They know who you are. You’re the guy who hasn’t owned a motorcycle for 20 years. Now with the kids grown and most of them out of the house, you want to get back into the sport. The only problem, times are tough and getting worse every day it seems with gas prices at almost $4.00 bucks a gallon.
To the marketers of the motorcycle industry, you’re known as the re-entry rider and boy, do they (the marketer’s) have a bike for you! In fact, they have dozens of models known as the middleweight cruisers that are just perfect for you.
They’re all well under $9,000.00, even with all the touring accessories tacked on, and they all get 40 to 50 mpg. There’s even more good news; most of the metric manufacturers have over produced the past couple of years with the down turn in the market. That means dealers are sitting with brand new two or three year old motorcycles on the showroom floor and they gotta move them. In other words, it’s a buyers market. Manufacturers are offering big rebates, special finance terms, dealer incentives and they encouraged dealers to slash the MSRP’s of just about all models.
One of the best buys I’ve seen in years is on a new 2009 Suzuki Boulevard C-50T model. Suzuki is offering a $1,000.00 dealer rebate on this fully equipped middleweight tourer. The original MSRP on this bike was $9,099.00 but there’s a couple of dealers I’ve seen advertising new 09’s for $4,999.00. That’s not a misprint; $4,999.00 for a fully equipped middleweight tourer is an absolute steal. Here’s what you get on the Suzuki C-50 T Boulevard; Two tone paint, wire wheels with wide white wall tires, studded leather saddlebags, studded touring seat for the rider and passenger, a matching backrest and a windshield. In other words, everything you need for your weekend tour.
Video: Don’t try this at home, in a parking lot and certainly not on the road. Enjoy!
As you can see from the picture, the C-50T is an 805cc or 50 cubic inch, 45 degree water-cooled V-twin, fuel injected of course. Power to the rear wheel is by low maintenance shaft drive. Stopping power is handled with a single disk up front and a drum brake out back. Wheels are classic wires with 130/90 16’s up front and 170/80 15 wide white’s in back. The wheelbase is 65 inches and the rake is 32 degrees. Overall length is 98.4 inches. For comparison, physically, this bike is about the same size as a Harley Softail Deluxe or Heritage; though at 650 lbs. full of gas, it’s at least 100 lbs. lighter. The seat height is a low 27.6 inches. That means even shorter riders can get their feet flat on the ground.
So, how does it ride…Amazingly well, for a middleweight cruiser. The throaty sounding exhaust will make most people think this is a heavyweight bike as will the overall size and appearance of the C-50T. The clutch pull is very light and the tranny shifts as smooth and easy as can be. The motor is also very smooth with little to no vibration at anything under 70mph. Above 70mph, some vibration begins to creep in via the pegs but it’s not objectionable. Middleweights in general offer good acceleration from 0 to 60mph but roll-ons for passing at highway speeds require a downshift or two, the Suzuki is no exception.
The ride and handling of the C-50T is very good. On the interstate, side winds hardly affected the bike. This bike also offers a very steep lean angle before the floor boards touch down. When the boards touch the tarmac, they fold up quite a bit before any hard parts touch down giving you plenty of warning that you’ve reached the limit. At low speeds, the C-50T is a dream. It easily turns in less than 18 feet, that means U-turns on even narrow side streets are a piece of cake.
Overall, the C-50T is a pleasure to ride. It’s smooth, has more than enough power, it’s comfortable even with two-up, and it’s perfect for weekend touring or around town cruising. With prices as low as $4,999.00 and 50 mpg, it’s the DEAL of the Century. Many thanks to my friend Rick Rutel for the use of his new C-50T for this road test.