Author Topic: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250  (Read 5623 times)

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Offline JC

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2011, 09:48:34 AM »
Hey Doc,

Thats neat. The engine sure fills the engine bay! The Bul tank (sitting so low) sorta makes the engine look huge.

Would have looked more appropriate tho in yellow or orange than blue IMO.

Wonder if the TS -T-**** engine # indicates a factory prototype trials engine. It'd hafta be wouldn't it!

Maybe it was built by/for Gordon Farley. I have always tho't the RL frame layout is very similar to Sherpa T of the era, allbeit considerably longer w'base in the Suz by the time it got to production.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 01:43:00 PM by JC »

DR

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2011, 05:01:47 PM »
funny you should say that JC..the frame similarities are what I noticed straight off. I love the way the bash plate is the frame cradle in one, tucks it way up out of the way. I would also assume the TS-T=00001 would have been a prototype supplied to someone. No-one in there right mind back then would have bolted a stock TS250 into a sammy miller frame and then restamp the numbers just for the heck of it.. :-\ this bike is in Canada and it is a rider to this day, some of the photo's are current. I shall try and find out a little more but the owner is unsure of who built it also. Pretty sure he can drop some names that may give up a clue though. Will get onto those measurements for the RL as soon as the mud dries under the house ;)

Offline JC

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2011, 09:17:23 AM »
Thanks Doc,

I've actually had a Suz engine sitting in an early Alpina frame on the bench for the last few weeks. It is a very neat fit.

Sorry to hear about the mud. Did the flood get to the bikes? Or house?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 09:22:08 AM by JC »

DR

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2011, 01:18:55 PM »
John, a few bikes went under in the first flood but have since been repaired and all good again. I now have a  clear escape route to higher ground for the bikes if ever needed which was always a worry as they were basically trapped before with only one way out, down hill..not good when down is water. I hope not to need it but a relief to now have a plan A regardless ;)
The mud is just from water running through front to rear under the house. It's that real fine sticky shit that has you wearing something that looks like moon boots after 2 steps :D I must get under and dig some drainage to channel it away ;) A TS motor in the Alpina frame per chance? Give me yell if you need anything. I have lots of TS and some RL engine parts and 'I think' I may even have an RL gear cluster and cylinder if you need it. Will measure up swingarms and things this arvo ;)   
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 01:28:00 PM by Doc »

Offline David Lahey

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2011, 01:38:42 PM »
Doc are you thinking the motor in the "prototype" is based on a TS250 motor? (I'm not familiar with the external differences between Suzuki TS/TM/RL motors)
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DR

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2011, 02:01:17 PM »
I was sort of lending myself to the idea that this may have been a partly factory backed effort from back in the day. The RL's didn't exist until '74/'75 hence the TS desigation fits. This is an extract from an email which doesn't help a great deal unless I can find out which dealer if that dealer is infact still around ;) I just found it a little out of the ordinary but well thought out by the looks.


Quote
I've had SherpaTs and Alpinas for years, I think they're some of the most beautiful of dirtbikes. I love 'em but they can be cantankerous. I've consider myself a Suzuki guy and the 1975 TS185 is one of my favorites. It's also one of the the most reliable in the fleet. So when I saw this bike sitting at a friends house I thought- best of both worlds! A RL250 motor in a Sherpa frame. Eventually he sold it to me with the understanding that he would get it back if I wanted to sell it.
So it joined the farm fleet and I rode it around as my usual dirtbike. Eventually I realised that the serial number TS-T 00001 did not fit the usual Suzuki pattern and the frame number SM273 also didn't fit the bultaco numbering scheme. At some point later I realised it was a Miller frame with the Sammy Miller aftermarket tank-seat unit. I asked the guy I bought it from about its history, he said it came from a local dealer who had probably built it back in the day as part of their competition effort. Talking to various Canadian trials people from that period I have established that it is a known bike but no one really knew its history.
 But Sammy Miller Highboy frames are not uncommon and anyone can stamp numbers in an engine so life continues, the bike is used regularily because its fun. Incidently I sent some pics to Sammy Miller himself who wasn't much interested it as it seems to be just somebodies homebuilt.
The miller-aa jpeg is the way it looked when I got it in the early nineties, the rest of the pix are more recent. The front wheel is different than when I bought it, i think it was a TM wheel, not sure what's on it now. Rear wheel is Rickman. The motor appears to be mostly TS250 spec, exhaust port on the left, I've never had it apart.
 I have pics of the serial numbers and also the bike without the body on it SOMEWHERE! but I cannot seem to find them at the moment. I will take more pics next weekend for you

Offline JC

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2011, 01:55:02 PM »
Dave, RL engine is very similar to TS engine. Diff gear ratios & primary drive ratio, more flywheel weight for RL of course, diff CDI box, exh port on diff side, RL inlet port angled to the left to clear rear downtube. Diff head & C.R.

Both run 28mm carbs (but diff jetting) & interestingly, according to some measurements Doc checked for me recently, both RL & TS ports are the same heights for Exh, Trans & Inlet!

Offline David Lahey

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2011, 05:01:05 PM »
Dave, RL engine is very similar to TS engine. Diff gear ratios & primary drive ratio, more flywheel weight for RL of course, diff CDI box, exh port on diff side, RL inlet port angled to the left to clear rear downtube. Diff head & C.R.

Both run 28mm carbs (but diff jetting) & interestingly, according to some measurements Doc checked for me recently, both RL & TS ports are the same heights for Exh, Trans & Inlet!
JC - similar story to TY175/DT175 - same port timing but lower compression for the trials motor.
Has anyone got a theory for why they changed sides for the exhaust port on the RL250?
What about the magneto cover on the RL? Is it the same as the TS250?
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Offline JC

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2011, 07:26:19 PM »
Dave,

Yes, very similar to TY/DT175 changes

My conclusion about the change in RL exhaust side is they didn't want it to look exactly like the TS motor!

As far as I can tell, the ign & clutch covers (& centre cases) are the same. Apparently TM covers also go straight on the RL

TooFastTim

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2011, 09:54:59 AM »
Here's the problems with the original RL250:

"Having observed the world-wide failure of the standard RL250 'Exacta' model, Beamish Motors made Suzuki an offer for all unsold machines, which the factory was only too pleased to accept.  Even so, Beamish knew only too well that his development work would need to continue.  The ease with which the first 50 machines had sold could not be allowed to sway his judgement.  A new frame was needed too, since the original had a wheelbase that was too long and forks with too much trail.  There was a marked tendancy for the machine to "crab" when negotiating tight turns, quite apart from the fact that the machine had an uncomfortably high centre of gravity."

From: http://www.beamishownersclub.com/_sgg/m1_1.htm

DR

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2011, 07:08:02 PM »
Tim, that's what the testers said in the day alright ;)
Only thing is there seems to be a new found fondness of the RL in vintage trials scene (maybe it's just me :P). Bit like the TM400, rated as a killer but also now quite desirable for some regardless of stigma ;)

In the tight stuff the RL does suffer badly and wants to plow straight if you use any power and aren't totally over the front. I know trials is supposed to be slow but I've found if you attack things at speeds on something more like a trail bike then it'll do  near everything as expected and some things better. Slimey rocky creeks with muddy rutted uphill peg dragging furrows on the exit it'll power up with little or no seeming effort. It is more of a super light weight trail bike than a trials bike, wide TS upper ratio's means it gets along with surprising swiftness and pinpoint accuracy without the twitchyness. Ride it like a trail bike and it's great.

Here's some more pictures courtesy of the SM Suzuki owner Gerard, and Buzzy who kindly forwards these interesting things to me. I know this sounds a bit stupid and naive but that frame excepting the lower cradle area looks so similar to RL it's not funny :-\ am I imagining things? ??? 

would fly in the face of general consensus that's for sure :D

note the brake and gear lever both on left.


an RL250 frame for comparison...incidently, RL swingarms also have the built in chain oiler just the same as the SM...hmmmm again I thought...a single gusset in the area where the RL's break is 1 piece instead of 2 piece...makes much better sense..








not sure what the kick start lever is from or if it's a modified something or other, genuine zooki item but it sure doesn't look RL :-\

I reckon it looks pretty shit hot and quite purposeful in this pic. Though the Alpina blue partially disguises it at first glance there maybe some method to that ;) fairly raked appearance and the short swingarm is very...short! Again, very similar to something else...

 



   
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 09:46:16 PM by Doc »

Offline David Lahey

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Re: A good thing or very bad idea? Sutaco 250
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2011, 10:22:53 PM »
Just imagine how the history of trials might have been if Suzuki had done a better job of copying the Bultaco Sherpa T
Have you noticed that the first RL steering heads had no direct connection between the frame tubes and the steering head tube? The frame tubes were welded to the lightweight gussets and the gussets were welded to the steering head tube. Soon after releasing the first batch, an extra (5mm thick) gusset was added to both sides at the bottom of the steering head tube to connect the frame tube to the head tube better. They should have also added something where the frame uprights crack above the footpegs. As I said a more direct copy of the Bultaco or SM frame (including Bultaco geometry) would have been just the thing because the rest of the Suzuki RL is very good indeed.
The Suzuki RL frame was not the only 1970s trials frame to have breakage problems. I've seen a few TY175 frames crack above the footpegs too, and the first Montesa Cota 348 frames cracked up near the steering head and had a recall to add extra gussetting. 1970s trials frames that are very good for resisting overload abuse are the KT250 and the OSSA MAR.
previous pseudonym feetupfun