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The Suzuki RG50 was first released in Japan in January 1977 with a 50 cc air-cooled single cylinder two-stroke engine. It delivered 6,3 ps and was a simple and conventional motorcycle with a steel pipe frame, single mechanical disc brake at the rear and 17-inch wire wheels. An new model version with revisited graphics was presented in October 1978.
The RG50E was released in March 1979. It was a bit more exclusive model with star cast wheels. No technical modifications was made until April 1980, when a two stage power reed valve was mounted to the the RG50E engine, increasing the maximum power output to 7,2 Ps The model was sold under various names, in some parts of the world the model was known as the GT50, ZR50, or X-1.
As for all 50cc models, there were significant differencies between the models available in different parts of the world. In Finland, for instance, the maximum weight of a 50cc moped was restricted to 60 kg (132 lbs) and the maximum power output to 1,5 hp and maximum speed to 40 km/h.
Using the same mechanics but mounting smaller wheels, high bars and a turned-up seat on the frame Suzuki made even a custom model of the RG50 for the Japanese home market. The model was called Mame Tan 50E Custom. Overseas the model was called OR50.
The OR50 was exported from Japan in from 1979 to 1980. It was replaced in 1981 with a bit less chopper-like but still custom styled version of the same bike, the ZR50L. With larger wheels and looking more like the GS450L, it was quite conventional bike compared to the ”almost-too-cool” OR50.
The design of the 1980 RG50E was all new, it took the twin style of its big brothers RG200E/GT200E/X5 and RG250E/GT250-X7. The wheel size was increased to 18 inches. A cheaper model, RG50T, based on the RG50/GT50/X1, was also introduced in 1980.
The 1981 year's RG50E got an anti-dive fork, introduced by Suzuki at its factory GP racer in 1979, and hydraulic disc brake. A cheaper RG50T model was released this year with drum brakes, wire wheels and a rear carrier.
The last air-cooled version of the RG50E was released in 1982 (March 24th to be exact). It was available in five different colors, the front mudguard was finished in metallic flake paint and the whole electrical system was upgraded. Finally, the water-cooled RG50 Gamma was released in December 1982 and the days of the air-cooled RG50E were counted.
Note: as mentioned earlier, the maximum power output of the 50 cc machines had huge variations in different parts of the world, depending of the regulations in each country. In some countries the maximum power output and maximum speed were restricted and in some countries the models were sold with pedals to meet the the valid regulations.