I made the decision over the winter, that come springtime, I was going to get all of my vintage motorcycles and mopeds running well, safe, shined up and properly registered and titled so I could put them all up for sale. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all that stuff, but living in the suburbs, the mopeds were of no practical use, since anywhere outside of my immediate neighborhood requires speeds of 45+. The motorcycles were small displacement, and despite being pretty vigilant about maintenance, on 45-50 year old motorcycles, sometimes stuff breaks. So, I got everything ready to go, posted everything up for sale, and started looking around for what to buy.
At this point, I should probably mention that 1) besides the two days I spent on a Rebel 250 taking my Rider Safety Course, I’ve never been on a bike newer than 1978, and 2) besides the Rebel again, I’ve never been on a bike bigger than 250cc. I’ve had my M endorsement for 3 years now, and despite riding to and from work with some regularity, I still consider myself a beginner. Work is 5 miles round trip, and all 45MPH divided highways. While I was looking for a new-ish bike, I certainly wasn’t looking for anything high performance, and having no real desire to road trip on a bike, quickly ruled out the big touring style bikes. Really, I wanted a small displacement bike designed for commuting, running errands, and general around town riding. Having had all vintage bikes, I was drawn to one of the handful of retro styled bikes on the market.
Thankfully, my bikes sold quickly, and after going to see a few bikes that either just didn’t “do” it for me, or were overpriced for their age/condition/mileage, or were outright misrepresented, I found myself making a 2 hour trek to the far southeast corner of the state to look at a 2013 Suzuki TU250X. Priced slightly above market value, but showing less than 2000 miles on the clock, the bike hadn’t gone far enough in the last 6 years to reach its first regular oil change interval. The bike turned out to be in like-new condition, and owned by a responsible adult who, with his second child on the way, simply didn’t have time to ride it. A quick blast around the block, and a deal was struck!
Hauled the bike home in the back of the truck, hit DMV for plates the next day. Since last Thursday, when I got my plates and registration, I haven’t driven my car even once. I’m finding myself coming up with reasons to go grab something from the store, or carryout dinner, or just, you know, need to go around the block for something or other :)
Yes, this bike is pretty much the Honda Civic of motorcycles. No frills, not terribly “exciting”, and focused primarily on economy and reliability, but for me, it’s like going from a 1979 Civic to a last generation model with virtual no miles on it. It’s comfortable, it’s quiet, it’s civilized, and well mannered. It starts at the push of a button (no more kick starting!). Fuel injection means no choke, and it doesn’t care if it’s hot or cold. Electronic ignition means no more points to foul or fiddle with. 12v electrical system means people can actually see my lights, and I can actually see the road at night. I’m sure more experienced riders would dismiss the TUX as a “beginners” bike, and sure enough many rider training schools have them in their stables, but to me, it’s hands down my favorite thing I’ve ridden. Maybe one day a 250 won’t be enough. Maybe one day I’ll want to cruise long distances on the interstate. Maybe one day I’ll feel the need to spend all my money on shiny chrome do-dads to go on the Harley that never leaves the garage. Maybe so, but I’d bet I’ll still have the little TUX as well, and I bet it will still bring a smile to my face. I freaking love this bike!