Long Term TU250X: Touring Prep

The TU now looks the business for touring.
The TU now looks the business for touring.
Words: Richard Seck. Photos: Richard Seck, unless otherwise specified.

Mr. Seck prepares the little Suzuki for the next challenge: two-up touring!


If you read the TU250X / Sym Wolf 150 Comparo you may have noted that TU managed our two and half days on the road quite handily. Always being ones to take things a bit further, the next challenge is to see how well the TU can handle two-up touring.

In order to tour you need bags to carry your stuff. The TU presents a bit of a problem in this area as there is no factory rack option and Suzuki even tries to dissuade you slightly by installing the rear signals where your saddlebags should go.

A clever solution to the signal problem was found on tu250riders.com; pop the signals off, extend the wires and relocate the signals on the license plate bracket. It’s a brilliant idea and costs next to nothing to do. Sweet.

That ought to do it! A heavy duty rack courtesy of Cycleracks. Note the signals are now relocated at the back.
That ought to do it! A heavy duty rack courtesy of Cycleracks. Note the signals are now relocated at the back.

The next hurdle was a bit harder to overcome, and that was getting a rack that could support a decent-sized, lockable top box. After much research it was determined that the only rack on the market capable of doing this is made by Cycleracks. Trouble is that their design included a bit of a bump at the back of the rack that would interfere with the opening of the top box.

Lockable top box : √.
Lockable top box : √.

A call to Don at Cycleracks provided the solution; they would make me a rack with the hump turned down. As it was something that they don’t normally do it took a while to get it sorted and delivered, but when it arrived it was perfect. An hour later, after spinning some wrenches it was installed and good to go!

The rack was actually easier to install than our Shad SH40 top box. This box appealed to me based on its simple design and decent capacity, plus it seemed to match the TU quite well. It has the additional nicety of being able to strap extra stuff to the top – they even supply you with bungees to do so. It also came with the accessory backrest that has since made Fatima a very happy passenger indeed.

As mentioned, the only trouble with the box was the lack of proper hardware to mount its plate to the Cyclerack securely. Much head scratching and trial and error was required to come up with the final solution to use some electrical tubing brackets, a chunk of wood, along with select bits of Shad-supplied hardware to solidly fix the Shad mounting plate. It’s all good now and we have a place to lock a few of the more expensive bits when we are traveling.

Cycleracks also supplied us with a pair of bag mounts that are beautiful in their simplicity and functionality. They take only seconds to install or remove and provide a place for our rugged looking Enduristan waterproof saddlebags to rest on. Perfect!

More promising than the CVO Harley bags...
More promising than the CVO Harley bags…

The Enduristan Monsoon Soft Saddlebags are Swiss-designed and are said to be completely waterproof. Their multilayer construction and attention to detail is impressive. They’re actually designed for the abuse that an adventure-touring bike can throw at them so they should be more than up to the task on the TU.

Perfect for carrying the camera and other smaller bits.
Perfect for carrying the camera and other smaller bits.

Black Dog Cycle Works, the North American distributor for Enduristan products also supplied us with a sturdy-looking, expandable Sandstorm 2 Sport tank bag and a waterproof map holder that Velcros to the top of the bag.

The tank bag had the unexpected added bonus of perfectly fitting the removable guts of my Think Tank City Walker 10 camera bag. It’s as if Enduristan had collaborated with Think Tank on this. It’s great as I can have my camera extremely handy while traveling and put the collapsible camera bag in the luggage.

When we arrive at our destination and want to do a little walking around with the camera, I simply pop the camera compartment out of the tank bag back into its original bag. How good is that?

By the way, the Enduristan bags mounted easily onto the TU as they provided all the necessary hardware along with a great set of instructions. Gotta’ love the Swiss! 

So there you go; we’re good to go two-up touring on a 250! Wish us luck and look forward to a full report on how all the touring kit held up, at the end of the season.

Enjoy the ride!

Cheers, Mr. Seck


  1. Listen, One person can tour with this amount of luggage on a TU250x and not be unhappy, IF the motorcycle fits you. It has a small frame, and a short distance between your butt and the foot pegs. I have a 29 inch inseam and stand 5’8″ tall. Maybe it is my advancing age, but I find 45 minutes to 1 hour as much as I can endure, because without a flat seat it is very hard to change your riding position. BUT, this bike puts a bit less than 15 hp on the rear wheel. Two up riding with bags is going to be a slog. Speaking practically, I hate top bags with a passion. They put too much weight up too high. Far better to go with side bags double or tripple the capacity of the ones shown. The lower the weight, the safer the bike, and the more normally it will handle. The whole joy of the Tux is its needle threading ability on fast two lane roads. Why destroy that with improperly located gear. Put something low and light on the tail, your sleeping bag and tent. Suzuki gave the Tux a stump puller first gear, which coupled with the 15 Tooth stock primary sprocket will let the bike start heavily loaded on a hill… if you are traveling… you will be doing this ! Many of us opt for the 16 Tooth sprocket, for higher and more relaxed top speed. It will likely not be a good choice for two up touring, unless you confine yourself to very flat places. Two 130 lbs passengers is a LOT different than a 200 lb man and 160 lb woman. So Two UP must be qualified. IMHO… one should confine them selves to roads where the prevailing speeds are 55 mph… in which case the Tux with 15 T will do fine but you wont even be passing the guys towing boats two up. I believe that the Tux has all the right stuff for One UP round the world touring…as long as your path doesn’t require long supension travel. The Tux suspension is road oriented,
    it will do nicely of decent dirt roads, and can pick it’s way along rougher tracks slowly.
    You do NOT want to be on I-80 where 75 mph is for the slow lane, and nothing you can do will let you sustain that two up on the Tux..and only when the stars align One UP.. for very long.
    Scootching your ass back and lying on the tank is going to be required if you spend much time in the saddle on a Tux… gotta be a sight doing that two up ! ( 2009 fast red, 2017 ( now sold)

  2. Finally, the article I’ve been waiting for: a smallish motorbike, two-up — and touring, to boot 🙂 Looks like fun to me! (I wish they’d sell the Suzuki noticeably cheaper, though; the competition is pretty high-tech for the price.)

    • Not all competition is exact price range would allow real two-up riding (Try to go for, say, 5 hours on CBR), and not all would achieve similar fuel economy. On the TU I’ve put 12-13 hour days (and 15, yesterday, some 750 km), and I get 2.8 l/100 km average (84 MPG), and on the lower speed back roads I get over 90 MPG (70 on the high-speed motorway).

      Besides, it is high-tech enough — plated bore, bearings everywhere in the engine (thus lower oil pressure, almost no oil use), fuel injected. Yet simple enough to fix with a hammer and a pipe wrench.

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