Having a popular motorcycle model – or two – is a good thing for a manufacturer, but it can be a double-edged sword. Faced with a dwindling supply of 2015 Bolt and Bolt R-Spec models in showrooms, Star Motorcycles decided that, to keep their dealers from running short of a desirable model and possibly losing out on some sales, the 2016s needed to be released early. How well are the Bolts selling? Star says the Bolt is its third best-selling street bike. So, as a result, the 2016 Bolt and Bolt R-Spec will hit the showroom floors beginning in August.
Naturally, riders will want to know what’s new and different about the Bolts, and we can say, with some authority (since we got the information directly from Star), that the only things changing are the colors. That’s right, there will be no price increase for 2016. The Bolt will retail for $ 7,990 in Raven and Deep Blue while the R-Spec checks in at $ 8,390 with a color palette consisting of Rapid Red and Stone Grey. Just in case you think that’s not enough, the Bolt logo will change on the base model, and the R-Spec gets a new logo and graphic treatment.
What hasn’t changed are the features that have made the Bolt and the R-Spec the best-sellers that they are. Namely, a performance bobber-styled motorcycle with an air-cooled, 58 cubic inch (942cc) 60° V-twin engine that carries an exhaust system which harkens to Star’s first performance cruiser, the Warrior. Although a double cradle steel tube frame may look old school, having the engine as a stressed member gives rigidity for more responsive handling. (The R-Spec receives piggyback shocks with slightly better performing damping abilities as part of its $ 400 upgrade package.)
In our tests of the Bolt, we’ve been favorably impressed with the Bolt’s engine as an around-town mount. With an easy clutch release and eager power delivery the Star is a great urban cruiser. The responsive steering also helps its utility. Extended time on the freeway might have riders wishing for another cog in the gearbox, though.
With the Bolt selling so well, it’s no wonder why Star doesn’t want to fix what ain’t broke. For those who noticed the C-Spec was left out of this announcement, Star says its 2016 version will be revealed in the fall. Until then, you’ll just have to make do with our previous C-Spec review and read a comparison that we have in the works as this article goes to press.