- Excellent throttle response and engine sound
- Nimble handling for an 800-pound cruiser
- Looks the part with great build quality
- Where’s the cruiser control and stereo?
- Exhaust pipes are overly muffled sounding
- Shock could have smoother action over big bumps
Metric cruisers are often dismissed by American riders. However, after taking a quick spin on Suzuki’s2015 Boulevard C90T B.O.S.S. ($13,999), it’s worth taking a serious look at this Japanese-built bagger as it provides a sophisticated, classic air-cooled V-Twin riding experience, with a twist.
Visually it’s difficult to find fault with the lines of this bagger-style Boulevard that are tasteful and stay true to the roots of a classic American motorcycle. We especially love the Blacked Out Special Suzuki (B.O.S.S.) treatment which substitutes black pipes, engine covers, front fork and wheels for the traditional chrome and silver-painted bits. The ‘T’ also adds lockable hard cases and a giant windscreen.
On the road the Suzuki impresses with its smooth riding experience. The spatial relationship between the seat, footpegs and handlebar is well thought out and very comfortable for quick jaunts around town. We especially liked how adept the windshield was at blocking turbulent air and road debris, though it could be a little short if you stand over six-foot. The jury is still out on long-haul performance as our ride was limited to just a quick half-day run around Nevada’s Lake Mead.
Throttle response and the dynamic feel of its fuel-injected 54-degree 90-cubic-inch (1622cc) Twin is superb. A radiator is discreetly hidden behind the front wheel which ensures a stable engine running temperature—however, there is a small degree of fan noise when idling through traffic. It’s not a deal breaker though. A hard twist of the throttle reveals a pleasing mechanical roar behind the handlebar. Only problem is the harmonics of the exhaust sound overly muffled as if a sock was wedged deep inside the muffler cores.
Despite the muffled-sounding pipes, the engine delivers enough get-up-and-go to satisfy sporty riders without being overkill. Light and responsive clutch pull along with the secure feel from the five-speed gearbox are also noteworthy. Neutral is simple to find at stop and we love the integrated floorboards and heel shifter so you don’t beat up the toe box of your favorite riding shoes. A shaft final drive transfers muscle to the 16-inch 200-series rear tire and it does so quietly without any annoying drivetrain whine typical of some American-made bikes in its class. From tip to tail the Suzuki feels ‘tight’ and well put together. Fit and finish is excellent but we wish it offered more creature comforts like cruise control and a stereo, standard offerings on some its competitors.
We were surprised by how nimble it is during slow-speed parking lot maneuvers and U-turns, especially considering its 800-pound curb weight. At speed it follows the contoured pavement with obedience though the action of the rear suspension is fast, with the suspension taking an extra moment to settle when a big bump is encountered. Still, it’s by no means terrible—just one of the few areas this Boulevard could be improved upon.
One would assume that an 800-pound motorcycle with only one disc brake at the front would be a recipe for disaster, but the set-up on this Boulevard performs exceptionally well. Stopping power from either the front or rear brake was more than adequate and we loved the responsive braking sensation from either lever. This helps the rider make the most of its hardware at or near its maximum capabilities. While it lacks ABS functionality, we never missed it on the dry, hot tarmac surrounding Lake Mead.
Although it lacks some of the standard touring fare of other baggers, for the money, Suzuki offers an outstanding piece of hardware. Its engine has enough muscle to put a smile on most rider’s faces and its chassis is both surefooted and easy to turn at any speed. It may not sound as exciting as an American cruiser stock, but fit some pipes on it and an upgraded shock and the M90 may have the capabilities to surprise your riding buddies out on the road.
2015 Suzuki Boulevard C90T Specs
- Engine: 1462cc liquid-cooled SOHC 54-degree V-Twin
- Bore x Stroke: 96.0 mm x 101.0 mm
- Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
- Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection
- Transmission: Five-speed constant mesh
- Final Drive: Shaft
- Front Suspension: 45mm inverted telescopic fork; 5.1 in., travel
- Rear Suspension: Link type, coil spring, oil damped; 4.3 in., travel
- Front Brake: 330mm single disc with twin-piston caliper
- Rear Brake: 275mm single disc with twin-piston caliper
- Tires: 130/80-16, 200/60-16
- Length: 100.8 inches
- Width: 39 inches
- Wheelbase: 65.9 inches
- Seat Height: 28.3 inches
- Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons
- Curb Weight: 800 lbs.
- Color: Glass Sparkle Black
- Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty
- MSRP: $13,999