1974 Suzuki TM400 Cyclone
Are you NUTS??!! Does the term “Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty’ turn you on? Do you have dreams of taming a bucking Bronco in the old west? Do you have more huevos than brains? Have you ever had evil thoughts of giving a friend (?) a motorcycle so that you could just sit back and laugh your rear end off? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the bike for you!
The Suzuki TM400 Cyclone. This bike was built to be the dominant force in Moto-Cross…in the hands of Roger Decoster and Joel Robert, it was. However, the TM400 they rode was a very different motorcycle from what you and I could buy.
What you and I got was a bike that had a light switch powerband, a chassis that had no problem bucking you off or swapping ends without telling you first, it would change directions on you with no effort at all even when you didn’t want it to. This was motorcycle like no other. It’s no wonder it was given the nickname ‘The Widow Maker’. Most riders of the TM400 are actually ‘survivors’ of the TM400.
So what is it that makes the Cyclone such an interesting motorcycle? Beats the hell out of me…both literally and figureativley. I spent all of about 20 minutes on one at an MX track in Southern New Mexico. I was the friend(?) that everybody else there that day laughed their butts off at. It was pretty fun to be terrified by a motorcycle. Now, mind you at the time, I was riding the street bike equivalent of ‘Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty’…the Kawasaki H2750 two stroke triple…I eventually learned how to tame that beast (or was it the other way around?) and many learned how to tame the TM400.
The Suzuki Cyclone became a somewhat rideable motorcycle by adding extra flywheel weight, thicker head gaskets to lower the compression ratio, ignition timing changes, smaller carburetors, modifying the chassis…anything to tame this Cyclone.
When the TM400 showed up it made around 40HP from the factory and think about this, many 125’s today make that kind of power!! And they are actually fun to ride!
I found a very clean TM400 on ebay today and if you are looking for a very unique motorcycle that will scare the daylights out of you…but for some will give you big smiles, check this one out. It is a good runner, has a non stock exhaust, has been painted, but the seller says it looks really great. All in all an interesting bike.
So, if you’re looking for a true “Holy Sh*t what did I buy?” motorcycle, click on the pics below for more info and more pictures. Also, review your insurance policies.