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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,


I am new around here, planning to get a second hand Suzuki Boulevard C50T, so I want to hear some advice about what to check when looking at bikes (do they have any known issues and what should be the maximu mileage?), what's a good price range I should look for (I see bikes ranging from $2k up to $4k at dealers here in Illinois). Hoping to get a discount for buying off season, but if there is no good deal I might wait until spring.


Any advice is appreciated, thanks.
 

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Compare the prices of the dealers against private sellers. Aftermarket extras don't add as much to the price as dealers would want you to believe. See if they just took it as trade or if they had been doing the maintenance on it all along.

You never said what year or how many miles. That makes a difference.
 

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Welcome to the VR family friends forum...A plethora of used bike here in classified and it Craig's list....Be advised, 05 and above introduced EFI and then called the Bully....Good luck.
 

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Yeah, you're probably going to get your best deal about now, and the selection will likely be better. To get an idea of the fair market value on a bike, I like to use Kelly Blue Book. It isn't the last word in value, but should give you a good starting point for negotiations. As mentioned, if you want FI on the bike, you need to be looking at an '05 and up.

Low mileage is a good thing, obnoxiously low mileage is a bad thing. I would consider a "low mileage" bike one that averages something like 1-2k miles per year. If it's a 20 year old bike with only 5k miles on it, that means that it has sat forgotten and unused for extended periods of time.

On older bikes, pay special attention to the state of the rubber components, and don't just look at tread on the tires, but also check the age of the tires. You can determine the manufacture date by looking at the sidewall of the tire.

If it is an older bike, even if they have maintenance records, I would plan on replacing every fluid in it after purchase. It isn't that big of a deal to do and is cheap insurance in my opinion. Just factor the cost into the purchase price.

Above all, try to enjoy the shopping experience. Good luck!
 

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Avoid high mileage bikes. VL800s (C50s in particular) have issues with engine failure anywhere after 30k miles. It is almost universally wear related, with the front cylinders wearing out before the rear. Repair costs for a worn engine can exceed the value of the bike. Other typical issues include worn valves (valve clearance check is due every 7500 miles), worn cam chain/chain tensioners, stripped drive splines due to inadequate lubrication and some issues with the fuel pump as it ages. Although they LOOK like a bigger bike, the 800cc engine produces a modest 44hp. There are a number of bolt ons and such that people spend thousands on, to only gain 4-5hp.
It is a fantastic, middle weight cruiser that really shines on the back roads and likes to be ridden at a more relaxed pace. It struggles on the interstate and vibration is an issue at higher speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the answers guys, appreciate it.
@scorpion46, I didn't specify the year because I wasn't sure when they introduced FI, but definitely I want to get one that has FI (had enough trouble with carbs in the past), so I will be looking at something newer than 2005.

About mileage, my opinion is, the lower, the better. I see a lot of bikes with 20k+ and wonder, aren't they too beat up after that many miles? How good are the engines on these bikes?

Unfortunately, I can't find any private sellers here in Illinois, the bikes I found were all from cycletrader and are all from dealers. There was nothing on Craigslist around me.
Any suggestions where to look? Any other websites?


I would also like to get some good pipes (V&H or Cobra) and was wondering if the bike needs some tuning after changing the stock pipes? (I know the carb bikes need re-jetting, but how about FI bikes?)
@Whiskey, thanks for the detailed response, really useful info. I also thought I might get the best deal about now, but looking at the prices at a couple of dealerships, it doesn't look like they offer any discounts at all. Might go check them out and see if they have any discount, or just wait until spring. The thing is, I don't have a garage and if I buy now, will have to put it in storage until spring anyway. I was just hoping the price might be lower because they don't have any sales and might be worthed for me.
@bbqjoe, thanks for the link. That's a really lovely bike, however Arizona is too far from me and I wouldn't buy a bike without trying it.
 

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welcome to the family and kudos for doing some homework before making the purchase...like mentioned earlier be careful on a very low mileage mc that appears to be too good to be true, while it can turn out to be quite the steal it could also turn out to be quite a headache just because it has been sitting. And yet I purchased my 06 c90 in 2013 with only 8k on the dial...a very questionable decision until I went to see it, saw how the owner kept it as well as how he treats his other toys, understood why the mileage was so low after he explained why he stopped riding, took a chance and turned out to be a good buy...so its a crap shoot. If the tires are original and probably are they will need to be replaced regardless of how well they look..change all the fluids. If you expect to be able to test ride a mc you may be interested in, don't be surprised if sellers are relunctant to let you unless you come with cash in hand and let them hold it while you go out for a ride,,,some may just let you, some may not, don't be quick to think they are trying to hide something if they say no w/o any money in their hand..lots of good used mc's out there,,,and while it is a good time to buy,,,come spring a lot of riders will have had the winter to convince themselves its time for anew bike and therefore more mc's out there to choose from...good luck...have a good holiday season.
 

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I have found facebook marketplace as another source, at least you have a name and some history of the person. There are dealers there also. Good luck. Looking is half the fun!
 

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2009 and up has enhancements you might like. The dash was changed that you can always see the clock without scrolling. There is a gear position indicator as well. These also have a large attractive LED taillight. Seats were also changed slightly. I don't know if they are more comfortable or not than the pre 09/ I had a OEM gel seat for my 05. When I traded in on a new 09 I made a new bracket for the gel seat to mount on the 09. It wasn't difficult to do. It fit the 09 but there was a bit of a gap between the tank and the seat. I liked my 05 but would only buy 09 and up if I was buying. Happy shopping, hope you find a ride you like. I think you know there are people selling bikes and farkles for the bikes on this site. Some good deals to be had.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Awesome, appreciate all the replies, very helpful.

I was wondering about my previous question about swapping the stock pipes with some open pipes like V&H or Cobra.
Do I to tune the bike or change something else or I can just swap the pipes?
(I know the carb bikes need re-jetting, but how about FI bikes?)
 

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You will find a 50/50 answer to this one as i just went through the same process! I added pipes and a K & N air filter and in the end went with a Tuner!..

They reckon if you just do the pipes or just do the Air cleaner you don't need a Tuner, just keep an eye on ya plugs and make sure you are not running to lean!

I decided bugger it! i'm going to go with the Tuner as i'd rather be safe than sorry! From my replies ( on a Boulevard FB page too) a lot in the USA go with the Bully FI Tuner, but with me living Down Under it worked out to expensive for me, so i went with the Healtech FI Tuner Pro. It fitted on real easy and was easy to load the map. For $260 Aud i'm happy and know i won't be running lean now!...

Check out my 2 threads on this question, it is in the Garage/Fuel section, oh watch out for the local troll this site seems to have, that has a negative answer for every topic you post in, i've stuck him on my ignore list..>:)

Hope that helps...
 

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I agree with Scrap....I bought an 05' new with 0 miles on the clock and it used a quart of oil every 500 miles. The dealer said that was acceptable. I put 25K on the bike with it using that much oil before I traded it back in to that same dealership for a bigger Kawasaki. I've had a number of bikes since then, all of which were much better than the C50. I wouldn't buy another one.....JMO.
 

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Awesome, appreciate all the replies, very helpful.

I was wondering about my previous question about swapping the stock pipes with some open pipes like V&H or Cobra.
Do I to tune the bike or change something else or I can just swap the pipes?
(I know the carb bikes need re-jetting, but how about FI bikes?)
Yes, if you swap your exhaust, you WILL need a fuel injector tuner as well. Pipes will cost around $500, a tuner another $300 and a high flow filter $50 for a drop in or $250 for a "performance" bolt on. For all that money, you get a louder bike and a whopping 5 hp.

If you want more noise, you can drill out the back plate of the existing pipes for free. Just keep in mind that mods like that are permanent and you will affect the bike's resale value.
 
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