Yamaha’s latest cruiser under the ‘Star’ brand is a 942cc V-Twin urban-bobber for the new age named the ‘Bolt’. With ‘minimalist’ styling and countless custom options, the Bolt is a genuine contender to be the next big thing in street cruising.
Before anyone had swung a leg over, the response from the media was pretty much unanimous. The Bolt was a winner in the looks department – a verdict Japanese manufacturers can’t always take for granted when they release a cruiser.
The Bolt has genuine ‘cool’ – the clean crisp lines and low stance give this machine a sense of street cred and Yamaha believe it will create the perfect opportunity for riders to ‘make it their own’.
The media launch for the Yamaha Bolt involved a ride through Brisbane and the Gold Coast and from what I could tell, this bike is fun and easy to handle around the street. It’s good city manners are in part due to the short wheel base, but also a low compression engine. Combine this with a low centre of gravity and you have a bike that is really easy to handle, especially at slow speeds.
I rode both the standard model and the ‘R’ model, the main difference in the ‘R’ is upgraded ‘piggy back’ style rear suspension which I thought was noticably better. The main elements that took my eye apart from the handling were how smooth and quiet the belt drive was – in fact the whole ride was quiet (I am not sure if that is good or bad, I think quiet bikes only make the Police and old people happy).
The other thing I liked: it doesn’t get too hot even though the engine is directly in front of you.
Straight off Yamaha were excited about how easy it will be to customise the Bolt, but if you take a look at the pics they haven’t done too bad a job in stock trim and the trick seems to be in keeping the styling clean. There will be plenty of ‘factory’ accessories from Yamaha like a custom springer style seat (which I think looks awesome), high handlebars and a lowering kit. You can also order a different headlight with brass features and leather saddlebags.
One of the biggest styling success stories of the last few years is Deus ex Mahcina, and they have helped bikes like the SR400 achieve cult status around the world. The Bolt takes the Deus customisation idea one step further by anticipating that desire to ‘build your own’ right from the outset. If you are one of those people that have found yourself clicking ‘like’ on Deus Facebook pics…then the Bolt could be your thing.
Also in for mention is that Yamaha don’t try and hide the fact that the dimensions of the Bolt make it a good choice for the ladies.
There is even a modification to bring the seat slightly forward to make it that bit easier to reach the ground.
The colours available for the Yamaha Bolt will be white and black for the standard model, while the ‘R’ model will come in grey. All look striking, but I think my favourite was the matte grey finish of the ‘R’ model.
The standard model retails at $11,999 and the ‘R’ at $12,499. With such a small price difference my tip would be to grab the ‘R’ model, it just felt better on the road. The ‘R’ model also has a suede looking seat which I thought looked and felt great.
Having said that, the standard model will be a great base to start your own custom project.
Look out for the full launch report coming soon in Cycle Torque.