Mailman’s new bike!

Mailman

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Selling my bikes was something I had been thinking about for some time now. There’s no getting around the fact that I’m getting older and my riding days are not unlimited, I wanted one last new bike. A gift to myself. The truth is , my first intent was to buy a late model cruiser with low miles on it, there are plenty of them out there. It was actually my wife who kept nudging me to get a new one….and so I did.
I had in my mind, certain parameters that I wanted to meet in a new bike. I wanted it to be easy to own, comfortable to ride, reliable, shaft drive preferably and a valve train that I could adjust myself without special tools or too much drama, and to have good aftermarket support. I also did not want an 800 pound bike, so I was looking at mid size cruisers. For me it really came down to two bikes , the Kawasaki 900 Vulcan ( which really is a great machine ) or the Suzuki Boulevard C50 cruiser. In the end I chose the Suzuki,
A3A929CA-6B10-4117-969F-68B7E65A742D.jpeg

for a number of reasons.
It is,
Fuel injected
Shaft drive
screw adjustment tappets
Water cooled
simple to work on, no fancy electronics
It has been made for 20 years , it is a solid, well developed bike, with strong aftermarket support and accessories are cheap as chips!

Comparison road tests against other mid size cruisers are almost always the same, they praise the handling, comfort, smoothness, fit and finish and the pleasant nature of the torquey motor. While they comment that it is down on power compared to the other mid size bikes , they also say that those numbers don’t tell the whole story while riding. The torque peaks at just 3000 rpm and most of that is available from just off idle. It has a lot of grunt when taking off from a stop and acceleration builds smoothly, rather than setting your hair on fire. I’m fine with that, what I wanted was a comfortable riding position and the ability to occasionally take it on the highway without feeling beat up. Today was the first opportunity to take it out for a ride…..and I love it! :heart: It is so relaxed to ride with a very comfortable and open riding position. This is the first bike I’ve owned with floorboards and a heel toe shifter and again I really like it, you can slide your feet around to get comfortable, the shifter is super easy to operate and I was immediately at ease with it. The seat is the size of a John Deere tractor seat, you can scootch around on it. The ride and handling were a very pleasant surprise to me. I had worried that a heavier bike ( 616 pounds. ) would feel cumbersome and difficult to manage at low speeds, but it’s just the opposite, the bike sits low and has a low center of gravity, it never felt too heavy or tipsy. I pulled into a church parking lot and was practicing some very low speed circles and tight radius turns and I felt like Jerry Palladino in “Ride like a Pro” . The bike is just really stable and well balanced. And on the street it was more of the same. It tracks like it’s on rails, very confidence inspiring. I haven’t taken it on the freeway yet, I’m still breaking it in and I’m trying to follow the factory guideline’s and not rev it too much. But so far I’m digging it!
DF475B40-CFA5-4B84-9CEE-74E646139D44.jpeg

CD5CD505-E788-4871-BB7E-B4F7ED8DC86D.jpeg350E5480-C3CF-40E7-B5CD-89ACCC2CBAD8.jpeg4DC7A850-D21F-49F9-AA28-DE48FF15455D.jpegD26DA218-DF67-46C6-83FA-26CC709C26C6.jpeg93D04537-C47B-43B3-86E6-35035760E000.jpeg55BE5D85-C104-426C-B7A0-4D6FAB4CB781.jpegAB402DCD-BB6F-4BF2-AACC-BA89B1C03323.jpeg5C5143FA-8152-4C77-B32E-747CFD3F573A.jpeg35499FE9-CC45-4458-AED8-0D4A156F0B4C.jpeg5C4EF3D5-2A0B-4F98-A1E6-7D9D158EA36A.jpeg
 
Great looking ride, Enjoy it! Definitely looks comfortable. I rode a road king once that had a heel toe shifter and really enjoyed it. Also, you've got a good woman to insist you get a new bike! Looking forward to more updates.
 
Selling my bikes was something I had been thinking about for some time now. There’s no getting around the fact that I’m getting older and my riding days are not unlimited, I wanted one last new bike. A gift to myself. The truth is , my first intent was to buy a late model cruiser with low miles on it, there are plenty of them out there. It was actually my wife who kept nudging me to get a new one….and so I did.
I had in my mind, certain parameters that I wanted to meet in a new bike. I wanted it to be easy to own, comfortable to ride, reliable, shaft drive preferably and a valve train that I could adjust myself without special tools or too much drama, and to have good aftermarket support. I also did not want an 800 pound bike, so I was looking at mid size cruisers. For me it really came down to two bikes , the Kawasaki 900 Vulcan ( which really is a great machine ) or the Suzuki Boulevard C50 cruiser. In the end I chose the Suzuki,
View attachment 213799
for a number of reasons.
It is,
Fuel injected
Shaft drive
screw adjustment tappets
Water cooled
simple to work on, no fancy electronics
It has been made for 20 years , it is a solid, well developed bike, with strong aftermarket support and accessories are cheap as chips!

Comparison road tests against other mid size cruisers are almost always the same, they praise the handling, comfort, smoothness, fit and finish and the pleasant nature of the torquey motor. While they comment that it is down on power compared to the other mid size bikes , they also say that those numbers don’t tell the whole story while riding. The torque peaks at just 3000 rpm and most of that is available from just off idle. It has a lot of grunt when taking off from a stop and acceleration builds smoothly, rather than setting your hair on fire. I’m fine with that, what I wanted was a comfortable riding position and the ability to occasionally take it on the highway without feeling beat up. Today was the first opportunity to take it out for a ride…..and I love it! :heart: It is so relaxed to ride with a very comfortable and open riding position. This is the first bike I’ve owned with floorboards and a heel toe shifter and again I really like it, you can slide your feet around to get comfortable, the shifter is super easy to operate and I was immediately at ease with it. The seat is the size of a John Deere tractor seat, you can scootch around on it. The ride and handling were a very pleasant surprise to me. I had worried that a heavier bike ( 616 pounds. ) would feel cumbersome and difficult to manage at low speeds, but it’s just the opposite, the bike sits low and has a low center of gravity, it never felt too heavy or tipsy. I pulled into a church parking lot and was practicing some very low speed circles and tight radius turns and I felt like Jerry Palladino in “Ride like a Pro” . The bike is just really stable and well balanced. And on the street it was more of the same. It tracks like it’s on rails, very confidence inspiring. I haven’t taken it on the freeway yet, I’m still breaking it in and I’m trying to follow the factory guideline’s and not rev it too much. But so far I’m digging it!
View attachment 213800
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Nice one Bob. Enjoy your new ride. It looks really cool.
 
Congrats Bob. You will have to vist 2M and ride the reds together.

Thought a triumph might have been in the mix...........Enjoy that boulevard, as you have had a Suzi before you know they are underrated as reliable good all round bikes by the general masses.......... Suzuki seems to always be the last in the list of the big 4 Japanese brands

Great woman convincing you to get a new bike.............just maybe she saw the list of the cost to build your XS2 and didn't want you to get another second hand bike They are smarter than we give them credit for
:laugh:
 
Beautiful ride Bob. Congrats. I too really enjoy floorboards. My HD Fatboy is very comfortable, although I’ve never really gotten into the heel shifter. Looks like you will have miles of smiles on that ride.
 
Thank guys I appreciate the comments! And you’re right, I married a good one, she‘s always been good to me!

RED RED RED! Yes of course, I’m a sucker for “arrest me red “ paint jobs. There’s a new Big Red in my garage now! :)

Thought a triumph might have been in the mix.

You know, there was a time, not that long ago, that would have been a good bet. It’s the maintenance angle that puts me off. Did you know that in addition to having bucket and shims valve adjustment, if you have to remove and replace one of those shims, you have to remove the cams to access them! That was a deal breaker for me.

I plan on doing all the maintenance myself, and fortunately this bike is accommodating. And I am so happy to be back in the shaft drive business now. :thumbsup:
 
Congratulations Bob...It makes sense..after the wonderful crudeness and constant maintenence on old machinery..You now have gone to the opposite extreme...brand new...somewhat modern..shaft driven...easy maintenence...and oil change intervals that are prolly 3 times the mileages of the old 650s..As Doug said..Suzuki may be underrated but they are quite the rock of reliability...Many miles and many smiles sir....
 
Many miles and many smiles sir....

Thank you!
With a feather, knock me over, you could.
Sounds like we will soon get treated to some new armchair adventures with Bob!

What? You didn’t see this one coming?
50648D9C-F03F-4AEF-9A8E-5D3F6FCAF24E.jpeg

To tell you the truth, I’ve been terribly fickle. It seemed that every couple weeks I would do a 180 degree shift and get obsessed with something else. It’s funny though, after weeks of constant flip flopping I circled back to my original plan…..a mid size cruiser.
 
Bob - beautiful bike - I had a couple of mates who have them and they love them.
I fully understand the desire to have a new bike and less tinkering/maintenance, modern feel, comfortable etc.
I have 2 77D's but a must have is my CB1000R for just getting away from my old bikes for all the reasons above.
I was only thinking this morning before I opened the forum "I wonder what Bob Mailman has in mind".
I have posted a photo of my Honda which I wish was as comfortable as your Boulevard.
Regards Ray.P1030607.JPG
 
Bob - beautiful bike - I had a couple of mates who have them and they love them.
I fully understand the desire to have a new bike and less tinkering/maintenance, modern feel, comfortable etc.
I have 2 77D's but a must have is my CB1000R for just getting away from my old bikes for all the reasons above.
I was only thinking this morning before I opened the forum "I wonder what Bob Mailman has in mind".
I have posted a photo of my Honda which I wish was as comfortable as your Boulevard.
Regards Ray.View attachment 213839

Thank you! And that Honda sure looks sharp! I rode that bikes daddy , the Honda 919, at a bike show years ago. That bike was a rocket and I’m quite sure that your bike is even better!
 
You can't go wrong with that beauty!

16 years and one write off gone by now and this baby still works like new!
 

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You can't go wrong with that beauty!

16 years and one write off gone by now and this baby still works like new!

Oh yeah! Before I decided to get a new one, I was looking at one like yours. That was some kind of special edition wasn't it? Mag wheels and a Pearl white metallic paint job with ghost flames. That bike was a real looker!
 
Congrats on your new wheels, Bob! Hope you have many miles and smiles. All your reasons for choosing the Suzuki make a lot of sense.

I used to ride 'Murrican cruisers, long and low with big torque and big presence - we don't really have the right kind of roads or weather in Scotland but in Arizona you do!

Great to see your XS has gone to a good home with with an owner who really appreciates that bike.
 
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