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.

2014 Star Motorcycles Bolt Review

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.

The standard Bolt gets some new clothes at last year’s price.

The standard Bolt gets some new clothes at last year’s price.

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.)

2015 Star Bolt C-Spec First Ride Review

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.

Aside from the new colors on the bodywork, the R-Spec gets splashes of color on the wheels, too.

Aside from the new colors on the bodywork, the R-Spec gets splashes of color on the wheels, too.

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.

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  • SRMark

    sure would like to see the Bolt done up as an SR950

  • pcontiman

    Hate to say it but this is probably eating into Sportster sales. HD, you may need more than pretty paint jobs to keep the Sporty King.

    • Paragon Lost

      They really need to improve the forks and rear suspension on the Sporties. Man those are a rough ride on your lower back. 🙁 Solid bike in my opinion but for that.

      • pcontiman

        Yes sir, 40k on mine and I can say I agree. I added gas charged piggy-backs on the rear and need to Progressive upgrade the front. A few more ponies in the engine and it would be just about the perfect bike…..except for those really long trips.

        • Paragon Lost

          Nice adds to improve. Love that you’ve got that many miles on it. Well done. Agree with you fully. I wish HD would invest a bit more into these concepts for their Sportster line, it really is a solid bike. Traded mine in, but I’d have loved to have kept it. I like the way it handled and felt over all.

  • Gruf Rude

    The photos sure emphasize the odd and ugly bent front down tubes.

  • scott

    the japanese manufacturers have not had an original idea-ever-they copy well though,however they will never ever match the out right soul and character of the true american v-twin nor its resale value-suck it jap riders*if your born in america ride american /support YOUR country!unless you suck.then in that case ride what ever the &*ck you can afford-motorcycles rule !

    • Terry

      Screw you, check your parts list and find out where your Harley parts come from, my best friend rides a soft tail when the outside temp is below 80, after that he can’t bear T he ovrrheating. My map ride has 62,000mi. And not one min. In shop.

      • pcontiman

        yes you can ride what you want, just don’t be mistaken on where your profit dollars go. That Harley is built in America, the engine is made in America, the frame is made in America and all by American workers. So yes you are Free and able to buy what you want with YOUR money in the land of the FREE but don’t try and tell me there is no difference in supporting Harley/Polaris over another brand. I look at bikes just like cars. You should be welcome to sell them here but you should be building them here. Is that going to happen. No. Do what you think is best. If Harley/Polaris doesn’t build the kind of bike you like, then buy something else.

    • Tim Quinn

      Discussion on BoldRide
      Volvo Building First U.S. Factory in South Carolina
      scott 24 days ago

    • mydogfarted

      Idiots like you are why I love my Harley but hate Harley riders. It is amazing how much of the add on crap from HD is sourced out of China. But hey, BUY ‘MURICAN!, right?

      • Paragon Lost

        Yeah at times I get to feeling pretty ambivalent about my fellow Harley riders. 🙁

    • Brian

      There is not anything you can say to this guy that will get through his narrow tunnel minded skull. He can have his opinion as we can have ours. I drive American and foreign cars that are built in America. I ride a Honda Shadow and it has been great first bike, I plan to look at all 3, yes Scott, there are 2 other American brands, Victory and Indian.. to try out as well as Yamaha because I like the looks of this bike. We all have the freedom of choice and to be narrow minded and judge like you do is EXACTLY what is wrong with many issues in our country, but as someone who served 20 years in military I proudly defended your right to be narrow minded even if I don’t agree with it.

    • Paragon Lost

      You want to be Patriot? That’s fine and I’m for it. But aim your criticism correctly and not foolishly and inaccurately. Plus lets try to avoid attacking people personally, telling them they suck and playing using racial slurs.

      Criticize American corporations that move manufacturing jobs out of country. Criticize American corporations that went unions and fair wages. Criticize American corporations that abuse 1H-B visa laws to bring in others to work for them in country at a savings of 25% percent to upwards of 50% percent. (See the article in the N.Y.Times about the crap Disney and other companies are pulling where you train your replacement and get your pink slip)

      Patriotism is a fine thing, but logic, facts and a rational frame of mind should always balance your thoughts. Btw I served, and have owned two Harley’s (and currently own a Harley), one Honda and one Suzuki. I’ve enjoyed all of them for various reasons. Then again I love motorcycles in general and wouldn’t mind owning a stable of them if I could afford it and talk the wife into it. heh.

    • LS650