Much like Soichiro Honda, Suzuki began building motorized bicycles in 1951. Small-displacement commuters occupied the company domestically through the 1950s, but exports began in 1961. The homely 248 cc, two-stroke Colleda and El Camino led to the T10 of 1964, which offered 21 bhp at 8,000 rpm.
The next generation T20 was launched in 1965, and was a 247 cc two-stroke twin with 29 bhp at 7,500 rpm. It was called the Super Six in the rest of the world, for its close-ratio, six-speed gearbox, but America would know it as the X6 Hustler. To promote the new bike, Suzuki opened showrooms in Santa Monica, California and Newport News, Virginia in 1965.
The X6 Hustler would be competitive both on the street and in racing for almost 10 years and demonstrated a number of firsts. Weighing in at only 297 lbs, it was capable of 100 mph with two 24 mm carburetors and an ingenious oil injection system known as Posi-Force. Until this point, two-stroke engines required that gas and oil be pre-mixed in the tank.
The problem with the pre-mix system was that extended fast running required more oil and upset the mixture, gumming up the exhaust and risking piston seizure. Suzuki addressed the issue through a separate oil tank, from which oil was pumped into the crankcase through two injectors between the intake manifold and each cylinder.
The X6 also had eight-inch brakes with double leading shoes on the front, three-position adjustable shock absorbers, a 12-volt electrical system with flashers, oil-damped telescopic front forks, 3.7-gallon gas tank, a tachometer and a speedometer. The saddle was big enough to carry two people, and the X6 came with a 12-month, 12,000 warranty.
The X6 set several 250 cc records at Bonneville and returned in 1967 with three models. The T20 X6 Hustler continued the 1966 model, the T21 had several improvements and the TC250 was a dual sport Scrambler model with a high pipe and some off-road capability. During 1967, Suzuki was selling as many as 5,000 X6s a month.
For 1968, the X6 Scrambler and Hustler both received fiberglass gas tanks instead of the chrome plated steel ones with rubber kneepads, and the TM 250 was a pure Motocross machine. Meanwhile a 500 cc 2-stroke twin with the same technology was introduced as the T500 Titan.
The 250 cc X6 Hustler continued through 1975 in various new colors and with T250 Savage motocross versions available. The X6 gained a front disc brake in 1973 and “ram-air’ cooling in 1974. The last year for the model was 1975, when tighter emissions regulations forced Suzuki to focus solely on four-stroke engines.