The suzuki 'Pure Enduro” PE175 is one of the most beloved Enduro machines of the late seventies and early eighties – and most effective in its field. Thanks to its light weight, it was one of the first truly agile Enduro bikes with excellent handling and reliability. More importantly, it was fun! The PE175 was so popular that suzuki built more than 50,000 units during its 12-year production run.
Originally launched in 1978, the PE175 was suzuki’s answer to Yamaha’s popular IT175. The PE175 was sold purely as a competition enduro model, which also happened to be road legal. Its engine was based on the hugely popular ’76 RM125A. This air-cooled “Power Reed” two-stroke engine delivered a creditable 24hp @ 9500 rpm. To make the most of its fairly tight power band, a six-speed box was employed. With its wide-ratio gearbox, the top speed was set at an RM-dusting 69 mph.
The RM-based chassis and long-travel suspension provided one of the best handling packages in its class, firstly as a twin rear shock machine and then as an evolution in later years using suzuki’s famous and quite poorly named 'Full Floater” mono-shock system. Its ultralight weight of just 216-pounds (98kg) helped every facet of the PE’s handling. The bodywork on the new PE was similar in looks to the RM, but the Enduro version featured larger fenders, a 3.2-gallon (12-litre) plastic tank (double the capacity of the RM), and front and rear lights.
Overall, the 1978 PE175 was an excellent first effort for suzuki and by far the most competitive Enduro machine from Japan. For many it succeeded where the PE250 and PE400 failed in the subtle cocktail of power, weight, maneuverability and available performance.
For restorers the holy grail is original and unfaded plastics plus the lights and ancillaries which were often put aside and lost. That said, if you are looking for one of the best all-round small-bore enduro’s you cannot go wrong with the suzuki PE175.
issued: Thursday, October 20, 2022
updated: Thursday, October 20, 2022
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