The 2009 Suzuki Boulevard M90 features a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled OHC engine with a five-speed constant mesh transmission tucked neatly in a steel-tube frame.
With economic stability hanging on a precarious balance and gas prices higher than ever, the bigger and better trend has hit its apex. The displacement race is over, with the quest for efficiency and affordability taking the spotlight. These criteria have not gone unnoticed by Suzuki, who is now offering a scaled-back version of its popular M109R power cruiser. That is, if you consider almost 1500cc of adrenalin-inducing V-Twin power scaled back.
Stylistically, it’s hard to tell the two apart. It all starts up front with the signature headlight cowl. The M90 lacks the chrome trim on the front of the nacelle, but does have a splash of chrome on top that houses a cleanly-integrated instrument cluster. The motorcycle’s lines are mirror images; only the M90’s stretched fuel tank is slightly smaller in capacity (4.8 vs. 5.2 gal.) but looks every bit as wide as its larger family member. The liquid-cooled cruiser has a boxy radiator up front, and plenty of chrome accoutrements, including engine, air cleaner and swingarm pivot covers. Burly equal length, slash-cut mufflers jut off the right side of both.
And while it would have been easy to simply slap the engine from the C90 (a model it already has in production) into the new package, American Suzuki’s Communication Manager Glenn Hansen assures us that it’s an all-new engine. At the heart of the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected V-Twin are pistons churning in a 96mm bore at a stroke of 101mm. With a compression ratio of 9.5:1, Suzuki aimed to increase combustion and fuel efficiency with dual spark plugs assigned to each combustion chamber. The plugs fire at the same time during low rpm but are set to fire at staggered intervals at high rpm. The bores are coated with Suzuki’s Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM) that has been tested in its racing platforms and is said to help reduce piston friction and increase heat transfer. The M90 is also tuned to bring on the power early and often, with a claimed peak torque at only 2600rpm.
Riders will appreciate the low-vibe ride from its rubber-mounted engine. A big comfy-looking leather seat has a little extra stretch to allow riders to move forward or backward because buns can become a little numb after hours of riding in the same position. The rider’s triangle includes forward-mounted foot pegs and a fairly short reach to the drag-style chromed handlebars with a flat bend. The riding position will have riders leaned slightly forward, and the low-riding cruiser features a 28.2-inch seat height.
The stretched 4.8 gallon tank and claimed 44mpg should provide for plenty of riding in between fill-ups.
The 2009 M90 rolls on cast aluminum-alloy wheels equipped with Bridgestones specifically designed for the model. Riders should be able to attack corners aggressively thanks to a 120mm front and 200mm rear. The Bridgestone rubber gives it power cruiser appeal but isn’t so wide that it will totally sacrifice sharp handling.
The newest member to Suzuki’s Boulevard family comes in black, blue, and red. With a claimed 44 mpg and an MSRP of $9,999, the newest cruiser from Suzook adheres to its higher effieciency, affordable price mantra it emphasized during the intro. Fans of the M109R need not fear, because it is back as well in ’09. We’re hoping to throw a leg over it when invites to the intro go out, so stay tuned for MotorcycleUSA’s First Ride article coming in the near future.