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Thread: Fastest cruising speed you feel comfortable at

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    131

    Default Fastest cruising speed you feel comfortable at

    My '48 Chief seems to be running really well. Considering it's a recent rebuilt with only a few hundred miles on it, I've been taking it easy and not riding too fast. Mostly 30-40 MPH around town, and sometimes 50+ on some of the faster two-lanes.

    Since I'm new to these bikes, how fast are people generally comfortable cruising on these bikes, given they are old 3-speed bikes with tube tires (mine are new Cokers)? Do you feel ok to cruise at 60-65 on the highway?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Depends a lot on gearing but typically I like to stay in the 60 - 65 mph range on the interstates.

    Steve Slaminko

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
    Posts
    392

    Default

    Glad to hear the bike is doing well. With a 23 tooth front sprocket 45-55 is nice with 50 being the speed it seems like it could cruise all day at with no negative effects on the machine or operator. Prefer roads where I can stay at 45 but that's just me. it will go 70 without much problem but I reserve that for emergencies. Personally, the biggest thing many don't consider when setting a bike up to go faster is that these things don't stop well at all even from 40mph and especially if you are on a downhill grade. Always be aware of this and keep plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    488

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    I like the 45-50 range on my '36VLH too and the bike feels comfortable at those speeds as well. I stay off highways when I can. I have never had it on a interstate either where everyone is going 70+. However the other stuff is just like Jason said. I don't "need" to go fast anymore, but it's nice to be able to pull away "IF" needed. I think your "safe" speed will be where you are most comfortable at.
    Jim

    AMCA #6520

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Near the center of Kalifornia
    Posts
    385

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    Years ago when I had my Indian 4 I would cruise up to the local lake at 70 sometimes. It ran like a sewing machine! Fast forward 30 years I take my V twin bikes out and rarely go past 55-60.
    #7558 Take me on and you take on the whole trailer park!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Yeah, I try to stay off the highway also. But I've found some times where I need to go on for 5-10 miles. Near me, there is a main two-lane they close off for bikes for 8 months of the year, so if you want to travel south, you basically need to use the interstate. The cars are moving fast so I don't want to go much slower than 60-65 - even in the right lane. I was just wondering if folks feel comfortable with these bikes in that situation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    887

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    The one and only time I’ve been on the interstate was for 200+ miles and I kept up at 65. BUT....the grooved bridge decks absolutely freaked me out at that speed. Higher speeds are no fun for me, and I want to enjoy my riding, so I stick to the two lane where I can ride 50 to 55 relaxed and enjoying. The interstates DO have one major thing going for them...controlled access. Nobody pulling out in front of you from a side street or driveway because they don’t see you!
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    336

    Default

    A properly operating 48 chief is very capable af running 60- 65 mph all day long. That doesn't mean you should do that if you are not comfortable with it. Nobody should ever ride faster than they are comfortable, no matter what the bike is capable of. Just continue to take it easy and as your confidence grows you will find your machine's sweet spot. JMHO. John Lindemann.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    163

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jwl View Post
    A properly operating 48 chief is very capable af running 60- 65 mph all day long. That doesn't mean you should do that if you are not comfortable with it. Nobody should ever ride faster than they are comfortable, no matter what the bike is capable of. Just continue to take it easy and as your confidence grows you will find your machine's sweet spot. JMHO. John Lindemann.
    I agree it is up to the rider to ride what he and the machine are comfortable at, the machine should tell you if is not happy.

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