Featuring a torquey V‑Twin engine the Yamaha Bolt is a performance bobber that combines old‑school soul and modern form.
If you are thinking of buying one, you might be interested to know its average lifespan.
We’ll cover that in this article and much more, read on to find out…
Here is the short answer to how long a Yamaha Bolt will last:
A well-kept Yamaha Bolt can last approximately 100,000 miles before breaking down or requiring uneconomical repairs. This equates to 30 years of service based on an annual mileage of 3000 miles. This longevity however, is subject to riding habits, the environment and most importantly maintenance and servicing.
How Many Miles Can You Expect From A Yamaha Bolt?
Since its introduction in 2013, the Yamaha Bolt has been a cutting-edge cruiser renowned for its vintage looks and powerful motor.
It’s ideal for long journeys and can easily maintain a top speed of 85 to 90 mph for an extended period.
In terms of reliability and performance, the Yamaha Bolt gives a good average and is durable enough to last at least 100,000 miles. However, the Bolt is not best known for its durability but rather its power, agility, and comfort.
With proper maintenance and care, the Yamaha Bolt can be the perfect motorcycle for daily commutes and primary transportation.
Many motorcycle enthusiasts prefer it due to its affordable pricing and impeccable performance.
The Yamaha Bolt is an exceptional motorcycle for beginner cruiser enthusiasts who don’t have the budget for a Harley-Davidson.
On the other hand, we have come across some complaints about the Yamaha Bolt in customer reviews.
For example, the V-belt on a Bolt isn’t expected to last very long and would need replacement about every 12,000 miles.
In addition, due to its vulnerability to rust and inability to move in the snow, the motorcycle isn’t great during winter.
Keep in mind that the Yamaha Bolt is a great bike, but only if you know how to take care of it. If you are planning on using it for longer rides, you should learn how to properly service it.
Customer reviews show Yamaha Bolt as being extremely comfortable.
However, there have been complaints about the LED screen being hard to read in sunlight.
The footpegs are also quite unusual in shape and can be distressing for the average motorcyclist.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on A Yamaha Bolt?
Ideally, your Yamaha Bolt should go about 1-2 years without getting rusty. However, we have received user reports of rust appearing much earlier on engine bolts and engine exhausts. Proper maintenance and care, in this case, can help you avoid these occurrences and keep rust at bay.
Understand that these timelines are merely estimates.
Rust can occur sooner than you expect based on:
- Maintenance habits
- Environmental conditions
Owners in coastal areas, regions where it frequently snows, and places with regular rain are much more susceptible to rust as rust is a result of excessive salt and moisture in the air.
We recommend that you regularly wash and clean your motorcycle.
Not only does this help keep rust at bay, but you are more likely to notice rust on a clean bike, which you can then look to resolve.
When dealing with rust, it is important to act sooner than later.
A common reoccurring problem in the Yamaha Bolt is clunky gear shifts.
Many owners notice, when switching gears, there is often an audible “thud” or “clunk.”
Usually, this is a fault of worn-out and corroded clutches.
In this case, we recommend having your Bolt looked at by a trained motorcycle mechanic.
To help keep your bike rust free, we advise:
- Regular washes – Especially after exposure to rain, dirt, snow and salt.
- Storage – Keep your Bolt stored in a garage out of the elements, or covered.
- Repair damaged paint spots and scratches – Exposed metal will oxidize
You may also be interested in our article: Why the Yamaha Bolt is a Great Starter Bike
How Long Does Yamaha Bolt Last Compared to Similar Bike Models?
Below, we compare the reliability of a Yamaha Bolt with its competition.
Yamaha Bolt vs. Honda Rebel
Both being a part of the Japanese big 4 motorcycle manufacturing companies, Yamaha and Honda have been strong competitors in the market for a long time.
Nevertheless, in terms of sheer power alone, the Yamaha Bolt remains unmatched.
With its 942cc engine, it can easily outmatch the Honda Rebel’s max torque of 19 lb-ft. Though an official max speed of the Yamaha Bolt was not released, it may be safe to assume that it is faster than the Honda Rebel despite the greater net weight.
As far as durability is concerned, both the Yamaha Bolt and Honda Rebel should expect to last at least a good 100,000 miles.
In fact, the Yamaha Bolt may even have an advantage as it can easily be modified to last a lifetime.
The Yamaha Bolt’s specialty lies in its ability to adapt and, with the right maintenance, and care, it could last even 300,000 miles.
Yamaha Bolt vs. Harley-Davidson Sportster 883
The Sportster 883 is a state-of-the-art cruiser, ideal for traveling long distances and daily commuting.
In this case however, it would seem that the Yamaha Bolt outranks even one of the best names in the market.
Its displacement of 942cc with a lighter weight of 542 pounds to the Sportster’s 883cc and 562 pounds is proof of its prowess.
Its performance may be only slightly better than the Harley-Davidson’s, but the difference is still prominent enough to matter.
However, in terms of durability, Harley-Davidson might have higher ground. Owners report that the life expectancy of a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 is about 200,000 miles.
Though this is significantly more than the Yamaha Bolt, it comes at the cost of lack of power and much more expensive repairs and maintenance costs.
In terms of MSRP pricing, the Yamaha Bolt is significantly cheaper with the price of a brand new Yamaha Bolt being $7,999, compared to the Sportster’s $8,949.
Yamaha Bolt vs. Kawasaki Vulcan S
With frequent oil changes, regular mechanic visits, and proper servicing, the Kawasaki Vulcan S can last around 100,000 miles – just like the Yamaha Bolt.
However, when talking about raw power, the Kawasaki Vulcan S is slightly better.
With a top speed of about 105 mph to Yamaha Bolt’s top speed of 101 mph, the difference is almost negligible.
Almost in every regard, the Kawasaki Vulcan S is only slightly better, but we can still consider them practically the same.
The only glaring difference between the two is in pricing.
The Yamaha Bolt is significantly more expensive than the Kawasaki Vulcan S, despite their similarities.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Kawasaki Vulcans Last?
The Best Year for Yamaha Bolt
The Best Yamaha Bolt Model is the 2020 R-Spec.
Despite its much recent release, the 2020 R-Spec Yamaha Bolt maintains the old-school style of the Bolt cruiser.
It’s the cheapest model for its specs – at only $7,999, you are practically stealing the air-cooled SOHC V-twin 942cc engine.
Yamaha Bolt models can be divided into mainly R-Spec and C-Spec models.
There is not much difference between the two categories other than design.
We should note that the R-Spec models are newer and also slightly more robust than the C-Spec models.
Often, many owners also find that the R-Spec is much more comfortable and that they almost immediately feel cramped on a C-Spec.
What about Recalls for These Models?
Here are the recalls for the Yamaha Bolt models:
- 2013: 1 recall
Yamaha Bolt Model Year List
- Yamaha Bolt (2013-2014)
- Yamaha Bolt R-Spec (2013-2014)
- Yamaha Bolt (2014-2015)
- Yamaha Bolt R-Spec (2014-2015)
- Yamaha Bolt C-Spec (2014-2015)
- Yamaha V-Star Bolt R Café (2014-2016)
- Yamaha Bolt R-Spec (2015-2016)
- Yamaha Bolt (2015-2016)
- Yamaha Bolt C-Spec (2016- present)
- Yamaha Bolt R-Spec (2017- present)
- Yamaha Bolt (2017- present)
Is the Yamaha Bolt Expensive to Maintain?
Based on several estimates, we can assume that the Yamaha Bolt is a slighlty above average in terms of maintenance cost.
With a replacement for its V-belt every 12,000 miles it can get a bit pricey.
Chances are, the average Yamaha Bolt should cost around $600-$1,000 a year in repairs.
Older models may cost approximately $1000-$2000.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The brakes on a Yamaha Bolt are pretty durable.
If you are an average rider living in the city, the brakes should last about 30,000 miles.
However, riding habits such as violently braking or “drifting” can drastically decrease the lifespan of your brakes to even about 5,000 miles.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
The tires on a Yamaha Bolt should last pretty long.
Similar to the brakes, violent driving habits could lead to the tires deteriorating fast than usual.
But on average, with regular driving, your tires should last about 10,000 miles.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The life expectancy of the transmission on a Yamaha Bolt should be around 100,000- 130,000 miles.
However, we have seen reports of a common occurrence of a faulty transmission.
In this case, we suggest frequently visiting a trusted mechanic to ensure your transmission is working fine.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Yamaha Bolt’s spark plug should last about every 10,000 miles, but we recommend that you change it every 8,000 miles at least.
What about Insurance Costs?
The insurance for a Yamaha Bolt can vary depending on age, state of residence, and type of coverage.
A 24-year-old male with full coverage in Chicago would pay about $350/year, while a 44-year-old in Northern Virginia would pay $481/year.
Most estimates fall in the range of around $30 per month.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Yamaha Bolt
Here are a few tips to prolong the longevity of your Yamaha Bolt.
- Don’t wait to get problems with your bike fixed. If you notice any issues, have it repaired as soon as possible before the damage becomes serious.
- Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule
- Remove the air filter regularly and give it a clean.
- Change the oil at 3000-mile intervals to keep things running smoothly.
- Ride your Bolt regularly to keep fluids flowing and prevent the buildup of gunk
You may also like: 11 Common Problems With the Honda Shadow (Solutions Guide)