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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.

boulevard

Background

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 Ride

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.

The Pros

(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 Cons

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.

Summary

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!


Author: Curtis Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , , , ,
  1. Jeff Rodgers
    May 27th, 2009 at 13:13 | #1

    I just finished the break-in period on my new M50 and like you I am very happy with it. My only complaint is the engine vibration that starts at about 60 mph (while in 5th gear). I am moving up from a Suzuki Bergman 400 (scooter). This bike was smooth as silk at all speeds so I may be spoiled. Do you get a noticeable increase in engine vibration above 60 mph as well?

    thanks
    Jeff

  2. Curtis
    May 27th, 2009 at 13:19 | #2

    @Jeff Rodgers
    I haven’t taken notice to any extra engine vibration at higher speeds. I ran it up to 75 the other day and it was smooth the whole way up. But I could have missed it as my Rebel wasn’t the smoothest ride when it came to highway cruising. If this rainy weather ever goes away I’ll give it a proper test and post back here. Thanks for your comments.

    Curtis

  3. Robert
    June 30th, 2009 at 10:58 | #3

    I’ve just looked at one of these in the store and it is used with 266kms on it, I guess a few people have taken it out for a ride. Should I be concerned that somebody may cranked that throttle too much before the break in period ?

  4. June 30th, 2009 at 11:05 | #4

    @Robert I’m not sure how much damage could actually be done during the break in period by giving it too much throttle. I know one of the most important adjustments made to the bike after the break in is to reseat the valves. But I’m no mechanic. :) If the store has a service department, I would check with one of their mechanics to see if you should even be worried about that.

  5. Robert
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:33 | #5

    Cool, Thanks,..Your story is kinda a funny to me because every bike I’ve owned has been a Honda….and what really brought me into the Suzuki dealer was the M109R, I just love the style and look of this bike, I’ve seen pic’s of the M50 before going there and didn’t like what I saw, but when I was able to actually view the bike and sit on it I was loving it. I’m going to take a test ride on it within the next 3 days so we’ll see how it goes?

  6. Ulices
    November 16th, 2009 at 16:35 | #6

    Man what a great bike, and good review too. I just bought my first motorcylce (M50 of course) based mostly on this review (believe it or not), but mine is a used one, it’s a 2006 model, but the guy who sell me the bike don’t gave me the owners manual, do you know where i can get a copy of that?

    Again thanks for the review and sorry for my english.

  7. Bill
    January 26th, 2010 at 10:32 | #7

    I had a question im looking to get my first bike and im 6’3 240 pounds i have not sat on any bikes yet but just doing my Homework and research would this be a fit bike for a taller person? i found one for sale around my area for 5000 and not sure if i should go jump on this deal the bike only has 1000 miles and its an 08 special edition.

    Thank you

  8. January 26th, 2010 at 10:46 | #8

    @Bill
    Bill, that sounds like a pretty good deal. As far as the size goes, the bike does sit low. However, it should fit your height/weight just fine. The one issue that you may experience as I stated in the article is a hurting back during long rides. But, I can’t speak for you as everyone is different. I can say that my dad was on mine a couple times. He’s about 6′ 2″ 225 pounds, and he seems to like the feel of it.

    If you’ve never ridden before and this is going to be your first bike, I might recommend starting with something a little smaller, (not necessarily engine size, but overall weight. This is a heavy bike. However, if you have any experience riding, you should have no problems with this bike. I love mine and I can’t wait to get it back out next season. My advice to your for now is try to get out and ride a few. See what styles you like. See what feels comfortable. I would never recommend buying a bike without riding it first. Good Luck!

  9. Aaron Hermond
    March 11th, 2010 at 20:18 | #9

    I’m 6 foot 3 and a 110kg’s. I bought a 2007 M50 last August and love it. No issues with this taller rider. My Dad also loved it so much that he went out and bought one last month. Cheers from New Zealand.

  10. Jeremy
    March 15th, 2010 at 11:13 | #10

    Hello all! I am the proud owner of a used 2007 Limited M50! ( only 4800km barely broke in! ) I purchased a brand new off the showroom floor 2004 Yamaha Virago 250 and have to say that it was the best beginner bike on the market! The V-Twin 250 (Virago) smokes the 250 Maurader and the Rebel right out of the water, however all three bikes are excellent learner bikes!
    Now! My M50 Limited…. Awsome! I wasn’t sure what bike to get next. I rode everything from a 650 V-star, to a 1200 Harley Sportster Custom with forward controls, and a few in-between… In 2007 I walked into a Suzuki showroom in Nelson B.C. (has since burned to the ground) There it was, silver with a very cool two tone darker silver kind of tribal looking design on the tank and rear fender. Beautiful! After sitting on this beautiful machine I new it was the one! But…. Wife and new born baby boy come first so I held of until beginning of March 2010 while surfing Craigs List I came upon it stairing me right in the face! A 2007 M50 Limited for sale…. SOLD!!!! Oh Yes! I love it. Two of my friends ride Harley’s and I have NO problem keeping up or even passing them. Keeping to the speed limit of course!
    So far I have no problems with this bike except that I want to be on it 24/7.

  11. May 24th, 2010 at 18:45 | #11

    Hey Curtis, I am on my first Cruiser, having ridden mostly UJMs, and Dual Purpose, and lastly a WR250X(super little motard, just to uncomfortable), and looked around and decided on an ’09 M50 Spec Add. and love it. Handling, comfort, ease of use etc all come to mind, and it is very maneuverable at low speed. I have a quick question, and that is I just took my M50 in for it’s first service, and when I got it back, I feel that there is more valve noise that when it was first driven ( and valves of course or on the first service, $400 ouch ). I took it back right away and the mechanic said all was well. I runs great, no loss of power..Anything you could add would be appreciated. Thanks

  12. Brandon
    August 13th, 2010 at 01:16 | #12

    Hello Curtis! I just bought myself an 09 M50 Special Edition and I love it. I’ve ridden bikes before (mostly sport) but now I was finally able to buy one. Since I have a wife and two kids now, I decided on a cruiser, so the urge to do something stupid would be drastically lower. I went into the shop looking for the M90, but walked (or should I say rolled) out of the store with the M50. It’s a wonderful bike, and I just wanted to say I appreciated your review, I felt it was very “real”, if you know what I mean. Thanks again,
    Brandon

  13. trevor
    August 18th, 2010 at 13:42 | #13

    Hi Curtis! My 2007 m50 is the best purchase I have ever made. The only question I have is is 425lbs to much for my bike to hual? I’m 225lbs and my wife is i’m guessing 200lbs. Is that to much wieght for it?

  14. August 18th, 2010 at 13:49 | #14

    I would think the bike could handle it. It wouldn’t be as snappy as it normally is. The most I’ve had on mine is a little over 300 and it’s noticeable, but not terrible. You may want to stiffen up the rear suspension a bit first which I believe is pretty easy to do.

  15. trevor
    August 21st, 2010 at 17:24 | #15

    I thought that it would be ok on short runs it’s the long ones that had me worried.I live in Halifax N.S not to many long runs around here anyway. Would you know where I could get replacement tribal decals for my gas tank. Got side swiped in the parking lot and caused a few minor scratches on the left side . They are starting to rust, and a patch job isn’t an option .The dealer tells my there is no part # for decal.Thank for the quick responce.

  16. David C. Hart
    October 2nd, 2010 at 15:09 | #16

    Hi Curtis, I just stumbled onto your site and it’s more than interesting for someone who loves the M50. Mine is an ’06 with 34k on secondary roads (Highways? I’ll take my truck, thank you.) and never a problem other than a replaced clutch cable when the liner wore through. About that sore back thing, I had the same issue, though it was my left shoulder. Solution … Corbin Classic Solo Seat … it will lower you 1 1/2″ which is all that’s needed. Given the cost (expensive) I figured I may as well add heat and a backrest and get the whole thing over with. I’ll never regret that decision as many a cold evening has proved it a good one.

  17. Bosshart
    October 2nd, 2010 at 15:11 | #17

    Hi Curtis, I just stumbled onto your site and it’s more than interesting for someone who loves the M50. Mine is an ‘06 with 34k on secondary roads (Highways? I’ll take my truck, thank you.) and never a problem other than a replaced clutch cable when the liner wore through. About that sore back thing, I had the same issue, though it was my left shoulder. Solution … Corbin Classic Solo Seat … it will lower you 1 1/2″ which is all that’s needed. Given the cost (expensive) I figured I may as well add heat and a backrest and get the whole thing over with. I’ll never regret that decision as many a cold evening has proved it a good one.

  18. Bosshart
    October 2nd, 2010 at 15:18 | #18

    Hi Curtis, I just stumbled onto your site and it’s more than interesting for someone who loves the M50. Mine is an ‘06 with 34k on secondary roads (Highways? I’ll take my truck, thank you.) and never a problem other than a replaced clutch cable when the liner wore through. About that sore back thing, I had the same issue, though it was my left shoulder. Solution … Corbin Classic Solo Seat … it will lower you 1 1/2″ which is all that’s needed. Given the cost (expensive) I figured I may as well add heat and a backrest and get the whole thing over with. I’ll never regret that decision as many a cold evening has proven it a good one.

  19. Laura
    October 18th, 2010 at 12:07 | #19

    I’m having a bit of a delemma. I really love the M50. However most of my friends and fellow riders are pushing me towards a Yamaha 950. Not a bad bike, but I really like the looks of the M50. They say it won’t have enough power (805cc) as the 950 will(942cc). I am a new rider coming from a 250 VStar. I’m 5’4″ 145lbs. the bike feels good under me. Easy to handle. Why would they think the 950 would be sooooo much faster or more powerful? I’ve been researching even into the engins and the bore x Stroke values to answer this question. I guess I just want to justify to them that this is the right bike for me. Can you help?

  20. October 20th, 2010 at 10:44 | #20

    I don’t think the issue here is that the 805cc won’t have enough power. I think the issue is that the 805cc isn’t as powerful as the 950cc. I’ve never been on the Yamaha so I can’t tell you anything about it. But, I was pretty much in the same situation you were. I came from a 250cc Honda so to me, the 805cc felt like plenty of power and now that I have been carrying passengers, I can still say that I think it’s plenty. I’m sure the 950cc would be nice, but if you’re anything like me, your purchase will come down to more than just power. I bought the M50 ultimately because of how it looked and how it drove. So my advice, test ride them both, get a feel for the ride, and go with the one that YOU like the most, with all options weighed. Good Luck!

  21. Don
    February 17th, 2011 at 13:27 | #21

    @Laura The fact that you’re a small frame will make either one work very well for you so go with the one you feel more comfortable on. There are always those that think bigger is better but it’s not necessarily true so take what you hear from those folks with a grain of salt. For me the bigger coniderations are fuel injection, liquid cooled (helps a LOT with engine longevity), and belt or shaft drive. My preference is belt drive because it will be more responsive to the throttle and shaft drives typically have a slight lag — which you might not even notice. Go with the best fit for you.

  22. Anthony DiCesare
    March 1st, 2011 at 22:42 | #22

    I just wanted to thank you all for this review. Been shopping around…looked at Honda Spirit, Harley 883 sportster and a few others, but always come back to the M50.

    I have owned a 1978 Honda, Honda Rebel and a Sportster (883). So I was hesitant to “change gears” by choosing Suzuki. But you have confirmed my suspicions that this bike will fit my needs fine. Not looking for power; simply reliability.

    So Thanks all!

  23. Gary
    April 4th, 2011 at 12:59 | #23

    I purchased a ’09 M50 off the showroom floor this past Friday. First bike ever and I’m enthusiastic about it. I rode it approx 45 miles on Saturday and didnt ride it yesterday (Sunday). I went out to crank it today and ride to work, but it’s dead. No display lights, no clicking as if it’s trying to start, nothing. I held the clutch in, had the kill switch set to “on” and the ignition switch to “on”. Kickstand was up, bike was in neutral…just no clue. Every time I started it Saturday, it was fine.
    Any ideas?

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