Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Suzuki SP200

Tue, June 22nd, 2010

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Featuring a different Suzuki street bike each day.

1986–88 Suzuki SP200
The motor is basically the same as the current DR200SE, but without the electric starter.
The SP200 boasts some high-grade components for a supposedly beginner's grade dual-sport. The Full Floater monoshock was remarkable at the time, and was paired with a decent (but not spectacular) stock shock. It can't handle big whoops off-road, but is reasonably effective both on the street and at milder trail-riding speeds. The SP's handling benefited from weighing 25 lbs less than the current DR200SE and having an effective front disc.
Dramatically bright red & blue colors and unique fuel tank profiles differentiated the whole SP line.
The fact that the basic engine design is still around today speaks well for it's robustness. Un-thrashed examples are somewhat hard to find, but worth searching for.
The lack of electric starting makes it less attractive as an errand runner, and the motor is too weak for highway travel. The generous 3.4 gallon fuel capacity and great mileage faciliate all-day trail rides.
I can't provide any objective reason why I am fond of the SP200, but I have always wanted one — much more so than the later DR200SE that replaced it.
A good used SP200 is a great value, and the biggest argument against buying a new DR200SE.