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Original Article:
2014 Star Motorcycles Bolt Preview

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2014 Star Motorcycles Bolt Preview in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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The Toad
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Look for two more Star models soon, the Screw and the Nut. Both with special seats.
Complete with ugly fuel tank seams! The "Screw" model's special feature will become apparent at resale time when it sells for $1900 less thus offsetting the $9 purchase price advantage.

At first I didn't want to spell it out, but this is MO after all.

Maybe this will start a trend. The Polaris "Lockwasher". The Vulcan "Easy-Out".
 

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Personally, I think the Bolt looks great. Nice proportions and no stupid fat tires. Of the metric cruisers, I think Star's doing it best.
 

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I know this is a really un-cool thing to say, but that's a pretty goddamn nice looking bike.

Yes, it's a Harley copy. But if my wife turned herself into a copy of Kate Upton, I wouldn't complain.
 

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The Toad
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I know this is a really un-cool thing to say, but that's a pretty goddamn nice looking bike.

Yes, it's a Harley copy. But if my wife turned herself into a copy of Kate Upton, I wouldn't complain.
Er, I'm not sure you would care for the incredibly high maintenance. Might be fun to find out though.

And of course the bolt looks good. It looks exactly like a Harley.
 

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I know this is a really un-cool thing to say, but that's a pretty goddamn nice looking bike.

Yes, it's a Harley copy. But if my wife turned herself into a copy of Kate Upton, I wouldn't complain.
You're right, its a great looking bike. That green paint with the red leather and brass trim would make a fine ride. Which to me makes it all the more disappointing that Star felt they had to slavishly copy the XL. The only thing missing is the eyebrow over the headlamp.

Star should take a lesson from Honda. Their Fury and their similar pro-street version (I forget its model name) are unique and cool in their own right, without having to copy HD.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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Umm... the exhaust looks cool.... honestly though, why bother? as cheap as used Sportsters are and with the gazillion factory and aftermarket parts available for them why on earth would you buy a copy?..

I can see it on a logical level with the big twins because of the price, even though used Superglides are still reasonable, but a Sportster? As 'Zawa pointed out the the amount you'll lose on depreciation alone on one of these would pay for a decent older Sporty.
 

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Umm... the exhaust looks cool.... honestly though, why bother? as cheap as used Sportsters are and with the gazillion factory and aftermarket parts available for them why on earth would you buy a copy?..

I can see it on a logical level with the big twins because of the price, even though used Superglides are still reasonable, but a Sportster? As 'Zawa pointed out the the amount you'll lose on depreciation alone on one of these would pay for a decent older Sporty.
There might be a few reasons to pick this one over a Sporty:

Reliability. The XL engine is not the "brick" many people think it is.

Technology: Yamaha's manufacturing expertise and execution easily supersede HD's, especially when comparing the 50+ y/o XL design.

Weight and handling: It'll have to wait for the comparo ride, but I'll bet lunch at Quiznos the Bolt outperforms the XL.

Buying experience: Sad to say, but the sales process at the HD dealers I'm acquainted with is not fun...and they really know how to stack up the add-ons like "Road Hazard," "Credit Life," and other useless costs.

Avoiding the HD "stigma:" Like it or not, when you ride up in an HD, there's a set of stereotypes that immediately pop into people's minds. For some, this is actually a good thing. Likewise there's another set of stereotypes that go along with a clone bike, so I guess you have to decide which is worse for you.

Having said all that, I'd buy the XL. Why? Because absolutely nothing sounds as good as a well-tuned XL with the right pipes idling in the driveway, at a light, or blasting through a tunnel or similar enclosed space. It's The Voice of God.
 

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As durable as bikes are now and given what they cost, buying anything new does not make a lot of sense. Cars are even worse. Ford had a display at my kid's volleyball tournament this past weekend. The MSRP for the new Fiesta as over 19K. Sales guy noticed the look on my face and did not even bother coming over...

The HD is a better new bike buy, but the Yam will be a bargain used buy. Let some other sucker pay the depreciation. As for what others think and "stigma" one way or another, I could care less. That is the one redeeming quality of adulthood :)
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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There might be a few reasons to pick this one over a Sporty:

Reliability. The XL engine is not the "brick" many people think it is.

Technology: Yamaha's manufacturing expertise and execution easily supersede HD's, especially when comparing the 50+ y/o XL design.

Weight and handling: It'll have to wait for the comparo ride, but I'll bet lunch at Quiznos the Bolt outperforms the XL.

Buying experience: Sad to say, but the sales process at the HD dealers I'm acquainted with is not fun...and they really know how to stack up the add-ons like "Road Hazard," "Credit Life," and other useless costs.

Avoiding the HD "stigma:" Like it or not, when you ride up in an HD, there's a set of stereotypes that immediately pop into people's minds. For some, this is actually a good thing. Likewise there's another set of stereotypes that go along with a clone bike, so I guess you have to decide which is worse for you.

Having said all that, I'd buy the XL. Why? Because absolutely nothing sounds as good as a well-tuned XL with the right pipes idling in the driveway, at a light, or blasting through a tunnel or similar enclosed space. It's The Voice of God.
I've found HD's quality control and reliability on the new bikes to be comparable to any other brands myself. The bad old days if they really were that bad are long gone. In my personal experiance owning Harleys over a 30 year span I would say I've been very lucky with them, more so than the few Hondas I've owned.

On the weight issue you may be right, the Sporty is a porker as befitting a 50 year old I guess, not sure how the Yamaha plays out on that one.

I think the dealer experiance is what you make it, granted I deal with the same two shops and have done so over the 30 years I've been buying Harleys so maybe I'm just lucky. Even when I owned other brands I stopped by and stayed in touch with friends who worked there, went riding with them etc. I have had salesmen try to tack on the extras but I just say no untill they get the picture, I'm not afraid to point out that my money and credit work just as well elswhere. I guys buyer beware is the key.

The Harley Stigma is a fact of life as you pointed out, a lot of people find it off-putting, again it doesn't really bother me, I wear the same Arostitch suit whether I'm patched up on a function or just out knocking around catching some air. I guess realistically I do lean toward the pirate end of the scale with my chain drive wallet, black HD shirts and club braid on my key chain and handlebars. I'm a large bald guy with a beard, what else am I going to look like?

I guess the bottom line is that I don't like copies, I value authenticity and if that comes with a few negetivies I'd rather suffer them than feel like I was a wannabe. As I said I'm sure the Yamaha is a fine bike, most of them are, just not for me.
 

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Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is not new. I have had Honda's since I first started riding in the late 60's. As time advanced along with my age I found other manufacturers offered bikes more to my liking. While getting gas over the weekend my bike was complimented by a guy at the next pump. I said that it was getting a little old (it will be 10 next year) his response was yeah but there is no greater joy than being out riding and there was still a lot of pleasure left in my old bike. I was thinking that very thing that morning. When it comes to riding I would venture to say we all ride for the shear enjoyment of it. Whether you ride a Harley a Honda, Triumph, Ducati or whatever all that really matters is that YOU like your bike. I am still susceptible to rider snobbery when I see someone riding a bike I don't care for. These days I make it a point to take a step back and remember everyone has their own taste when it comes to what they ride. The fact that they ride says a lot about them. Except for the posers at Cooks. It's all about image for those guys.
 

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Brand loyalty is not new. I have had Honda's since I first started riding in the late 60's. As time advanced along with my age I found other manufacturers offered bikes more to my liking. While getting gas over the weekend my bike was complimented by a guy at the next pump. I said that it was getting a little old (it will be 10 next year) his response was yeah but there is no greater joy than being out riding and there was still a lot of pleasure left in my old bike. I was thinking that very thing that morning. When it comes to riding I would venture to say we all ride for the shear enjoyment of it. Whether you ride a Harley a Honda, Triumph, Ducati or whatever all that really matters is that YOU like your bike. I am still susceptible to rider snobbery when I see someone riding a bike I don't care for. These days I make it a point to take a step back and remember everyone has their own taste when it comes to what they ride. The fact that they ride says a lot about them. Except for the posers at Cooks. It's all about image for those guys.
I was very impressed with your rational and long-range view on the market, especially for a MO user. Then you bring it home in your last two sentences! :)
 

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"MO user?" Not "member," or "reader," or even "subscriber?"

"Mr. Donald will be remembered as a heavy MO user. Although he sought out help in his later years, he was never able to break the vicious cycle of MO use and abuse."
Duh! WINNING!!!
 
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