Suzuki Maclaren

Discussion in 'Trials' started by jack85, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    I'm restoring this rare bike and would be great if somebody can help me to find more information about the enginer who made this advanced trials frame bike.

    The bike is a 120cc Suzuki engine built by Suzuki at their Croydon factory (UK).
    The monocoque spine frame was fabricated using light alloy sheet, carrys a cast-magnesium steering head fitted with needle-roller bearings.
    The spine contains two gallon petrol and one pint oil tank.
    Engine was a Suzuki TC 120 six-speed suspended to the spine on twin light alloy plates.
    The weight around 140 lb.
    John Hemingway rode the first of these models in the Scottish six days trial.
    Also Martin Lampking rode one around 1970-1971.

    This bike was called Suzuki Maclaren due to his engineer and also Alta Suzuki 120.

    My doubt is about the engineer. Mr Maclaren (not McLaren from F1) was an Airplane engineer who also patented first baby strollers that still exist under the name MACLAREN.
    Question is: Is this Maclaren baby strollers engineer the same who made this trials bike?
    Does somebody know something more about this engineer?
    [​IMG]

    The Suzuki Maclaren

    [​IMG]

    The Maclaren baby stroller
    #1
  2. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

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    Jack85, where on EARTH do you dig up these cool vintage trials toys???? :scratch


    Neat bike! :thumb
    #2
  3. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    :rofl. Crazy, you are right, but funny.
    #3
  4. ridenm

    ridenm Missing my emotional support squirrel Supporter

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    The stroller design is pretty kewl, too! It's pretty universally known as an "umbrella stroller"--ubiquitous and extremely convenient. Thank God those days are done with. :clap
    #4
  5. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    Yes, first design was from 1965 from its design of light aluminum folding seat. This is the origin of the name "umbrella strollers" because the folding like an umbrella.
    My question is, if Owen Maclaren (1907-1978) was also the Suzuki Maclaren designer.
    #5
  6. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    Found a picture from 1979.

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. roninwva

    roninwva Been here awhile

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    I don't know if you have seen this website but it has a lot of info on older bikes and frames. If you look under photos and trials bikes there are several pics of the alta Suzuki.


    http://www.eurospares.com/index.htm
    #7
  8. dhubbard422

    dhubbard422 Adventurer

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    Classic Dirt Bike (a UK mag) published a story on "your" MacLaren Suzuki trials bike in issue 9; published in 2008. It's a nice article with lots of pics, some history and a short write-up about riding it by Mick Andrews.

    www.motorsportpublications.com - you might be able to purchase a copy. I bought some missing issues last year to fill out my collection.
    #8
  9. dhubbard422

    dhubbard422 Adventurer

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    I just re-read your original post... your bike was developed by the McLaren racing car outfit after the death of Bruce McLaren. Per the article, in Classic Dirt Bike, businessman Gerald Ronson owned Suzuki GB and then acquired McLaren. This bike was one of the results of this union.
    #9
  10. Garthe

    Garthe ROCKS ARE YOUR FRIENDS...

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    The OP should send YOU a couple cases of beer.
    #10
  11. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    Thanks, I'll try to find this article.
    #11
  12. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    Then seems that the designer of this bike was not Owen Maclaren (baby stroller designer). Definitively was Bruce Mclaren, the British cars engineer.

    The history is becoming more clear for me now. Thanks dhubbard422 !! :clap
    #12
  13. dhubbard422

    dhubbard422 Adventurer

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    You're welcome for the info. If you absolutely can not purchase a copy, drop me a note and I'll photocopy it for you. But, I highly recommend purchasing a copy - it's a nice glossy mag and they deserve our support!
    #13
  14. dhubbard422

    dhubbard422 Adventurer

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    Oh. BTW. You have a rare and very collectible trials bike. Per the article, only 71 were produced. Enjoy!
    #14
  15. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    Only 71 units!! Certainly I was looking for one more than three years.
    Now, due to the difficult global economy situation, some of these jewels are appearing, and at ten times better prices.

    Thanks to offer me the possibility to copy the article, first I will try to buy this magazine.
    #15
  16. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    Just received Classic Dirtbike magazine, issue number nine.
    There is a great article from Gerard Kane and Mick Andrews. Thanks dhubbard422.
    Good help for Suzuki/Mclaren restoration. As soon I have pictures from restoration I will post.
    #16
  17. K1W1

    K1W1 Long timer Supporter

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    Let's just get one thing absolutely straight. Bruce McLaren was a New Zealander not a Brit. :D

    As far as the bike goes I haven't seen one of those dual range Suzuki TC's for years. They aren't a 6 speed they are a twin range 4 speed with I think 3 common gears in each range. You can see the range selecter lever on top of the case in the first photo. The engines were used in Suzuki farm bikes in Australia and New Zealand up until about 1975.

    The forks in the first picture look to me like they may not be original. they look more like RL250 forks than something from the very early 1970's. Likewise the rims. Shoulderless alloy rims weren't commonly used until around 1973 even on works MX or Trials bikes.
    #17
  18. jack85

    jack85 Adventurer

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    Yes, K1W1, Bruce McLaren born in New Zeeland in 1937,
    The used engine was the 118cc TC120 Suzuki. The monocoque frame was designed by Tony Helder (car engineer) formed out of lightweight riveted aluminum sheets.
    The fork yoke was a one piece casting in magnesium that had some breakage problems,(maybe this is the reason that the pictured unit have no the original one), also the frame had some resistance problems in opinion of some owners I've had the opportunity to talk.
    About the gearbox, also you are right, was a three-dpeed gearbox with a dual ratio, low for off road and high for road.
    #18
  19. betarev4

    betarev4 n00b

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    hi jack the bike you have is as you say one of poss 100 ever made i no a few people who have them i to have 3 of them one of which is the photo of one from the rear that some one has posted to you most of the parts are easy avalable as they were off the shelf stuff apart from the frame and yokes the yokes on your bike are incorrect as they were a one peice unit made out of case alloy if i can help you in any way i will just email me at

    tgraftersuk@aol.com

    cheers terry
    #19