Last Call: Vintage VanVan Man

The Suzuki VanVan 200 is a relative newcomer to the U.S. motorcycle market, but it is a longtime favorite in Japan, as evidenced by this oh-so-suave couple in 1975.

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12 Comments

  1. I wonder:
    How did they haul all of that stuff there on a bike that barely carries two people if they spoon?
    Why throw down a blanket if your intention is to sit on the bike and in the weeds?
    Do they really intend to eat all of that bread?
    Do they take turns with the single helmet, or is her safety of no concern?

  2. I was happy to see the VanVan come to the US market because at the time I owned a TW200 and there was only one option for the wacky balloon tires that fit both these bikes. Either more options would show up, or at least the one option would not disappear.

    Looks like this early example has solid 10-ish inch rims in the front and rear, which leaves you in the wheelbarrow market when tire shopping.

  3. I grew up in a swamp, so, having a picnic in a road/trail side field sounds about as appealing as a sewer inspector job, but this isn’t the first “product in a field” classic caption-able ad from this era we’ve seen to run with that theme. Not sure where the positive association would come from. Having a more realistic scene of the Van Van owner outside a Starbucks studying for his personal training certification or chaining it to the post behind the thrift shop where he works probably doesn’t peg the glamour quotient that you need for a successful marketing effort.

  4. I used to own one of these bikes, back when they were a current model, and my advice to anyone considering buying one is don’t.
    Unles you plan to use it exclusively to travel at VERY slow speeds across VERY soft surfaces.
    Without that proviso, virtually any motorcycle of any description or any power output would make better transport anywhere else.
    The reason?
    The tyres and the way they squirm under load.
    The only motorcycle I’ve ever ridden that tried to kill me with it’s evil handling above 20 mph.

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