Cam’s finished Suzuki X6 hustler.
Reading the latest Motorcycle Classics you asked about significant bikes from our past. Here’s a story about my X6 Hustler.
I was 17 and my mother remarried. My stepfather was a lead hand with Air Canada and we moved to Montreal. I went from a hick in the sticks to Expo ’67 and a whole new world. I bought a 1968 X6 Hustler new for $800. I rode the wheels off of that machine all over the West Island of Montreal. I got a part-time job at a Suzuki dealer and stupidly bought a new T250. It was not a patch on the X6 but a hard lesson learned.
Fifty-plus years later, I bought two carcasses that were destined for the landfill and poured my heart and soul into the project. This was to be the bike to recreate my wild youth. The frame was media blasted and powder coated along with all of the other black parts. The top end was re-bored with new pistons and rings. Not one single detail was overlooked. When I got the main carcass, the guy had paid for an extremely crappy red paint job. My ’68 was blue and that is what this one was going to be. My paint guy looked at the article on the X6 in Motorcycle Classics and said “IROC blue and my wife’s Lexus’ silver.” Fine by me.
The two X6 carcasses packed into a trailer.
When all was ready I switched on the ignition, seeing that familiar green neutral light and kicked it over. I put the choke on and it fired right up. I was 18 again on the lakeshore in Montreal.
I retired shortly after. I looked at the X6 and thought, “I already license and insure two bikes,” (a ’69 Norton, and an ’01 Ducati) and so I sold it. I wish I hadn’t. I contacted the buyer to see if he would sell it back to me, expecting the answer to be “no.” After thinking it over, he decided to let me buy it back. I’m so pleased.
Cam Norris/Battersea, Ontario
What a story! To have loved and to have lost two X6’s — good grief. Congrats on the Suzuki’s humble return, and may you ride the wheels off of this one also. — Ed.