First introduced in 1966, the P50 would only have a three year production run before being replaced by its successor: the PC50. The P50 – also known as the P25 or “Little Honda” – was an important bike in Honda’s history. To the best of my knowledge, this little scoot was the first Japanese moped to be imported to UK and – other than the Chinese Flying Pigeon – the P50 was supposedly the last Cyclemaster-style machine to be produced, it was also said to be superior to the European machine it emulated. The P50 introduced a lot of people to the Japanese four-stroke for the first time as well. The P50 borrowed most of its design from the Cyclemaster which used an engine where all of its driveline components were housed within the large hub of the rear-wheel, as well as a few other components hugging said wheel on the outside on the bike’s left side.
The P50 utilized a step-through frame made from steel pressings, married to a leading-link front suspension. Housed inside the moped’s steel-frame is an air-cooled, four-stroke, 49cc, OHC single that generated a reported 1.2 hp at 4,200 rpm and 1.81 ft-lbs of torque at 2,500 rpm. Connected to the four-stroke single-pot was a continuously variable automatic transmission and in total the P50 weighed in under 100lbs dry. The Little Honda came from the factory with front and rear drum brakes to slow it from its hair-raising 25mph top-speed.
The Cyclemaster-style Honda boasted a handful of components in unorthodox locations. Underneath the saddle, the P50’s pressed-steel frame housed a “foam-element” that filtered incoming air, and connected to the cylinder head was a rubber connecting pipe coming from a downdraft carb. Burnt fumes left the power-plant via a small bore pipe leading to a “pancake style” silencer alongside the rear-wheel. The ignition on the Japanese scoot was provided by a flywheel magneto that utilized lighting coils with traditional contact points that would trigger an externally-mounted HT-coil which was protected inside the middle of the frame, providing the spark for a “short-reach” 10mm spark plug.
The three-quarter gallon gas tank on the P50 was housed above the rear fender, and owners didn’t have to mix oil with the gasoline every time they filled up, as the P50 was powered by a four-stroke engine. The pedal-equipped scooters and mopeds of this era were pretty much all two-strokes, but Soichiro Honda supposedly didn’t like the the obnoxious high-tone produced by a two-stroke power-plant, leading him to opt for a four-stroke engine when coming up with the P50.
This particular 1967 example is said to have been sitting dormant in storage for the last five decades. The original owner’s grandson ended up in possession of the supposedly 100% original bike before selling it to its current owner. It still has its original Honda battery that displays the marque’s logo. Obviously, this example hasn’t run in many years, but the scoot has been given some attention recently and is now said to fire right up. The original battery (comes with the sale) has been replaced with a functioning one, and the original tires were replaced too. The Japanese plates on this example are a cool touch that add some solid supplementary flavor.
Honda offered various optional parts and accessories for the P50 to make it a slightly more utilitarian runner. A front carrier mounted wire basket fitting kit, a bracket that held an auxiliary front-cycle battery-lamp, an exhaust pipe protector, and a winker kit (including battery and rectifier for charging from the flywheel magneto) were all available at dealerships. This example appears to be sporting one of these aforementioned add-ons.
You can find this 1967 Honda P50 moped (VIN: P50-A152421) for sale here on Craigslist in Scottsdale, Arizona with a price of $7,500.