Project 19 – Suzuki PE250 Resto
The little Suzuki PE250 enduro was a dead duck until it fell into good hands.
I started with motorcycles in 1966 and since then I have ridden 300 different bikes and built a bunch—the 1977 Suzuki PE250 on these pages is my 19th project bike (currently working on number 20). With the help of friends I search for bikes I didn’t have or ride in my younger years and believe it or not I’ve never owned a stock bike; they’ve always been modified, either a little or a lot!
This particular bike is a Canadian classic, found in Armstrong, British Columbia, near my home in Salmon Arm. It was a Kijiji find, purchased for $500. The PE designation refers to Suzuki’s Pure Enduro series of off-road race bikes produced from 1977 to 1984 in various displacements ranging from 175cc through 400cc.
Though the PE250 was not in running condition, the bones were good and, amazingly, the fuel tank was undamaged, which was a bonus because 1977 was the only year for the aluminum tank. During the rebuild, this fuel tank got the glass bead treatment with flat clear coat (diamond coat) and tank decals from the mid 1970s. Style-wise these decals are complemented by the custom number plate and plate mount from a Honda 50.
As you might expect for a bike such as this, there was some body damage including the stock fenders, which I replaced with a shortened Acerbis Supermoto front unit and UFO rear fender. The seat was also damaged so I lowered it by two inches and added a custom cover. Because the handlebars were bent I mounted grips, levers and Pro Taper bars.
To refresh the ride of the PE250, I added Progressive Suspension fork springs with new seals and shocks with seven and a half inches of travel. After repacking the steering bearings and swingarm bushings, I fitted on a skid plate, new brakes and Dunlop and TrakMaster tires. In the photos you will note the Suzuki sits on a modified GSX-R750 race stand.
Operationally speaking, I changed the stator and coil and had the carb cleaned through an utltrasonic process, and it received new jets reset for the RCM canister. The flywheel was lightened and the drivetrain was updated with a new chain and custom rear sprockets (stock is 52 but I had have a 55 and 50 made).
The PE250 is now registered for off-road use, it runs as new and is still a fun ride.
by Kirk McClelland Canadian Biker #350