The Powersports Dealer Expo is all about accessories, clothing, helmets...and anything else a dealer can sell, other than motorcycles.
For the most part, the only motorcycles at the show are there to display accessories.
Motorcycle manufacturer displays are very rare.
In 2007, Victory showed up with a nice display to show off their then-new Vision (and we covered it here), and they haven't been back, but Suzuki does indeed attend the Dealer Expo nearly every year with a small display.
This year, as I was walking by their booth, the TU250 caught my eye. My mind was still in wayback mode after taking in the Fulmer Helmets retro display, and here I stumble upon this beautiful little bike that looks for all the world like 1969 all over again.
Now that I think about it, what a perfect match: a TU250 and one of Fulmer's metalflake helmets with a bubble shield!
I normally do not like to generalize, but I have to say that this time, the Japanese have finally got it. Maybe they've finally been around long enough and have nothing left to prove to the world, so they can indeed go back to the styling cues that made them what they are. There's no shame in that whatsoever.
The TU250X, as it is called here, I think is a stunner. The finish on this one was flawless, and the silver tube frame, the white piping on the accessory seat and the little windshield are perfect.
I believe the "X" signifies the upgrades with the seat and windshield, but I'm not certain, as this model is not currently described on the Suzuki U.S.A. website, but a Suzuki TU250X is sold in the UK.
Even the tires are right on the mark, along with the instrumentation. But modern touches include a front disk brake, 5-speed transmission, fuel injection (!), a catalytic converter with O2 feedback and, of course, CDI ignition.
Just like Fulmer metalflake, the TU250 may not be for everyone, but I think it's a beauty, and we need more bikes like this. Some new -- and old -- riders will be made very happy with this motorcycle, and best of all, the list price is only $3,799.99.
Publication Date: February 2009
From "K.H." (7/09): "I just purchased
a Suzuki TU250 and can confirm that it is an enormously fun ride.
I'm a new rider and started on a Kawasaki Vulcan 500, something which many websites tout as perfect for beginners. We'll, for me it ain't so.
The Vulcan is heavy (470 lbs. compared to 320-ish for MSF bikes and 380 or so for a Suzuki S40); ponderous; slow handling; rough; has an uneven delivery of power over the revs; and has a less than communicative clutch. A great bike, I'm sure, but not fun at all for a beginner.
Rather than looking forward to riding, I'd look at it and think, "Aw,
The Suzuki TU250 has a 'standard' riding position which I find far more natural than the 'cruiser' position; having the pegs directly under you gives a better, more natural balance. The clutch is sweet, the seat comfortable, the power delivery even across the revs, the shifter is crisp, the ride smooth, and the handling responsive and easy to control.
The clean, retro styling in the icing on the cake.
I can not recommend the Suzuki highly enough. This is one fun little bike and a joy to ride."