Two Wheelin’: Suzuki AS50

JP du Plessis reports on the FMM workshop’s newly established ‘biker buddies’ reviving a sporty Suzi Q…


The Suzuki AS50 was launched as a lightweight, sporty motorcycle, inspired by the Grand Prix racing motorcycles of the time. The little single-cylinder, rotary valve, two-stroke engine may be lightweight, but should not be taken lightly. In its day, the AS50 reached 95 km/h in 13,15 seconds, using all of its 3,6 kW while spinning at 9 000 r/min. The styling was typical of that era’s racing motorcycles, with the exhaust muffler positioned high up, the ‘café racer’ style seat and the tapered handlebars.

FMM has one such AS50, from 1969. After a recent exercise on the estate, a few niggling issues were picked up and it was decided to attend to them immediately. Casey Wolters applied his two-stroke experience, with Wenstley Wicomb helping and learning as they worked. Work started with the cleaning, oiling and adjusting of the hand control cables. Next, the fuel system was checked and attended to. This included replacing the old, hardened fuel hose and making up a new filter strainer at the tap, as the old one was blocked entirely.

Then, attention turned to the drivetrain. The rear-wheel bearings were replaced, the chain tension adjusted and the alignment was set correctly. The electrics were then tested and repaired in the order of fitting a new 6V battery, fitting new indicator bulbs and ensuring the instrument and neutral lights worked properly. After the steering head bearing free play was taken up, some two-stroke pre-mix was made up and poured into the tank.

The little AS50 then buzzed into life and went for a test run around the workshop grounds, with Casey and Wenstley taking turns. All was well again, and the smell of two-stroke filled the air for a brief memory of yesteryear!