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Peace Scrambler: A Suzuki TU250 Grasstracker by Heiwa

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
We’re always curious to see what bikes the world’s top custom builders choose to ride themselves. Because more often than not, they’re very different from the machines that make headlines and win awards.

Kengo Kimura and his shop, Heiwa Motorcycle, need little introduction. Kimura-san’s builds regularly leave our jaws on the floor, and he has multiple awards from the famed Mooneyes custom show to his name. But his latest personal project is this decidedly unpretentious Suzuki scrambler.

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
It’s based on a 2004-model Suzuki TU250 Grasstracker Big Boy, which is close to the ST250 that Kengo used for his last scrambler build.

The ST and TU were sold in different guises for different markets over the years (the TU250 Grasstracker Big Boy was available in Japan), but the bones are the same. It’s effectively a cute and practical 250 cc single-cylinder UJM, offering mild performance in a lightweight package.

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
For Heiwa (which means ‘peace’ in Japanese), it’s the perfect platform for a style that Kengo’s really into right now: small scramblers that can run equally well in the city and the woods. He’s built a handful of these already, and says that there are more to come.

“I’ve been into motocross since I was a teenager, and love to ride,” he tells us. “The scramblers in the series I made this time are not based on MX bikes, but on commercial vehicles.”

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
“Normally I use thicker seats, number boards, and projectors to run off-road, but this scrambler is not just for off-road, but for a cool ride on the street. So it is also low, and has a chic color.”

The TU250 comes with a 19F/18R wheel combo, which is pretty much perfect for what Kengo had in mind. So he simply swapped the rubber for a pair of Dunlop D603s—dual-purpose tires with a slight off-road bias. The suspension and brakes were left mostly stock, save for a new pair of Kayaba rear shocks.

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
The motor wasn’t fettled with either, but Kengo did swap the air-box for a pod filter. And he fabricated a show stopping stainless steel exhaust system, replete with a pair of reverse cone mufflers and custom heat shields.

The bike was rewired, too, with everything packaged in a new box hidden under the seat.

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
Up top is a classic tuck-and-roll saddle, covered in a synthetic material (since it’s bound to get muddy). Kengo shortened and looped the subframe, but it’s a far more elegant affair than your garden-variety cut-‘n-shut. It’s finished off with a custom fender and a Heiwa MC taillight, with a high front fender to match.

The fuel tank’s an aluminum unit, adapted from a 1976 Suzuki RM125 motocrosser, with a new bung welded in for the fuel tap. Kengo called in the painter Ninben to finish it off in a simple raw and blue combo, with subtle Heiwa logos.

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
The cockpit features a set of Renthal motocross bars and grips, with a custom-made bar pad adorned with the Heiwa logo. The layout is minimal, with basic micro-switches, a single mirror and an off-the-shelf speedo, mounted to the side.

A classic 4.5” fog light, and aftermarket bullet turn signals, round out the lighting package.

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
This unassuming Suzuki scrambler also packs one really clever feature. See that ‘oil tank’ on the right side of the bike? It’s actually a 1.5-liter fuel cell, holding just enough gas to get you that last bit home.

Rather than plumb it into the main system, Kengo made it easy to remove, via just two bolts under the seat. So it effectively functions as a handy little jerry can.

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle
Heiwa’s TU250 ramps up all the finest qualities of small bikes: it’s practical and approachable, and should be able to go just about anywhere.

Who else wants one?

Heiwa MC | Facebook | Instagram | Images by (and with thanks to) Kazuo Matsumoto

Suzuki TU250 scrambler by Heiwa Motorcycle