It took a while for Suzuki to get in on the small-displacement motorcycle market in the U.S., but the company now counts four models punching in under 250cc with the retro-styled VanVan 200 scrambler joining the returning TU250X, GW250 and the previously confirmed DR200S for the 2017 model year.

The original two-stroke 123cc Suzuki VanVan debuted in 1972 and remained in production until 1982. Fast forward a few decades to when Suzuki brought back the VanVan in 2003, this time with a four-stroke 125cc engine, and it quickly developed somewhat of a cult following overseas. Unfortunately, neither iteration made it here to the U.S.

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Suzuki looks to make up for that with the new 199cc version. Introduced last fall at EICMA, the Suzuki VanVan 200 is powered by an air-cooled Single, likely the same basic thumper beating inside the DR200S but updated with fuel injection. Exhaust gases are directed around the cylinder and out the rear with a high-slung bullet-shaped muffler. The engine is mated to a five-speed transmission that Suzuki claims is geared for “brisk acceleration and smooth cruising.”

Suzuki Announces 2017 Off-Road, Motocross, DualSport, And Supermoto Models

071316-2017-suzuki-vanvan-200-rv200l6_seatThe engine is mounted to a diamond-style steel frame, the same one used on the 125cc version. The narrow frame is complemented by a slim 1.7-gallon fuel tank, the shape of which that helped define the original VanVan’s iconic cult status. Flowing from the top of the tank is a long and thickly cushioned ribbed seat that should offer a welcome respite for those tired of sitting on seats the size of mousepads. The handlebars are pretty high and should provide an easy reach, while the low 30.3-inch seat height should make the VanVan 200 a good fit for beginners.

Up front, the VanVan uses an 18-inch wire-spoke wheel with a wide 130/80 tire, while the 14-inch rear wheel dons an extra-wide 180/80 tire. The 33mm telescopic fork and single rear shock both offer 5.4 inches of travel; neither unit is adjustable. The front wheel is stopped by a two-piston caliper, while the rear wheel continues the retro theme with an old-school drum brake.

Other highlights include a (claimed) 282.2-pound curb weight, circular 60/55W headlight, one-piece grab bar, simple circular speedometer and a fender-mounted tool pouch.

The 2017 Suzuki VanVan 200 will be offered in Metallic Triton Blue or Metallic Matte Fibroin Gray for $4,599.

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2017 Suzuki VanVan 200 Specifications
MSRP $4,599
Engine Type 199cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled, 1 cylinder, SOHC
Engine Displacement 199cc
Fuel System Suzuki fuel injection
Ignition Electronic ignition (CDI)
Starter Electric
Transmission 5-speed constant mesh
Front Suspension Telescopic, coil spring, oil amped
Rear Suspension Swingarm type, coil spring, oil damped
Front Brakes Disc brake
Rear Brakes Drum brake
Front Tire 130/80-18M/C 66P, tube type
Rear Tire 180/80-14M/C 78P, tube type
Overall Length 2140 mm (84.3 in)
Overall Width 865 mm (34.1 in)
Wheelbase 1385 mm (54.5 in)
Ground Clearance 220 mm (8.7 in)
Seat Height 770 mm (30.3 in)
Curb Weight 128.0 kg (282.2 lbs)
Fuel Tank Capacity 6.5 L (1.7 US gal)

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  • Ian Parkes

    Great – but why the ridiculous rear tyre? And don’t tell me it has to make up for the 14in rim.

    • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

      They’re gunnin’ for the Yamaha TW200. But $4600? That’s a pretty high price for this category. Still, I’d love to ride one.

      • denchung

        That’s how much Yamaha’s charging. The VanVan has a slightly smaller tank and a few extra cc’s from a longer stroke but also weighs a few pounds more.

        • Blah aka Piglet

          The TW200 is over-priced, since other than getting CDI in 1987, and a brighter headlight/higher electrical capacity and a front disc brake in 2001, it is the same as when it was introduced.

        • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

          Crazy! I’ve always wondered why dual-sports and SMs are so pricey. Different market than standards and sportbikes, I guess.

    • Blah aka Piglet

      Same tyre sizes as the TW200 – floats over soft ground more than a regular dirt bike, which is nice when you do not want to tear the surface up.

  • DickRuble

    That’s one cool little bike. It won’t sell well in the US.

    • Chris

      The TW-200 selling out every year since 86 says otherwise.

      • Daniel Benjamin

        TW-200 is much more off-road capable. The Van-Van here looks like it could do the job, with some new rubber/suspension bits. That’s mas dinero.

  • Steve C

    I like it, but to pricey.

    • ‘Mike Smith

      No kidding. I wouldn’y pay a penny over $2,000 for this thing.

  • Old MOron

    This thing has a cult following, does it? I’m not surprised. The TW200 has one, too.
    The VanVan looks like a cool little bike. But I think I prefer Yammie’s little bugger.
    http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200612/2007-yamaha-tw200-5_600x0w.jpg

    • Blah aka Piglet

      These are for adults who were deprived by not having a mini-bike as a child.

      • HeDidn’tWeDid

        What’s wrong with having a mini-bike as an adult?

    • DickRuble

      The Yammie looks better.. I know, it’s subjective..

      • Robs

        The proportions on the Yam are better…If you didnt know what it was, you might think it was larger than it actually is. Looks like a 500 with balloon tires! The Suz looks weird…a larger gas tank would go a long ways to make it more attractive.

  • SRMark

    Sure would like to see one of these odd-balls with a 400cc engine in it.

  • Randy Darino

    good lord not another peashooter for little girls and boys.

    • Kenneth

      ‘Looks like it would be a fun toy for anyone not obsessed with posing, for around-town transportation plus a little low-speed trail riding.

  • kawatwo

    Looks cool but 4600 bucks! You should at least get a 250 for that kind of cash.

  • kenneth_moore

    Did “VanVan” mean something back in ’72 when the 1st version came out? Maybe a play on the canvas shoesshoes?

    • denchung

      From what I could research, Suzuki was going for “Bang Bang,” and the Japanese characters for the bang sound were “バング”. That was close to the Japanese word for “Van” (as in the vehicle) which is written as “バン”.

      I’m relying on Google Translate here, so any Japanese speakers out there may want to check this for me, but the last character in “バング” is pronounced with a harder G sound, making “Bang Bang” sound more like “Ban-ga Ban-ga” so they dropped it and were left with Van Van.

      • kenneth_moore

        That’s pretty interesting. And it sounds completely plausible.

        Thanks for sharing that.

  • c w

    Hm.

    Okay, Suzuki.

    Although they seem intent on giving dealers plenty of markdown room.

  • JMDonald

    This bike is gorgeous. It would look even better at 3 grand.

    • Daniel Benjamin

      Agreed.

  • TheMarvelous1310

    Nobody’s buying that. You can just buy a dirtbike for that money.

    • Chris

      Ever notice all the TW-200s strapped onto RVs?

      • TheMarvelous1310

        Touche.

  • Vrooom

    I like it excepting the price and 1.7 gal gas tank. I commute 50 miles round trip, and even if this thing gets 80 mpg I’d be gassing up every 2nd day. 2.5 gals, $3,999 and I’d probably get one just for screwing around. Can’t please all the people all the time.

  • joel_zink

    Is this model sold in EU?
    It will be interesting to see how they adapt the mechanically-operated rear drum brake to future ABS requirements.