Production of both the SA50 M & SA50 ME Passola finally ended in 1985
Yamaha Passola 50
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Yamaha introduced the SA50 M Passola in May 1980. It represented the first serious attempt by a major motorcycle manufacturer to exploit a previously untapped market. The Passola was primarily marketed to women and commuters as a way of getting to and from work cheaply and economically. Due to motorcycles being predominately male transportation, a lot of women wouldn’t consider a motorcycle as a means of transport.So to try and attract these potential buyers, Yamaha chose to opt for an extremely economical and fully automatic moped. Nearly all the mechanical components are hidden behind body panels, which mean the result is a blend of Japanese technology and Italian scooter styling and layout. The number of controls has been deliberately kept to a minimum, often at the expense of astonishing complexity beneath the body panels; a good example of this is the sophisticated vacuum controlled fuel tap and cold start system, both of which are fully automatic in operation and have no manual controls, but instead rely on a complex network of tubes and valves.The Passola’s major handlebar controls are limited to a throttle control and two brake levers. The bike also features a fully automatic transmission system, so the bike is as simple to operate as it can be; open throttle to go, and apply brakes to stop, hence the term; Twist & Go.The UK version has a two-speed transmission which is governed by road and engine speeds, being fully automatic in operation. This provides brisk acceleration up to about 30 mph; the prescribed maximum speed for mopeds. The version supplied to certain Europeans has a single speed transmission but has similar performance overall.The Passola was so successful in its intended market; it induced production of machines from a few rival companies. One machine that springs to mind is Honda’s 50cc Melody.In July 1982, Yamaha released the Passola SA50 ME. This was also known as the Passola Electric, and it differed in detail to the pre-1982 model by featuring an electric starting system and minor specification modifications. Included in these modifications were a larger capacity battery and uprated charging system to cope with the new starting system. The starter motor is located behind the transmission cover and drives through a modified 1st speed clutch. Other detail changes included restyled speedometer and handlebar plastics, restyled leg-shield, a redesigned oil tank and modified wiring and hose routings.Production of both the SA50 M & SA50 ME Passola finally ended in 1985.
Engine50cc2-strokeQuoted from PassolaPassion.com
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.