At first glance, the $3499 Suzuki TU250 seems to have escaped from the 1970s. However, you're not going to discover mysterious old oil leaks or finicky carburetors on this modern little bike. Instead, Suzuki has wrapped 21st century engineering in an eye-catching vintage design.
It's powered by a 249cc four-stroke single cylinder air-cooled engine controlled by a digital CDI ignition system. Power is transmitted to the pavement through a 5-speed transmission and the gas tank holds just over 3 gallons of fuel - perfect for riding around town. If you're of the green persuasion, you'll be happy to see a catalytic converter on the exhaust to reduce emissions.
This bike is yet another attempt by manufacturers to encourage new riders to enter the sport. Until recently, the North American market relied on well-heeled Baby Boomers buying higher-end machines. Younger, poorer riders often found themselves having to settle for an ugly entry level bike, or none at all.
Things are changing rapidly, thanks to a decline in the Boomer segment and a challenging economy that encourages frugal vehicle purchases. A $15,000 bike is suddenly out of reach for many, especially when a much cheaper and more fuel efficient machine serves basically the same function. Besides, the sub-250cc displacement helps to reduce insurance costs and provides great fuel economy.
The TU250 is available only in red, a great way to reduce inventory costs.
Discover the 2009 Suzuki TU250 [thanks, Stephen!]