The Suzuki A100 was in many ways the typical motorcycle that the Japanese produced in the last 1960’s and early 70’s. It was small, fuel efficient, and usually fairly reliable. The A100 was also a hit with commuters looking for a comfortable, affordable ride. Like so many other classic Japanese motorcycles, the Suzuki A100 “inspired” many similar designs across China and the Far East. For example, in India in the 1980s you could buy a brand new Suzuki AX100 that offered pretty much the same specs as the original from the 70s.
The Suzuki A100 was powered by a 98cc engine that produced a peak power of 9.3 hp at 7500 rpm. Unexciting numbers, but pretty good for a bike that weighed just 83kg with an empty tank (7 liter capacity). This single-cylinder, two-stroke engine had a rotary valve designed for improved power delivery across the entire powerband. Suzuki also installed an automatic oil pump CCI system to lubricate the engine. This has drastically reduced problems related to lubrication that afflict other similar two-stroke bike designs.
Suzuki gave the Suzuki A100 a simplified speedometer around which all the main gauges are neatly arranged. This allowed even the most average motorcyclist to quickly understand the riding conditions. Both the front and real wheels wore 2.50×18 tires that were fine for road surfaces but were a little lacking in traction for the bike size. The Suzuki A100 brakes were also a mystery; In all production years from 1974 to 1980, Suzuki only offered single drum brakes on both wheels. This was unusual as the Suzuki A100 proved capable of surpassing 100mph when going flat out, with many owners reporting comfortable cruising speeds in excess of 70mph.
With the Suzuki A100, Suzuki had a very popular mass product and they knew it. No major changes have been made in all the years of production, apart from a few cosmetic styling changes. The later models also tended to have lighter color schemes, perhaps to appeal to younger riders as larger bikes began a battle on the streets of Britain in the 1980s.
Today, surviving Suzuki A100s can qualify for a free “Historic Vehicle” road tax. Across the UK, private owners and collectors still operate this reliable commuter bike for work or pleasure. With its fundamental technology and reliable engine, the Suzuki A100 is easy to DIY, making it a great weekend restoration project. Although original parts may be difficult to find, you can easily use modern, original quality bits that fit the specifications of the Suzuki A100 commuter bike.