The Boulevard C50 has the soul of a classic cruiser combined with V-twin performance that gives you a charge every time you twist the throttle. It is time to discover how good a cruiser can be with the 2008 Boulevard C50.
First introduced in 2005, as the rest of the motorcycles that feature the Boulevard emblem, the Suzuki Boulevard C50 signified an important step in the road to success of the line of cruisers. It did that because, given to its cylinder capacity and amazing powerplant, it offered pure excitement down on the boulevard or out on the highway and it did come cheap either.
In 2001, Suzuki presented the VL 800 Volusia as a brand new model year and the bike did stand out as a beautiful cruiser in the true California spirit. Big credit was also given to the 45 degree liquid-cooled 805cc V-twin, deep fenders, a fat 17-liter (4.5 gallon) fuel tank and the longest wheelbase in its class.
The recently introduced cruiser could be bought in a variety of colors which contributed to the bike’s popularity. The colors available were: Pearl Novelty Black, Pearl Frosty White/Metallic Galaxy Silver and White/Green. Also, a limited edition model was available in the U.S. (at the beginning of April 2003) with a special American Suzuki 40th Anniversary emblem mounted on the upper triple clamps, plus Pearl White color scheme with Gold pin-striping, White speedometer face with orange backlighting, rider and passenger seats trimmed with chrome studs, special ignition key fob and key chain.
The new feature implemented on the Volusia was the Standard 4-way emergency flasher and high beam passing switch, multi-reflector turn signals.
Suzuki felt like the Volusia should make her way out in style and the 2004 model, which is the last model produced before the introduction of the C50, presented also a Limited Edition model with special Black flames paint scheme, studded seats, White speedometer face and Limited Edition emblem.
The end of the year 2004 and beginning of 2005 brought the Boulevard line of cruisers which included every single cruiser made by Suzuki. The idea was to revolutionize the design, comfort but most of all horsepower and torque by using the fuel injection system found on the GSX-R sportbikes. This is how the Boulevard C50 dropped the Mikuni BDSR34 found on the Volusia for the sportier fuel injection system providing more torque down low while the rest of the engine’s features could also be found on the new born.
Suzuki Boulevard C50 kept its original features through the few years that passed and 2008 brings the awesome package which still reserves a lot of surprises. Stay tuned!
In 2005, the Boulevard C50 made its debut on a very competitive market. In fact, the models competing with the Volusia moved their sight to the new introduced model and that is where all the fun began.
The full-sized looks and 750cc performance without the fully-sized price tag of the Honda Shadow Aero seemed to be quite a challenge for the Suzuki but who’s dealing with the awesome performing engine and the classic lines offered by the C50, has always something to lose.
Yamaha’s V Star Classic offers a lot of motor for its 40 cubic inch and the classic lines encountered on the sweet motorcycles seem to make it compete with the Boulevard I am reviewing but who’s kidding who?
When it comes to the strongest competitor of the Suzuki, apart from the model coming from Honda, the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic really pulls it through and manages to work his way on the top of the list. The bike offers balance mid-sized cruising but it also implements the look and feel of the larger V-twins. So heavyweight styling meets middleweight practicality when it comes to Kawasaki’s Vulcan 900 Classic.
The Boulevard C50’s classic design begins with the flowing lines of its kicked-out front end and pullback handlebars, which perfectly complement its teardrop tank, stepped seat and boldly valanced rear fender. These lines, of course, show off its spacious seating position, which promises a comfortable ride hour after hour. The Boulevard line is completed with C50’s classic design and the highways will surely look a lot better in 2008.
The Suzuki Boulevard C50 is situated in the category of cruisers which sells best in the United States and customers can be certain making no mistake when bought such a motorcycle.
Like the rest of the 800s in the class, the C50 works its best when you row the shift lever if you’re in a hurry. It then proves it has enough power to amaze you and your passenger with its capabilities.
But in order to do so, the throttle has to encounter the necessary response which you don’t expect to surprise from a cruiser in its category. I have to say it does. By 800cc standards, it proves to be a real torquer and the smooth and light clutch makes the job of hard launching or gentle leaving a lot easier.
After a hard launch, let’s say, the fairly short first gear needs to be changed and the smooth shifting gearbox does the job properly, although the shaft drive introduces a little jacking. I didn’t felt any disturbing vibrations while I was pushing the bike really but the handlebars did provide a certain amount which reminded me I’m riding an 800cc cruiser.
I especially like the fact that the new C50 incorporates the very comfortable riding position encountered on the Volusia with floorboards creating extra wiggle room for the feet. The handlebars also feature a very natural and comfortable bending while the saddle makes journeys nice and comfortable.
The comfortable saddle could only do its job best in collaboration with the suspension featuring better spring rates than most 800 cruisers and that is a thing I love at cruisers.
The Boulevard C50 also gained a plus by being developed after the Volusia and that is handling. Yes, it is a cruiser not a sportbike and it doesn’t has the crisp handling found on that kind of motorcycles but the cornering clearance is more than acceptable by cruiser standards and it remains light, manageable and confident-inspiring all the way through the tight corners or long, leaned back journeys out on the highway.
Brakes, another important issue, have to be very efficient and provide the necessary stopping power and sometimes more on any kind of motorcycle. The single hydraulic disc brake and rear drum brake have the ability of making the C50 a safe machine to ride and I noticed that apart from working better in collaboration, the front can be strongly hit without any danger if not in a corner. But when the front and the rear are both strongly utilized the speedometer’s needle comes down like there’s no tomorrow. But hey, that’s cruising! It doesn’t stretch your arms but it does show you the fabulous views around you.
The classic cruiser which will make sure that your needs will be completely satisfied has the quality of being offered for a retail price of $6,799. You will also receive a 12 months unlimited mileage limited warranty so the only dilemma you will be facing will be where you will be cruising on your next journey.
My experience on the 2008 Suzuki Boulevard C50 has left me with a sweet taste which I look forward on encountering for my next journeys deep into the land of nowhere. I mean, the bike is perfect to face the crowded streets but it feels more at home out where there are no stop signs. The package is more than satisfying with enough power to help you cruise on a decent speed and enjoying the comfort and relaxed riding position offered. Stopping is no problem, as expected, and vibrations on the handlebars are enough to be noticed but they simply don’t bother.
Engine and Transmission
Displacement: 50 cubic inch
Type: four-stroke, liquid cooled, 45 degree V-twin, SOHC, 8-valves, TSCC
Bore x Stroke: 83.0 x 74.4mm
Compression Ratio: 9.4:1
Fuel System: Fuel Injection
Lubrication: Wet Sump
Final Drive: Shaft Drive
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link-type, oil damped, 7-way adjustable spring preload
Brakes Front: Single hydraulic disc
Brakes Rear: Single Drum
Tires Front: 130/90-16
Tires Rear: 170/80-15
Overall Length: 2510mm (98.8 in.)
Overall Width: 970mm (38.2 in.)
Overall Height: 1105mm (46.5 in.)
Seat Height: 700mm (27.6 in.)
Ground Clearance: 140mm (5.5 in.)
Wheelbase: 1655mm (65.2 in.)
Dry Weight: 246kg (542 lbs.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.5 liter (4.1 gal.)
-Fuel-injected, 50 cubic inch, eight-valve, liquid-cooled, 45 degree V-twin engine tuned for exceptional low rpm power and torque
Electronic fuel injection system features the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve System (SDTV) – maintains optimum air velocity in the intake tract for smooth low-to-mid rpm throttle response and high torque output – includes Auto Fast Idle System (AFIS)
32-bit ECM provides precise control of ignition timing and multi-hole-type injectors ensuring quick startup and excellent drivability under all conditions
Crankshaft designed with 45” offset crank pins to reduce engine vibration without a counterbalancer for a more comfortable ride
Five-speed transmission features a high fifth gear ratio for relaxed highway cruising
Low-maintenance shaft final-drive system is clean-running with low torque reaction
Custom-styled exhaust designed for a deep rumbling sound and tuned low rpm power
Pulsed-secondary air-injection system introduces air into the exhaust ports to ignite unburned hydrocarbons and reduce emissions – CA. spec. model is equipped with a catalyst for further emission reduction
-Fuel tank-mounted speedometer with LCD fuel gauge, clock and indicator lights – cables and wiring are carefully routed for a detailed look
Cradle-type steel frame with color-matched sidecovers, fenders and fuel tank, plus numerous chrome-plated parts
Wide, comfortable seat with low 27.6 inch seat height – passenger seat can be removed for a bobbed rear fender appearance
Wide handlebars and forward-mounted floorboards and foot controls for more comfort around town or on the highway
Telescopic forks with polished aluminum sliders and polished stainless steel stanchion-tube covers
Long 33” rake angle and 65.2 inch wheelbase provide a smooth, comfortable ride
Link-type rear suspension connects to a truss-style swingarm and a single shock absorber with 7-way spring preload adjustment
Powerful multi-reflector headlight houses in an attractive case with stylish headlight rim – headlight switches off during startup to reduce load on battery
Bright, multi-reflector turn signals designed for high visibility and attractive appearance
Standard 4-way emergency flasher and high-beam passing switch
Traditional spoke wheels with chrome-plated rims carry a wide 130/90-16 front tire and 170/80-15 rear tire
Single front disc brake with large 300mm rotor and 180mm rear drum brake for strong braking performance
Billet Aluminum Items
I choose to talk about the most simple and cheapest Suzuki Boulevard C50 out there, a motorcycle which has the same specs and features with the other versions that I am about to mention and write a bit on them.
Suzuki tries to be on top of its competition and the best solution to do that is to offer mostly everything a customer needs and sometimes that means a different paintjob. This is also the case of the C50 which ever since it was launched could be available in different two tone colors, apart from the simple black. In 2005, the cruiser made its debut with black/blue and black/gray color schemes, only to be replaced a year later with blue/gray and silver/gray. 2007 brings a complete change of colors so the now popular C50 featured white/silver and black/red paintjobs. 2008 reintroduces the black/gray but the attention is focused on the blue/silver version which seems to turn a lot of heads.
What is worth mentioning is that the two tone painted Boulevard C50 cost with $100 more every year and that is pretty much what makes it a different version. This model also contributes to the process of branding that Suzuki developed for the Boulevard line.
An attractive and unique version of the classic C50 featuring new cast aluminum wheels, a special tribal paint scheme, stylish studded seat and the Suzuki Boulevard logo embossed in the seat is available for 2008 as it only features metallic gray in 2007. The distinctive elements add $300 on the price tag but it is well worth it as it makes the bike and the rider stand out even more.
Suzuki Boulevard C50T
You may have seen the Suzuki Boulevard C50 around town, and with stylish new two tone red/white color combination, it’ll be sure to capture the spotlight wherever it goes. Now you have the change to experience its awesome V-twin performance – and enjoy the benefits of key features designed for the open road. Meet the Boulevard C50T. Like the C50, it boasts a fuel-injected 45-degree V-twin engine that cranks out a load of torque down low, matched by exciting top-end performance. It also has a spacious riding position and smooth suspension for comfortable cruising. With a multitude of features, the, the C50T establishes its own unique identity. The C50T has an aerodynamic windshield and a custom-designed backrest, encouraging you to take to the open highway for true long-range cruising in maximum comfort. The C50T also has a range of custom features, from whitewall tires to studded seats, for its own bold look. The Boulevard C50T is as comfortable as it is stylish.
It is logical for the touring version of the Suzuki Boulevard C50 to compete with the accessorized version of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 which is called Vulcan 900 Classic LT.
The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT motorcycle takes the class-leading attributes of its Vulcan 900 Classic sibling and ups the ante with additional custom touring features and enhanced style. Kawasaki accessorized the Vulcan 900 LT with saddlebags, a special seat, passenger backrest and an adjustable windshield. The only add-on that doesn’t show up on the showroom hang-tag is the riding enjoyment that this new Vulcan addition will provide its owners.
It would have been ideal but impossible for the bike to keep its price the same for all the model’s versions but where would the beauty be? Well, it isn’t there but in the actual fair price of $7,999. This bike is also made to be ridden so a 12 months unlimited mileage limited warranty comes with the bike.
-Stylish new two tone red/white color combination
-Custom-designed, height-adjustable windshield provides classic styling and full wind protection – includes unique chrome garnish with Boulevard emblem
Attractive studded seats, plus matching touring-style backrest with unique pivoting backrest pad for increased passenger comfort.
Large capacity, textured leather saddle bags with Boulevard emblems and convenient twist-lock fasteners
Stylish white-wall tires – 130/90-16 front and 170/80-15 rear tire mounted on traditional spoke wheels
-All other Suzuki Boulevard Authentic Accessories will fit the C50T