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Solifer-Suzuki PV50

I have tried to put some Suzuki PV50 EPO info on this page. If you have any information on any years or models (brochures and magazine ads would be great), please send the stuff to: me. Please scan the pictures in JPEG format.

This page is about the Suzuki PV50 in the Finnish costume, introduced in 1981. It is not entirely similar with the Japanese PV50 EPO. Under many years it was sold in Finland as Solifer-Suzuki.

Suzuki 1981More Suzuki models from 1981
1981 Suzuki year code: X
Suzuki PV50 Solifer SuzukiSolifer-Suzuki PV50 1981
Overall Length: 1 415 mm (55.7 in)
Overall Width: 685 mm (27.0 in)
Seat Height: 650 mm (25.6 in)
Wheelbase: 960 mm (37.8 in)
Ground Clearance: 125 mm (4.9 in)
Dry Weight: 60 kg (132 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 49 cc 1-cylinder, 2-stroke. 1,5 hp (1,1 kW)/ 4.500 rpm, 2,75 Nm (0,28 kg-m)/ 3.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.
Here's more '81 Solifer-Suzuki info.

When I was a kid, there were just a few different 50 cc moped models on the market in my homeland, Finland. When I turned 15 (the minimum age limit to be allowed to ride a moped) I bought a brand new Tunturi Super Sport. Looking back, there wasn’t that much ”sport” over the bike, except for the looks. It looked a bit like the T125 Stinger from the early seventies. Almost every Finnish moped looked a bit like that, if it wasn’t a ”grandpa” model, looking more like a mokick or a scooterette, the fuel tank mounted in front of the rider.

No unnecessary stuff like blinkers, fresh oil lubrication, batteries or fairings was seen on the mopeds in Finland. The maximum weight limit of 60 kg (132 lbs) didn’t allow you to mount anything unnecessary on the bike. The Finnish laws didn’t force the moped manufacturers to mount pedals like in Spain and the Netherlands but there was a speed limit of 40 km/h and maximum power output limit of 1,5 hp (1,1 kW.) The regulations caused the lack of any kind of progress on the Finnish mopeds. The frame, the suspension and the brakes were all unadequate and out-of-date, perhaps not for the stock 50 cc engine and 40 km/h, but definitively for a trimmed engine.

Despite of the police, it was popular among young lads to trim their engines and change sprockets, often with good results. Speeds above 100 km/h for a trimmed moped weren’t unusual. The original drum brakes weren’t simply made for those speeds and that made the bikes very unsafe.

In the early-eighties the Finnish importer of the Suzuki motorcycles and manufacturer of Solifer mopeds, Bensow Oy, started to import the PV50, Suzuki’s mini bike with 8-inch wheels. The Honda Monkey had been imported to Finland since 1975 (without any meters or flashers, the first model hadn’t even rear shockers in order to reduce the weight) and sold quite well. Now there was a competitor, the PV50, sold under the name Solifer-Suzuki.

The Finnish magazine Tekniikan Maailma compared the bike to the Honda Monkey. You can read the comparison test here.

According to the Finnish regulations the Solifer-Suzuki PV50 engine had only 1,5 hp (1,1 kW) horsepower while the Japanese PV50 (Epo) had 3,5 hp (2,6 kW). The rear mirrors, the flashers and the luggage holders were stripped in order to make the 64 kg heavy (?) bike lighter than the allowed 60 kg. But that wasn’t enough. The original had a five-speed gearbox and an oil pump instead of the old-fashioned oil/gasoline premix system. Unfortunately the oil pump was also dropped for the Finnish models, as well as the 5th gear. But the Finns were used to basic and old-fashioned mopeds so they didn’t miss the ”luxury items”. Soon the PV50 was the best selling moped in Finland!

What I remember most of the small Suzuki mopeds was that they looked a bit larger (and more comfortable) than the Honda Monkey — and that the PV50 owners were happy to notice that were cheap 80cc cylinders and pistons available from Suzuki that fit the bike perfectly. You didn’t even see any difference, the physical dimensions of a PV engine was just about the size of a Suzuki 125 cc engine.

The PV50 remained basicly the same for a number of years. The design of the bike was revisited from time to time, but it was impossible to make any remarkable renewals and keep the 60 kg weight limit at the same time. And there wasn’t any need to improve the engine power output…

Some changes were made. In 1983 the ignition was upgraded to pointless CDI. In 1990 the electrical system was replaced with a more modern one and the head beam light was replaced with a smaller, square one. In 1992 the bike got a new alternator.

In 1994, when Finland joined the European Union, the 60 kg maximum weight limit was finally dropped. The PV50 engine got immediately oil pump for fuel/oil mix that the Suzuki Motor Company had introduced already in the sixties. The cylinder got Reed valve system and the carburetor was enlargened from 12 mm to 14 mm. The ”Solifer” was dropped from the name of the bike in 1994.

The PV50 model is still alive and kicking but I heard a rumour that the model would be discontinued by the Suzuki Motor Company in 2003.

Jarmo Haapamäki, August 2002


1979 PV50 Epo specs (Japan):

Overall length: 1 415 mm
Overall width: 685 mm
Overall height: 915 mm
Wheelbase: 900 mm
Ground clearance:
Dry weight: 64 kg
Engine type: 49cc air-cooled single cylinder two-stroke, piston reed valve
Bore x stroke: 41,0 x 37,8 mm
Compression ratio: 7.3 :1
Maximum power output: 3.8 hp/ 6.000 rpm
Maximum torque: 0,45 kg-m/ 5.500 rpm
Starter system: kick start
Transmission type: 5 speed
Front brake: drum
Rear brake: drum
Front suspension type: Telescopic hydraulic
Rear suspension type: Swing arm, hydraulic
Front tyre size: 3.50-8
Rear tyre size: 3.50-8
Retail price in Japan 1979: 105.000 Yen
Options: side trunk, bumper


1981 Solifer-Suzuki PV50 specs (Finland):

Engine type: 49,99 cc Air-cooled single cylinder 2-stroke
Maximum power output: 1,5 hp (1,1 kW)/ 4.500 rpm
Maximum torque: 2,75 Nm (0,275 kpm)/3.500 rpm
Cylinder material: cast iron
Bore x stroke: 41,0 x 37,8 mm (1.61 x 1.49 in.)
Compression ratio: 8,8:1
Carburetor type: Mikuni VM12SM
Spark plug type: NGK BP-6ES
Transmission: 4 speed
Secondary drive: Chain 19-73
Sprockets, front/rear: 13/35
Gearing ratios: 32,8-20,1-14,3-11,2
Clutch type: Wet multi-plate type
Frame type: steel pipe craddle
Overall length: 1415 mm (55.7 in.)
Wheelbase: 960 mm (37.8 in.)
Overall width: 685 mm (27.0 in.)
Seat height: 650 mm (25.6 in.)
Distance between seat and footpegs: 450 mm (17.7 in.)
Ground clearance: 125 mm (4.9 in.)
Front tyre size: 3.50-8
Rear tyre size: 3.50-8
Front suspension type: Y hydraulic tube fork
Front fork stroke: 70 mm (2.76 in.)
Rear suspension type: conventional hydraulic
Front brake: Drum, diameter 110 mm (4.3 in.)
Rear brake: Drum, diameter 110 mm (4.3 in.)
Wheel type: Steel plate
Fuel tank capacity: 3,4 liter
Minimum turning radius: 3,4 meter (133.9 in.)
Fuel consumption: 2,9 l/100 km
Retail price 1981, Finland: 3 290 FIM

More: Solifer-Suzuki PV50 magazine articles

More: The Japanese version of the PV50

More: Suzuki PV50

More: All Suzuki models

Sources: Tekniikan Maailma (Finland), joetail.cjb.net,
Samin kotisivut etc.

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