2020 Yamaha Bolt/R-Spec

Fun and affordable old-school cool.

Bolt/R-Spec right side
2020 Yamaha Bolt/R-SpecYamaha

On its website, Yamaha tags the Bolt as an “urban performance bobber,” and it certainly wears some of the hallmarks of the category with its minimal bodywork, compact chassis, and old-school tech, but the Bolt will appeal to almost any rider thanks to its friendly manners and torquey V-twin power. Yamaha’s (nee Star) midsize cruiser was introduced in 2013 and hasn’t changed much since then, soldering on with a fuel-injected, 942cc, air-cooled, SOHC V-twin engine and a spartan, no-fuss vibe. The more premium R-Spec model one-ups the base model with the addition of twin piggyback reservoir shocks, 12-spoke cast alloy wheels, and more in-depth paint options, but both offer a modern LED taillight and an LCD instrument cluster to bring a little high tech to the otherwise bare-bones feel.

Its low saddle and compact feel will likely call out to shorter beginner and intermediate riders, though the Bolt can more than handle advanced pilots as well. A $7,999 buy-in is a pretty good motivator, and the better-equipped R-Spec model costs just $400 more.

Bolt/R-Spec front right
2020 Yamaha Bolt/R-SpecYamaha

2020 Yamaha Bolt Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

The Bolt regularly makes “best cruiser value” lists because of its no-nonsense style, accessibility, as well as affordability, though its obvious competition, like Harley-Davidson’s Iron 883 and Triumph’s Street Twin models, offer a similarly stripped-down vibe and customizable platform at a reasonable price.

Yamaha Bolt Updates For 2020

The Yamaha Bolt hasn’t had many updates at all since its launch in 2013, so changes to the 2020 model are exactly nil; in fact, even the price is unchanged.

Bolt/R-Spec rear left
2020 Yamaha Bolt/R-SpecYamaha

2020 Yamaha Bolt/R-Spec Claimed Specifications

Price $7,999/$8,399
Engine Air-cooled SOHC V-twin; 4 valves/cyl.
Displacement 942cc
Bore x Stroke 85.0 x 83.0mm
Horsepower 50.8 hp @ 5,350 rpm (Cycle World measured)
Torque 58.0 lb-ft. @ 2,900 rpm (Cycle World measured)
Transmission 5-speed
Final Drive Belt
Seat Height 27.2 in.
Rake 29.0°
Trail 5.1 in.
Front Suspension 41mm telescopic fork; 4.7-in. travel
Rear Suspension Dual shocks; 2.8-in. travel/Dual piggyback shocks; 2.8-in. travel
Front Tire 100/90-19
Rear Tire 150/80-16
Wheelbase 61.8 in.
Fuel Capacity 3.4 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 542 lb.