Suzuki Motorcycles Hit the Boulevard: No More Intruders, Marauders, Volusia or Savage

Suzuki leaves its cruiser past behind with a new motorcycle brand, Boulevard. But the face is familiar.

Suzuki says that a new era has dawned, and it is an era that will not include any of its familiar cruiser models. Suzuki's 2005 model line has no Intruders, no Marauders, no Volusia, and not even a Savage. Suzuki's cruiser future lies on the Boulevard. That's the new brand name being applied to all of its cruisers in the future.

For 2005, all of Suzuki's existing cruisers will be replaced with restyled, redesignated and renamed Boulevard versions. Instead of the familiar cubic-centimeter (cc) displacement designations, the Boulevard-brand cruisers will be designated by cubic-inch designations. The skinny, chopperesque models that replace the Intruder 1400 and 800 and the Savage, are designated by S prefixes. The classic, wide style bikes that replace the Intruder 1500LC and the Volusia are C models, and the bikes moving into the slots occupied by the Marauders get M designations. The bike that replaces the Savage is the S40. The Boulevard counterpart for the Intruder 800 is the S50. Replacing the Volusia 800 is the Boulevard C50. In place of the Intruder 1400 is the S83, and the Intruder 1500's slot is filled by the C90. The Kawasaki-built Marauder 1600 gets elbowed aside by the Kawasaki-built Boulevard M95.

But if the Boulevard models look familiar, they should. Each of the new bikes, with one exception, is clearly derived from the bike is displaces, albeit with fresh styling on a range of components and technical and functional upgrades, such as EFI replacing carburetion on the C90 and the use of floorboards on the C50 (replacing the Volusia, Suzuki's best-seller). The styling changes include items such as saddles, handlebars, headlight shells, and air cleaner covers. There are several multi-reflector headlights in the line now.

One of the Boulevard series motorcycles is new, however. The Boulevard M50, which fits in the slot formerly occupied by the Marauder 800, not only looks different than that bike but is vastly changed, although it retains the same street-rod style and performance attitude. The new M50 boasts features like shaft drive, EFI, a hidden single-damper rear suspension, blacked-out wheels, and completely fresh lines. The M50 manages to look fresher and racier than its big brother, the M95. It will go into production at the end of 2004, and should hit showrooms in late winter or early spring 2005.

Suzuki says that this is "just the tip of the iceberg." It says it will have new cruisers every year for a while, including an M105 for 2006, and T versions (touring) of the C90 and C50 in early 2005. The C50T and C90T (photo at left) will have windshields, saddlebags, sissybars, and whitewalls. Suzuki is also asking its dealers to get more involved in the cruising segment of the market, which is probably one of the reasons for this rebranding. However, it also signals that Suzuki's low-key attitude about the cruiser market has changed dramatically.

We will have additional details about the Boulevards and more photos in the next few days, and look for riding impressions on the Boulevards in the October issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

The Boulevard brand is the beginning of Suzuki's newfound interest in cruiser motorcycles.
Our favorite 800 is now a 50.
All new: The M50 will arrive early in 2005.
With shaft drive on the new M50, all of Suzuki's V-twin cruisers now have cast off their chains. The black wheels and hidden suspension give the M50 a distinctive look.
Blacked-out M50 engine.
The M50 gets upside-down fork legs, electronic fuel injection, fresh lines for the tank, fenders and tailsection, and blacked out wheels and engine. We think this look might also show up on the forthcoming M105.
This is what the C90T will look like.