Photo by Jorma Kaukonen
Indeed… Vanessa’s beautiful Sportster 48 is on its way to Southern California. When those of us who have been riding almost all of our lives come to that point where we realize that two wheel riding is a foolish option, this is a personal decision to be respected. I have not yet reached that point but time is an unforgiving reality and at some point the future and I will have that conversation.
Now let’s talk about the Sportster S. It is easy to see that this bike has absolutely nothing in common with Sportsters as we knew them. Nothing. The Revolution Max 1250T seen here in my bike, puts out 121 horsepower and 125 Nm at 6000 RPM. The Pan Am with the same motor is cammed to put out more horsepower and less torque. I’ve heard it said the horsepower is for the track and torque is for the street, but we can debate that another time.
There are three riding modes. Rain, Road and Sport. You don’t have to wait for Sport Mode to realize that when you twist the throttle it becomes immediately apparent that this is indeed a very fast motorcycle. The bike comes standard with forward controls which I am not fond of. My 2016 CVO Breakout had forward controls and I could accept them on a Big Twin like that but I swapped out the forwards for mid controls on my S. With only 2.5 inches of travel on the rear suspension, when you see a bump coming, you want to be able to stand up, just sayin.’ Notice inverted forks and a giant four piston Brembo brake on the front wheel. With a bike this fast, you want to be able to stop when required.
I’ve got an Outrush R Bluetooth helmet that syncs up with my iPhone. With the Harley App on the phone the nav and trip recording system is pretty cool if you’re as anal about your rides as I am.
This is not your grandfather’s Sporty. Who would have thought that the term ‘update’ would ever be uttered in the same sentence as ‘Harley.’ Dynamically, the Sportster S isn’t nervous, and boasts of top-spec kit, including Showa suspension, IMU-based electronics, and cornering ABS and lean-sensitive traction control.
I love this stuff.
With my electric cold weather gear, I’ve gotten five rides in this winter which is pretty good considering.
Photo by Jorma Kaukonen
It’s been years since I carried a pillion rider so the solo configuration is just the way I like riding today. It is true with the big tires you have to put a little muscle getting into a lean attitude but I’m OK with that. For you spec geeks out the here’s a page from the Harley site, but there are lots of great non biased reviews on YouTube.
That’s about it for now. Gotta get down to the Fur Peace Ranch to set things up for Izze’s band practice.