2009 Suzuki Boulevard M50 Limited Review
This review is primarily the result of my attempts to find a good, professional review for the 2009 Suzuki M50. Unfortunately, this review doesn’t add to them as I am in no way a professional motorcyclist or columnist for that matter. However, having just purchased the M50, I hope to provide more insight than can be attained from your own couple mile test drive. So if you are considering the purchase of a 2009 M50, read on.
I looked at several bikes prior to making my decision to pursue the M50. At first I was set on a Honda Spirit 750. I learned how to ride on a Rebel 250, and I have riden Honda four wheelers since I was but a wee chap. So, I guess you could say I had a bit of brand loyalty towards Honda. In fact, I walked into the Suzuki dealer hoping to find a nice used Honda for my next bike. Now I wish I could say that the M50 was love at first sight. But at first glance, I was not so much unimpressed as I was just not interested. It had big chrome pipes that stuck too far back and out to the side. It looked too big for me (remember I was trading a Rebel 250). The Honda Spirits, on the other hand, seem to be a bit smaller when you sit on them (which is good for my small frame). I spent a few minutes looking at the ‘S’ series of the Boulevard family. Unimpressed there, I decided to sit on the M50. I decided I could see myself on one and took it for a test drive. From then on, it was like my brand loyalty bounced from Honda to Suzuki. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Honda’s, but this bike was fantasgreat!
The 2009 Models
The 2009 Boulevard M50 comes in two editions. A standard edition in all black, and a Limited edition in a two tone: either Black and White, or Black and Orange. Aside from paint, the only other difference you will find is the Limited has clear turn signal lenses, which I will admit, do look better. However, 300 dollars better? Meh.. not so much. I called several dealers, and finally tracked myself down an Orange one. That actually brings up a good point. If you are trying to find an M50, they are coming up short this year. Apparently Suzuki cut production significantly this year due to the economy. Many dealers have already sold out of their M50s and won’t be getting anymore for the season. However, if you look hard enough, you should be able to find one.
The first thing I noticed when riding this motorcycle is its width. It’s not uncomfortable by any means (except maybe for long rides, but I’ll get to that in a minute), it just has a certain girth to the engine with the air filter sticking out to the side This makes it difficult to see the foot pegs. This was only a problem at first as I was used to foot pegs that were directly below me. The M50s are pushed a little bit forward. It took almost no time to get used to the setup, and I’ve found myself very much preferring the forward pegs. It also allows larger riders to ride more naturally, while still keeping the seat (and consequently the center of balance) low. The bike is a little on the heavy side at just shy of 600 pounds, but maneuverability is by no means lost. Even low speed turns are simple with the low center of balance, and remember, I started on 325 pound Rebel!
Now the owner’s manual warns the rider to take it easy during the break in period or the first 1000 miles. For the first 500 miles, no more than 1/2 throttle is recommended. For the first 1000 miles, no more than 3/4 throttle should be used. As difficult as this has been so far, I’ve done pretty well with following the directions. However, even with keeping in line with the warnings, I can still say that the bike has power. The M50 has more than enough power to cruise at highway speeds. It also has enough power to pass and climb hills without downshifting. I haven’t carried a passenger yet, so I can only guess that the extra weight would be no problem for the M50 either.
(See section: The Ride)
It’s customizable. One of the nicest things about the M50 is the extra components available for it. There are tons of extras available from both Suzuki and third parties such as Cobra and K & N. Additionally, not much has changed over the past couple of years, so most of the components from the 2006s will still fit the 2009s.
The gas mileage is better than average. Rated at 49 miles to the gallon, the M50 is one of better bikes for miles per gallon. This is more than likely because the bike is fuel injected. In addition to that, I’m a fairly small rider, so I have actually been getting better than the 49 mpg rating.
It’s liquid cooled. Everyone knows liquid cooled is better. Don’t ask questions.
It’s gorgeous. Apart from the tail that curves up in the back and just doesn’t look like it belongs with the rest of the bike, everything else on the M50 is B-E-A-UTIFUL. I especially like the orange one, but what can I say, I have a thing for orange.
The price is reasonable. I have to admit, when I first sat on the bike not knowing it’s price, I thought to myself, “there’s no way I’d ever be able to afford this.” I was expecting 10 or 11 grand. When it found out it was only $7995 for the Limited, I was shocked. Additionally, if you are lucky enough to find the right dealer, you can probably shave a few hundred off of that yet too.
The motorcycle isn’t perfect. I’ve read other user reviews claiming that the seat makes one’s butt numb after not too long of a ride. I don’t have that problem so much, though I could see why other people might. The problem I have is with my back starting to hurt after about 20 miles. I blame this on the fact that I am hunched forward just a bit too much. However, this could be cause I am fairly small, and other people may not experience this. As far as the comfort issues goes, gel seats are an available addon for the bike, though I’ve heard many people say it should be included with the base price.
The rear brakes are another common complaint about the motorcycle. For everything the bike has, one would expect to press on the rear brake and feel the smooth grip of the rear disc. However, when you look at the rear wheel, you will see something missing: the disc. Yes, that’s right the M50 is equipped with a rear drum brake which doesn’t give the bike the stopping power you would want or expect. It’s not a huge deal, but be prepared to press on the rear brakes a little bit harder to get the stopping power you want.
There is no reserve tank. This isn’t a huge issue either as the bike is equip with an accurate electronic fuel gauge. But when it runs out, it’s really out.
If you are considering a new motorcycle or even your first motorcycle, I would highly recommend the Suzuki Boulevard M50. It’s easy to look at, not terribly priced, and a blast to ride. I have no regrets with my purchase, and I know you won’t either. If anyone has any specific questions they would like to ask about the bike, please feel free to comment on this article, I’ll be sure to get back to you. Cheers!