Post Stage 1 Report

Now that I’ve done the stage one, and had a few days to drive it, I seems like I have a completely different bike.

When the bike was stock, it sounded like it was puffing hard when I pushed it just a little bit. The engine/exhaust sounds were really high and whiny, making me think I was pushing a lot more RPMs than I actually was.

That’s all gone now. And, I can see the RPMs on the tach. The redline is about 6000 RPM, and what I thought were speeds at which I was pushing the bike, like, say 25 MPH in first, weren’t even 3000 RPMs.

The Sporty wants to run at 4000 RPM, which is the peak of its power band. At 4000 RPM, then, you’re talking the following shift points for each gear:

2nd @ 30 MPH
3rd @ 50 MPH
4th @ 65 MPH
5th @ 80 MPH

With 4000 RPM in 5th gear translating out to 88 MPH. That’s where she runs at peak power (torque).

Having done this for the last two days (131 miles), I can tell you that while she really likes to run at those speeds, she also wants to drink a lot more gas. Driving sedately, I’ve been getting around 44 miles per gallon. Riding in the peak power band for the last two days, my mileage, calculated after filling up tonight, has been about 39 MPG. About 1/3 of my driving has been open highway, so I’ve been doing 88 MPH, rather than my usual 75-80.

I’ll be going back to that 75-80 tomorrow, now that my testing is done, because while the CHP will forgive 80 MPH, they will not forgive 88.

That aside, since doing the Stage I, she will pull as hard as you like in any gear. For a cruiser, that is. It’s not a Hyabusa, after all, but it’s plenty powerful enough to pull the front tire off the ground, dump you off the back, or both.

I really like the new sound of the SEII Performance Slip-ons, too. The higher-register noise is gone, with a lot more bass rumble. They say–whoever “they” are–that after about 1,000 miles, after some of the glass and stuff has burned out, it settles down into a very nice tone. But, since the SEIIs are 50-state legal, the sound isn’t annoyingly loud.

Although, having said that, I set off a car alarm for the first time going to work on Monday morning, just by driving by.

It really has improved the performance of the bike, and it’s noticeably quicker in every gear. But especially third. Third gear is my new favorite gear. You crank the throttle in third, and you’re going somewhere.

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.