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:
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to email@example.com and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!