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Discussion Starter #1
What's the verdict guys?

A good big city cafe cruiser, or too chi-chi for words?

It would be a nice smooth, torquey and well behaved bike on city streets. I could live with the riding position. I think young women would like the styling.

2015-Star-Bolt-C-Spec-action-1.jpg Star Bolt C RHS.jpg

Danger, is my business."
 

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I actually test rode one of these yesterday. It feels too cruisery to me, but does seem to handle pretty well, and has pretty good power.
It's like a Jap copy of the modern xr1200 to ride, similar in many ways, with a little more top end power.
I think I'll pass, actually. I've been contemplating a modern thruxton myself. ..
 

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I like the bolt, it's a Japanese sportster which means it does everything the stock sportster does but better. I wouldn't go so far as to compare it to an XR1200 but it fills the gap left by the fact HD doesn't really have a plain Jane sportster anymore - they are all nightsters, and forty eights, and seventy twos, etc....Racer anything? hardly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One bonus with this bike is the average Harley rider won't talk to you on one, and they will avert their eyes when you start it up.

One drawback is the guys who would never talk to a Harley rider, will talk to you on one.

A least the Ducati riders will talk to you, as most would be too timid to talk to a real Harley rider.

The politics of the biker world is much like that of a crowded fish tank.

Danger, is
my business."
 

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Geeto, I guess that is more accurate. I just compared the two because they're the most recent v twin bikes I've ridden, and they were similar. That said, I like the xr1200 better, but I'm not likely to buy either.
 

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I wanted to like the Bolt, When it was released. Hung out on the specific forum for a while and found it to be the same old chopper mentality shit. Although they did lengthen the suspension so you can actually turn it, the "c spec" just got the silk purse process.

For similar money, I'd rather have a Bonnie, V7 Stone, FZ09, GSX-s750...hell, even the Scrambler Ducati.

For less money, RE GT, CB500f, FZ07 or even Yamaha's own SR400.

Any of those bikes would be superior to the Bolt.

JMO, YRMV...
 

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Wow, I didn't realize that Star was a subsidiary of Yamaha... weird.

Also, as an aside, I hate it when I'm talking to another motorcyclist and they say "you should get a harley." Seriously? cmon.
 

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It's actually a great engine; my wife had a V-Star 950 that we both really liked (the engine, that is, not the chassis). My only complaint with the Bolt is that that's one Fatty Arbuckle of a motor. Trying to hide the overhead cams has resulted in cylinder heads that seem as wide as a V-four. Stuffing it under the Bolt's skinny little mid-section just highlights the engine's love handles.

1e5fa0296ebbc31c3b5a31cb2de66df5.jpg
 

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I have the same problem with this as I do with the Benz clone Lexus' and all the other copy-cat Japanese vehicles. If I want a Harley, I'll buy a real Harley.

P.S. When I'm on my '74 roundcase, more often than not (largely since I'm not the most social person) it's the Harley rider that starts a conversation with me. But then in the 25 years I've been riding Ducatis I've always gotten along pretty well with Harley riders. They always struck me as being quite tolerant of Italian bikes. Sure, there was that one exception, but his girlfriend seemed to like the Ducati quite a bit so I had that going for me. Now that I think about it, that may have been part of the reason for his less than warming reception...
 

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I have the same problem with this as I do with the Benz clone Lexus' and all the other copy-cat Japanese vehicles. If I want a Harley, I'll buy a real Harley.
This is kind of an odd statement because I don't think the mfg approaches it that way. I think Star looked at the sportster and rather than say let's copy a sportster, they said "lets figure out what role the sportster fills in the motorcycle universe and let's build our interpretation of that. so they sat down and figured out that it needed to be approachable by a wide swath of rider experience levels and body types, had to be useable without being intimidating, easy to ride, customizable, simple, V-twin, etc....the fact that it looks similar to a sporty is a product of market evaluation. After all two different answers to the same question by two different entities is still going to appear similar. The only thing the bolt is missing is that it is not a Harley and doesn't carry the sportster aftermarket or cachet. However, I don't think it really tries to be a harley, I think it tries to fill the same motorcycle shaped hole the sporty does without actually being a clone. I think there are things the current bolt does better than a harley, like be a real motorcycle you can actually ride without hurting yourself for the sake of style.

leave it up the the Japanese to answer questions in our own marketplace in our own language better than we can and still not sell as well as a slightly inferior product.
 

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It's actually a great engine; my wife had a V-Star 950 that we both really liked (the engine, that is, not the chassis). My only complaint with the Bolt is that that's one Fatty Arbuckle of a motor. Trying to hide the overhead cams has resulted in cylinder heads that seem as wide as a V-four. Stuffing it under the Bolt's skinny little mid-section just highlights the engine's love handles.

View attachment 12270
maybe it's the Ed Roth/ Freako Hot Rodder in me but I love machines where the engine is just bulging out of everywhere, like the rest of the bike can barely contain it.
 

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This is kind of an odd statement because I don't think the mfg approaches it that way. I think Star looked at the sportster and rather than say let's copy a sportster, they said "lets figure out what role the sportster fills in the motorcycle universe and let's build our interpretation of that. so they sat down and figured out that it needed to be approachable by a wide swath of rider experience levels and body types, had to be useable without being intimidating, easy to ride, customizable, simple, V-twin, etc....the fact that it looks similar to a sporty is a product of market evaluation. After all two different answers to the same question by two different entities is still going to appear similar. The only thing the bolt is missing is that it is not a Harley and doesn't carry the sportster aftermarket or cachet. However, I don't think it really tries to be a harley, I think it tries to fill the same motorcycle shaped hole the sporty does without actually being a clone. I think there are things the current bolt does better than a harley, like be a real motorcycle you can actually ride without hurting yourself for the sake of style.

leave it up the the Japanese to answer questions in our own marketplace in our own language better than we can and still not sell as well as a slightly inferior product.
I'm talking about first reactions here. I see the pic, and to me it looks like a Sportster at first glance. (I'm more cynical BTW - IMHO the fact it looks like a Sportser is because they want it to look like a Sportser.) Anyway, when I realize it's not, I feel duped and think if I wanted something that looked like a Sportster I'd buy a Sportster. It's made worse in that I like Sportsters so I'm already biased.

The Sportster may well be an inferior product but it's the one with the history behind it. I don't agree with what Harley has done with the bike over the years but I have an emotional attachment to it anyway. As much as people want to rationalize one bike choice over another, the fact is they are emotional choices. I buy the one that makes me giggle, quite often against the advice of various reviews and spec sheets. I also obviously have a huge bias for bikes built in Bologna but that's a different thread.

When it comes to bikes styled like that, I want a Harley. I suspect I'm not alone in that thinking. When I worked for Victory (starting before that divison was called Victory) we were focused more on the metric cruisers than Harley. The thought was people that wanted to buy a Harley were going to buy a Harley. That may explain why the Bolt doesn't sell well. I'm making no comment on how good of a bike it is. It may be spectacular. I'm just commenting on what my reaction to seeing the bike is.

That said... twice now I've bought bikes I said I'd never buy when I first saw them. When the 916 came out I thought it was too extreme, too focused. Eventually I caved, I still have the 996 I bought new in 2000. When the 1200 Monster was introduced I wasn't interested. Last fall I brought home a 1200S. So yeah, I've been known to change my mind on occassion.
 

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The Bolt sells very well, it just doesn't sell as well as a sportster.

Star isn't going to get the people who want a harley. That's a fact. Something about that company and it's buyers throw all logic out the window. But I get it, I own one of the worst years of ironhead sportsters (one of the worst all around HDs) and I happen to love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. I just don't love it to the exclusion of other bikes.

What Star will get are the people who are cross shopping and not brand loyal. With history comes a lot of baggage and there are people who avoid HD just because they don't want the dirt bag association either, and they def don't want the HD assholes to call their bike a skirtster when they show up at the bar.

yeah it looks like a sportster, but everything that is in that demo looks like a sportster, or what people expect a sportster to look like (see honda's VLX 800s and suzuki's old intrider from the 90's). There are plenty of really unique crusiers out there (mean streak, fury, bolt, etc...) but at the end of the day people are always going to call them fake harleys because the origin of the cruiser genre is HD and Indian.
 

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......It's like a Jap copy of the modern xr1200 to ride, similar in many ways, with a little more top end power....

You must have rode a turd of a XR1200. So a 47hp Yamaha has more top end than a 90hp Harley?

I dont care for the Yamaha "sportster" & dont like the "cafe" treatment they have added.

Yamaha has bent over backwards trying to portray the Bolt as an easily customizable bike just like the XL. I got tired of seeing the custom ones at the International Motorcycle Show last year, they had them everywhere.
 

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The xr I rode was stock, and had plenty of low end grunt, but the 950 seemed to rev higher and continued pulling at the higher rpm. I didn't mean for that to sound like the bolt was faster, it just felt like it was better in higher rpm as opposed to the low rev shift points of the harley. As I said, I liked the harley better, it just took some getting used to the sound of when it was wound out.
 

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Here is the one I test rode at the dealer.
They had customized it for the owner of the shop to look like his old
Mx360 race bike. It's neat, but they spend money on things that don't make sense to me.


 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here is the one I test rode at the dealer.
They had customized it for the owner of the shop to look like his old
Mx360 race bike. It's neat, but they spend money on things that don't make sense to me.


That Bolt is all good to me.

IMHO it needs the mid-mount pegs of the Café C-spec version. I think the forward control pegs combined with a high trail bike riding position would feel a bit strange.

Danger, is my business."
 

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that has mid mount pegs, the camera position is funny. The Bolt forwards are really way out, like ahead of the front exhaust pipe out there.

If yamaha sold that I would buy one tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
that has mid mount pegs, the camera position is funny. The Bolt forwards are really way out, like ahead of the front exhaust pipe out there.

If yamaha sold that I would buy one tomorrow.
You are right G__t about the photo issues. I'd still like the pegs on that bike a bit further back.

Danger, is my business."
 
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