Article By: Joe Mielke
Originally Published In The November 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
For the last couple of years S&S has hosted a Demo Ride Day during the Sturgis Rally. The intent of the day is to allow customers the opportunity to feel the power of the S&S T124 and T143. Not something engine manufactures are necessarily in the habit of doing but if you are either thinking about purchasing an engine or just curious what your bike could run like it’s a great opportunity to try them out. My wife and I got ourselves registered and she lined up her Victory Eight ball and made a couple runs to get herself familiar with the track. Once S&S was confident she was fine going down the track it was time for her to get in line to take the S&S 124 Harley Davidson DYNA down the track. Now my wife is a seasoned Bonneville land speed racer and has gone nearly 190 mph on the salt. But I have to admit I still got a little nervous the first time I saw her getting ready to rip the T124 down the track. But of course it was all for nothing because she was thumbs down and pinned it to make a ripping run. Next it was my turn so I took my stock 91 FXR down the track for a rip then hopped on the T124 DYNA and made a couple quick passes to see how it went but really was itching to get on the S&S DRAGON T143 powered Road Glide. But I’m a gentleman and it was ladies first. Michelle ripped the Dragon down the F ArticleBy: Joe Mielke track. After her first pass I out loud said “I’m screwed.”
Most of the people near me just looked at me funny but a couple guys chuckled because they knew what I meant. As soon as she rolled up after that run she said “Can I get one?” followed by “I want to go again!” That’s just the way it works fellas, put your woman on a fast motorcycle and they just want more. She made another couple passes gaining confidence in the S&S Road Glide with each run. She asked if she could have one several more times by the way. As it goes in Sturgis South Dakota in August rain is always a part of the schedule, but it wasn’t going to stop me from getting my chance on the Dragon. I wanted nothing more than to flog the ever loving dog shit out of this thing but I took my first pass respectfully to get a feel of the clutch, suspension and power. You were supposed to roll up to the staging lines and then roll on the throttle and accelerate down the track when Patrick or Dean from S&S gave you the “wind it up” signal. That’s basically what I did my first pass. The second pass I didn’t do much rolling I basically cracked the throttle as soon as was completely through the burn out box. That second pass was so much more fun than the first. Light rain drops were falling from the sky I think Patrick knew I wanted to let the Dragon rip one time. As I approached for my last pass I got the signal as soon as I turned the corner. As I hit the burn out box I cracked the throttle and started to grease the tire. As I came near the staging line the rear tire caught traction and I got that “launch” feel I had been jonesing for. The front wheel came up off the track, I burned through first gear and caught second gear lifting the front wheel again. Kissed the track once again going into third gear. No idea how fast I went but I didn’t much care it was just plain fun. I had such a fun morning with my wife and spending time with the team from S&S Cycle. You just can’t go wrong with good people, a drag strip, motorcycles and engines built in the USA! Thank you to The Sturgis Dragway and to S&S Cycle for one of my favorite 2016 Sturgis memories!