Monday, June 26, 2017

One Year In - Thoughts on My Sportster

Much like last week's gear review, a year of riding is also a good time to reflect a bit on my choice of steeds. After five thousand miles, I've kind of gotten a feel for what I like and don't like. Is it time to dump the starter bike for something else? Maybe a street bike or dual sport?
The day I picked her up.
The short answer is "No!" I won't be changing rides anytime soon, well, unless H-D announces the Milwaukee Eight engine coming to the Dyna chassis in 2018, that would change my mind right quick, but barring that, I'll be sticking with my Sporty for some time to come, possibly until Adventure Girl is old enough to have it passed on to her.

The thing is, when I picked out a bike, I wanted a good all around ride. Something that I could commute comfortably on, with room to pick up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on the way home if needed. I wanted something that would be able to handle an occasional road trip, let me ride two-up with my kids around town, and with enough power to put a smile on my face and pass traffic at South Dakota interstate speeds.

My Sporty does all of that. Sure, she's a little short-legged for long trips, but after a hundred miles or so, you kind of want to get off and stretch anyway. There are faster bikes, there are bikes that carve up corners better, but I'm not going to track days anyway, so those capabilities aren't very useful to me.

Now, there are a few things I plan on changing. The wind protection is a bit lacking for my six foot, one inch frame. My current solution proved itself out on my Iron Butt ride, however, it's definitely a function but ugly solution. I'd like to go to a batwing fairing, possibly over the winter.

Ugly, but effective. Like an A-10 Warthog.

It's a similar story for my handlebars, they're just a little too low and far away to be comfortable over distances. There's probably a set of mini-apes in my future.

Still, long distance comfort changes aside, the Sportster has proven a solid, reliable choice. Fuel economy is usually more than 10mpgs better than my Saturn, and maintenance has been limited to normal wear items.

There's enough power for me to throw it around a bit in sweeping highway on-ramps, and if I look a bit silly hanging half off a cruiser in the turn, well, I don't care, because I'm smiling and gunning the throttle the whole time! That's really the most important part. Every time I put my gear on, go outside, put the key in the ignition, flip the fuel injection switch and flick the start button, I get a big smile on my face. It doesn't matter whether I'm riding five miles, or five thousand, the moment I hear that "Doom, da-doom, da-doom, da-doom" sound booming from the tailpipe, I know I'm going to have a good time.

No comments:

Post a Comment