In the seven years since its introduction, the Yamaha Bolt has gone through various guises. The original Bolt debuted with the R-Spec alongside it. Soon, there was a café-style C-Spec and the SCR scrambler. For 2021, Yamaha has settled on the R-Spec to be the sole representative of the Bolt line. The Bolt R-Spec is in Yamaha’s Sport Heritage lineup, and Yamaha describes it as a “performance bobber.”The solo seat and throwback non-adjustable piggyback reservoir shocks give the Bolt R-Spec a purposeful look, as do the fork tube guards. The torquey 942cc air-cooled motor provides the Bolt R-Spec with a strong push through town, with the V-twin tuned for torque. Although cornering clearance is limited, the Bridgestone Exedra G721 tires give riders the confidence to touch down the footpegs.
The styling is retro—note the round headlight, taillight, turn indicators, and speedometer—though not overwhelmingly so. The motor has a more modern look, and the alloy wheels are more contemporary than the old standard Bolt’s wire-spoke wheels.Regardless, the 2021 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec is a good-looking, attractively priced cruiser with a bit of sporting character to add to its urban prowess. Frugal riders will be happy to see that the R-Spec gets a claimed 51 mpg, which matches up nicely with its $8499 price tag.Yamaha Bolt R-Spec Review2021 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec SpecsENGINE
Type: 60-degree V-twin
Bore x stroke: 85 x 83mm
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Valvetrain: SOHC, 4vpc
Fueling: Twin-bore EFI
Final drive: Belt
Frame: Double cradle
Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 4.7 inches
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!