU250X Test Ride: Bargain Retro Bike Generates Big Smiles". Popular Mechanics, October 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c "2009 Suzuki TU250X Review". Motorcycle.com, Pete Brissette Oct. 06, 2009. 
  7. ^ "The 37th Tokyo Motor Show 2003: Suzuki Booth". Tokyo Motor Show. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Suzuki's TU250X, Future Cult Classic?". Motorcycle Consumer News, Dave Searle, August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Suzuki V-Strom 650, Sean Alexander, Mar. 21, 2004". www.Motorcycle.org. 
  10. ^ a b c "2009 Suzuki TU250X - Retro Redux". Motorcyclist, November, 2009, Ari Henning. 
  11. ^ a b "2009 Suzuki TU250X First Ride, Adam Waheed, February 25, 2010". Motorcycle-usa.com,. 
  12. ^ "2015 Honda CBR300R First Ride Review". Motorcycle.com, August 13, 2014, Troy Siahaan. The naked version of the CBR300R, it should be in dealers by mid-September. 
  13. ^ "2014 Lightweight Naked Shootout + Video". Motorcycle.com, September 11, 2014, Troy Siahaan.