Monday, September 26, 2016 | TSTM

Story of my 1974 Suzuki TS250

The 1974 Suzuki TS 250 was the second real dirt bike I got to own and ride. This is excluding go-carts and three wheelers as this was the second true dirt bike. The first dirt bike was a 1971 Kawasaki 100, which was either a KE 100 or the predecessor to the KE. The 1974 TS 250 was one that my dad had bought new back in 1974. He sold it to a friend but they weren't riding it so it just sat in the garage. The thing was all metal, including the tank and by today's standards of course quite heavy for an off-road bike.

The question was if the bike was too big for me at the time after all not only was it a 250 but a very heavy tank. I came up with the idea that well the main thing was if I fell I'd need to be able to pick the bike back up by myself. So that became the test. We laid the bike down and I had to pick it back up, which I did with little effort and so we got the bike back.

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MStar 500 at the 1986 Gila Bend GP

The photo is of me at the Gila Bend GP in Gila Bend, Arizona in January of 1986, the bike is an M*Star GM 500. As you well know this is a motocross bike, with a small gas tank. The race was a GP format with a parade lap through town and as it turned out I should have either skipped the parade lap or refueled before the start of the race. Why? Because I ran out of gas on the first loop. Luckily the Arizona Desert Racing Association (ADRA) required all racers to carry a canteen (pre camel back era).

However, the canteen rule did not specify what liquid should be in the canteen; so I had pre-mix in mine. This race was the first time I had ever ridden a dirt bike at near sea level. I spent the better part of a day trying to jet my bike perfectly, and then chickened out and ran it a little rich. This proved to be one of the few smart things that I have ever done since the race was run through some fast arroyos with deep sand (just like we have here in Albuquerque but we are at 5000ft).

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