So as you might remember from months ago, I had a Yamaha Bolt R-Spec as a long-termer for this summer. Or at least, that was the plan.
Alas, the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley, says Robert Burns, or something like that. We’re not really sure what that means, but it’s something about plans not working out … and that’s what happened with the Bolt. Almost immediately after the last update, I ended up blowing a rear shock while riding to the CSBK race in Shubenacadie.
Not a big deal, right? Surely, replacing a rear shock would be a breeze. But, when I took the bike to my local dealership, it turned out otherwise. First of all, I was told the part wasn’t available. Then, when it was available, other ordering problems seemed to drag out the process. I dropped off the bike at the start of August, and before I knew it, it was the end of September, and the bike hadn’t moved. So much for the planned Fall Tour …
That was when we called it. With little time left in the riding season, we told Yamaha we wouldn’t be able to put any more seat time in with the Bolt.
Frankly, it was a bit disappointing. Despite the bike’s lack of suspension travel, I enjoyed my time aboard the machine, and had a big smile every time I rode it. I wanted to put in a full season, including some touring. That was not to be.
However, my short stint aboard the bike did remind me of something – motorcycles are fun. Too often, riders get caught in a pro-Harley, anti-Harley, pro-sportbike, anti-dirtbike, anti-whatever feud. It’s stupid. No matter how ungainly a cruiser is in the corners when compared to a sportbike, you’re still on two wheels, with a motor between your legs. If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, maybe it’s time to take up knitting instead.
Note: According to Yamaha, “The R-Spec’s didn’t arrive until August … The shock was ordered before production models arrived. That’s why the shock was on back order and not immediately available.”
The shock did not arrive before the end of the season, Yamaha says, because it was shipped by sea, not air, since it wasn’t a standard warranty claim.