14 Mar 2013

Bolt R Spec by Star Motorcycles (Yamaha)

The Bolt R Spec by Star Motorcycles could be the first Japanese cruiser to challenge Harley Davidson's crown, but it isn't coming to the UK anytime soon

In the UK a cruiser motorcycle is either a Harley Davidson or a Triumph.  The Japanese continue to sell their cruisers but with no character or noise they're like a BLT without the bacon.

In the USA, however, Yamaha cottoned on to the fact some time ago that their cruisers had zero cred, so they created a separate company called Star Motorcycles to sell them as branded lifestyle machines.  They're still lifeless, noiseless lettuce and tomato sandwiches though.

But Star/Yamaha may just have found the bacon to make the perfect BLT - the Bolt R Spec.

Despite having a name that must have been devised by a man in a black rollneck sweater the Bolt R Spec is a pretty mean looking, and sounding, machine.  It's described as a bobber and has a 942cc 60° V-twin air-cooled SOHC 4 valve engine.  Harley Davidson 883 anyone?

Star/Yamaha have yet to let us know how many bhp the Bolt R Spec produces, but however many horsepowers it has are transmitted to the road via a 5 speed gearbox and belt drive.  The chassis is a double steel cradle with the engine as a stressed member.

Modern accoutrements include LED lights, decent brakes, adjustable suspension and 3D fuel injection (whatever that means).

Never mind the specs and the fact we don't know the engine's power, in the cruiser market that hardly matters.  The Star Motorcycles Bolt R Spec looks fantastic, especially in matte paint. For the time being it isn't coming to Europe but in the US the Bolt R Spec costs $8,290 (£5,578).

Looks like Yamaha's cruiser division may have a success on their hands - finally.

The promotional video below might have been created by a cabal of chimps in a marketing department but at least it lets you hear the Bolt's engine noise - which is gooood.