'73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

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Thaciv
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'73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#1 Unread post by Thaciv » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:12 pm

From what I've read here, it's better if a new biker starts on a smaller bike, so I understand that. But, also from what I understand is a two stroke is much more powerful than a four stroke bike? There's a Suzuki TC185 advertised but as it is two stroke I'm wondering if I'd be making a mistake to buy it? What do you guys think? Should I move on to a different bike?

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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#2 Unread post by Johnj » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:49 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum. You should be able to handle that bike.
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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#3 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:22 pm

Welcome to TMW, and thanx for sharing! As John says, you should be able to handle a 185cc 2-stroke. It is true that, cc for cc, 2-stroke motors generate more power than their 4-stroke counterparts, but not to such a degree that a 185 is going to be unruly. I learned on a 250cc 2-stroke, and is was totally manageable after I'd got the hang of it.

A couple things to consider though, before going with a 2-stroke for a starter bike. First, a 2-stroke will require pre-mix gas, that is, regular automotive gasoline mixed to a certain ratio with 2-stroke oil. That ratio varies depending on the bike, so make sure you know what yours is and how to pre-mix your gas.

Also, learning how to handle a 2-stroke motor can require a little finess. You have to keep the motor in it's powerband (revved up) as much as possible, because when a 2-stroke is idling or just 'chugging along', they're not efficiently combusting the fuel oil and you'll eventually oil-foul your spark plug. Trying to keep your motor in the powerband while clutching your way through low-speed manuvers like U-turns and cone weaves could be a real challenge.

So my final take is this. Although a Suzi 185 2-stroke is certainly a 'small' enough bike to learn on, a 2-stroke bike of any size presents an entirely new category of challenges for a beginning rider in addition to everything else you have to learn. If it's primarily street riding you want to learn (as opposed to off-road recreational riding), I'd try to get my hands on a 4-stroke before settling for the Suzi.

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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#4 Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:51 pm

The bike sounds like a great classic bike, but as a first bike I would avoid it myself. Unless you have access to points and condensers, 40 year old parts and don't mind wrenching vs riding. Now, if that's you and that appeals to you then I say, go for it. But if you are looking at a small cc, inexpensive bike I'd go for something in the 80's+ that would be like this, like the GN250, Nighthawk 250 or even a CB250. All would have electric start. There were quite a few advances from the 70's to the 80s in bike technology. (a little more in 80-90's and a tad more from 90'-2000's) for the smaller cc bikes.

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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#5 Unread post by Thaciv » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:13 am

Thanks for the advice guys. I decided I won't be buying the bike. I'll wait until after I can take the MSF (unfortunately probably not until July or August) and then get a bigger 4 stroke bike.

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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#6 Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:52 pm

Thaciv wrote:Thanks for the advice guys. I decided I won't be buying the bike. I'll wait until after I can take the MSF (unfortunately probably not until July or August) and then get a bigger 4 stroke bike.
Taking the MSF course first before buying your bike is a really wise choice, not just because this was an old 2-stroker, but because when you finish your MSF course you might find yourself wanting a different style and/or engine type bike. And having a bike sitting in your garage without an MSF course (as a new rider) is very tempting to just take out for a ride (= bad learned habits and a chance of an oops).

Are you signed up for your MSF now?

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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#7 Unread post by Thaciv » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:21 am

totalmotorcycle wrote:
Thaciv wrote:Thanks for the advice guys. I decided I won't be buying the bike. I'll wait until after I can take the MSF (unfortunately probably not until July or August) and then get a bigger 4 stroke bike.
Taking the MSF course first before buying your bike is a really wise choice, not just because this was an old 2-stroker, but because when you finish your MSF course you might find yourself wanting a different style and/or engine type bike. And having a bike sitting in your garage without an MSF course (as a new rider) is very tempting to just take out for a ride (= bad learned habits and a chance of an oops).

Are you signed up for your MSF now?

Mike
The MSF course here has online sign up and it lists the amount of spaces left in each course. The only one I'd probably be able to take in the spring starts May 10-12 but it is full already. I'm hoping maybe someone will cancel and then I can enroll in it. Otherwise I'll enroll in one of the courses in July or August (they're not even close to full yet, with only 1 or 2 people enrolled out of 24).

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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#8 Unread post by dr_bar » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:40 pm

If you haven't already, put yourself on a stand by list in case of a cancellation, and register for the soonest one you can attend that has room. I've always found that these courses fill up fairly quick, and if your name isn't in a spot, you'll be in the same position then as you are now... Good luck in your course, and welcome to this incredibly large family we call TMW...
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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#9 Unread post by Thaciv » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:35 pm

Hey guys I ended up buying an '09 Ninja 250 after taking the MSF course.

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Re: '73 Suzuki TC185 for a beginning biker?

#10 Unread post by Gummiente » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:34 am

Thaciv wrote:Hey guys I ended up buying an '09 Ninja 250 after taking the MSF course.
Pics, or it didn't happen. :)
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