Suzuki almost invented the concept of the trailbike with their radical TC120 Trail Cat, first imported into the UK in 1970. The bike was light and nimble for both on- and off-road use, and had a dual-purpose gearbox that allowed the rider to select a set of high- or low-ratio gears. The 1971 TS125 (known as ‘Duster’ in some markets) continued the Trail Cat theme, but used a more conventional five-speed gearbox. By the mid-70s the TS125 had become a top seller in the UK as it proved ideal for new riders seeking a lightweight, reliable and stylish machine. The TS trailbikes were so popular that Suzuki offered variants in a total of 10 engine capacities, the 100, 125, 185 and 250 versions being most common in the UK. The 125 remained largely unchanged (apart from a switch to a 21in front wheel in 1975) until it received the first of a series of facelifts in 1977, resulting in the TS125ER models of 1982-83. In 1988 it received a full make-over including a new water-cooled engine, boosting power output to 22bhp, and gained a front disc brake. Production continued until the final TS125R version in 1996.
This bike has been restored to showroom condition by VJMC stalwarts Andy Baldwin and Heidi Cockerton, who between them are building a reputation for some of the finest small-capacity Japanese bike restorations in the UK. Heidi is pictured with the bike.