Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

10,000km review on a M50 cruiser

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by peter-reebok, May 29, 2007.

  1. slow day at work, so here are some words for the masses.

    Well sorta cruiser. The Suzuki M50 is marketed as a Muscle Cruiser, but even they don't know what that means. It is not a Harley look-a-like, it has sportbike guards, and a bobbed tail.
    They have left most of the chrome off the bike, and blacked out much of it to take the 'BLING' edge off it. Mine is Black, which marks it as a 2006 model. They bring out one colour a year, so the spotters job becomes easy when identifying bikes!. There is a dresser version, called the C50, which is effectively the same, but with a more traditional cruiser look, pullback bars, floorboards, chrome spokes, etc. The M50 has larger dia upside down forks, whilst the C50 has more trad forks.

    It is a 805cc V Twin, which is 50 cubic inches, hence the name. Heavy bike, about 240kg, but this makes it stable in winds, and soaks up the bumps well. Suspension is adjustable for preload, and stiffening it up 2 notches makes a world of difference. Tyre pressures need checking, but I have only had to add air every 3 months or so, may even just be from me checking it too often!.
    5 speed box, 32 degree rake, shaft drive, liquid cooled, fuel injection, low seat height etc.
    The M50 also has cast wheels, and tubeless tyres, which makes it even more easy to maintain.
    There is only one gauge, a speedo, and a small LCD in the speedo that has 2 trip meters, a clock and the odometer. The gauge is mounted on the tree, which is handy for me, as I can't read gauges on the tank. (old age, blind as a bat with short distances)
    Cable clutch, but with good feel. Gear shift is typical Suzuki confident assured shifting. Switchgear is all in the normal places.
    LED tail-lights, a big chrome headlight and a 170 profile rear tyre complete the styling. The std headlight globe is crap, and was replaced with double the power straight away, and is now ok for unlit highways at night. IRC tyres are supplied as standard, and mine are fine after 10,000km, and will probably be replaced with Metzelers. The supplied tyres have plenty of grip, wet or dry.
    Brakes are probably the disapointment here, a single disk on the front, and a drum on the rear. Adequate, but not optimum. Adding braided lines to the front improves feel outta sight. You can lock up the rear if you try, and given the long wheelbase, it doesn't really step out too far on you. Perfect for a grand entrance! The engine has PLENTY of braking capability, and often, if you are being gentle in traffic, you don't even need to use the brakes except when coming to a stop.
    A 15l tank is adequate, and makes about 250km between fills, remember there is no reserve on a FI bike, so they added a flashing light that lets you know when you are about to walk home.
    If you run around the 170-180kmh mark, that drops to less than 200km, so needs to be watched. (and you have to hang on real tight!)

    Ground clearance is fine, I have replaced the sliders on the pegs once, and now find that if I adjust my riding style, I corner faster without scraping the pegs. I was pushing the bike under me when cornering, lesson now learnt. Quite manouvrable, and thin enough to glide between the cars at the lights.
    Riding position is benign, not quite sit up and beg like a trad triumph, and the single speedo cowl does a lot to deflect air away from your torso at higher speeds. The seat is not well designed, with a lump (for mounting) right where your tailbone is. Can be fixed with a half hour, a dremel and a used yoga mat.

    I managed to buy it for $10,000 out the door, new, and it is a lot of bike for the money.
    The first couple of hundred km were easy, the bike initially disapointed a little in outright power, but freed up quickly, and smiles broke out by 500km. By 5000 km, it was a huge grin, and by 8000 km, sportbikes shoulda been scared of me. (tongue in cheek!)
    It is an easy revving twin, that doesn't mind being used at over 5000rpm, and comes alive over 6000rpm. There is a rev limiter that cuts in about 8000 rpm, but max power finishes well before then, so another gear is the way to go. Plenty of torque, 5th will pull cleanly from 60kmh to over 200 (indicated). I checked the speedo with a GPS, and it is about 5% optimistic.

    There isn't any storage, so I added a ventura rack (thanks EBAY), and I made the mounts myself for under $10. It has lasted about 6500km now, so will be staying on.

    After the 1,000km service, I added a Techlusion EFI unit, drilled the pipes, and opened up the intake a bit in a quest for more power. I have now removed the baffles, and wouldn't want it any other way. A $15 AFR meter kit from Jaycar helped me ensure it wasn't leaning out. This also cured the jerky throttle on gentle acceleration around corners.

    At first it was mainly weekends I rode, but the open road beckoned a bit more, so I went for a quick ride over 4 days, ended up doing 3600kms. First day – to Gosford in the rain, then to Coolangatta the next day, in the rain, then across to Goondiwindi, where I was involved in a slight kangaroo vs bike incident, then to Dubbo, then home. This proved that the bike was more than capable of being a longer distance bike, and that I enjoyed it too much. The seat was giving me the irrits though, so I removed it, and modded it with more padding in some places, less in others, and some surgery on the moulded base, (a lumpectomy). I can now ride for hours without pain.

    I am now commuting daily on the M50, and it has only let me down once, when the clutch came out of adjustment. Went to take off from the lights, and nothing!. No warning, just nothing!.
    The clutch can be adjusted with the supplied tools, but the cover cannot be removed with the supplied tools!. I pushed it 5k home, where the adjustment took 5 minutes.

    I carry enough tools to rebuild it now! As well as a spare clutch cable.

    Have been doing the rest of the services myself, as PS Dandenong, where I bought it, didn't even have a copy of the correct workshop manual for my bike, so I bought one myself (www.repairmanual.com) and will have a go at maintaining my own bike. Internet forums have been a good source of info, and they have suggested quite a lot of additional maintenance, not covered in the book) that will keep the bike running for quite a while.
    Small things make you wonder about the smarts of the engineers though. You need a mirror on a stick to check the oil levels, and there is a sight window for the coolant, but you can't see anything in it. You have to remove the cover to check coolant levels.

    10,000km in 6 months is not a record in anyone's books, but seems to be a lot more km than many. Met a rider on Sunday that had NEVER ridden in the rain. EVER!. And he had been riding for many years.

    The M50 is an easy bike to ride, has more than adequate power, is well behaved, and has no real vices that could trap a rider. It won't pop wheelies or stoppies, but goes around corners like on rails. Mid corner corrections can be done, and the shaft drive doesn't introduce any weird effects when backing off or accelerating around corners. It gets about 20km/l in fuel economy. It is a credit to Suzuki that they can make the bike for the money.

    It is a civilised bike, that will outperform cages, and can put a smile on your face riding in traffic. It will disappear as fast as sportbikes at the traffic light GP, as a couple of sportsbikes found out last night. One stopped me at the next lights to find out how big the engine was. He couldn't believe I kept up with him.

    Anyone considering 'slowing' down from a litre bike, or coming up from a 250 would be well advised to consider one.

  2. Excellent write-up man! This a cruiser I could love (if I was older). ;)
  3. Good write-up, Peter, I can't think of one question I'd want to ask after reading that.....
  4. Cool, so commuting is OK on it? That's what always worries me bout cruisers/
  5. Mate you dont have to be old to have a cruiser. I am lucky enough to have 2 awesome bikes. But if i had of known what i know now about the Boulevard, i would have had one alot earlier.

    That is a great write up Pete, they are an awesome bike, even on the wet rds.. :wink:
  6. You can ride these things all day no problems.. If i had to commute on a bike i would definately take boulevard..
  7. Commuting is fine.
    They are narrow enough to go between small gaps in the traffic, agile enough to turn quickly when mirrors have to be negotiated, and that fat rear tyre means you can be half on the white line, and half off, and you dont lose it!.

    took me 11 minutes to get from Oakleigh to Ferntree gully the other night, normally a 45 minute journey in the cage!

    I have only been commuting for 2 weeks on it so far, but have no hassles.
    Rain and dry, hot and cold, no issues.
    I however recommend debaffling, as when it was quiet (std) you just cant hear it over the radio in a cage.
    With no baffles, the cars hear you and thinking it is an evil dude on a harley, they give you room.
  8. Not like me I sound like a sewing machine on the road! :LOL: :LOL:
  9. I was kinda joking about the age thing, given I'm already mid-40s. If I could afford 2 bikes one of these and something sportier would definitely be the stable. As it is I have to seek a compromise.
  10. Awesome post, looks like its time to add another bike to my must demo list.
  11. Excellent review Peter. Nicely done.
  12. Thx for the write up. My dad's looking at getting back into riding after a 25yr hiatus (I think my non-stop talking about my love of riding are to blame) and he's seriously looking at the C50.
  13. Yeah is all good mate.. I forgot to whack the smiley thing on the end.. :LOL:
  14. Yes definately take a look.. Awesome value for money, and an allround awesome bike... [/code][/quote]