1974 Suzuki TC125 steering/handling ?

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by Jezz, May 12, 2020.

  1. Jezz

    Jezz n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2020
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    I bought this bike a couple years ago in non running shape and have got it back to life. Everything works fine but it handles like crap. Worst handling bike I've ever rode. On the street it is ok - it's different/weird from other bikes but in the dirt it will dump your ass in a second if your not paying attention. Best way to describe it is skitterish.
    Nothing is bent as far as I can tell.
    My question is would replacing the front wheel which is 19 inch with a TS125 21 inch front wheel help or is it just the design [rake/trail] of the machine that is bad?

    tc125.jpg
    #1
  2. ADVDucs33

    ADVDucs33 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Western NY, sticks.
    Hi, My dad had one of these as a trail bike up to around 5 years ago, and I restored a '75 RM100 2 years ago and have a couple cents to offer up for you. Check and replace the fork oil to the right level & really check your wheel bearings, and add a fork brace. The inner tubes are real thin and spindly, and its a long distance from the lower triple to the axle shaft, a lot of flex can be had there when riding hard.

    I got lucky when I found the front brace for the RM100, but will note that the front forks are the same on the TC125, TS125 AND first year only RM100 RM125. They bolt up to those bosses just below your dust covers / seals and curve up and over the tire. If you are handy, fab a brace out of 1/4" or 5/16" steel or aluminum. They make a world of difference.
    #2
  3. Jezz

    Jezz n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2020
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    Hi,
    Thanks for the info. I rebuilt the forks , new brgs,seals and brakes so I know that is good. I was looking on the auction site for a brace but could'nt find one a few weeks ago. I do know the forks on the first year RM125 are not the same, they are massive compared to the TC125. Maybe the bosses are - have to check. i know because I own both. Maybe the RM100 or Tm is the same - Don't know.
    I may end up fabricating a brace or may just sell the bike - not sure yet. I had a 1974 Kawasaki 100 G4 10 speed Hi/Lo that I really liked but I rode it into the ground. May have to start looking for one again.
    #3
  4. wfrpalm

    wfrpalm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    between Akron and Y'town
    #4
  5. Spikester300

    Spikester300 Roll Tide!

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Killen, Alabama
    How much air is in the front tire? Are the shocks longer than stock causing it to be quick handling?
    #5
  6. aptbldr

    aptbldr easy rider

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,453
    Location:
    Upstate South Carolina, USA
    OP's baseline experience is unknown; poor handling compared to what?
    Its delightfully designed exhaust may compensate.
    #6
  7. Jezz

    Jezz n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2020
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    wfrpalm - thanks for the link , I will check it out.
    spikester300 - 20psi in the front, shocks are within 1/4" of stock
    aptbldr - I'm 61 and been riding dirt since I was 15, owned and rode a ton of bikes. this bike does not go where its pointed , wants to keep "falling off" to the left or right.

    Heres the YZ490 i raced in my younger years:

    yz490.jpg
    #7
    wfrpalm and aptbldr like this.