VINTAGE MOTO MONDAY: 1968 Suzuki TM250

The first production MXer from Japan. A quick look at a classic vintage motocross bike from Tom White's Early Years of Motocross museum.

1968 Suzuki TM250 static side view

The first production Japanese MX bike. Fewer than 50 Suzuki TM250s came to America for 1968. Suzuki began experimenting with motocross in 1964, sending a roadracer and two engineers to Europe to compete on a twin-cylinder bike. Suzuki eventually settled on a single with a twin-pipe design influenced by the CZ Twin Port that carried Joel Robert to the 1964 250cc World Championship. Even though the 1966 and 1967 Suzuki race machines were heavy and didn't handle well, they became the basis for the production 1968 TM250, which was raced by the likes of Preston Petty. Later, GP veteran Ollie Petterson managed to get Suzuki to improve the power and reduce the weight of the machine while moving the engine forward and switching to a single low pipe. He also recommended the hiring of Belgian riders Joel Robert and Roger DeCoster, who, as we all know, put Suzuki in the history books.

Suzuki RH 66 Racing

In 1966, Suzuki began testing this motocross prototype. Twin high pipes must have burned the legs of the Japanese rider!

1968 Suzuki TM250.

Suzuki RH 66 Racing.

Suzuki RH early prototype.