I just bought a 1971 T500, it wasn't in great shape and hadn't been run in 5 or 6 years. Somebody had put a GT motor in it with the electronic ignition and also given it a front disc brake similar to the GT. After changing the fuel, it started on the third kick! Just goes to show how well these bikes were put together. I plan on fixing the cosmetics and keeping it for a Sunday cruiser.
I rode a 1970 model for 3 or 4 years in the very early 70's, so yes I am an old git. I am looking to return to my youth, and am in the market for a 69, 70 or 71 model.
I had a 1971 T500 back in 1978 (1st vehicle). Sold it 2 years later to get what I thought was a much cooler 68 Triumph Tiger. I had so many problems with that Triumph that I greatly regretted that move. Years later I bought a 89 HD Heritage, which I still have, but I always kept my eyes open for another Titan.
Last year I found a mint condition Titan with 11,000 original miles on it. I love it. It was a little different than I remembered, but I rode the heck out of it last year and can't wait for the warmer weather. I won't be selling this one.
I grew up in the 1970's on Yamaha two-stroke dirt bikes, so when the time came for my first street bike, I decided that the RD 350 was what I wanted. Before I found one however, a Kawasaki H1 turned up for sale cheap in our local area, and I thought that a 500 triple would simply be more of a good thing than a 350 twin. Well, that thing was simply evil, and after riding it for a couple of years and crashing it, I sold it and moved on to a long succession of four-strokes.
As an avid old bike collector though, I always knew that I wanted another two-stroke, but decided that I wanted neither an RD nor an H1, but something in between like a T500 Titan. Many years went by without finding one... until yesterday.
Out of the blue, a local collector put up for sale not one, but two 1971 T500 Titans, that were both complete and running! He also included an excellent stash of NOS spare parts at a great price, so a friend and I bought them, and each took one home.
I can now ride this awesome bike anywhere as I restore it in the coming years, many years I hope!
I bought a 1971 T500R on the day of my 15th birthday in 1975. Yes, you could get a licence in New Zealand at 15 then! Had 3 years of amazing times on it, added porting and chambers, it was a real weapon, but when I rode with friends on Mach 3's and RD 350's, I realised that the old girl had had its time. Also needed something dry to take the ladies out in. That is until I bought a mint 2 owner 74L on the Gold Coast Australia last week, and where I now live. 35 years on and I still love the T500. Happy riding people. Rodger.
I bought my first T500M in 1977, and loved the bike right away. Sadly a car hit it and wrote it off quite quickly, so in early 78 I bought another exactly the same, but also set about repairing the damaged one. I have had all sorts of bike since, in fact over 50 in all, but I have never parted with those T500s. I don't know why I liked them so much... I just did. They are so usable, and reliable, and perform well when needed.
Just recently, a good friend and myself have started to build parts for these bikes and have created a web site with a gallery of pictures for all to see. Take a look if you are a 500 enthusiast www.classic2strokesuzuki.com
Over the years I have owned numerous vintage bikes. I have sold them all except for one, a 1971 T500. Like an ugly girl with a great personality, this one has grown on me and I plan on keeping this bike. I have considered stripping her down and taking her to the Bonneville Salt flats for the annual BUB's run watcha bring class just for fun. It has expansion chambers and sounds like a can of angry bees, but man when it hits the power band, it sails great along the roadway.
I grew up riding Rupp minibikes and then Japanese two-stroke dirt bikes of all types during the 1970's with several friends. My brother bought a brand new Kawasaki H1 in 1971, but I was too young for a street bike at that time.
When I turned 16 with my friends in 1978, the first street bike purchased by one of my friends was a Suzuki T500. He let me ride it so it was the first street bike I rode. Most of us went out and bought four stroke street bikes, but we always loved the sound, smell, and powerband rush of the two-strokers.
Now I am almost 50, and within the last few years I have purchased three (3) T500's! I also have a 1970 Kawasaki H1, but there is just something very special about the T500 to me. The H1 is a great drag bike, but the T500 is a much better all around bike: smoother, easier to work on, easier to find parts for, easier to start, easier to maintain, nice broad powerband, etc...
I have a 1970 Mark III all original, and a mostly restored 1968 T500 Cobra (I got the Cobra by trading my 1973 Titan, plus parts, plus cash). Long live the Titans!
I bought a new 1972 Titan in 1973. I was my first bike. I could keep up with my buddies on their 750 Hondas (the slower 72's and 73's), in fact I think it may have accelerated a bit quicker.
The first change I made was to replace the silly, high bars it came with, with flat bars. The bars were rubber mounted, and the stock ones would wiggle due the the leverage they gave over the flat ones, so the flat ones gave the steering a tighter feel.
Next were better tires (some kind of Dunlops, I forget which kind) and Girling shocks. At the time I considered it a pretty good handling bike, for the time.
My buddies with the Brit bikes were always fiddling with their bikes, and no matter how hard I rode my Titan, it was very dependable and low maintenance.
The front drum brake was weak. Almost weekly I would take the front wheel off and sand the glaze off of the pads; this would really help the braking, but it never lasted long.
The bike was undergeared, so I put a counter sprocket with one less tooth on the front, and this didn't reduce the top speed and improved the acceleration. I could get an indicated 120 mph on this bike, but this was only when I was completely tucked in, my chin kissing the tank and my eyes looking just above the gauges. Later I had it ported to the racing specs, and put on chambers and 34 mm carbs. It was definitely fast then!
In stock condition, the Titan was a sedate, dependable motorcycle that was behind the times when I got mine in 73, but it did have potential, and I wish Suzuki had made a hot rod version along with the standard one. Even though I later had an H2, a bunch of 4 strokes (all modified) and now a ZX-14, I want to get another Titan, maybe Cafe it and relive a few memories.