The Suzuki A100 was in many ways the typical motorcycle being produced by the Japanese in the last 1960s and early ’70s. It was small, frugal with petrol, and usually quite reliable. The A100 was also a hit with commuters looking for a comfortable, inexpensive ride. Like so many other classic Japanese motorcycles, the Suzuki A100 “inspired” many similar designs all over China and the Far East. For instance, you could buy a factory fresh Suzuki AX100 in India in the 1980s that offered pretty much the same specs as the ’70s original.
The Suzuki A100 was powered by a 98cc engine that produced a peak power of 9.3 hp at 7500 rpm. While hardly exciting figures, they were pretty good for a bike that weighed only 83 kgs on an empty tank (7 ltr capacity). This single cylinder, two-stroke engine had a rotary disc valve designed for improved power delivery across the power band. Suzuki also included an automatic oil pump CCI system for lubrication of the engine. This dramatically reduced lubrication-related problems that hit other similar two-stroke bike designs.
Suzuki gave the Suzuki A100 a simplified speedometer with all the main indicators neatly arranged around it. This allowed even the most average motorcycle rider to quickly understand riding conditions. Both the front and real wheels wore 2.50 x 18 tires, which were fine with street surfaces but a little low on traction for the bike size. The Suzuki A100 brakes were a mystery too; during all the years of production from 1974 to 1980, Suzuki offered only basic drum brakes on both wheels. This was unusual because the Suzuki A100 showed itself to be capable of crossing 100 mph when going flat-out, with many owners reporting comfortable cruising speeds over 70 mph.
With the Suzuki A100, Suzuki had a very popular mass product and they knew it. In all the years of production, no major changes were made, other than some cosmetic styling changes. The later models also tended to have brighter colour schemes, perhaps to appeal to younger riders as larger motorcycles began a fight-back for UK’s streets in the 1980s.
Today, surviving Suzuki A100s can qualify for a free “Historic Vehicle” road tax. Across the UK, individual owners and collectors still run this reliable commuter bike for work or fun. With its basic technology and reliable engine, the Suzuki A100 is easy to tinker with, making it a great weekend restoration project. While original parts may be difficult to find, you can easily use genuine quality modern bits that fit the specs of the Suzuki A100 commuter bike.