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May 25, 2008

Motoring

Tagsm

After months of research, I decided what I wanted for a motorcycle. The criteria:

  1. Around 550 pounds
  2. A bike that gets 170-200 miles t a tankful
  3. Preferably EFI - carburated means a choke (plus better gas mileage
  4. Low enough that I can touch the ground bent kneed (seat height less than 28")
  5. Has cruiser styling
  6. Must be able to be accessorize with floorboards
  7. Comfortable seat (this item added on 5/26/08)

Although I really tried to talk myself into HD Sportster, it didn't fit enough of my requirements to make the cut. It came down between a Yamaha V-star, a Suzuki Boulevard M-50 (Marauder update) or a Suzuki Boulevard C-50 (Volutia update). The V-star isn't fuel injected, and doesn't have the range I required, so it came down to the two Suzukis.

After months of looking at ads for used cycles, I decided to buy new. Used bikes were fairly expensive and any privat owners wanted what they owed on the bike. Which would be fine except that means they don't have the title. I didn't want to mess with that game at all. What I was looking at, are priced cheap enough new that I can easily save enough money in gas to pay the payment if I only ride to work a couple of days a week.

The C-50 and M-50 are very much alike. The engines are slightly different, the fenders different, and the dash is different, but they sit pretty much the same. So it would come down to what I liked the looks and the seating of best at the time of purchase.

I visited a Concord bike shop several times, and put myself on the call list when they got new bikes in. That lasted for about 5 weeks, then I found another source that actually had some in stock. Best Cycle had a couple of C-50's in stock, when nobody else did. I bought from them and a worse buying experience I have never had. I have chronicled it on my latest blog - Especially to Lousy Service. I finally did get the bike, and the key - all the critical components for riding. So let me introduce you to the latest Bogie conveyance:

Suzukileftsm

Suzukifrontsm

Suzukirightsm  Note the new railings that WS put on the porch!

Tuesday the weather cooperated a bit and I had WS take the bike out to the local school so I had a level place to practice with the clutch, brakes etc. - get a feel for the bike. I road circles around the parking lot, stopped, started, shifted and stalled it a few times. There are a few quirks that I found and had to get use to before they happen in real life. Experience with an issue is the best way to stave off panic at a critical time!

I got to take the bike out for a putt yesterday afternoon and found out how good it is to buy new. All my other bikes had been old and I had not had enough confidence in them to take a hand off the handlebars when riding. The little Suzuki 250 was so light that breathing would affect its handling, the Virago 750 had been laid down once by the previous owner and obviously had messed up the trueness of the frame and handling (not that I knew it at the time - I thought it was just me). Yesterday, I was giving other bikers a wave without a moments hesitation.

I was fortunate that there wasn't much traffic on the roads I traveled, so I could vary my speed, play around a bit and get used to how much wind there is doing 55 mph (plus the 20-25 mph winds that Mother Nature was supplying). When I pulled back into the yard I had put on about 50 miles and had some fun while WS was doing yard work.

Can't beat that with a stick!

Posted by Bogie on May 25, 2008 at 02:12 AM in Motorcycles | Permalink

Comments

Wow--how neat. Congratulations on the acquisition! (And on the playing around.) Since most of your listed requirements suit me, I'll just borrow your research results when I go out to get mine. (Of course I will!) Wind in your face and all that.

Posted by: Cop Car at May 25, 2008 12:13:38 PM

Nice ride. Most people (non-riders) don't realise the importance of practise riding somewhere when you get a new bike. Very smart move.

Wind and bugs to you.

I'll fly you a kite to ask some questions about the bike.

Posted by: Wichi Dude at May 25, 2008 1:41:29 PM

I forgot one of the most important items on the list - must be comfortable to sit on!

Some people go for looks/style and can live with an un-comfy seat. Not me, I like to be comfortable.

Cop Car - I thought you were going to win that Big Dog Motorcycle in the raffle!

Posted by: bogie at May 26, 2008 7:43:29 AM

I'm still waiting for them to announce me as the owner. I took a walk-around, today. It sits low enough per your spec, I believe. For some reason, I thought it was a Big Dog; but, it's a Suzuki S40. From the Midway-Kansas Chapter's website:

"Great for cruising to work or a road trip to the lake, the Suzuki Boulevard S40 was built or fun.

"Weighing only 352 pounds, you’ll feel the power when you twist the throttle. With its low seat and wheelbase, the S40 responds wonderfully at any speed. The S40’s custom flat handle bar design provides a sporty appearance, and the final-drive belt will let you cruise through traffic cleanly and quietly. With a fuel economy of more than 50 miles-per-gallon on the highway, you’ll be able to enjoy this motorcycle all day long. Valued at $4,399...."

Posted by: Cop Car at May 26, 2008 5:01:20 PM

Somewhat belatedly, please tell WS that I like the railings. The railings around here get more use than they used to--especially when the steps are icy! Glad to see the "up-grade".

Posted by: Cop Car at May 26, 2008 5:04:24 PM

The S40 is a cute little thing. Actually it might have been in the running except it is carburated and has a limited tank range.

Bod - I will pass on the kudos to WS.

Posted by: bogie at May 27, 2008 4:05:55 AM