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anyone know anything about a suzuki DS185




65 replies to this topic
  • linkandcuff

    TT Bronze Member

302 posts
Location: New York

Posted December 15, 2008 - 05:26 PM


i'm about to trade my ct-70 for a ds 185 but doesnt seem to be a lot of info about them...are they good bikes?...its in great shape but i guess it has a carb or reed problem which i'll look into....is it supposed to be an on/off road?

  • KDN

    TT Silver Member

667 posts
Location: Florida

Posted December 15, 2008 - 05:50 PM


Well, I never heard of a DS185, and if it has reeds, it must be a two-stroke. I HAVE heard of a TS185, though.

Here's a '77 Suzuki TS185. The TS series of the 70s was Suzuki's 2-stroke line of dual-sports. Over the years, they were available in all the displacement categories from 90s up thru at least 250. 400's too, I think. They pretty much spanned from about '70 on up thru about '81 or '82.


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I don't think you'll go wrong with them. I don't suspect that parts, etc. will be any more difficult to find than any other vintage Japanese bike. And of course, as with almost all vintage bikes, the condition of your particular bike is usually more important than the finer points of the 'model line' itself.

If this isn't the bike you're looking at - I'll cheerfully retract my comments... :thumbsup:

Good luck, enjoy it, and post some pix!!

  • MEANDMYDRZ

    TT Gold Member

1,041 posts
Location: New Mexico

Posted December 15, 2008 - 06:19 PM


http://inlandempire..../926361097.html

They must be worth some money, check this one out!:smirk:

Actually I've always liked the TS models and maybe your research into the bike will be better using the TS in the search. Good luck and have fun with it.:thumbsup:

  • IowaCRFrider

    TT Bronze Member

127 posts
Location: Iowa

Posted December 15, 2008 - 07:12 PM


The DS 185C (1978) and 185N (1979) were dirt only versions of the TS185. They had the upgraded reed valve engine that first came out in 1977 (I think) along with what looks to be the standard TS frame without the street legal equipment. 1978 Frame #'s were DS185-100001 and the engine number was TS1852-500001. '78's had round headlights and standard forks and the tank color was orange. '79 frame numbers started at DS185-107722 and Engine #'s started at TS1852-507722. Changes in '79 were leading axle front forks, DS insignia on the seat and a rectangular headlight. The color of the tank was probably exactly as pictured above.
Good Luck - these were pretty rare machines. I've owned two TS185's (1973 and 1981) and they are very reliable and a blast to ride.

  • pantera

    TT Bronze Member

288 posts
Location: Tennessee

Posted December 16, 2008 - 10:23 AM


The Suzuki DS185 is one of my all time favorite bikes! It is the only bike I ever bought brand new & I got one of the 1st ones ever imported to the United States:ride:

It's basically a dirt only version of a TS185. It's got small enduro type lighting run off the magneto (no battery), and it came stock with knobbies. They came in [COLOR="Orange"]Orange[/COLOR] only. It weighs in about 20-25 pounds less than the street legal TS185 and I used to be able to stay neck to neck in a drag race with most 250 enduro bikes in a drag race.

They are dead on reliable and I can honestly say in the 10 years I owned it it never let me down or failed to start. I never even fouled a single spark plug! Great machine.

Although it was considered to be just a "Play Bike", I used to take it in some pretty wicked places. It was one of the best hill climb bikes I've ever ridden. The DS185 will always hold a special place in my heart and I have no doubt I'll end up getting another one someday and restoring it.


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  • linkandcuff

    TT Bronze Member

302 posts
Location: New York

Posted December 16, 2008 - 11:26 AM


Posted Image[/QUOTE]
thanks what it looks like

i should be picking it up today. if i have time i'll take pics and post them

  • GlennF

    TT Gold Member

1,314 posts
Location: Ohio

Posted December 16, 2008 - 12:22 PM


All the Suzuki TS-DS series bikes were great reliable fun bikes. I had a 1974 TS-185 and my wife still has a 1977 TS-185 like the one in KDN's picture. Our kids had DS-80's & 100's. The 100 was around a 1981 and it was red, not orange. The DS was available in 80, 100, 125, 185 and I believe 250 versions. Buy it!!

  • linkandcuff

    TT Bronze Member

302 posts
Location: New York

Posted December 16, 2008 - 02:07 PM


i looked at it today and fired it up...seems to run pretty good but only on 1/2 choke or more....he said its the reeds since he just cleaned the carbs to try to fix it but no luck...the tanks its mint with no rust inside...i should have it buy friday

  • GlennF

    TT Gold Member

1,314 posts
Location: Ohio

Posted December 16, 2008 - 02:20 PM


As to running on half choke, that usually indicates a pilot jet that may still be partially plugged.

  • pantera

    TT Bronze Member

288 posts
Location: Tennessee

Posted December 16, 2008 - 04:23 PM


All the Suzuki TS-DS series bikes were great reliable fun bikes. I had a 1974 TS-185 and my wife still has a 1977 TS-185 like the one in KDN's picture. Our kids had DS-80's & 100's. The 100 was around a 1981 and it was red, not orange. The DS was available in 80, 100, 125, 185 and I believe 250 versions. Buy it!!


The DS series was available in 50,80,100,125,185, and 250cc. The 250 version was only offered in 1980 and are VERY rare, I'd LOVE to get my hands on one!

The early DS's (DS185C,1978) were a lighter [COLOR="Orange"]orange[/COLOR] & had a round headlight. 1979 (DS185N) and 1980 (DS185T) were a darker [COLOR="DarkOrange"]orange[/COLOR] and had rectangular headlights. The last year for the DS185 was 1980.

The 1981 DS models were [COLOR="Red"]Red[/COLOR] and the 1982 models were [COLOR="Yellow"]yellow[/COLOR]. Suzuki continued the name all the way thru 2000 with the DS 80 models and they too were [COLOR="Yellow"]yellow[/COLOR].

:thumbsup:

  • FatherTime

    TT Bronze Member

226 posts
Location: Ontario

Posted December 17, 2008 - 03:08 PM


The DS and TS185s were great bikes. The TS was one of the most capable off road bikes of the Japanese dual sports of the day. I actually raced a TS185 in 1976 at a local motocross track where they had an 'enduro' class. Even against the pure dirt CanAm and Huskys 250s of the day, it was surprisingly competitive.
It sounds like your bike has a minor carb problem. Probably something in the pilot jet, as someone noted above, or maybe a stuck float from old gas. A good carb cleaning should fix it right up. The 185 Suzuki motors were always stone reliable and parts if needed should be pretty cheap.

  • rlw

    TT Bronze Member

376 posts
Location: Idaho

Posted January 06, 2009 - 07:16 AM


wow, this brought back good memories.
I had both a 1978 DS100 and 1978 DS185, just like previous pic showed. Bought them new, the 100 when in came out in late summer '77 for $500 (my 1st new bike) and the DS185 in spring of '78 for $825. (really wanted the PE175, but didn't have enough $$)

Both were fun, very reliable, easy to maintantain bikes. Oil injection was nice and since they also had a brake light, all I had to do in Idaho to make it street legal, was add a horn and mirror.
Only problem I ever had was my own fault for being brain dead and leaving mixed gas in the carb of the DS100 one winter.....gummed it up a bit, but once clean ran great again.

In no way, shape, or form did I consider it a race bike, but I did run the DS185 in a desert race (just a sportsman class 45 mile loop) where I destroyed the stock rear shocks.....rode a hardtail the last 5 miles. While it wasn't much competetion there for bikes like my friends '78 RM400, but the 'ol DS finished.

Just last summer, I was on some tight, slow, rocky trail sections w/my Husky TE510, that I think that old light/low DS185 might have been easier to handle.

  • lostnite66

    TT Bronze Member

143 posts
Location: Ohio

Posted January 10, 2009 - 08:39 PM


I remember when I was a kid, we had an XR75 and an XR80. When I was in the car with my stepfather driving home from somewhere, we saw a DS100 for sale, looked like it was in great shape. This was around 1979. I thought he might buy it, we had 6 kids in the family. I really wanted to see how it would stack up in play racing against the XRs and my friend's DT100. But my stepfather passed, I got all depressed. Pretty spoiled back then lol!

I just saw this on craiglist here, http://dayton.craigs.../987823578.html looks tempting for 500, but to me it looks older than a 1978, so I don't know.

  • GlennF

    TT Gold Member

1,314 posts
Location: Ohio

Posted January 12, 2009 - 07:10 AM


That does look like a 1978 model. We still have a 1977 TS185 and it looks much like the pictured bike.

  • linkandcuff

    TT Bronze Member

302 posts
Location: New York

Posted January 16, 2009 - 06:04 AM


do u guys know if the ds185 is a 6 volt or 12volt system

  • rlw

    TT Bronze Member

376 posts
Location: Idaho

Posted January 16, 2009 - 06:32 AM


Believe old DS185 was 6V

  • smrmx14

    TT Bronze Member

385 posts
Location: Ohio

Posted January 16, 2009 - 06:27 PM


I have some ts 185 carb parts laying around so if you need anything let me know.

  • linkandcuff

    TT Bronze Member

302 posts
Location: New York

Posted January 19, 2009 - 05:04 PM


here are some pics of the bike....let me know what u think...i want to put a working brake light on it and blinkers if possible

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are these carbs hard to work on...i wanted to give it a good cleaning

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  • MEANDMYDRZ

    TT Gold Member

1,041 posts
Location: New Mexico

Posted January 19, 2009 - 06:11 PM


The bike looks good and should clean up pretty nice! What's up with the trail 70? Looks like the bike I learned to ride on.:thumbsup:

  • linkandcuff

    TT Bronze Member

302 posts
Location: New York

Posted January 20, 2009 - 04:44 AM


i have 6 trail 70's...fun little bike




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