Suzuki has accorded a lot of attention to performance cruisers in these last few years and so have been introduced models such as the entry-level M50 and their ultimate demonstration of power, the M109R . But their famous Boulevard line of cruising motorcycles didn’t feature anything in between these two models, something that would fill in the big gap and keep consumers hooked to Suzuki…until last year’s Suzuki Boulevard M90. The bike carries on to 2010, so let’s find out more about it.
The name says pretty much all in this case. The Suzuki Boulevard M90 is a clear and efficient derivation from the mighty Boulevard M109R , while the design and engine configuration come as confirmations to everyone’s suspicions. Smaller both in dimensions and displacement, the M90 is almost offended when designated for the middleweight power cruiser position. You see, there’s nothing in-the-middle about that 1,462cc V-Twin and with great power and acceleration inherited from its bigger sibling there’s also nothing to stop it from becoming the best cruiser that $10K can buy.
But in order for that to become reality, the competing models ask for yet another survey.
The Honda VTX1300C easily fits in this category as it is practically built around a 1,312cc V-Twin motor and has the looks of a bad boy. Although not that much into performance cruising as the engine is carbureted instead of fuel-injected, the VTX1300C is a class favorite mostly because of Honda’s build quality and the affordable starting price ($10,199).
Star’s V Star 1300 is an even stronger competing cruiser as the 1,304cc, liquid-cooled V-Twin with four-valves per cylinder features a fuel-injection system that is also most likely the reason of it going a little over 10k. Base MSRP is $10,290.
But for those who want to stick to Harley-Davidson, the Nightster comes with a $9,999 starting price and much to offer for the money: a rubber-mounted 1,200cc Evolution engine and a new low profile with chopped fenders in Harley’s characteristic style.
Getting back to the Boulevard M90 we can’t help but mention how great this bike looks mostly because of the M109R inspirations. Everything from the headlight to that custom-like taillight seems like Japanese handicraft, while the Black, Red color schemes couldn’t have been more appropriate for this model as they enhance the amazing fit and finish.
The style is modern and aggressive, perfectly suitable for the performance that the still massive V-Twin engine is capable off. With a pair of chopped-up fenders on top of the cast aluminum alloy wheels and drag style handlebars, this bike is no stranger to drag racing or at least that’s the impression they’re trying to get (and manage pretty well if you ask me).
The 4.7 gallons fuel tank, on which the instruments are attached, features smooth flowing lines introducing us to a well padded seat positioned only 28.2 inches from the ground. As seen, the bike is low (but the manufacturer doesn’t mention the ground clearance) and pretty long (94.1 inches), like any veritable cruiser. And if we’re still at it, why not say that it definitely isn’t a night rod if you know what I mean. There are a whole lot of chromed pieces (handlebar, mirrors, instruments housing, engine, exhaust, rear fender ornaments etc) which lighten up the appearance, especially on the Black painted one.
"The M90 is surprisingly easy to lever off the stand for a 700 lbs bike, which is aided by the friendly 28-inch seat height. Though the 4.8-gallon tank appears massive from any angle, the general appearance of the M90 being a bike-too-big evaporates from your mind after the first couple of intersections." – motorcycle
"The liquid-cooled, 8-valve V-Twin is arguably the highlight of the new M90 despite a small 14-percent loss in displacement over the M109R. While the latter boasts an oversquare (Greater bore than stroke) engine, engineers altered the personality of the M90 engine by going undersquare (bore < stroke)." – moto123
"Most power resides at low engine rpms, though pulling from extra slow engine speeds produces a bit of chatter. But the V-twin pulls quite strongly, providing plenty of arm-stretching acceleration. And not only does it ride more smoothly, the fact that it weighs roughly 40 lbs less than the M109R improves handling and enhances maneuverability." – motorcycles.about
"The M90 behaves rather well, despite its curb weight of 723 lbs. With enough careful momentum shifting and forethought, this low-slung cruiser can hold its own against most technically challenging canyon roads." – ultimatemotorcycling
"Overall ride quality was smooth, with the KYB coil-over rear shock and 43mm inverted fork working in conjunction with the plush padded seat to provide plenty of comfortable riding miles. It handles better than your average cruiser, benefitting from Suzuki’s choice of a 200mm rear on the back end, and can be ridden aggressively into corners until scraping a peg." – motorcycle-usa
"Aggressive riders will like how much fun the bike can be when ridden hard, while easy cruisin’ types might wish for a little more plush in their ride. It’s not long before a hard-ridin’ type will start dragging the footpeg feelers, but thankfully that’s all that drags for awhile. We were hoping that the rear suspension would be easily adjustable for different situations..." – motorcyclecruiser
Considering Suzuki’s suggested retail price of $10,599 for a 2009 model year and also the fact that the bike carries on virtually unchanged, we don’t have reasons to believe it will drift further away from the competition in this concern.
We could simply say that Suzuki has definitely filled the gap that worried them so much and we won’t be wrong, but in these cases the smallest model can be easily shadowed by the one from which it was derived in the first place and the work would have been in vain. Still, despite the small price difference, the public has reacted positively to the introduction of the all-new Boulevard M90, so Suzuki can worry no more.
Engine and Transmission
Displacement: 1,462 cc
Type: 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, OHC
Bore Stroke: 96.0 mm x 101.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5 : 1
Fuel System: Fuel Injection
Lubrication: Wet sump
Ignition: Fully transistorized
Transmission: 5-speed, constant mesh
Final Drive: Shaft Drive
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring
Suspension Rear: Link type, oil damped, coil spring
Brakes Front: 2-piston calipers, 290 mm disc, twin
Brakes Rear: 2-piston caliper, 275mm disc
Tires Front: 120/70ZR18M/C (59W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 200/50ZR17M/C (75W), tubeless
Overall Length: 2390 mm (94.1 in.)
Overall Width: 870 mm (34.3 in.)
Overall Height: 1100 mm (43.3 in.)
Seat Height: 716 mm (28.2 in.)
Ground Clearance: 145mm (5.7 in.)
Wheelbase: 1690mm (66.5 in.)
Curb Weight: 328kg (723 lbs.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.0 L (4.7 US gal)
Features & Benefits
- An optional colour matched seat cowl can be added which converts the dual seat to a single. A range of other accessories is also available.
- 1462cm3 (90 cubic-inch) long-stroke, 4-valve-per-cylinder V-Twin engine, built to deliver massive torque while maintaining efficient operation.
- Dual spark plugs for each cylinder increase combustion and fuel efficiency.
- Hard, smooth chrome-nitride physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)-coated upper-compression and oil-control piston rings reduce friction and improve sealing.
- Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) digital fuel injection and engine management system powered by a 32-bit computer enhance response and efficiency.
- An automatic Idle Speed Control (ISC) system improves cold starting and stabilizes engine idle under varying conditions.
- Effective engine management system and emissions control measures allow the SUZUKI BOULEVARD M90 to meet latest emissions standards.
- Cable-operated back-torque-limiting clutch with Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) makes for efficient clutch operation and a lighter pull.
- To reduce mechanical noise, each cylinder head’s cam cover is separate from the cam bearing caps, and a rubber gasket is used between the cylinder head and the cam cover.
- Dual slash-cut chromed mufflers fed from equal-length head pipes produce a dynamic, throaty V-Twin rumble.
- Inverted 43mm-outer-tube front forks deliver 130mm of wheel travel.
- A classic, rigid hardtail look is composed by hiding the coil-over 46mm rear shock absorber underneath the bodywork.
- Wide, long, well-padded seat. The comfortable passenger seat is easily replaced with an optional tailsection cover for solo rides.
- Flat-bend, drag-style chromed 25.4mm diameter handlebars, positioned at a relatively short reach from the seat.
- Dual fully floating 290mm front disc brakes with dual-piston calipers; 275mm rear disc brake with a single dual-piston caliper.
- Wide 120/70ZR18M/C (59W) front and 200/50ZR17M/C (75W) rear Bridgestone radial tires specifically designed for the SUZUKI BOULEVARD M90.
- Distinctive instrument cluster, integrated into the headlight cowl under a chrome cover.
- Long, chrome-plated sidestand, designed and positioned to help make it easier to move the parked bike up off the stand.
- Multi-reflector headlight with a 60/55W halogen high/low-beam bulb.
- LED taillight with fisheye fresnel-cut smoked red lens.
- Bullet-shaped turn signals with unique vertical lens cuts.
- Instrumentation features a stepping-motor-driven analog speedometer and a bar-section fuel gauge always on display.
- 32 bit 512kb ROM engine management computer and state of the art SDTV fuel injection system.
- A spring loaded scissor type split primary drive gear mounted on the crankshaft also reduces mechanical noise.
- The powerful long stroke V-twin engine features single overhead cams, water cooling, and four valves per cylinder, with the cylinders set at a 54-degree angle.
- Aluminum-alloy slipper pistons have cutaway sides to reduce friction and each piston carries three rings.
- An Automatic Idle Speed Control (ISC) system regulates the amount of air fed into the throttle body idle circuits, improving cold starting, reducing cold start emissions and stabilizing engine idle under varying conditions.
- Bore and stroke of 96.0mm x 101.0mm for a full 1462cc (90 ci) of displacement
- Compression ratio of 9.5:1
- Dual chromed slash cut exhaust system features a built in catalyzer that further reduces hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
- Each aluminum alloy cylinder is plated with SCEM nickel phosphorus silicon carbide coating which reduces friction and increases heat transfer, durability and ring sealing.
- Each compact combustion chamber carries dual spark plugs, which fire at the same time during low rpm, light load running but fire at staggered intervals during high rpm, high load conditions, increasing combustion efficiency and fuel efficiency while also reducing emissions.
- Each cylinder has its own 42mm throttle body featuring Suzuki advanced SDTV Fuel injection system.
- Each piston rides on a chrome-moly steel connecting rod, which is shot peened to improve durability and strength.
- Large flywheels help smooth out low rpm power pulses, as does a spring loaded primary drive damper bolted to the end of the crankshaft.
- Power is delivered through a wide ratio five speed transmission and a shock reducing damper, through a clean running, reliable drive shaft to the rear wheel.
- Suzuki’s proven PAIR system uses a solenoid valve controlled by the engine management system to inject fresh air from the airbox into the exhaust ports, igniting any unburned hydrocarbons and reducing carbon monoxide emissions.
- The forged steel crankshaft’s offset crankpins produce the staggered firing order internal combustion heartbeat and elongated exhaust note that attract cruiser riders
- The internal design of the mufflers cancel out reflecting exhaust waves, reducing drops in backpressure and smoothing power delivery.
- The M90 engine is tuned to deliver strong, smooth torque across the rpm range, with peak torque produced at just 2600 rpm.
- The Suzuki Boulevard M90’s advanced digital fuel injection system and engine management system is designed to increase throttle response while also getting the most out of every drop of fuel, producing broad power and reducing emissions.
- The underside of each piston is cooled by a stream of oil directed from the crankcase oil gallery.
- The upper compression ring and oil ring on each piston are electro plated with a chrome-nitride coating applied in a vacuum chamber using a physical vapor deposition (PVD) system. The chrome-nitride PVD coating is harder and smoother than conventional chrome plating.
- To reduce mechanical noise, each cylinder heads cam cover is separate from the cam bearing caps and a rubber gasket is used between the cylinder head and the cam cover.
- Two 33mm intake valves and the two 30mm exhaust valves in each combustion chamber are set at a narrow 20-degrees from the cylinder centerline
- A sporty front fender compliments the headlight cowl with a smooth tapered shape.
- Careful consideration was paid to the relationship between the comfortable seat, the forward mounted rubber covered footpegs and control levers and a relatively short reach to the flat bend drag style chromed handlebars.
- Chromed drag style handlebars feature a 1.0 inch diameter and control switches and levers are ergonomically designed to improve the machine interface, adding to rider comfort.
- Distinctive cast aluminum alloy wheels carry wide Bridgestone radial tires specifically designed for the M90.
- Dual fully floating front brake discs measure 290mm each and work with dual piston calipers
- Inverted front forks have 43mm inner tubes and deliver 5.12 inches (130mm) of wheel travel.
- Massive rear fender and LED Tail light combination accent the 200mm rear tire
- Special attention to comfort started with the Suzuki Boulevard M90’s wide, well padded seat including extra length to allow the rider to slide forward or rearward on long rides.
- Tastefully chromed engine covers, air cleaner covers, shaft drive secondary cover, swingarm pivot cover and exhaust system heat shields give the M90 an exciting look
- The Boulevard M90’s stylish cutting edge look features sleek flowing lines swooping from a distinctive headlight cowl to a smooth tail section and wider rear fender covering a massive 200 section rear tire
- The comfortable passenger seat can easily be replaced with an optional tailsection cowl for solo rides.
- The frame incorporates three rubber engine mounting points to reduce vibration.
- The long stretched fuel tank holds a full 18.0 L (3.9 Imp gal) of fuel
- The low center of gravity and careful design and positioning of the long chrome plated sidestand help make it more convenient for the rider to pick up the M90 off its sidestand.
- The low maintenance LED tail light features a fisheye Fresnel-cut smoked red lens.
- The M90 features a steel tube frame with a hidden rear shock absorber, for the look of a classic rigid hardtail without the accompanying rough ride.
- The multi reflector headlight features a 60/55w halogen high/low beam bulb. The passing light feature both beams are illuminated.
- The swingarm is built from strong steel tubing and incorporates the driveshaft on the left side.
- The rear brake disc measures 275mm and works with a single dual piston caliper.
- To maintain the M90’s clean lines the rear brake fluid reservoir is remotely located away from the right-side, forward position footpeg, brake pedal and master cylinder.