2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T Review: Touring Touring Motorcycle
It’s always interesting when a motorcycle fills a niche that offers no competition, and the 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T certainly fits that description. Neither competing Japanese manufacturers nor American motorcycle manufacturers have a cruiser in the 1500cc range, let alone a cruiser-tourer. The closest challenger you’ll find is the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring, but it costs over $ 5,000 more than the Suzuki, barely the competition.
Due to the lack of a predator, the underlying platform of the Suzuki Boulevard C90T hasn’t changed much since 2005 when it went from hacker to boulevard, acquiring a 32-bit EFI. The Intruder that the C90T is based on dates back to 1998, so it’s fair to say that this bike has proven itself over time, rather than flying at the cutting edge of technology.
It doesn’t matter much once you get on a motorcycle. Either it works for the intended purpose or it fails in some respects. In the case of the 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T, it meets the needs of riders who want enough power to take two tours, but want to do it on a budget and have peace of mind thanks to a mature design and reliable.
As you would expect, given its pedigree, the 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T makes its way without too many electronic gimmicks. Yes, it has EFI with Suzuki’s efficient dual throttle system to smooth throttle response, but that’s about it. There’s nothing to do with power modes or traction control, and ABS is provided by judicious use of the right hand and foot. The rider is the essential safety device, as it always has been.
The main draw of the 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T is the powertrain. While not a big inch design, it does provide a lot of power for real world riding. A substantial peak of 97 ft / lb of torque comes at just 2,600 rpm from the slightly sub-square 54-degree V-twin with SOHC and four-valve heads. It is this kind of low-end power that is essential for two-handed riding. You can still pull away from a stop without drama thanks to the growl, and the plentiful torque is also there for the open road fainting. Crank the water-cooled engine to an easily accessible speed of 4,800 rpm, and you’re rewarded with its peak of 78 horsepower. It should come as no surprise that the power delivery is decidedly linear.
Straight line touring is the calling card of the C90T. With a 66-inch wheelbase, more than 31 degrees of lean, and big Bridgestone Exedra rubber on a 16/17 inch wheel set, the C90T is all about stability. You can compress it up to triple-digit speeds if you want without bad driving, as long as the road is relatively smooth. Touring well within the excessive speed limits of most states is easy to accomplish, with the simple windshield doing its job quietly.
If you must stop at these high speeds, be prepared to add extra pressure to the front brake lever. There’s only one disc up front, and you’ll notice this at higher speeds, and especially two. Fortunately, the rear brake and 200mm rear tire will help with deceleration tasks, if needed.
If your touring needs include winding roads, you’ll need to lower your expectations a notch or two. There are a number of reasons for this, and the long wheelbase and slack rake that worked so well on the highway are just starters when it comes to the C90T’s dislike of cornering.
The 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T has a simple suspension that has no adjustment. Wheel travel is generous – over five inches up front and over four inches in the rear – but the action rocks the bike. On straight and flat roads this is not a problem. However, when you start to ride hard enough to endanger the virginity of the planks, you will be destabilized if the pavement is uneven. To hit the price of $ 13,049, something had to give, and the result is 20th century cruiser suspension action.
Another obstacle on winding roads is the handlebars. The wide 7/8 inch bar flexes a bit and to make matters worse they are rubber mounted. The unfortunate result is a vague feeling up front, despite the big 130mm Bridgestone Exedra tire. Suffice it to say, if you are looking for a cruiser with good cornering performance on canyon roads, the 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T will not be at the top of your list. However, if you just keep going at a calm pace then you’re fine and all that flex helps smooth out the overall feel.
For long journeys, the ergonomics are user-friendly. It’s a fairly spacious design, and the floorboards have plenty of room for your boots. The heel / toe shifter is decisive and there is no tear-out of the drive shaft. The vibration is friendly, so it won’t tire you out on long trips. You can move around the seat as needed and the padding is neutral. The bars bring you the grips, so there is no tiring reach. There is also a nice pocket of still air behind the non-adjustable windshield.
Unless you’re wearing an open face helmet, you won’t spend much time looking at the tank-mounted analog-style speedometer and fuel gauge. There is an LCD display for the clock and gear position below the meter, so it’s even further out of your field of vision. No tachometer is present or needed – if you hit the rev limiter, learn to change gears sooner.
Although somewhat odd in shape, the aero bags have a large, useful opening on the top. The right bag holds 26 liters and the left bag 24.5 liters, which is enough for a long weekend. If you are traveling light, you can go even further.
In town, the Boulevard C90T is a capable mount. Despite weighing 800 pounds and lazy geometry, it’s not bad. The clutch assist and traction control comes to the rescue, reducing manual effort at the lever. As long as you don’t stuff it around corners at intersections, you’ll find the C90T to be a smooth ride.
If you want to get a lot of attention from passers-by, the 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T will be a bit of a letdown. While you might get a few nods of admiration here and there, its vanilla style isn’t eye-catching. There’s enough chrome to satisfy fans of shiny stuff, and the scratch on the tank gives the C90T some flair. The seat and bags are not made of leather, and the fenders and side covers are made of plastic, which does not give a rich appearance. Hey, it’s just a tick over $ 13,000, and the bean counters need to be appeased.
The 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T sits in a cruiser tourer niche that no other manufacturer is interested in. The engine is excellent and the chassis is probably good enough to satisfy most budget-conscious buyers. It’s a comfortable motorcycle that understands highway touring, yet looks good enough that you don’t feel the need to park it somewhere inconspicuous at the local waterhole. Rather than dwell on its flaws, we’re happy that Suzuki offers a viable tourer cruiser in this price range and displacement – someone must have.
Photography by Kelly Callan
Headset: HJC i10
Eyeglasses : Fatheadz big daddy
Jacket: Street & Steel Brighton
Gloves: Power trigger by Joe Rocket Mens Jet Black Lined
Jeans: Street & Steel Oakland
Boots: Highway 21 Low Primary Engineer
2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T specifications
Type: 54 degree V-twin
Displacement: 1462cc (83ci)
Bore x stroke: 96 x 101 mm
Maximum power: 78 horsepower at 4,800 rpm
Maximum torque: 97 ft / lb @ 2,600 rpm
Compression ratio: 9.5: 1
Valve system: SOHC; 4vpc
Refueling: EFI with double Suzuki throttle valve
Transmission: 5 speed
Clutch: Assist and slipper
Final drive: shaft
Frame: steel tube
Front suspension; travel: non-adjustable inverted fork of 45 mm; 5.1 inch
Rear suspension; travel: shock absorber assisted by non-adjustable linkage; 4.3 inch
Wheels: Cast aluminum
Front tire: 130/80 x 17; Bridgestone Exedra G853
Rear tire: 200/60 x 16; Bridgestone Exedra G852
Front brake: Disc
Rear brake: Disc
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: 65.9 inches
Rake: 31.2 degrees
Trail: 5.2 inches
Seat height: 28.3 inches
Fuel capacity: 4.8 gallons
Curb weight: 800 pounds
Color: Shiny Metallic Mystic Silver
2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T Price: $ 13,049 MSRP
2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T photo gallery