Place: Ohio, USA
Story behind the bike:
I just had to send you a note as I think you would get a kick out of
my "FrankenHustler" that I am putting together. I bought mine for a
whopping $50 back in around 85, and found out right away how shitty the
stock motor was. Whipped crank, non-existant 6th gear, but it was still
fun to ride.The next year I bought a T-250 from a dealer I was working
at and promptly swapped motors. Much better. Until you run on to reserve
at highway speed. I have my own personal collection of holed pistons
(why do we save this shit ,anyway?).
Still eminently more reliable. Other notable changes included:
T-250 front end
T-250 instruments (hated to give up the groovy stock ones, but the tach
spins the other way on the T-250... and it didn't work with the front
T-250 Oil Tank
Water Buffalo (Kettle to you British Lads...) Headlight.
Rode it that way for years...
But of course not wanting to leave well enough alone I dis-assembled it
a couple of years ago and did these changes:
1) Painted the bodywork one color, dark sparkle blue.including nifty
2) repainted the frame
3) installed T-350 Wiseco pistons w/ T-350 cylinders and accompaning 32
4) Electronic ignition from your friends at Crooks Suzuki in the UK
5) Bronze swingarm Bushings from Crooks
6) GT-250 front end w/ disc brake (drilled w/ 90 lightening holes)
7) Alloy rims front and rear
8) New seat cover for T-350 seat ( the stock Hustler seat was shit)
9) Good rubber front and rear
10) Groovy "Red Wing" NOS shocks- these work exceptionally well and were
dirt cheap. They kind of resemble "Hammerhead" Konis.
11) Slip-on Chambers for the exhaust and K+N filters for the carbs
I just sent the fork tubes out to be shortened today. but it is
basically a rolling chassis, the forks were 2" to long.
Dead motorcycles are no fun to RIDE, which is what they are for after all,
Update on the above - (added April '01)
The 350 "frankenhustler" is a whole different machine- it is more like a
T500(of which I have a 72 example) than an X6. With the more substantial
front forks and motor, it just feels "bigger" and not as much of a
"flyweight" as the bike was when I got it. Could this have been the bike that
the X6 turned into? Not in the USA, but the X7 carried the tradition on in
the UK and other markets. Today I ride the X6 on special occasions due to the
"Historical" licence plate. I also ride a 73 GT-750 in full touring regalia
(fairing, trunk, and radio!), and my daily rider is a 72 Yamaha (yah- i know
not Suzuki!) CS-5, which is way spunky and lived on in other markets (any of
you late 70's RD-200 owners who are tired of your machines- e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org) for many years after they were gone in the USA.
I also race a 74 TM-400 in vintage racing, and have had a great time. I was Arizona state champion in the open novice class back in 1983 on my RM-500D, which I still own today.
Old bikes are fun to ride and have "character" that is fun to experience and gives you a perspective on far bikes have come. I also have a 97 Bandit 1200 that is a great example of the heritage that the X6 started. Good handling, with a great motor. Suzuki has learned their lessons well, and we are all better for it!
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