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Discussion Starter #1
There has been a lot of talk about timing chain failure on the C 50 Boulevard engine. I find it hard to believe Suzuki built a motor and continues to build the same motor with a timing chain weakness considering todays advances in motor technology. Any well designed motor should be able to go 100,000 miles with proper maintenance today. So here is the question. has anyone ridden their C 50 motorcycle 100,000 and did you have to replace the timing chains and tensioners. And if you did have the Timing chain problem, how many miles were on your motorcycle. Please include the year so we can look for problem years.
Thank you for participating.
I just bought a 2007 C 50 Boulevard with 13,000 miles on the clock and want to know whether I can plan on riding it another 87,000 miles without a timing chain failure or whether I should sell it at 25,000 for something better designed. Thanks and hopefully we can get to the bottom of this timing chain issue
 

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Well, I would not sell it at 25k just because you think the timing chain might crap out soon. If you decide to sell it at 25k, it may be due to wanting a bigger bike based on your needs have changed with the type of riding you want to do going forward.

There are many riders here who have put 10's of thousands of problem free miles. I'm running close to 57k now and expect to take it much more. In my opinion, Suzuki created a bike that had components that were inexpensive to produce, assemble and therefore have a medium life expectancy. Not a long term life. For most buyers, the bike was a cheap purchase (compared to other bikes) and meant as a starter bike. Suzuki expected most Boulevard riders to upgrade to bigger bikes within the Suzuki family. It's rare that a rider took the bike out to its limits on engine wear. For most riders, a 5-8 thousand mile per year is a average. That could translate to 10 years of service without too much effort mechanically knowing that the valves need to be checked periodically. On a $7k bike, that's a good investment.

There are some VR members here who will slam the bike for its components and they have put down their C50 sometime ago. Take the opinion and advice from current owners and riders, not necessarily former owners.
 

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I got a 07 with a little over 34,000 miles. Uses no oil what so ever and never had the valves adjusted either. In fact the only part that broke on my bike was the front brake light switch. IM on my third battery, a bunch of tires. Still has original brake pads also. I have ran mostly Rotella 15w40 oil. I dont ride as much any more I only put two thousand miles on it this past riding season so it will take awhile to rack up alot of miles if it last.
 

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Good question, OP.

So many variables. RPM run, oil used, maintenance intervals. I haven't looked at what it takes to replace the timing chains. Typically on cars we'd replace the chains, the sprockets, and usually some wearing part on the tensioner. Often there would be some magic aftermarket tensioner thing that we'd put in. But I've never done a bike. From my experience, the engines with dirty oil and sludge had the chain damage, and the engines that were sparkling inside as seen through the oil filler cap never came for chain work. If that holds true for the VL800 mine should go past when I'll need it - only 35,000 miles and I do maybe 8000 / year.
 
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So here is the question. has anyone ridden their C 50 motorcycle 100,000 and did you have to replace the timing chains and tensioners. And if you did have the Timing chain problem, how many miles were on your motorcycle. Please include the year so we can look for problem years.
I don't think you are going to get many responses from people who have put over 100,000 miles on their C50s- there are only a few owners on this site with that many miles on their bikes, and they have all replaced their entire engines at least one time, sometimes multiple times.

You are going to get a lot of responses with cam chain problems in the 40,000-50,000 mile range. Myself included- cam chains starting to have problems with 45,200 on my meticulously maintained 2006.

The C50 is an inexpensive bike, with a very small engine for a bike as physically large as it is, and steeply geared to make it work- my C50 is actually slightly longer than my Electra Glide, but the Harley has an engine more than twice as large. So it stands to reason that the bike with the 800cc engine that cost $6,699 brand new is simply not going to last as long as the $18,999 bike with the 1700cc engine and six speed overdrive transmission. Cars are the same way- no one would expect a $11,000 Chevy Aveo to last as long as a $35,000 Acura RDX.

A C50 should give you 40,000-50,000 good miles. As the average owner of a small Japanese cruiser only puts 3,000-5,000 miles a year on their bike, this is considered to be a more than acceptable life span, and is about what you would get out of similarly priced and sized models. If you want a bike that will last 100,000 trouble-free miles, get something much larger, like a Kawasaki 1500, a Honda Goldwing, a Kawasaki Concours, anything from BMW, or anything from Harley that is not a Sportster.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheap Ford Pinto Motor went 150,000 miles

I drove my 1975 ford pinto 150,000 miles without any inside engine work changing the oil every 2,000 miles. Did have to replace the timing belt every 60,000 miles but that was pretty easy as it wasn't inside the engine.

I don't think you are going to get many responses from people who have put over 100,000 miles on their C50s- there are only a few owners on this site with that many miles on their bikes, and they have all replaced their entire engines at least one time, sometimes multiple times.

You are going to get a lot of responses with cam chain problems in the 40,000-50,000 mile range. Myself included- cam chains starting to have problems with 45,200 on my meticulously maintained 2006.

The C50 is an inexpensive bike, with a very small engine for a bike as physically large as it is, and steeply geared to make it work- my C50 is actually slightly longer than my Electra Glide, but the Harley has an engine more than twice as large. So it stands to reason that the bike with the 800cc engine that cost $6,699 brand new is simply not going to last as long as the $18,999 bike with the 1700cc engine and six speed overdrive transmission. Cars are the same way- no one would expect a $11,000 Chevy Aveo to last as long as a $35,000 Acura RDX.

A C50 should give you 40,000-50,000 good miles. As the average owner of a small Japanese cruiser only puts 3,000-5,000 miles a year on their bike, this is considered to be a more than acceptable life span, and is about what you would get out of similarly priced and sized models. If you want a bike that will last 100,000 trouble-free miles, get something much larger, like a Kawasaki 1500, a Honda Goldwing, a Kawasaki Concours, anything from BMW, or anything from Harley that is not a Sportster.
 

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[ QUOTE=rvcycleguy]

There are some VR members here who will slam the bike for its components and they have put down their C50 sometime ago. Take the opinion and advice from current owners and riders, not necessarily former owners.[/QUOTE]

Now that is harsh. Some of us would still have out C50 if the engine hadn't crapped out prematurely..

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I don't think this is an issue exclusive to the C50. I've replaced the cam chains on other bikes when the mileage gets a bit high.

The first was a V Four Honda and I only noticed when I was replacing the cams, the issue was not the tensioner but the fact that the chain had stretched. Although it looked perfect, for the same amount of links it was about 1/2" longer. I simply ground down a link pin, attached the new chain and fed it through the engine.

When fitted I just reset the tensioner, according to the manual the C50 system isn't much different.

If there are concerns make it part of your maintenance plan for 30, 40 or 50K, you can do the valve clearances, check cams etc and make sure everything is OK at the same time.
 

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You know it seems like from what ive read here on the forum that the 05,06 model years come up more for premature engine failure. What say everyone?
 

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That is my assessment as well. A lot of reliability issues with those years bikes. I've only seen a couple of 07 and later suffer the same failures.

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Discussion Starter #12
05, 06 years.You may be on to something.

Thanks, good eye, you may be on to something here.
You know it seems like from what ive read here on the forum that the 05,06 model years come up more for premature engine failure. What say everyone?
 

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You know it seems like from what ive read here on the forum that the 05,06 model years come up more for premature engine failure. What say everyone?
Doubt it. Those are the oldest model C50's at this point with the most mileage. IMHO, the individual riding characteristics and engine maintenance has the most to do with how long these engines will last.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
C 50 engine, is it the same as in the first Valise's

Do you know if the engine is the same as in the Volusia's. They have been around for a long time
Doubt it. Those are the oldest model C50's at this point with the most mileage. IMHO, the individual riding characteristics and engine maintenance has the most to do with how long these engines will last.
 

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I was interested to know about this since I own a Volusia now. It has 19k on it with no issues at this point. I wish I had a tad more mileage out of it, but I am at the normal mileage so I cannot complain. It is a gorgeous bike! Oh and mine is a 2004 model, the last year it was a Volusia.
 

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There is no rhyme or reason as to why some bikes are dead-on reliable and others expire prematurely. I used to be in the 'it has to be a maintenance/riding style' camp. I treated my C50 like a baby. Did every maintenance item to the letter and used only top-shelf products. It didn't matter as it started burning oil and eventually self-destructed in just 4 short years. Others have nearly twice the miles I got and have never even cracked the engine to inspect their valves. It makes no sense..... So I can't tell you how your bike is going to fare long term. It all depends on what mood fate is in at the moment....
 
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Discussion Starter #17
How many miles on your 2007 when it Self Destructed ?

How many miles on your 2007 when it Self Destructed ?

There is no rhyme or reason as to why some bikes are dead-on reliable and others expire prematurely. I used to be in the 'it has to be a maintenance/riding style' camp. I treated my C50 like a baby. Did every maintenance item to the letter and used only top-shelf products. It didn't matter as it started burning oil and eventually self-destructed in just 4 short years. Others have nearly twice the miles I got and have never even cracked the engine to inspect their valves. It makes no sense..... So I can't tell you how your bike is going to fare long term. It all depends on what mood fate is in at the moment....
 

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It was a 2005. It had 38,000 miles on it. The engine started using some oil ~ 20k miles. It was never a lot and I just kept it topped off. Then out of the blue, it consumed more than a quart in 500 miles. It was so bad, it was belching blue smoke out of my exhaust when I got on the throttle. I only used synthetic oil, changed at 3500 mile intervals, a new filter every other change. I even went as far as to clean out the oil sump, screen and filter every other oil change. Adjusted the valves to the middle of spec every 7500 miles. Ran a DJ drive to reduce my engine rpm and had a fuel processor installed to keep everything happy. I could not have done more to take care of the bike than what I did. I was religious about the oil and checked it EVERY time I went for a ride. It was really disappointing, because I was absolutely convinced that the cause for the early engine failure was a lack of maintenance. I was wrong.
 

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Doubt it. Those are the oldest model C50's at this point with the most mileage. IMHO, the individual riding characteristics and engine maintenance has the most to do with how long these engines will last.
This may be true as well only time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looks like engine worn out but Timing Chain OK?

Looks like your engine wore out but Timing Chain OK? I change oil every 2000 miles, check valves every 5,000. Lubed drive shaft at 12,5000. Bike has 13,000 miles on it now so I will probably sell it when clock reaches 30,000 miles. Gives me 17,000 more miles and hopefully new owner can get plenty of miles before needing overhaul.

It was a 2005. It had 38,000 miles on it. The engine started using some oil ~ 20k miles. It was never a lot and I just kept it topped off. Then out of the blue, it consumed more than a quart in 500 miles. It was so bad, it was belching blue smoke out of my exhaust when I got on the throttle. I only used synthetic oil, changed at 3500 mile intervals, a new filter every other change. I even went as far as to clean out the oil sump, screen and filter every other oil change. Adjusted the valves to the middle of spec every 7500 miles. Ran a DJ drive to reduce my engine rpm and had a fuel processor installed to keep everything happy. I could not have done more to take care of the bike than what I did. I was religious about the oil and checked it EVERY time I went for a ride. It was really disappointing, because I was absolutely convinced that the cause for the early engine failure was a lack of maintenance. I was wrong.
 
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