Cycle News

Cycle News 2023 Issue 13 April 4

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 122 of 131

I n his 1932 novel "Brave New World," writer Aldous Huxley imagines a future society that is built partly upon the idea that conformity is necessary for a peaceful existence. While Huxley's dystopian tale does not specifically mention mo- torcycles, one wonders if he might have envisioned a day in which all two-wheeled machines perform, sound and even look alike—so much so that even the most discerning motorcyclist must look closely for a brand name on a decal in order to dis- tinguish one cycle from another? In Huxley's words, a "swarming indistinguishable sameness." Motorcycling was once a world comprised of many variations of two-wheeled machines. The battle for street supremacy was being waged by motorcycles powered by both two-cylinder four-strokes and four-cylinder two-strokes—with some manufacturers offering three-cylinder machines in both configurations! Meanwhile, out in the trenches, there were vari- ous models of more two-strokes and four-strokes, singles and twins, each claiming off road superiority over their opponents. This world of many motor - cycles stretched out to include even the little people. The mighty Honda Z50 four-stroke Mini-Trail may have sat on the throne, but Suzuki had designs on the crown. Their weapon of choice to capture a slice of the burgeoning minicycle market was the MT50 Trailhopper. In 1971, just as Honda was known as a four-strokes-only company, Suzuki was equally as committed to the two-stroke design. The Trailhopper bor - rowed its engine from Suzuki's step-through 50, and it featured an automatic clutch for easy shifting through its three-speed transmission. With Suzuki's CCI (crankcase cylinder injection), a separate oil pump squirted two- stroke lubricant at key engine internals, thus eliminating the need for mixing gasoline and oil. Then and now, the little Suzuki is a futuristic-looking machine. Stylish body work hiding the fuel tank makes the Trailhopper far too snazzy for Huxley's World CNIIARCHIVES P122 MT50 TRAILHOPPER SUZUKI'S BY KENT TAYLOR Kimberly Wright and her dear Suzuki MT50 Trailhopper.

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