It is a good looking bike and gets a lot of attention from curious bystanders. The cafe'd C-SPEC is a nice blend of cruiser and sport with the subframe raised slightly giving it better ground clearance and lean angles (a big complaint on the base model and R-Spec). Unfortunately, now you not only get HD loyalists claiming Yama ripped off the Sportster, now you get Triumph riders attacking you too. Honda Phantom riders remain silent, for good reason. I would have never considered a cruiser until getting something comfortable for the wife to ride pillion was a priority. All things considered, this is basically a Sportster with more power and torque (especially down low where it matters most), better suspension, better tires, better brakes, and hopefully, better reliability. Though the Bonne does have a leg up on 0-60, quarter-mile, travel distance and lean angles, I found the Bonne I rented boring to look at and a very uncomfortable ride on the mountain roads and canyons. Even with more clearance, I was scaping on most corners and it is not very forgiving when the pegs hit the ground. Combine the unsatisfactory ride quality with their lack of dependability and Triumph was never a consideration while shopping.
The Bolt isn't without it's own problems though. First thing you will notice when sitting on it is it doesn't carry it's extra heft well. It is quite top heavy. Then you have a massive air box protruding from the right side which you have to wrap your leg around. On your first sharp or banked corner, you will realize the extra ground clearance still doesn't give it enough lean for a sportbike rider as sparks fly behind you. The mirror placement makes lane splitting a challenge and the foot peg placement makes parking the bike a hassle for my 5'7" frame. Jump on the freeway and you will find the lack of top end makes passing more difficult, no wind protection throws your head around, and the seat and small tank won't let you log many miles in a single go.
I have already done the front micro cowl/wind deflector, passenger seat kit and backrest. I have the inner fender eliminator kit and saddlebag kit ready to install. I will replace the mirrors with a mirror under the left clip-on. After 1000 miles, I will replace the airbox with a V&H naked filter to improve comfort as well as a V&H 2 into 2 matte black exhaust and tune for extra freeway passing power. And as soon as Mustang makes a 2 up seat for the C-Spec, I will order that. Only other planned mod is painting the tank, rear fender and front cowl Diamond Gray and painting all the silver covers black. I don't think there is anything OEM or 3rd party I can do about relocating the controls, but I would consider custom fabricating something down the line.
Though it is quite different from a sport bike, I think after a few bolt on modifications it will be the perfect bike for its intended purpose and satisfy my wife and I for the next 3 - 5 years. I will keep the YZF for my daily commuting and canyon runs and the Bolt for weekend 2-up rides and picnics, but it is nice to have options to change things up once in a while. Compared to the competition, Yamaha definitely has a winner on it's hands and is ripe for customization.