Squirrel Power: Saving a Suzuki FA50


The 6V battery was totally dry, so we yanked it out and pitched it.  Underneath the battery was this gross mess from some barnyard animal.  Ick.  New batteries can be found online, or from a local motorcycle or moped shop.  We picked up our battery from Amazon.  Don’t laugh!  It only cost us $11, shipping included.
We chose a Kinetik AP6N2-2A-4 lead acid battery.  It is a direct fit replacement, but does require you to fill the cells yourself.  Be careful when shopping online for batteries as many do not include the acid: The Kinetik does.  Also make sure you wear rubber gloves when filling the cells. 
The Kinetik battery is a perfect replacement for the original Yuasa battery.  This is one of the few FA50 parts you can still buy new.  After adding the acid, be sure to charge your new battery before using it.  We used our trusty Venom R/C battery charger to do the job.  Considering our LiPo racing batteries are 10.8V with a 5Ah discharge, this charger has no problem with the puny 6V/2A Suzuki battery.

Amazingly, all the 33 year old lights still worked, which is good, because finding 6V lights today is damn near impossible.  The old bulbs are pretty dim, so we may make a jump to LEDs in the future.  6V LED replacements can be found for the brake light and turn signals, but finding a replacement for the sealed beam headlight is a bit more difficult.

The last bit of work involves the seat.  It’s a simple part, hinged at the front, and secured by suction cups.  Many times the vinyl cover is ripped and falling apart: replacements can be found online, but ours was fine and a rubdown with some cleaner and vinyl protectant made it look brand new again.  However, the bigger problem is that forward hinge.  The seat base is plastic and after some time, the plastic gets brittle, causing the hinge to fail over time.  Ours was in bad shape and needed some help.  A complete seat can be found new, but costs $180.  Screw that!  We’ve got a better idea.


This is what we’re dealing with.  Plop your butt onto this and you’re likely to break something (like the gas cap).  It’s only going to get worse with time, so we need to fix this now.
You can see the cause of the misalignment here.  Over time, the plastic gets brittle and will slowly work open the hinge until the pivot pin is no longer a tight fit.  


  1. Lol!! I bought one in ’98, still have it, and it still brings a smile to my face. I have upgraded since but it’s still fun to run around town.

  2. I had one in high school back in 82-84. My dad got it for me when I asked for a car. It broke the ice quite well, but was not very useful for dates. Still had a lot of fun with it. Drove it to school my jr and sr year, as well as going to the hang out pizza place with friends. Lots of good memories. I actually got mine to hit 40mph a couple of times, but that was going down a pretty steep hill. Most of the time I topped out at around 30mph.

  3. I have a fz50 very similar. The headlight is close enough to a 6v led flash light head, one of the ones that use the big square 6v battery. While the light pattern isn’t ideal it’s still a load brighter than factory

  4. I just bought an FA50 as a project. Thanks for the story and the insights. I am really looking forward to the rebuild and perhaps some customization of mine.

    1. Did you ever end up fixing it up? I just found one and wanna do the same thing but I don’t really know where to start.

      1. Hey Alex! You ever get started? I’m a newbie in the midst of restoring one too and would love to chat

  5. I’m in KY and looking for an FA50- still got this one or know of any others around? Had one in the 80s and looooved it!


    1. I actually bought a second last year with a dead engine. Been slowly rebuilding it (you’ll see more on that project at a later date).

    2. I have one i just got its all. Original it’s a 19 89 Suzuki fa50 MDZ start on first kick runs excellent very excellent shape I’ll decals paint chrome rims everything is original just like it came up for the showroom asking 600 for it

    1. I have a 1983 Suzuki FA 50 I’m looking for some parts not sure if I can use a fly wheel off any 49 cc to a 50 cc flywheel ??

  6. I am looking for a carb for FA50. I can’t find a part number and the one I found on the internet is soldout.

    Do you have a part number for the replacement you used?

    ” The new carb is a Chinese knockoff and it shows: there is casting flash all over the body, which is clearly made of an inferior alloy, and the float inside is plastic. Installing the new carb means replacing the throttle and choke cable ends, which are both sized differently. Fortunately, the new carb includes both. “

    1. I bought my carb on eBay, but Treatland sells them now. Treatland also sells larger carbs and accompanying intakes if you’re looking for more power.

  7. i noticed that you didnt have a muffler, i just bought an ’84 FA50 without a muffler and i dont know wether any muffler off ebay or amazon will work or if i even need one. could you help me out?

    1. You can ride your FA50 with no exhaust, but it will make your ears ring after a few miles. I already tried making my own exhaust for this FA50 and it was a failure. You can find used exhausts on eBay for ~$60, but most of them are rusted to death and clogged with 2-stroke soot. I would recommend getting an MLM exhaust from Treatland. MLM has three different exhaust options for the FA50. They’re all brand new and bolt in. They have an OEM replacement exhaust as well as a couple of performance options. If you’re doing a straight restoration, the OEM exhaust is the cheapest. But if you want a little extra power, the side bleed exhaust works on just about an FA50 build. I have one for this FA50, but have not written up the installation or review yet. I tried it on the stock engine and it made a noticeable improvement in mid range torque. I am currently running it on a 60cc engine I just finished up late in the Fall and it is a necessity to make that engine sing.

    1. You can find it in the factory service manual. Just search online and you’ll find a PDF scan of the entire Suzuki manual. It will also show you how the kick starter is laid out and it’s really important to assemble it correctly. If you don’t, the kick starter will shred itself.

  8. Can anyone send me a link to the exact mikuni replacement carburetor that comes withThe throttle and choke ends as well as the intake gasket.

    Please and thank you

  9. Louisville, or Lex? I’m in Louisville. I rode all the way up to central Indiana to get a 80 Garelli SSXL, that been sitting in a warehouse for thirty years. I’m planning on an engine swap for that bad boy. I hope that fa50 done you well.

    1. Lexington when this was written, but I’ve moved back to the East Coast since then. It’s a great little bike except when I forget to air up the tires and cut an inner tube! Got more to come for this little guy too

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