Just the other day, not too far from the glitzy lights of the Vegas Strip, Suzuki announced its full 2013 motorcycle and scooter lineup, with updated and new models joining the 2013 machines previously announced this year (as seen in our February 2013 issue's Buyer's Guide).
Although there were no scantily glad showgirls sashaying around the annual Suzuki dealer business meeting, the mood was decidedly upbeat (even with news of American Suzuki's auto division filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier in the week). The notably larger and refreshed 2013 bike lineup includes updated sport bikes, Boulevard cruisers, Standard motorcycles and scooters. We'll focus on the cruisers here.
The full complement of 800s is back -- the newly-sleekened, slightly tweaked M50 returns to the Boulevard line for 2013 with a front headlight treatment that more closely mimics its bigger M90 and M109 brothers; MSRP is $8799. The C50 Special Edition ($8799) also joins the line, as a customized version of the popular and affordable C50 model ($8399) featuring a two-tone finish and cast wheels.
The flagship M109R muscle cruiser ($14,299) gets back to business too, and is also available as a special Limited Edition with customized two-tone finish and graphics, with a retail of $14,799.
But the Boulevard line's big highlight for 2013 is the "all-new" C90T B.O.S.S. In other words, it's not really all-new -- the C90T was discontinued in 2009 due to emission controls, but it's essentially an updated version of the older existing model that's now cleaner-running. The new B.O.S.S., edition - - whose initials, of course, stand for Blacked-Out-Special-Suzuki - gets a sleek all-black finish and black hardware, and features a full touring package with hard side bags and a tall windscreen. There's also a Standard C90T version, which like the BOSS version, is also a 1462cc touring cruiser fitted with a 52-degree, 1462cc SOHC v-twin. According to Suzuki, the updated C90T bikes are meant to fit a wide range of rider sizes, be powerful enough for a long range highway ride, and essentially fill the gap in Boulevard line up between 800cc and 1800cc.
The C90T was developed in conjunction with the M90 model and shares its basic platform, including the frame and swing arm, engine components like the intake, exhaust and cooling system, as well as the transmission. Lurking in the internals are three separate air-cleaner boxes, to maximize air induction for best power and torque (as on the M109R). Suzuki says that engine has also been massaged to deliver broad torque and a wide spread of power for long range cruising; the company quotes 77.8 hp @4800rpm, and 96.6 ft.-lb. of torque @ 2800 rpm. Healthy numbers to be sure, and Suzuki says it's the most powerful engine in the class. We'll find out soon enough..
On the outside, however, the C90T retains its Classic style, which has been refreshed to be not too radical, nor too conservative, with a classic steel-tube chassis holding a 4.8 gallon tank and a softail-style suspension, dual slash-cut mufflers, floorboards and a wide, comfortable seat. Suzuki also emphasized the new saddlebag design, as the C90T is the first Boulevard machine with factory-designed hard sidecases that are integrated with the bike, not simply luggage add-ons. The durable, impact-resistant ABS plastic cases are covered with a leather-like material similar to the saddle's, and are lockable. They also allow easy access while seated on the bike. Capacity is listed as 26 liters for the right bag and 24.5 liters for the left bag (due to the exhaust pipe cut-out); the left bag also features a protection bumper to reduce damage to the bag/luggage if tipped over.
Comfort was a careful consideration on the C90T as well; both the rider and passenger seat portions are shaped wider and flatter than on the M90, to better accommodate various size pilots. The handlebar is also wider and 3.9 inches closer to the rider and floorboards (with a heel-toe shift lever) come standard.
A fork-mounted Suzuki-designed windshield was constructed to provide ample wind protection at freeway speeds, and company reps say the design is meant to especially minimize wind buffeting. Another highlight is the large, tank-mounted multi-function instrument package, which is highlighted by a large analog speedometer in the middle. The gauge cluster also includes a gear-position indicator and a fuel gauge, along with a clock, plus indicator lights for low fuel, turn signals, odometer and twin trip meters.
The 2013 Suzuki Boulevard C90T B.O.S.S. comes in Glass Sparkle Black, and will retail for $13,999. It should be available by February. The standard C90T gets most of the same components and will be available in Candy Sonoma Red / Glass Sparkle Black or Solid Special White No.2 / Solid Iron Gray; MSRP is yet to be determined. Suzuki also says a new C90 non-touring version will be coming for 2014 (and should be available by April).
We got a chance to ride the C90T for a day through the Nevada desert, after the introduction.
Read our riding impressions in the March issue of Motorcycle Cruiser, on sale 1/29/2013.