How Fast is My Sportster? Well…

Today was a (almost) a bad day, and a good day.

First, the (almost) bad. I almost dumped the bike today. It happened at the worst place possible: the parking lot of the Harley dealership. I went down to San Diego Harley because my luggage bag broke one of the buckles on the straps that hold it down. As I was turning to pull into a parking space, a woman stepped right in front of me, from behind a truck. I hit the brakes and stopped with no problem, since I was probably only going a couple of miles an hour.

But, because I was turning sharply into the space, when the bike stopped, she started to fall over in the direction the front wheel was turned. I got both feet on the ground and caught her, but the bike hung at a 45° angle. I didn’t let it fall, but, straddling it as I was, I couldn’t pick it up either.

Fortunately, the woman stepped over, grabbed the luggage rack, and gave it enough of a lift that I was able to right the bike.

That 580 pounds was pretty heavy, though.

Fortunately, she didn’t drop, so no harm was done.

I’m convinced though, especially from talking to other bikers, that sudden stops at slow speed are the most likely circumstances where a bike gets dropped. The slower you go, the more inherently unstable a motorcycle is. Throw in an unplanned stop, and you’ve got an excellent chance of dropping your bike.

On the way home though, I had a moment of naughtiness.

Just as certain motorcyclists (*cough*sport bike owners*cough*) tend to be ass-like, so are the drivers of certain makes of automobiles. Among those models are Porsches.

On the way home from the dealer, I took Pomerado Road, instead of the I-15. the 15 has hellish traffic in the afternoons, especially on Fridays between 5 and 6 pm. Pomerado Road, however, has very little traffic. For some reason, I guess most commuters haven’t discovered it yet.

At one point, while I was stopped at a light, a guy in a Porsche 944 pulled up to me. I casually looked over at him, and when I did, he started racing his engine. “Oh. Really?” I thought. The light turned green, and we were off.

From 0 to 65, a Porshe 944 can not beat a 1200C Sportster. At 65MPH, I slowed down–the speed limit was 55–but I had a big smile on my face. The Porsche driver was not amused.

Especially when I did it again at the next light.

After that, we started getting back into traffic, and he got slowed up behind cars in the right lane. I looked over and gave him a big smile as I went past him.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

1 thought on “How Fast is My Sportster? Well…”

  1. I’m sorry but the 944 is not fast. My high school principle had one and a few guys at the busstop took him at a stoplight in a minivan.

    Just keep in mind there’s always somebody faster. The sportster is quick, but almost every sportbike is quicker.

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