WE hear that Suzuki has plans to bring back the classic ‘Hustler’ name on a new model in the near future.
At the moment, there’s no clue as to the type of bike the name could be applied to but looking at its heritage suggests that it would be best suited to either a lightweight sports bike – a modern take on the original T20 and T250 Hustler models of the 60s and 70s – or to a retro machine that harks back to those earlier models.
What is definite is that the firm has applied for a new European trademark on the title, with the specific intention of applying it to a motorcycle.
We can be pretty certain that whatever the new machine turns out to be, it won’t follow the mechanical pattern of the original Hustlers, which were 250cc two-stroke parallel twins. Suzuki’s new 250cc four-stroke twin, as used in the naked Inazuma, might be a good choice.
With several rivals either already selling small-capacity sports bikes or planning to introduce them soon – think Honda’s existing CBR250R and Kawasaki’s Ninja 300, as well the forthcoming Yamaha R250 and KTM’s 350cc ‘Moto3’ road bike, both due in 2014 – that must be one of the markets Suzuki is looking at. Could that be where the new Hustler will appear? Or does it make more sense to use the more familiar GSX-R brand in that market?
The alternative would be a retro-styled machine, more along the lines of Yamaha’s SR400 (the 2013 version of which we revealed earlier this week), that harks back to Hustlers of old. In the European market Suzuki has no retro machines on offer, although it does sell the traditional-looking ST250, a 20bhp air-cooled single, in Japan.