I have been riding since 1974, and ridden all over Europe and the states; first bike was a RD350, also have owned: KZ400, CB350, LTD440, FXE Super Glyde, and a S50.
I loved all these bikes, and really miss the shovelhead. The S50 is a fun bike: mine is far from stock: I put forward controls (Cause I'm tall) on it, Vance and Hines pipes (sounds like an old Triumph now), and Performance kit on the carbs. Here are the quirks on this bike; which all bikes have:
Hard to start on cold days: Make sure the choke is out all the way, give an extra tug; it will come out further than you think.
Bike wobbles over 85: Windshield and saddle bags can cause this to happen. Had mine up to 110 MPH on a test track without windshield: this bike is very light: also check your tire pressure; which can cause handling issues.
Brakes squeaking: The only bike I had that the brakes didn't make noise was the Yamaha; the Kawasaki's brakes clicked (got some funny looks from the border guards in France). This is actually a plus, the noise pickers (dolts in cars) can hear you coming...he-he.
Battery: I did notice the battery is in an odd location, and can be difficult to remove: if you drop the bottom plate, and get someone to help you stand the bike upright, you can tilt the battery forward to remove it, after it drops. Wal-Mart has this battery on the shelf, and some cheap trickle chargers.
The best feature of this bikes and all bikes is getting in the wind; any bike gets you in the wind is a good bike. I plan on keeping this bike until I croak, and getting another shovelhead (old one). Don't really want a new Harley; too much money.
Many of the S50's come with the carbs set way too lean. These need to be opened up a bit. The idle can be increased too. Things go well after that. You'll be surprised at the top end power!
I had the brake problem in the first 120 miles, and the dealer had to take them apart, clean, re-seat. It was always hard to start, and would die suddenly (like all the others say), and the next section will tell you why.
I had the battery problem and found this:
The Suzuki S50 battery is not under the seat! It is mounted UNDER the cycle, in front of the back wheel. It is inside a sealed metal case. You have to first disconnect the negative terminal, which is peaking out a small hole in the case on the left side of the cycle. Then, disconnect the right side, positive terminal AFTER removing the positive terminal cover. THEN, remove the two screws to the side from (each side) of the metal case, yank on the front, and the battery will fall out. Unless you have it uplifted, it will not clear the ground and you have to tilt it to remove. Worst design EVER!!! The manual doesn't tell you this. The battery is known to slide around and short out in rain because the side-mounts touch the metal case. I kept taking my cycle back to the dealer, who told me I was leaving it on and such BS. I had less than 180 miles before the first battery was no good. Takes a week to find another one, and they'll give you all sorts of wrong other "replacements" which you can't use. Mostly because they have hexagonal screws and nuts, and you literally can't get your fingers up in there to hold them while you screw. I even used surgical tools, which could still not angle to reach inside the tight-fitting case. AND, the wiring is less than 3" inside, so you can't pull it through the bottom to re-screw the new battery. ONLY THE ORIGINAL BATTERY TYPE WILL WORK!!! The other downside is that you have to take it out every two months to check fluid levels because it's not a sealed system battery. Suzuki needs to find a fix for this, and do a recall!!!
2005 S50 - the choke will not stay out, so it takes three hands (or a rope and 2 hands) to start the bike. Does anyone know the size of the setscrew that is hidden under the rubber ring? Size 6? You'd think it was metric, but 3mm too small, 4mm too big. How easy is it to replace the choke assembly (expensive way to replace a screw)?
Check the battery terminal bolts. I just read an article that said they're too short.
S50 Suzuki 2005, I am trying to remove the seat. How do you remove the plastic covers below the seat with the S50 logos on them?
I have an 05 S50 and had the same problem. If you look on right side of bike, just behind motor, you will see a turn nut; just turn it until the idle speed sounds right. It worked for me.
There is a visible rubber just behind the choke. Turn it clockwise to tighten. This should allow you to pull the choke out without holding it.
Sounds like you have a loose connection, either with the battery cables (bolt or where it's crimped on) at the battery or on the starter solenoid (the other end of the hot cable coming from battery), or a plug in connector going to the solenoid or fuse. Go ahead and check any other connections under the seat.
Hello, I am having similar problems with my S50. I was wondering if you had found the solution? Please e-mail me email@example.com.
You can use a different brand battery if you get creative :)
I bought the 2007 in 2009, and the dealer failed to mention anything about a bike sitting in the showroom for 2 years. The battery was no good after about 6 months. Bought a different brand battery and took the leads inside the battery case and extended them. Home made extensions with cable and o-ring ends connecting the original leads to new ring ends with a nut and bolt, connecting them with heat sealed shrinks. New leads came all the way out of the bottom, and made the new battery easy to slide into the casing (new battery was shorter).
My stalling in turns, etc, stopped when I replaced the battery. I think maybe mine doesn't short out now like the intended battery would.
I have recently had bad backfiring problems and chugging on acceleration, which culminated in a stall on a short 30 degree hill. I'm convinced I need to replace the spark plugs, so I'm about to snag one out and head to the parts store.
I have the same bike, and at slow speeds it also spits and chugs. If you find out what's wrong, please let me know. I've had the carbs and jets cleaned, and it still does it. Off to the shop on Monday again.
i have a 2008 Suzuki Boulevard S50, and I too am having stalling issues and moments where all the lights go dead and I have to push it home or till I get a jump. Now I am/was convinced it was starving itself of fuel, by the way it would bog down before shutting off on me, and sometimes the power is still there; it just won't restart, in turn killing the battery. But I am new to the bike. I may be out of gas, but I still hear some (not too much, but enough that you'd think it wouldn't stall). Either way, my battery dies every so often, so I'm thinking I have the short too... How do I fix the short??