It’s Like a Whole New Bike

Now that I’ve had several post-Stage I days of riding the Sporty, I have to say that it doesn’t feel like the same bike I bought in July.

It pulls hard in every gear. Grab a handful of throttle and it wants to dump you off the back. It just never seems like the bike is straining at any speed. When I first got it, I was disappointed at how it seemed like it was poorly suited for the open highway, but now, I’ve been cruising at 88MPH on the highway all week, and it just purrs along.

I knew, intellectually, that the Stage I would add some pep to it. But everything–performance, sound, and feel–is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for when I first got it.

And I love having the bags and trunk for it. When I go to work, I can carry all my stuff, and when I get there, I can lock up all my riding gear, instead of wearing it or lugging it all into the building with me.

Finally, it’s exactly how I want it.

Whether I keep it or not, is now pretty much up to The Lovely Christine. She is starting to ride 2-up with me on trips around town. The Sporty’s fine for that, but she’s also talking about longer trips. That would get a little cramped.

Right now, I’m thinking that she might get to the point where she might want to start riding again herself. In that case, a used V Star 650 would probably be perfect for her, and I could just keep the Sportster.

If not, though, at this time next year I might be looking for another bike. Probably a Harley FLH-series bike. Not the Ultra Classic Electra Glide. Too much crap on that for me. But, maybe a Road King, Road Glide or Electra Glide Classic would be nice for 2-up riding, and still a good commuting bike. I am really conflicted about which one I’d prefer, however.

My initial thought is the Road King. That bike is just a work of art, visually. I’d have to spend a pretty penny–again–to get it set up the way I’d want, though. The Road Glide has everything I want, but I’m iffy on the look of that shark-nosed fairing. The Electra Glide Classic has everything I want,too, but having ridden an Ultra, I don’t like the extra steering weight of the batwing. I’d probably want to detach the Tour-Pak for daily commuting, too.

Every bike has something I like, and something I don’t.

We’ll have to see how that develops.

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.

5 thoughts on “It’s Like a Whole New Bike”

  1. Dale, you’re starting to sound like a typical Harley rider, with your decisions, decisions, decisions. It sure is a fun dilemma to have!

  2. I just found your blog. Highly entertaining.

    I’ve had two Sporty’s, a VRSC-B, a Road King, a Superglide and am at present riding a 2005 Electra Glide Standard and a 2006 Heritage Softail (non-Classic). Plus, I’ve had twenty-odd metrics including BMW.

    With that said, after pondering your words, I would recommend you consider the Electra Glide Standard. What makes the most serious impact on the FLHT line is the addition of the trunk on the back. Before I added the chopped tour-pak, the bike handled almost as well as either my Softail, or my former Road King. Don’t get me wrong; I love the addition of the added storage as I use the bike for shopping quite often. It simply changes the feel of the bike, especially at low to moderate speeds.

    The Softail would NOT be my first recommendation as a two-up touring bike. I really don’t know why, other than it would feel too cramped. It’s just too small physically for two-up riding, IMHO.

    Just my opinion.

  3. Dale,

    I just discovered your blog, through a link from RoadCaptainUSA, Jay Green’s blog. From what I’ve read, I haven’t noticed you come right out with your exact height, but your comments lead me to believe a lower seat is more to your liking. If you’re looking for a nice Big Twin for two up riding, have you considered the Softail Deluxe? This is a nice, NICE ride, and has and extremely low seat height – 24.5 inches. The director of my HOG chapter just got one, he’s about 5-8″ and he LOVES it. He “two-ups” with his wife all the time and they are very comfortable. May be worth taking a look.

    Ride Safe!

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