It’s been over two years since I’ve ridden a motorcycle inOz. I’ve been riding scooters through Asia for the last few years and, even though it was scary as hell sometimes, buzzing around overcrowded cities and ridinga942ccV-twin through theAussie countryside areworld’s apart.
Main Can a cruiser really be transformed into a convincing cafe racer? Yamaha says yes! Right The plain clear dash appeals to Paul ‘Art’ Andrews’ minimalist side
The Yamaha Bolt C-Spec isnot the typeof bike I’dusually leantowards, I’mmore a fan of modern styled nakeds and sportsbikes, but Iwas keen to discover the appeal of this type ofmachine and if it was something I, too, could learn to love. TheC-Spec is the thirdmodel in the Bolt’s threetiered range; there’s a standardBolt, and then two Specmachines, the R-Spec and the C-Spec. While both Specmachines use the same piggyback shocks (compared to the basemodel), it’s otherwise only graphics and seat finishwhich separates the R-Spec fromthe base-model Bolt.
The cafe racer-inspired C-Spec differs significantly more,with styling and ergonomic changes. The clip-on handlebars replace thewider, single-piece ’bar of theother two, it boasts fork gaiters aswell as a front screen, plus a rear cowling to add to its, let’s face it, borderline cafe-racer look. But, between the Akrapovic silencer and its c C-Spec specific graphics and rather fetching green paint, Iwas starting to like it. Inthe end, though, itwas its ergonomics that did it forme. Compared to the othermodels, the footpegs have beenmounted further back.
This put my feet directly below my bumin less of a cruiserlike riding stance, andmore the familiar nakedbike riding position I like. The ’pegs doget in theway when stopped, they’re positioned rightwheremy legswanted to go, but it’s a bike designed for riding, I guess, so it’s forgivable. I have always lookedat people riding cruisers and hunched-forward caferacer retro-styledbikes and wondered how tired theymust get riding themfor any length of time. But Iwas really surprised and happy to findout that the Bolt C-Spec is super comfortable.Good thing, too, since I’ll be hanging on to it for awhile.
There’s also a few bits fromthe accessories catalogue thrown at thismodel,which I’malso fond of. Not least the Akrapovic exhaust,which gives a great note as you blast off fromthe lights, but not enough to turn peoples’ annoyed heads. It’s also got some aluminiumside covers, which lookgreat, and the stainless-steelmesh air cleaner cover adds a toughnesswhich I really like. Iamafanof the smallmodern-style dashboard, it givesme all the basic information, right inmy line of sight, but, theonly complaint is it doesn’t have a fuel gauge.
I’mnot exactly surehowfar the12-litre tank will takeme, andhowpractical it is for anything more than around-town runs, but I’ll run it dry in thenext few week swith some spare fuel on board and report back. Going inwith unknown expectations, I have been pleasantly surprised by this bike. Its styling is unique, performance is ample and theoverall ride has been perfect for the New South Wales south coast rolling twisties, where this bike thrives and where I’mkeen to explore. Maybewith age, your tastes change anddiversify. Who knows, there might just be a cafe-cruiser rider inme who I’myet to meet.
I’m not sure how far the 12L tank will take me, but I’ll run it dry with some spare fuel on board and report back