2008 Suzuki Boulevard S50
The S50 is pure FUN
*NOTE* The bike has not been fully broken in yet, these are only initial impressions.
- Had to use choke to start it in the morning when it was 60 degrees. Most likely resolved by some breaking in time.
- The directional controls are too low, easily fixed by adjusting though. (one screw I think)
- If you put the handlebars all the way to one side, the bike wants to drop. This may be common and may have happened with my previous bike, but it was lighter so I did not notice.
- The bike is a bit high to my liking, but otherwise perfect shape (29-30 inch inseam)
- 5th gear starts at about 50-55mph, so not sure what the most reasonable top speed is. I have only gotten up to about 75-80, and it seemed to be revving pretty high according to the sound. This may be due to break-in period though.
- At high speeds (75-80+), the bike seems a bit shaky. I have only ever ridden with a half windshield though, so it may very well seem more stable once I get one installed on this one. It is also a pretty light bike, so not sure what to expect.
First, Rider profile:
Inseem: 29-30 inches
Location: Phx, AZ
Bike use: commuter, about 20 miles a day, every day, rain or shine or cold
Been riding for 1.5 years
Third bike ever ridden.
This bike is just fun to drive. This is not your recliner cruiser at all. The handlebars and riding style really makes it feel like a sport bike. It has the comfort of a cruiser with the handling of a crotch rocket. I have never driven a bike for fun before I got this one. The acceleration is awesome and the handling and braking is great. The only reason handling did not get a 10 was due to me putting the handle bars all the way to the side once and had to struggle to keep the bike up. They should put handle bar limiters if the bike is that unstable in my opinion.
Honestly, this is probably the "best" bike for this price range for my rider profile.
- Thin bike - it seems the fad nowadays is big wide bikes. I call those models leg burners since my leg rests right next to the exhaust at a stop light. Also makes it handle better and lighter.
- Shaft drive - reliability and some have said better feel. Not sold on the better feel yet, I engine break a lot and drive in traffic and have not noticed a significant difference between belt and shaft yet.
- Liquid cooled - better emissions and protects the engine better than air cooled. Must have for AZ.
There really aren't any other bikes that I found that has the technical features as well as the width and height requirements that I had. The Honda Shadow was close, but I did not like the riding position they had. The S50 just felt better.
The Harley Sportster is close, but is air cooled and chain drive. I never tried one, so can't speak much for it.
Overall, I have only put like 43 miles on the bike in a few days, but I love it already. It is tons of fun to drive and it just feels great. It mixes the power with the lightness and feel of a smaller bike. I can even take corners easier on the S50 than my Savage 650 I had before.
If you like the recliner cruisers, this one is not for you. This is the Sport model and it feels like it.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 30th April, 2008
28th Dec 2008, 09:03
All Harleys are belt-driven, so your comment on the Sportster is incorrect.
15th Jan 2009, 16:39
You are correct, my apologies.
This bike does not like cold weather. Below 70 degrees you are going to have to start using the choke. In the AZ winter mornings, I have to let it sit on for a minute while on the second notch of choke, then ride it a few miles, then it is about ready to let off the choke. I had a 650 before and never touched the choke, but this bike depends on it.
As mentioned in the original review, this bike still gets rough in the 50-65mph range. After 65, it gets smoother though. Just another excuse to go fast :)
Also, as mentioned by others, the front brakes are annoying. Even when you turn the front wheel from side to side, it makes a noise when moving.
I would still say it's a fun bike. Definite upgrade from the Suzuki 650 and trimmer than most other bikes out there.
29th Mar 2015, 15:01
All *new* Harleys are belt drive, so your comment is incorrect. There are still some (secondary) chain drive bikes out there.