The last couple of days I've been out on the Sporty blasting up a canyon road or two enjoying the sunshine and the road passing under my feet. It's been a long couple of weeks waiting for my ribs to heal enough to get back on the bike.
The more time I spend on my little Sportster, the more I'm enjoying it. It's a nice looking bike and very fun to ride. It takes the winding canyon roads with aplomb and makes running short errands around town a breeze.
It's not hard to see how the Sportster platform has survived so well since it's introduction in 1957. Admittedly, I've never ridden the 883 version of the Sporty, but the 1200 engine has plenty of power, handles well, the seating position is comfortable, and it cruses along nicely on the freeway at 70-75 miles an hour. When I first mentioned that I'd picked up this 1200 C in April, I shared what I was thinking of the Sportster at the time. After another couple of months of riding, I still enjoy the time I spend on the bike and have absolutely no regrets about adding it to the garage.
After spending time in the saddle the last couple of months, I've also decided to replace the stock seat with something a little more comfortable. I think it's a pretty important place where the biker and the bike interface and just flat out needs to be right. Since I don't plan on ever riding the bike two-up, I've ordered a solo seat from Mustang. It has good reviews and I think it looks good. When the new seat comes I'll probably write about what it did to change the ride and what I think about it.
Just a Couple of Thoughts on Safety
Since I went down I've been more aware than ever of how many riders are on the road without any gear and can't help but remember the sound of my helmet grinding on the pavement. It doesn't take much to appreciate that it was a replaceable helmet and not my noggin. I was also very happy for the armored jacket I had on.
Sue tends to notice and point out all the fatal motorcycle accidents that happen around here. Most of the time it seems to be an inattentive motorist, a rider driving beyond his or her ability, someone being reckless, or some combination. Of the last dozen or so we've read about, there was only one incident where the rider was wearing a helmet.
We went to dinner with some friends on Friday night and one of them is a brand new rider. She just got her license and is riding around the neighborhood to build her confidence before heading out on the highway. After talking with her for a while, I think she's going about it the right way.
- She took a rider training course
- She always wears protective gear (helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, etc.)
- She wasn't in a hurry to get on a bigger bike and is on a bike appropriate for her skill level
- She wants to have fun and doesn't have anything to prove
I know it's an individual decision everyone needs to make, but it doesn't take much on a motorcycle to put you in a world of hurt. My advice is to wear a helmet and the other gear that will keep you safe-er. Gear is no guarantee that you won't get injured, but it will help minimize the damage the road can do to your body if you do go down.
Be safe and enjoy the ride.