Editor’s Note: Patrick Garvin is an in-house product specialist and ecommerce expert here at J&P Cycles, lending his extensive motorcycle and motorcycle parts knowledge to the website and to the blog. This is the first in a two-part series about his working relationship with a 35-year-old beauty named Suzuki.
About six years ago I found myself traveling back and forth on a regular basis through Illinois for business. I’d time my trips so I could stop off for lunch in a small spot in the road called Prophetstown.
Now the only reason I was making stops in this one-horse town is that I’d stumbled across a pretty damned fine hotdog in this burg. What happened was, I took a chance on a small eatery called Pluto’s Dog House and discovered that it was my kind of place.
It’s a small joint with only six or eight tables and it was operated by a retired ironworker from Chicago named Don. To be kind, the menu was limited, but it had a good hotdog and that was reason enough to make Pluto’s a regular stopping off place on my frequent journeys.
Over the next month and a half I visited Pluto’s a half dozen times or so, eating dogs and shooting the breeze with Don. During one of these conversations — almost all our chats revolved around motorcycles and hot rods — Don mentioned that he had a motorcycle out back that he had tried to sell a while back, but the buyer flaked out. He asked if I’d like to take a look and I said “Sure.”
We walked through the back into a garage area and there sat a 1976 Suzuki GT250 in perfect running condition. It had about 5,500 original miles on it and the bike was in incredible shape. Oh, there was a small tear in the seat and a few scratches on a turn signal, but other than that, it was perfecto!
I asked Don what he wanted for it and he told me $250. I told him I’d be back with a truck. The next day I showed up out back, slapped $250 in Don’s hand and drove off with an oil-injected two-stroke left-side kicker. A very cool bike.
When I got home and fired the little two-stroke up, it was an absolute hoot! It was a ripper! It didn’t become my everyday rider but I managed to ride it a few times a week for about three years. Fun times.
But it’s been sitting in my garage for close to three years now, and I keep walking past it saying to myself, “I gotta get that little monster back on the road.”
Well this winter I’m going to do exactly that. I’m not going to just make it run, shine it up and put it back on the street. I’ve got bigger plans for this bike. I’m also not going to break the bank in making improvements, but I’ve got a few ideas in my head that’ll bring out the inner hooligan in my little two-stroke twin.
In Part 2, Patrick will unveil his Suzuki, complete with mystery improvements and Suzuki parts used. Keep an eye on this spot for further details!