Japan’s Suzuki flew the flag for lightweight and ultra-lightweight two strokes in Grand Prix racing. Along with Yamaha, Suzuki helped to refine the formula developed by Germany’s DKW and MZ factories, to the point where ever four stroke diehards like Honda were forced to develop “two-smokers” to stay competitive. Here the Suzuki team prepare their elegant 50cc and 125cc racers for the challenge of the TT Mountain Course. The team consisted of Ernst Degner (a defector from East Germany who carried MZ’s disc-valve induction secrets with him), Mitsuo Itoh (who would go on to become the only Japanese rider to date to win an Isle of Man TT, and Michio Ichino.

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