Introduced as “performance bobbers” for 2014, the Bolt and Bolt R-Spec became best-sellers in Yamaha’s Star cruiser line. (Quick note: Yamaha and Star Motorcycles were treated as separate brands from 2005-2016, but Star is now considered one of several lines under the Yamaha umbrella, which includes Supersport, Supersport Touring, Sport, Adventure Touring/Dual Sport, Cruiser/Touring and Sport Heritage.)
Offered at an entry-level price point and ripe for customization with metal fenders and dozens of dedicated accessories, the Bolt and Bolt R-Spec are powered by an air-cooled, 60-degree, 942cc V-twin borrowed from the V Star 950, which is good for about 47 horsepower and 56 lb-ft of torque at the belt-driven rear wheel. The bikes are compact, relatively light (claimed wet weight for both models is 542 lbs.) and have a low 27.2-inch seat height. Footpegs are mounted amidships, single front and rear brake rotors are wave-type and the tires are narrow (100/90-19 front, 150/80-16 rear).
For an extra $300, the Bolt R-Spec adds remote-reservoir rear shocks, a suede-type seat with colored stitching and special paint and graphics.
Both models return for 2017, with the Bolt getting new spoked wheels to emphasize its “timeless” style while the “sporty” Bolt R-Spec sticks with cast hoops. Both models get a new flangeless fuel tank that increases capacity by 0.32 gallon to 3.4 gallons as well as restyled wire guides.
The really good news is that the 2017 Yamaha Bolt has an MSRP of $7,999—just $9 more than when the bike was introduced three years ago—and will be available in Raven (black) in August 2016. The 2017 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec is priced at $8,399 and will be available in Crimson Red or Silver Shadow in August 2016.