The Suzuki A50 (1971 – 76) was a simple idea to create a 49cc clone of their immensely popular A 100 commuter motorcycle. That 100cc bike had proved to be highly popular as a basic, reliable ride around town. Suzuki kept the A 100 frame and specs as they were, only replacing the engine. This created a more affordable, lower powered motorcycle that was a best-seller, especially in Asia, where versions of the bike are still found.
The new engine used in the Suzuki A50 was similar in design to the tried and tested single-cylinder, two-stroke A 100 engine. An air-cooled rotary disc value, it came with automatic pump lubrication and a five-speed transmission. The Suzuki A50 managed to provide 4.8 hp at 8,500 rpm, which was not bad for a basic run-around or commuter bike. The five-speed transmission seems a little much for a tiny 50cc bike, but it certainly helps with mileage! On the open road, the Suzuki A50 was out of its league, with a reported top speed of below 90 kmph.
In fact, the Suzuki A50 was classified as a moped in many parts of the world. In fact, the only known variants of this motorcycle are the Suzuki A50P and Suzuki A50PD models designed for the Dutch market, where pedals were mandated by law for any moped. Even today, a surviving Suzuki A50 would classify as a moped on UK roads, while providing a proper biking experience.
The Suzuki A50 was also a very light bike, weighing just 73 kg. This made it popular as a zippy, easy ride in congested urban areas and a preferred entry-level ride for many young people. The brakes were pretty much standard for the 70s: dual drum brakes. For a bike with this power and size, they actually work out quite well. It’s also possible to find authentic 70s Suzuki A50 motorcycles with front discs; a few later batches had them as factory standard.
Any surviving Suzuki A50 will usually be easy to restore back to prime condition. The old two-stroke engines are known to be built for the long-run… you can still spot Suzuki A50s in some Asian countries, puttering about for a solid 3 decades! In the UK, loyal owners and classic motorcycle club still use this little 50cc hybrid moped-motorcycle. With the right spare parts, even a neglected Suzuki A50 can be restored for a cool gift for growing bikers. It is slow and safe, but carries typical motorcycle controls, making it a great learner bike.