"Introducing the Kawasaki AR50. The answer to the MB5."
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*
AR50/80/125 Models by Year 
Aftermarket and Performance Parts
KAWASAKI MANUAL SPECS (1982 US models only)
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 *
Climbing ability 20deg * Braking distance 10ft from 12.5mph 20ft from 22mph Minimum turning radius ~7ft *
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
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
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 *
Battery 6V 6AH * Headlight 6V 15W 6V 25/25W Trail/brake light 6V 5/21W *
--Ringadingding 13:34, 11 August 2014 (EDT)