Yamaha Bolt is the new star in its “Star” stable of cruisers.
The youth-oriented, stripped-down Bolt hits Australia in September 2013 at a very reasonable $11,999.
Looking alarmingly like Harley’s grungy Sportser 883 Iron, it is powered by a 942cc V-twin with similar mid-mount controls, clean and quiet belt drive, a low 69cm rider seat and bobber cosmetics.
While the Iron does have chrome exhausts, the Bolt stays in the dark with just a few pieces of brushed aluminium on the battery guard, air filter and exhaust heat protectors but no chrome, except for the ring around the single digital instrument pod.
There is also an ‘R’ spec model for $500 more which adds piggyback shocks, matte grey paint, tank graphics and a buckskin-style seat cover.
Yamaha has kept a lid on prices by using the air-cooled, 942cc fuel-injected V-Twin from the XVS950A mated to a five-speed transmission with wet clutch.
It sits in a new, double-cradle black steel frame with a short and sharp 1569mm wheelbase with an ultra-slim body, shorty fenders, conventional 41mm forks and 12-spoke alloys fitted with bias-ply 100/90-19 and 150/80-16 tyres.
Bolt is a light, nimble, aggressive cruiser with 298mm wave brake discs that would look more at home on an R1.
Despite an old-school look, it has an LED taillight and a single LCD digital instrument pod which displays speedo, odo, two tripmeters, fuel reserve tripmeter (counts kilometres since low fuel warning light), clock and warning lights.
You can toggle through the instrument functions via buttons on the right handlebar.