The engine, as we already mentioned, is a treat. When we compared the standard Bolt to a crop of 650cc-to-900cc cruisers ("Re-Entry Points," June 2015, MC) it crushed the lot and made us realize that this mill delivers more than 942cc worth of torque and sound. Even in this company with thoroughbred, liquid-cooled competition the C-Spec's 60-degree vee is not outclassed at all. There's plenty of thrust, all while churning out a bass-heavy, thunder-in-the-distance note.
Compared to the traditionally low-slung Harley and Victory, the C-Spec's 30-inch seat seems tall. It wouldn't be a problem but for the Bolt's perceived heft. We suspect raising the seat nearly 3 inches makes the C-Spec feel heavier than it is—which, at 551 pounds, isn't exactly welterweight. Our only other complaint was about the chrome-rimmed, circular dash (that matches the headlight and taillight so nicely), which we simultaneously love the look of and hate to look at.
But then, at $8,690 the C-Spec undercuts Triumph's Street Twin by 10 bucks to be the most affordable of this group. And, frankly, even with simple instruments it never feels cheap. Being so impressed with the standard Bolt we were curious how the C-Spec would stack up, and we have reconfirmed that this is a great platform. Sure, we don't like the C-Spec ergonomics, but the bike still radiates an enthusiasm that makes us enjoy the ride.