When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / News / Retro Chic – Suzuki VanVan 125 (1972)

Retro Chic – Suzuki VanVan 125 (1972)

Splurge £1700 on eBay and you could get your hands on this little slice of motorcycle history

What’s the story?

As the US-led fad for fat-tyred ‘beach bikes’ faded, Suzuki launched the VanVan (the RV in some countries), which roughly translates from Japanese as ‘bang!’ or ‘keep going on!’. Designed for occasional off-road use, the 125’s air-cooled, two-stroke, 123cc single-cylinder engine produced just 9.8bhp, and was even made with a dual-range transmission for on- and off- road. Other versions were produced: 50, 75, 90cc, and a four-stroke, fuel-injected one in 2003 (for £3,605).

Why should I want one?

The 125 isn’t about peel-your-face-off acceleration or knee-touching-tarmac cornering. It’s a little slice of motorcycle history; one that’s about the joy of being on two wheels in a casual, comfy way. Plus, it excels as a city runabout, happily eating up bumps and pot-holes with its big-style, low-pressure wheels.

What to look for…

The VanVan’s engine is famously reliable, largely because it has so few parts to go wrong. Aftermarket spares are virtually unobtainable, though, so they must either be cannibalised from dead VanVans or custom made. The wiring is simple, but can be a point of weakness, as can a slipping clutch. The most common upgrade is to a 12V electric ignition, which will both brighten your lights and save your fragile shin from a wayward kickstart lever.

You may also like

More Retro Chic gadgets on Stuff.tv

Viral of the week – Dishonored gameplay trailer

New video! Samsung Galaxy S3 is the new king of smartphones

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b ad9bf81e74a9d264 [] 2.7.22