New rider, first bike, ohh the anticipation!

by Steph
(East Coast)

Just excited and wanted to share. :)

After passing the MSF course a few weeks ago I went "browsing" Thursday. I had three bikes in mind; Kawasaki Vulcan, Honda Shadow or Yamaha V-Star. What I knew I didn't want was a 1-cylinder, black bike or a Suzuki. So, of course I walked out with a 2006 1-cylinder black Suzuki Boulevard (go figure)! It should be arriving Wednesday... oh the anticipation.

I had an open mind, and a very good salesman who catered to my newbieness in that he understood the needs of someone just beginning with my size and skill level. He explained that my concerns about the Suzuki do exist, but won't effect someone at my level/speed the way the would a more experienced highway rider. He also spoke to me, not my father who I brought just as a show of testosterone. Okay, I also brought him because he has connections and friends of friends get taken car of. My salesman urged me to sit on a number of bike styles, even ones I wasn't considering, just to experience the different fits.

As soon as I sat on my Boulevard I was comfortable (side note: I need to name it, her, him?). It is lean and light. Although I could manage the heavier weight of the others, the width of the tanks in front of me felt intimidating. It's a belt drive, score! The flat handlebars of the Boulevard fit my arms better than the older Savage style where my elbows angled in towards my center and felt flimsy.

I have two parking lots around the corner from my house on a relatively quiet street, although filled with killer potholes(why do we pay taxes here?). I've been watching videos as to how to turn from a stop just so I can get myself out of the driveway and to the lot. Right out of driveway, down slightly sloped side street, stop, turn left while staying between two potholes, drive a few feet avoiding more potholes, turn right, arrive at nice flat parking lot.

I'm sure I'll be posting more and asking for all your advice and help once it/he/she arrives.

Comments for New rider, first bike, ohh the anticipation!

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Jun 14, 2011
Sophie is Posted
by: Bonnie

Hi Steph:

I hear you on the pics and email! I have posted Sophie under "Your Bikes" so you can see her before and after the saddlebags and windshield. I got out and rode today, had some great gear shifts and some not so good ones, and trust me, she let me know she did not like them (ha ha).



Jun 14, 2011
RE: Saddlebags
by: Steph

Hi Bonnie!

I wish there was a way on this site to share email without having to post it for the world too see! Or add pics to comments. If you get a chance, post a pic on a new post. I'd like to see them.

I ordered a small Nelson Rigg tank bag to get me started but suspect I may need more storage.

I am going to post a pic of Stella in the You Bikes section.


Jun 10, 2011
by: Bonnie (Gander, NL, Canada)

Hi Steph:

The bags I got are GA Saddlebags series (great price) from www.ridebikegear.com They are hard saddlebags and you will need a bracket to mount them. We purchased a Ghost Bracket from www.ghostbrackets.com, but my husband still had to drill and move the back lights...but all worth it..they are the perfect size for this bike and you can remove them when you don't need them. However, because they are small and not in my way, I keep them on. I am still searching for luggage options for the back. If you want I can send you a picture if you give me your email address or I can do a new post with the pic. Would love to see a picture of Stella :)

Have a great day!

Jun 10, 2011
by: Sandra

OHHHHH! The back firing...yeah; definitely character! LOL

Jun 10, 2011
S40 storage
by: Steph

Stella arrived last night! :) I snuck in some time this morning before heading off to work to check her out better since it was dark when she got here.

The brakes were a little loose so my sales guy showed me how to tighten/adjust (very easy on this bike). I'm going to try to take her for a first spin later this afternoon.

Hi Bonnie,
Would you mind sharing the brand/style of saddle bags that you found? I'm trying to find a small storage solution. I thought about perhaps a back-seat bag? Thanks!

Jun 09, 2011
Welcome to the Club
by: Bonnie (Gander, NL, Canada)

Hi Steph. I am also a brand new rider and I bought a 2010 Suzuki S40 as well and I love it. It is perfect for me and yes, she does backfire a bit on the downshift, but I chalk it up to character (ha ha). I love the fact that it is a relatively light bike, I can put my feet flat on the ground and while she is peppy and will do just fine on the highways, she doesn't have that power that would scare me into not riding (you know?). I was able to find nice small saddle bags for her as well.

Oh, I named her Sophie :)

Enjoy your bike and learning to ride. I am still learning and loving every minute of it!


May 29, 2011
by: Steph

Thanks for the kind words ladies! My concern wasn't with the Suzuki brand but the particular bike that was in the range I was looking for. The S40 650cc -Boulevard I ended up getting is a single-cylinder (I think the S50 is a dual?). I was concerned about the excessive vibration that comes from a single but was educated that it shouldn't be uncomfortable at the speeds I will be going. It also has a feature to try to reduce the vibration. I read it has a habit of backfiring when downshifting. I was also questioning the torque in the single and how quick it accelerates from a stop but was told that can be managed with proper throttle control.

May 29, 2011
by: Sandra

It sounds like you will be the one giving advice in no time! What a great outline of how to purchase a bike. You did your homework, had an idea of what you were looking for, and took someone with you. You just happened to hit the jackpot with your salesman! Sit on everything - whether you like it or not - is good advice. You just don't know which bike is going to feel like it was made for you by looking.

I chose to start on a Suzuki C50 Boulevard (800 cc), although I was not a careful shopper like you. My White Dragon, b'ai Shen Lung, is my pride and joy. I just got lucky in that I am so comfortable on this bike right away. She's bigger, but that is what I wanted, and she's built so that I never feel like there's too much bike under me.

Not sure what your Suzuki concerns are; I hope I never find out...I am in love with my Boulley!

Thanks for sharing...looking forward to more!

May 29, 2011
by: Anonymous

Congrats on getting your new bike! I am happy for you that your shopping experience was so positive. I also just purchased my 1st bike. For the same reasons as you, I opted to get a Suzuki 250 and I have not had a moments regret. I looked at the V Star, Vulcan, and others. But, I needed to get something that I felt comfortable on and able to control. I learned from this site that it is important to find a bike that fits you as an individual. Enjoy your bike, take your time in learning, and be safe! Please share photos of your new baby when she/he arrives.

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