A cruiser with sales on its mind
New Star Bolt expected to create volume sales
For a motorcycle that’s out of the norm, Star Motorcycles turned to a company first to showcase the new-for-2014 Bolt and Bolt R-Spec “performance bobbers.”
The Bolt drew a crowd of about 1,000 during its unveiling at Daytona Bike Week, but thousands more online were on hand to help Star celebrate the first live streaming launch of a product.
“That intro was probably the most exciting new product introduction for Star Motorcycles that we’ve done in a long, long time,” said Bob Starr, general manager of Motorsports Communications for Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, who was joined on stage for the unveiling by Star product manager Derek Brooks. “It was a very coordinated and synchronized effort.”
Dealers and consumers viewed the bike simultaneously for the first time, and dealers were quick to respond.
“Response from dealers has been more favorable than any product we’ve introduced in a long, long time,” Starr said. “One of the main reasons it was so successful is because the product is positioned right at the hottest part of the market. Bobbers are the hottest segment right now.”
The Bolt will be available in two color options — Raven and Pearl White — and will retail for $7,990, with bikes available in dealerships starting in April. The Bolt R-Spec — Matte Grey and Camo Green — and will retail for $8,290, with bikes available in dealerships starting in July.
“From the dealers’ perspective, they want bikes that are a price point where they can sell volume, and the response that we’ve seen from dealers is overwhelmingly positive,” Starr said.
Starr related that after the unveiling, he received a text from a dealer in Wisconsin whose son had just seen the bike. “He told him the bike was just plain badass,” Starr explained. “So from the product planning standpoint, they did a fantastic job. It cuts across age spectrum, and the enthusiasm is tremendous.”
Starr said dealers have been appreciative of the price point, targeted for the center of the retail market.
“It’s at a price point where they can sell, and sell in volume. They’re just plain excited and pumped about this Star Motorcycle,” Starr said. “We understood that they wanted a volume product. It’s on a level where they can get it.”
All things considered, the Bolt has been a head-turner out of the gates, from performance to styling to comfort. And with the segment riding such a wave of popularity, Star could have a hit on its hands. A new demo truck fleet has already been formed solely for the Bolt.
“Every now and then, as they say, things have a way of working out and aligning themselves, and they certainly did with the introduction of the Bolt,” Starr said. “It’s been in product planning stages for several years. Our people foresaw the trend, and it’s not often and easy thing to do, but I have to hand it to our product planning group. They did a fantastic job in doing just that, and our factory working hand-in-hand with the American product planners did a great job. The bike is styled right, the function is fantastic, and the price allows dealers to sell in volume.”
• Fuel-injected, 58-cubic-inch (950cc), air-cooled, V-twin engine, mounted in a double-cradle frame.
• Performance components, such as wave-type brake rotors and a smoked-lens digital meter, are standard on both Bolt models, while the Bolt R-Spec adds remote-reservoir shocks, a suede-type seat with colored stitching and special paint and graphics.
• With their 60° V-twin engines, belt drive and steel fenders, the Bolt and Bolt R-Spec provide the perfect platform for personalization. Star plans to unveil a complete line of custom accessories for the Bolt and Bolt R-Spec.