My First Bike: Suzuki TS50ER

Everybody’s first bike was special but Joe Lowe looks really cool on his blue Suzuki TS50ER with colour-coded full-face helmet and black leather jacket.

Joe wanted to stand out from the crowd of Yamaha FS1-E riders and was drawn to the Suzuki trail bike.

“There was a bunch of us who were turning 16 and wanted a cool bike.

“Two or three of us had Suzuki TS50ERs. I wanted something a bit bigger than a ‘Fizzy’ which was tiny,” he said.

He bought the trail bike in 1982 for £230.

Friends had white ones but Joe bought a blue one which was about 18 months old, in really nice condition, and had hardly been used.

The only problems were self-inflicted with a couple of spills.

He went up a bank when riding on the road and the other mishap was off-road in woods.

“It didn’t have enough power to get up a hill and just slid down again,” he recalled.

Joe’s TS50 was restricted to 30mph but he changed the gearing by fitting a bigger front sprocket so it could do 35mph.

On the subject of power, his TS50 produced just 3hp – less than his future mother-in-law’s 3.5hp lawn mower!

He kept the TS50 for a year before buying a Suzuki GP100 which he admits was a horrible experience.

“I tuned it up and it kept blowing up,” he explained.

“The TS50 was great. I really loved it as it was my first bike.

“Apart from falling off it a couple of times, and replacing levers, it was pretty much immaculate when I sold it.”