1966 Suzuki T10 250cc Motorcycle
Result: PASSED IN
Suzuki's history can be traced back to manufacturing silk looms back in 1909 but it wasn't until the 1930s that the company began experimenting with internal combustion engines. The early post-war period saw Suzuki producing heaters and farm machinery but the small two-stroke engine resurfaced in 1952 and was initially sold in the form of the ?Power Free? motorized bicycle. In 1954 Suzuki began making their own motorcycles, beginning with a 90cc two-stroke Colleda, notable as one of the first to have oil injection to save the rider from having to mix the oil and petrol manually. Suzuki's first commercially successful bike was essentially a road-going version of their 250cc racer, introduced as the T10 in 1963, and it brought further refinements, including an electric start, hydraulic rear brake, an enclosed drive chain to keep mud and dirt off the rider. The T10 even had indicators, something of a novelty at the time. Aimed squarely at the commuter market, the T10 was designed around a pressed-steel frame with attractive lines, telescopic front forks, a chrome-sided fuel tank and 17-inch wheels. Suzuki began exporting bikes for the first time with the T10 and it was generally well received abroad, with Motorcycle News in Britain reporting ?The T10 is like a Rolls-Royce on two wheels, very smooth power, soft suspension, self starter, indicators and hydraulic rear brake?. Many of these features weren't found on British bikes of the period although the Suzuki was expensive compared to locally-made bikes due to high import tariffs. The T10s sold in England were painted black or white, while those sold to the United States were either red or blue. The T10 remained in production until 1966 and given so few were exported, few survive outside Japan today.