Such is the beauty of fusing the old with the new. It offers the young ones a glimpse of the glorious motorcycle lifestyle of the olden days. For the young, it is a chance to relive the past in a comfortable, joint-friendly manner. Such is the beauty of the Yamaha Bolt.
Hidden beneath its old-school Bobber-ish styling are a few new tech features. From the simple digital instrument panel to the LED taillight, the Bolt exudes a minimalist, laid-back character. The nicely-sculpted peanut tank is adorned with the Yamaha classic logo in block letters while gas is fed via an electronic fuel-injection system. At the heart of the Bolt is a 60-degree V-twin 942-cubic centimeter air-cooled engine, along with a pent-roof shaped combustion chamber and 9.0:1 compression ratio produces excellent power and superior low-end torque. You have 38.3 kilowatts (51 horsepower) at 5,500 revolutions per minute and 79.5 Newton-meters of torque at 3,000 rpm at your disposal.
It is matted to a six-speed manual transmission and power is delivered to the rear wheel by a drive belt. Clutch pull is surprisingly light and working through the gears was such a breeze. The Bolt, however, has plenty of grunt across the rev range and this negates the need to shift more often even in urban traffic. Just open the throttle in any gear and the bike will happily chug along. Shift down a gear or two and you’ll surely arrive at the next stoplight with a huge grin on your face. A “light weight” by Cruiser standards but this one packs a wallop.
The 2-into-1 exhaust pipe layout contributes to a lively performance and overall styling of the machine while delivering a throaty and pleasing exhaust note. It is packed tightly toward the center so that straddling the bike won’t be much of a challenge. The low 690-millimeter seat height also meant practically anyone would be able to plant both feet on the ground at stoplights. During idling, though, the heat emanating toward your loins will remind you that you have almost a liter of displacement between your legs.
Center of mass kept low
At 247 kilograms, the Bolt expertly hides its heft. Center mass is kept low and staying upright requires minimal effort. While ground clearance is only 130 millimeters, there is enough cornering clearance as the foot pegs are placed slightly forward and raised a little higher. The grips are situated at about shoulder level though shorter riders might need to fully extend their arms to reach the grips. The ride quality is firm, as expected, but by no means uncomfortable. There is 135 millimeters of travel in the front fork and the rear dual shocks are pre-load adjustable. The 100/90-19 (front) and 150/80-16 (rear) tire combination give the Bolt a low-slung, easy-riding stance. When you’re done riding, the 298-millimeter front and 298-millimter rear disc brakes will put the bike to a halt. The front brake uses a floating-mount for great heat-distortion resistance, contributing to excellent braking performance.
With a price tag of P449,000, it is one of the more affordable Cruisers in the local market. To make it more practical, Yamaha is offering the Bolt with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) “bolt-on” (excuse the pun) accessories to enhance form and function. The fly screen not only accentuates the classic round headlight, it also helps in deflecting a bit of exhaust fumes. The crash-bars lessen the chance of your leg getting pinned under the bike in case of a spill. If you often ride with a pillion, the passenger backrest will surely be appreciated. It even comes with a rear cargo rack. Yet, personal favorite would be the leather saddlebags that are actually quite useful. They even add to the whole old-school vibe.
To know more about the Bolt, you may drop by Yamaha’s flagship store located in Greenfield Disrict, Mandaluyong City or visit www.yamaha-motor.com.ph.