2013 Suzuki Boulevard C50 Special Edition | Motorcycle Cruiser TestSuzuki continues to reestablish itself a player in the metric cruiser market with the 2013 Suzuki Boulevard C50 Special Edition.
Sometimes good guys wear white, and this bike in Mystic Silver Metallic / Glass Splash White paint (Candy Dark Cherry Red / Glass Sparkle Black is another choice) looks sharp with its aluminum wheels adding that extra bit of bling.Looking larger and more impressive than the typical 800cc-class cruiser, the Boulevard C50 Special Edition gets you around town in style and comfort. The muscular forks and linkage single rear shock soak up most bumps in the road effortlessly, even in unreconstructed urban areas.The suspension units are, doubtlessly, aide by the high profile tires (16-inch front and 15-inch rear). The fat tires give the Boulevard C50 a solid grasp of the road, so you can move about town with confidence.Weighing in at over 600 pounds, the Boulevard C50 isn’t a lightweight, but the mass is down low and it has more than enough agility when dicing with automobiles. Wide bars definitely help in manhandling the bike, though they do make lane splitting (legal her in California) a bit trickier.The 45-degree, liquid-cooled Suzuki V-twin has enough torque to pull the bike around with authority, and there is overrev for when you need to make a pass and you don’t have time to work the heel/toe shifter mechanism. For cruising, the five-speed transmission works well; shifts are easy and sure.A shaft final drive is virtually maintenance free, even if some don’t appreciate the look.There may only be a drum in the rear, but it’s a good one. Except in the cases of emergency, you can assuredly ride around, only using the foot brake. The single disc front stands at the ready to increase your stopping power, when called upon.Feel free to ride all day, as the ergonomics of the bars, seat, and floorboards make the C50 a comfortable ride, especially with the suspension sucking up the road irregularities and the motor offering nice, softly delivered power.As much as we liked the 2013 Suzuki Boulevard C50 Special Edition as a stylish urban cruiser, our enthusiasm did not stretch to the highway or the canyons. The C50 has enough power for the interstate, but the wide bars and straight upright seating position turn the rider into a sail. You have to either hold on tight or lean forward unnaturally to make it work – neither are a great plan. It’s unfortunately, as the motor has enough power to handle freeway duties without strain.In the canyons, the Suzuki Boulevard C50 is vague. The long bars are too thin, and flex noticeably any time you try to push through a turn.Adding to the problem is the rubber mounting of the bars, which the bike needs, as it still vibrates a decent amount. Combine the two and you just don’t have a good feel for the front end, even with the nice 16-inch wheel and chunky IRC tires, which have plenty of grip. Even at slower speeds, you never feel the confidence you want to have on winding roads.So, if you’re a city slicker and want a small displacement engine in a high-attention chassis, the 2013 Suzuki Boulevard C50 Special Edition is a highly viable choice.Photography by Don WilliamsRiding Style: