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2005 Boulevard C50
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! I'm considering a LONG ride from East coast to Mid west (1,500 miles one way) for this coming summer. Thinking about using my well maintained and serviced 2005 C50. Good Idea? Bad Idea? Let me know what you think.
 

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why not...figure 3-4k miles overall...a cake walk...do the usual pre trip maintenance and safety inspection, invest in some new tires if you're not sure, plan your overnite lodging in advance if possible, and make sure you have a mustang or ultimate seat ...make sure you have AAA or similar just in case and pack some maps. Sure others will chime in with what they found necessary. Good luck and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
why not...figure 3-4k miles overall...a cake walk...do the usual pre trip maintenance and safety inspection, invest in some new tires if you're not sure, plan your overnite lodging in advance if possible, and make sure you have a mustang or ultimate seat ...make sure you have AAA or similar just in case and pack some maps. Sure others will chime in with what they found necessary. Good luck and enjoy.
Thanks!!!! Appreciate the input. I'm pretty familiar with long rides. Did the New England to Key West thing a couple of times. It's just I've never considered something as small as a C50 for such. Wasn't sure if the bike could handle it.
 

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It should do fine, I've traveled with guys on C50s without issue, but we avoid freeways as much as possible. Consider taking an extra couple days and using secondary highways. I do about 4K trip every summer, backroads, stopping at coffee shops, talking with locals at gas stations and cafes is half the adventure.
 

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It's a 2005, so it's probably as likely to break down as any other 16 y/o vehicle. If I were confident enough in how it was running, I'd go for it though.
 
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I had the '05 and I ran it all over the east coast and up into Canada. Running it for long periods of time on the interstate can be taxing, both to you and the bike. Modern speed limits are 70+ mph and the bike is pretty much wheezing at anything above 80 mph. The engine will also be spinning at 5k rpm which will introduce A LOT of vibration. Plan on 500 mile days or less, unless you really don't like your spine or your fillings. Also, carry oil, as these engines tend to use oil as they wear and running them hard can lead to complete oil starvation if you don't pay attention to the level.

I used to think the bike did just fine for a light touring rig, then I bought an actual light touring rig.
 
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In June of 2018 I took my 2002 Volusia on a trip for 8 days, we travelled in 8 US states and I put on about 5300 km. I had 2 issues with the performance on that trip, in higher altitudes it ran very rich and bogged down a lot (carbureted bike) and we took interstates on the way home since we were pressed for time and at times I had my Volusia running at full throttle to keep up.
I currently ride a 2006 C50 and 2 summers ago I did a trip in northern Ontario for 7 days and almost 4000 km with my brother in law and we had no issues. The highways in northern Ontario have a speed limit of 90 kph and we were running about 100 kph with no issues.
I had a Mustang seat on my Volusia which is now on my Boulevard and love it, it very comfortable on long hauls.
Last September I did a one day ride with my brother in law from his place east of North Bay to the bottom end of Manitoulin Island and back to his place. Just over 700 km for the day averaging about 100 kph and our Boulevards performed flawlessly. My brother in law rides a 2007 C50T, he was also on the trip to the US and had no issues with his Boulevard on that trip.
 

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not knowing if the mc is burning oil or no at present, would stay aware of the oil level on the trip if most of your cruising will be at highway speeds..70+/over...these engines, while able to handle that cruising speed, will work harder and tend to burn oil if cruising at higher speeds. Pack a couple quarts of oil just in case, can always pick up some if need be
 

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Installing a C90 drive on the Volusia/C50 bikes will make the trip much more enjoyable.
Lower RPM, less vibration, & less oil consumption.
C90 drives have a gear ratio of 3:02-1 versus 363:-1 on the stock Volusia/C50 drives.....almost like having a 6th gear.
 
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Dont know why not....I rode my C50 Boulevard from south central Indiana to Key West Florida with a one night stop over in Gainesville Florida...Mostly all interstate until Miami area...that was 11 years ago; couldnt do it now (I couldnt but I am sure the bike still could).
 

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I rode mine from Indiana to Connecticut and back a few years ago and it ran fine. I did have a Mustang seat and C90 drive. GPS kept sending me different directions and it ended up at 978 miles out, mainly secondary roads and 7xx miles back, hiways. Watch your oil and look for leaks on the rear-end regularly along with tire pressure and you should be fine. Take plenty of breaks and stay hydrated. Do you have a windshield? It'll definitely help.
 
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@mastertek2000 visited all 49 mainaland states on his 2002 (I think, pre 2004 at any rate). He took his wife along on the back and towed a trailer better stocked than most home garages.
 
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If I were going to swap out the C50 drive with a C90 drive, I'd go ahead and swap the rest of the bike too. 😋
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It should do fine, I've traveled with guys on C50s without issue, but we avoid freeways as much as possible. Consider taking an extra couple days and using secondary highways. I do about 4K trip every summer, backroads, stopping at coffee shops, talking with locals at gas stations and cafes is half the adventure.
What's your concern regarding the freeways? Although the secondary roads and experience the "locals" is appealing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Installing a C90 drive on the Volusia/C50 bikes will make the trip much more enjoyable.
Lower RPM, less vibration, & less oil consumption.
C90 drives have a gear ratio of 3:02-1 versus 363:-1 on the stock Volusia/C50 drives.....almost like having a 6th gear.
Killer idea!!!! THANKS!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I rode mine from Indiana to Connecticut and back a few years ago and it ran fine. I did have a Mustang seat and C90 drive. GPS kept sending me different directions and it ended up at 978 miles out, mainly secondary roads and 7xx miles back, hiways. Watch your oil and look for leaks on the rear-end regularly along with tire pressure and you should be fine. Take plenty of breaks and stay hydrated. Do you have a windshield? It'll definitely help.
Psyco also mentioned installing a C90 final drive. I do like that idea. Yes... the bike has a windshield. I'm too old to be out there without one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dont know why not....I rode my C50 Boulevard from south central Indiana to Key West Florida with a one night stop over in Gainesville Florida...Mostly all interstate until Miami area...that was 11 years ago; couldnt do it now (I couldnt but I am sure the bike still could).
The Key West run is wonderful. Have done it twice on my Burgman. We always stayed far away from the Miami area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If I were going to swap out the C50 drive with a C90 drive, I'd go ahead and swap the rest of the bike too. 😋
Well.... I also have a VL1500. But for some reason I just don't like riding it that much. It's like always having to fight the beast.
 

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Last summer near Zion in Utah, the posted interstate speed limit was 80 mph. With cars doing 90. Not a problem on my Vstrom 1000, but secondary roads with hills, curves, mountain passes at say, 70 are so much more fun. All blacktop riding, and sometimes I only see a few cars in an hour. Stopping in small towns, staying at unique family owned motels or hotels is more memorable.
 

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not knowing if the mc is burning oil or no at present, would stay aware of the oil level on the trip if most of your cruising will be at highway speeds..70+/over...these engines, while able to handle that cruising speed, will work harder and tend to burn oil if cruising at higher speeds. Pack a couple quarts of oil just in case, can always pick up some if need be
What he said.
I make an appx. 3500 mile trip once every year on my '09 C50...Usually exceeding 500 miles per day, and sometimes over 600.
I've found my oil consumption goes up on the harder riding trips, so I keep a much closer eye on the oil levels. I always carry spare oil anyway, and I always end up using it up and stopping at a WallyWorld or an auto center along to way so there's always a full spare container in the saddlebag.

Is the bike up to it? I have had zero problems keeping with the 80MPH speed limits where I found them, even fully loaded...Granted that was on the plains where hills ain't really a thing, but where hills are a big thing, you're not likely to run across unusually high speed limits anyway.
I made the same trip for years before on a 600CC Shadow, also with no problems. (And it had the same higher oil consumption, too)
People have made far longer trips with much smaller bikes.

So besides the oil thing...My practice:
Credit Card, of course. Two, if you have two different credit card accounts, because...
If one card is suspended, you'll still have a spare to use while things get sorted out.

It's a very good practice to notify your credit card provider(s) where and when your are traveling before you leave.
A lot of small purchases spread across a large area, the same type of activity that a motorcyclist would make when traveling across country, will set off their potential fraud alarms, so they my cut off your card until they can contact you (or you contact them) to sort things out...a real PITA while on the road, especially if cell service is lacking.
NOTE: Some fueling stations (Sunoco and BP come to mind) will stop accepting your card at the pump on their own as soon as you rack up as little as two gas top-offs per day. The hold usually goes away the next day. You can still usually still go into the station to present your card when this happens. Usually.
 
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