2014 Star Bolt: FIRST RIDE

Paul Carruthers | April 30, 2013

When is a Harley-Davidson Sportster, not a Sportster? When it’s a Star Bolt.

On two separate occasions during our one-day ride on the new Bolt at the San Diego, California, press introduction of the bobber, I was approached and asked if it was a Sportster. So if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then perhaps Harley should be flattered.

And potential purchasers of bobber-type motorcycles should be much more than that. Chances are they will be stoked, pumped, psyched, amped and jazzed because the newest from Star is totally fapulous. Okay, putting my urban dictionary aside for a second and going back to the Queen’s English, the Star Bolt is a hell of a lot of fun to ride. And it definitely looks the part.

The bike has that bobber look that’s all the rage: short wheelbase, low seat height, small tank, a solo seat… It a nutshell, it’s no bling, no chrome. It’s minimalist. It’s the less-is-mo’ approach.

What sets this motorcycle apart from the competition is that at its very core, it’s still a Yamaha (there’s even a slight hint of Yamaha badging to prove it). And that’s a good thing. It means it has good brakes, the fit and finish is top-notch… it will run for days and days. And it will fire up for you each and every day. It all adds up to minimalist in looks, but not in function.

And it’s priced right: $7990 for the standard model and $300 more for the uprated R-Spec. For comparison’s sake, the aforementioned Sporster sells for $7999.

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