Kawasaki AR50/80

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AR50 (top) AR80 (bottom)
Vintage Kawasaki Ad
1982 AR80 Via [1]
Modded AR80K Via [2]

"Introducing the Kawasaki AR50. The answer to the MB5."

AR50 A1-C10

First released in 1982, this reed valve, air-cooled two stroke was devised by Kawasaki for the flourishing moped market in Europe during the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s. Both AR50 and AR80 are considered rare in in the US because like Honda's MB5, it was only imported in the states in 1982.

Designed like it’s more distinguished larger siblings, the small motorcycle was a huge success, and was a formidable competitor among anything else on the market, and more often than not, better than most. The wildly fun to ride AR50 featured 49cc displacement, a five speed gear box, Mikuni VM14SC carburetor, Kawasaki Superlube oil injection, Kawasaki Uni-trak rear suspension, hydraulic front suspension, a beautiful headlight fairing and dash with 12k tachometer, stock restricted CDI and Enkei 5 star mag wheels.

Un-restricted, it was faster than any of the competition, and was partly responsible for the demise of its own market due to legislation catching on to the fact that these ‘mopeds’ were able to top 60+ mph in some instances.

The family of AR50s ended in 1997, when the market for these machines became unfavorable due to new licensing restrictions and regulations.

AR80 A, C, F, K

The 12+hp stock AR80 weighed in just a little more than the AR50, yet produced 40%+ more power. A manic little machine with little to no market with licensing laws favorable to the 80cc size.

Nearly identical to its smaller displacement counterpart, the AR80 featured a 78cc reed valve two stroke six speed engine, stock expansion exhaust, Mikuni VM18SC carburetor (US model), Kawasaki patented Superlube oil injection, Kawasaki patented Uni-trak rear suspension, hydraulic front suspension, a beautiful headlight fairing and dash with 12k tachometer, higher revving CDI and Enkei 5 star mag wheels.

It has been said that the AR80 was capable of performing as well as or outperforming most 125cc machines of that time period, and was widely known for being a 'bait' bike with its abilities to keep up with larger bikes of that period.

The line of AR80s ended in 2003 with the AR80K model, which featured a full body fairing and liquid-cooled engine and was mostly sold in the South Pacific region of the globe.

Aftermarket and Performance Parts

Many performance parts were and are still available for both AR50 and AR80, including larger bore top end kits by Autisa and others, expansion exhausts by Gianelli, Homoet, Mircon and others, and even water-cooling.

Just like most of Kawasaki’s two stroke production, quality was high and the value for these hard-to-find small motorcycles is only going upwards, making restoration a lucrative reality.

Today, parts for both models in the USA are scarce to non-existent. It is a niche community of owners and occasionally these magnificent pieces of two stroke history pop up in local Craigslist ads and eBay.

  • Rear wheel brake plate can be replaced with a 60's Suzuki k10/k11 brake plate*

Resources:

AR50/80/125 Models by Year [3]

Replacement Parts USA [4] UK [5]

Aftermarket and Performance Parts

Treatland [6] 1977 Mopeds [7] BDK Engineering UK [8] Nikkon Performance UK [9] AirTech USA [10]

KAWASAKI MANUAL SPECS (1982 US models only)

                          AR50-A1                         AR80-A1

Dimensions:

    Overall length          73"                             *
    Overall width           25"                             *
    Overall height          45"                             *
    Wheelbase               47"                             47.5"
    Road clearance           7"                             *
    Seat height             31"                             *
    Dry weight             165lbs                           *
    Fuel tank capacity     2.5gal                           *

Performance:

    Climbing ability       20deg                            *
    Braking distance       10ft from 12.5mph                20ft from 22mph
    Minimum turning radius ~7ft                             *

Engine:

    Type               2-stroke, 1-cyl, piston reed valve   *
    Cooling system         Air-cooled                       *
    Bore and stroke        39.0mm x 41.6mm                  49.0mm x 41.6mm
    Displacement           49cc                             78cc
    Compression ratio      7.0                              7.8
    Port timing:
         Scavenging
              Open         50deg BBDC                       54deg BBDC
              Closed       50deg ABDC                       54deg ABDC
         Exhaust
              Open         68deg BBDC                       74deg BBDC
              Closed       68deg ABDC                       74deg ABDC
    Carburetion system     Mikuni VM14SC                    Mikuni VM18SC
    Lubrication system     Superlube (oil injection)        *
    Engine oil
         Type              2t oil for air-cooled            *
         Capacity          1,200cc                          *
    Starting system        Primary kick                     *
    Ignition system        Electronic CDI                   *
    Ignition timing        14deg BTDC @ 3k RPM              20deg BTDC @ 3k RPM
    Spark plug             NGK B6ES                         NGK BP7ES or BP8ES

Drive Train:

    Primary reduction system
         Type              Gear                             *
         Reduction ratio   3.619 (76/21)                    *
    Clutch type            Wet multi-disc                   *
    Transmission
         Type        5-speed, constant mesh, return shift   6-speed,constant mesh, return shift
    Gear ratios
         1st               3.307 (43/13)                    *
         2nd               2.111 (38/18)                    *
         3rd               1.714 (36/21)                    1.545 (34/22)
         4th               1.478 (34/23)                    1.240 (31/25)
         5th               1.333 (32/24)                    1.074 (29/27)
         6th               ----- -------                    0.965 (28/29)
    Transmission oil
         Grade             SE class                         *
         Viscosity         SAE 10W30 or 10W40               *
         Capacity          600cc                            *
    Final drive system
         Type              Chain drive                      *
         Reduction ratio   3.769 (49/13)                    2.733 (41/15)
    Overall drive ratio    18.188 @ top gear                9.550 @ top gear

Frame:

    Type                   Tubular, semi-double cradle      *
    Caster (rake angle)    27.5deg                          27.25deg
    Trail                  85mm                             83mm
    Front Tire
         Type              Tube                             *
         Size              2.50" x 18" 4PR                  *
    Rear Tire
         Type              Tube                             *
         Size              2.75" x 18" 6PR                  *
    Front Suspension
         Type              Telescopic fork                  *
         Wheel travel      5.1"                             *
    Rear Suspension
         Type              Swing arm (Uni-Trak)             *
         Wheel travel      4.7"                             *
    Brake Type
         Front             Single disc brake                *
         Rear        Internal expansion, leading-trailing   *

Electrical Equipment:

    Battery                6V 6AH                           *
    Headlight              6V 15W                           6V 25/25W
    Trail/brake light      6V 5/21W                         *

--Ringadingding 13:34, 11 August 2014 (EDT)