1967 Suzuki X6 Hustler
Suzuki's unforgettable motorcycle
Although announced in 1965, the Suzuki X6 Hustler didn’t appear in U.S. showrooms until early 1966.
Photo by Doug Mitchel
Suzuki X6 Hustler
Years made: 1965-1968
Claimed power: 29hp @ 7,500rpm
Top speed: 100mph (period test)
Engine type: 247cc, 2-stroke, air-cooled parallel twin
Weight: 134.7kg (297lbs)
Price then: $650 (approx.)
Price now: $1,500-$3,500
MPG: 45-50mpg (est.)
When Suzuki first hit the U.S. market in 1963, it was just another link in a growing chain of new — and often forgettable — companies from the Land of the Rising Sun. Three years later we got the Suzuki X6 Hustler, and Suzuki got remembered. Today, it's one of the most popular classic Japanese motorcycles.
Suzuki chose three models to headline its 1963 U.S. lineup; the S31, powered by a 124cc 2-stroke twin, and the S250 Colleda (a transcription of “Kore-da” or “that one”) and TC250 El Camino, both powered by a 248cc 2-stroke twin. Like Honda and other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, Suzuki hoped to cash in on U.S. riders seeking a smaller, simpler machine than the booming twins coming from Milwaukee or Great Britain at the time.
1964 saw those models phased out in favor of a new trio consisting of a 50cc single, an 80cc single and a new 246cc twin, the T10. More new models were announced in 1965, including the highly anticipated Suzuki X6 Hustler, although it would be 1966 before the new model finally hit U.S. showrooms.
New frame, new engine
The Suzuki X6 Hustler made quite a splash when it hit dealers’ floors. With the T10 from 1964 leading the way, the X-6 set new standards for style in the rapidly expanding field of mid-size bikes from Japan. A 247cc, 2-cylinder engine was bolted to a tubular, duplex frame, a first for Suzuki. All previous Suzuki models had used a pressed-steel frame, making the steel tube frame of the X-6 a step in the right direction.
Suzuki tapped Masanao Shimizu to create the X6 Hustler engine. Masanao, previously in charge of Suzuki’s racing program, had already earned an enviable set of records under the Suzuki banner and quickly turned his talents to the design of the X6 engine.
The parallel twin Masanao designed was a 2-stroke, as were all Suzuki engines until 1977. A major advancement was the engine’s Posi-Force automatic lubrication system, which freed owners from having to keep a can of 2-stroke oil in their tool bag. As long as the separate oil tank was full, the Posi-Force system did the rest, increasing reliability and ease of use immensely.
Made of aluminum alloy for lightness and strength, the X6 Hustler's 247cc parallel twin was rated at 29 horsepower at 7,500rpm, which was, for the day, a fairly significant figure. Only three years prior to the release of the street legal X-6, the Suzuki factory race bikes were only achieving 28 horsepower at 11,000rpm.
Page: 1 | 2
| Next >>