Meet Jason, this is his ‘tiddler’ a 1964, 2 stroke, 50cc, Suzuki 50cc N15.
A Tiddler is a vintage bike that is at least 25 years old, 250 cc’s and under. This bike has a story to tell, this little Suzi belonged to his dad when he was young man. His dad would ride this intrepid little 2 stroke 50cc Suzi over the Hope Princeton Highway Route 3, from Hope to Kelowna to attend University. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is! BC is wild and vast, the Hope Princeton highway is twisty, windy, climbs up steep grades, and has sheer drops. This could be a daunting trip on a little bike and not for the faint of heart. Check out the link to Google for images of the Hope Princeton Highway – YES, this little bike did travel over that mighty highway! Pictures of Hope Princeton Hwy 3
In 1969, Jason’s dad lent his Suzi to a friend, unfortunately he drove it over a 6ft cliff, bent the bars, and the Suzi was relegated to the barn, where it sat gathering rust (LOTS of rust) until 1980. Jason rediscovered the bike and his grandpa loaded it onto a truck and brought it to Victoria for him, where it followed him from place to place, patiently waiting to be brought back to life. Finally this 53 year old beauty stirred to life in 2017.
There is beauty in these little old bikes, this one is held together by rust and probably a few prayers. It has a nice roachy antiqued patina, she needs a lot of work and a little moto botox. During this past winter the Suzi had a brief sojourn at my place with my hubby tinkering with it trying to get parts un-seized, and getting it shakily running again. It was glorious to see it grumble to life again out of her long moto hibernation.
Last Friday Jason brought the Suzi by for a little TLC and tinkering, the mix was off, she was running, but barely. She rolled down the street belching a trail of acrid blue smoke, accompanied by the high pitched whine of the 2 stroke engine mixed with coughs and sputters, and the strong smell of gas perfuming the air.
If you look beyond the layers of rust there is a charm to this gnarly little bike. Jason is slowly polishing off rust, and looking for replacement parts which are hard to come by. The charm of this restoration is that it is pretty much going to live on its present state.
You better have an iron butt to ride on that seat! Jason has been sanding the rusty chrome bits and managed to get the majority of rust off the back carry rack.
I love the look of this vintage 1964 Suzi! It holds a lot of family memories and adventures of the past. The bike was last insured in BC in 1969, and it is now out of hibernation getting a little TLC, and Jason hopes to pass it onto the next generation, his kids.
Hopefully he will be tiddling along on the roads of Vancouver Island and maybe make it to the Farkle Garage Tiddler run coming up on July 15th.