Pino previously told us about two bikes he owned, a Kawasaki W800 and a Kawasaki Ninja 650R. Well, now he has a third bike, a Suzuki C50. The new Suzuki cruiser came into the family to ride along with friends who had cruisers. The C50 is a bike I’d been wanting to ride for quite a while. When I tried one out in the showroom I was impressed by the comfort of the seat, and also by the feel of the suspension. Being a mono-shock, rather than the usual twin-unit, I thought might provide it with better ride-quality. Pino has kindly written in with his comments on the bike. It's great value for money and that is a real driver for me when I am looking to buy a motorcycle. The Suzuki C50 Boulevard that I bought - a 2008 model - came with just about everything you would want on a cruiser. Rack and sissy, KDrive bags, screen, driving lights, gel riders seat, foot boards, highway pegs, plus Iso grips. Let's not forget that it is shaft drive for ease of maintenance and even has a fuel gauge which is not common. A tacho and a temp gauge would be nice but then I wouldn't be sitting on a typical cruiser if it had all these things. I have added pillion boards and had John Moorhouse (Ergo Seats) reshape and pad the pillion seat and my wife loves it. He is reasonably priced gets the job done quickly and does a great job. It has the standard exhaust which is better than the average but still too quiet for me. However my wife prefers it that way as my previous bike had modified exhausts which were great around town but on the open road it got a bit much. It was also an 800 and as they only have 5 gears and are a bit revvy at 100kph and above the sound can be more than a little irritating on a long trip especially if you are the pillion. It could do with a 6th gear and it's surprising that the new models don't have that extra gear. Perhaps it has to do with having to shift too often through the lower gears when riding around town which of course defeats the purpose of why a lot of people buy a cruiser. The bike has remarkable engine braking and feels like a cruiser should with a bit of vibration at standstill and when taking off in a low gear giving it that Harley V-twin feel, but it quickly smoothes out. The shaft drive does have a bit of lash but that's to be expected I think. However if you are gentle on the throttle you don't notice it anywhere near as much. It does only have a single disc up front and a drum at the rear which are adequate when riding solo but obviously less so when loaded with pillion and won't pull you up as quickly. An extra disc at the front wouldn't go astray. Better fork springs would help with braking duties as well as braided line and I am looking at getting both of these. I suspect that their addition will make the single disc seem more than adequate. I am not a fan of the hidden shockie because they are a bugger to adjust although better than my previous 800. It is mono shock, but still thumps fully loaded and that will be the quality of the shock. They're made to a price after all. Although only 800cc it is as big physically as larger capacity cruisers and the accompanying photo - taken by the previous owner when listing for sale and before pillion seat and boards were done - bears this out. However it is lighter than those bikes because of the smaller engine and use of plastics on guards and where chrome on steel might otherwise be. Traditionalists would no doubt object to this but this is a metric cruiser after all so it is already disqualified by some of the more hardcore cruiser traditionalists. However it feels solid and substantial and well built. It corners well and has more clearance than I thought with scraping only happening recently when I was punting reasonably hard on my own and on an off camber corner. It could do with bar risers as the strain on my back does start to kick in after a bit of riding. But again an easy fix. If you are of average height and build and cruisers are the type of bike you are looking for then the C50 is right up there with the best of the mid size cruisers. I have ridden the Kawa VN900 and prefer the Suzi. My previous bike was a VN800 which I loved but felt too small once loaded with pillion. Overall I really like the bike and would recommend it to others who don't want a really big cruiser to try and manhandle. It’s a great bargain bike and it kept up with a Road King Heritage Classic and Vulcan Nomad 1600 on a boys trip away recently. Might have even shown them a clean pair of heels on occasion I reckon. Thanks Pino; that will give readers a good idea of what they are looking at with the C50.
Pino also has a Kawasaki W800, which he is very pleased with. He added some comments about that, with reference to the C50 too. It is far superior to the Suzuki and my wife loves riding it as the pegs allow her to stretch her legs which also take her weight instead of her backside. It also means she doesn't feel the bumps as much even though the W has the old style narrow outboard dual shocks, which are often seen as inferior to the mono. I am looking at Wilbers fork springs and Ikon shocks down the track for the W when the time comes, but that is still a little way off as she still only has 4,000ks on her. The W800 is a superb town bike. Thanks again, Pino; it’s great to have some reader-input with these bikes.
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