The Sportster 48 heading for its new home.

Photo by Jorma Kaukonen

Everyone who rides knows that at some time you just have to recognize that your riding days are done. That’s just reality. I’m not there yet myself, but I know that at some point in time, I will be and I will try to greet acceptance with a smile. More will be revealed and I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. In any case, Vanessa’s Harley Sportster has found a new dwelling and is on its way to San Diego.

Now Sportsters aren’t for every rider. To say they’re Old School is redundant at the very least. Truth be told, they’re just cool. A 1200cc motor in 545 pound package is not to be sneered at. Now my Sportster S is about 50 pounds lighter and has more horsepower but that’s another story. The only things these two bikes have in common is the work ‘Sportster,’

Anyway, I love this pretty girl, idiosyncrasies and all and I’m glad she’s going to a more evenly temperate climate where she will be able to prowl the blacktop on a regular basis.

Pointing where the blacktop turns to blue…


  1. Comment made on March 19, 2023 by Michael

    My south bay buddy said the Sportster 48 should be arriving in about a week or so. He’s pretty stoked! Being an experienced rider and long time Harley owner I suspect he’ll have a lot of smiling miles ahead of him.

  2. Comment made on February 13, 2023 by Howard

    Riding a bike was never my thing, not unless it had pedals. I’m a skier and can certainly empathize with the live to ride MC philosophy. A few weeks I met a man on the chairlift going up the mountain. He told me he’s 83 and he skis about 100 days p/yr. I skied half a day with him, called it quits as my legs were getting toasty. He continued to ski after we parted ways. I want to be him one day in about 20+ years.

  3. Comment made on February 13, 2023 by Dale Radeleff

    I had a 1000cc AMC Sportster for about a year, most of which was spent getting cleaned up and repainted to look like a beauti, at the end of which it did look like a beauti, and haul ass it would, even at 1000cc. There came a time in 1989 that I realized that if I wanted to live a long and prosperous life I was going to have to rid myself of the 2 wheeled voonderbike and that’s all there was to it. I had come to the realization that I was too dangerous to be on a bike, especially one as big and powerful as this one was to me. Keep in mind I was only 5’4″ and 175 pounds. I got $500 more for my ride then I paid for it. I ended up with a 1989 Ford Ranger PU with a camper shell on it and I missed that Sportster every day there after. The world is a much better and safer place for what I did, now I wish I could do it all over again, but I just don’t have the time left to do that. Enjoy your ride Jorma while you still have the health left to do it.


  4. Comment made on February 11, 2023 by EZ Riders

    The EZ Riders

  5. Comment made on February 11, 2023 by Greg martelli

    Sportsters are equivelant of cobra mustangs ,small frame ,lotta horsepower.
    We have always had a few HD’s,larger ones and sportsters .
    If you’re riding urban or through parking lots or on country roads the sporties are nimble and quick ,they’ll get you home .
    For interstate rides ,or longer the small seats ( and gas tanks ), are inhibiting .
    I’ve always found them much more fun to ride .
    As the previous commentator expressed ,keep your rubber to road and shiny side up

  6. Comment made on February 9, 2023 by Ben Hochberg

    Sportsters Rule. I know it, you know it, everybody knows it. Let’s ride together soon.

  7. Comment made on February 8, 2023 by carey georgas

    “I will try to greet acceptance with a smile” – great line, and a tidbit of wisdom to be filed away for future reference. I have no doubt you will, but I’d lay 5 to 1 it’ll be through gritted teeth. But hey, a smile’s a smile!

  8. Comment made on February 8, 2023 by Robert

    Keep the shiny side up.

  9. Comment made on February 8, 2023 by Greg Webb

    1200 is an optimal size for any Open Road work. I slowly transitioned into Liter+ bikes many years ago.. and as the expression regales: AIN’T NO REPLACEMENT FOR DIS-PLACEMENT. Torque is my Muse, currently embodied in a lovely, sleek, sport-modded Yamaha FJR1300, a true Road Missile.. and a venerable Bandit 1200, also performance-tuned, with many, many miles. It jiggles my gizzard to NAIL it at highway speeds and still have it stretch my arms. Shiny-Side UP, good Sir.

  10. Comment made on February 8, 2023 by Steven Levenson

    I worked for a while at the Harley factory in KC. My desk was directly above the Sportster production line. I liked to stand by the end of the line and watch those beauties come off the line, one by one, and everyone custom.
    My actual responsibility was for the V-ROD powertrain and production line. I’m told it’s a great ride so long as you go in a straight line.

  11. Comment made on February 8, 2023 by Mitch Spector

    Good Morning Jorma ..Hope you have a great year of riding to look forward to .The nice weather is almost here .Wishing you only the best ..Peace & open roads always ..

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