Looking Ahead (Getting Older)

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by type918, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. jackd

    jackd Long timer

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    The kick-starting thing was one of the reasons that I got rid of the Triumph T100C - it was a bugger when she got hot. Electric start is a great leg saver.
    #21
  2. acap650

    acap650 acap650

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
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    895
    Location:
    Western PA
    I'm 65 with no major physical limitations other than a 29 in inseam and a bit of arthritus in both thumbs. I have 3 bikes that I can ride, R80ST, W650 and DR650SE. My choice for most all rides, both local and LD is the DR. It is set up for mostly road riding, 16T front sprocket (+1), low Sargent seat, small and larger windshields, lowered with suspension upgrades at both ends and a 19 in. front wheel.

    While I admit to a desire for a new F700GS for the longer rides, the DR has served me well both on and off road. This past year we did 5K miles PA to CO and back. The occasional slab sections were do-able for 100 miles at a time but on small paved and unpaved roads it was all I could ask for.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    #22
  3. type918

    type918 Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. It's interesting to me to see how others approach the question and to see the possibilities they offer. Keep 'em coming.
    #23
  4. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    I am 8 months away from 60. Due to arthritis in shoulders and upper back, I am thinking of getting off my R100RT for something with a more relaxed riding position. I still want the weight down low, so have been trying out some cruisers, including the R1200C. I am used to lower powered bikes, in comparison to the newer monsters out there. I don't need more than 70HP and learned long ago how to pack lightly for any trips. I like the lower seat height of the cruisers as well as they tend to have their centre of gravity fairly low.

    I am not and never was into the "pirate" thing, but I think the current available cruiser styled bikes are a pretty good option for those of us that can't handle the higher bikes due to health issues.
    #24
  5. DoktorT

    DoktorT BigBrowedNeandereer

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    I am 62 and around 130 lbs. I have a 79 RS. It is getting just a bit too heavy. If I drop it in the parking lot, I have to remove the gear to pick it up. I do think I will get it all detailed for the MOA ralley next summer in Salem and put the for sale sign on it.

    I will be getting something lighter. I went the the BCBeemers rally in Nakusp in August. Saw there again the ledgendary Phil Funnel. He is older and smaller than me. The year before I saw him with his R90/6 frankenbeemer. This year he had switched to the Yamaha V-star 250cc. Yup, with all his custom fiberglass and pulling his custom bullet trialer.

    He says he doesn't need to run over 80 kilos anymore and he gets around 70mpg equivalent.

    It's on my list as a possble replacement, along with many of the 2 clylinder vertical UJMs of the 70's and 80's. Stepping down a hundred pounds or more will keep me on the road with 2 wheels for another decade if I last that long.
    #25
  6. jackd

    jackd Long timer

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    I have lower back issues. The cruiser style would put more pressure on this area - the upright position on the GS is excellent. I would have thought that the R100RT would be ideal for your upper back issues. The additional benefit of the GS is that I can move around on the seat if discomfort arises - I wouldn't think that you could do that on a cruiser.
    #26
  7. Penderic

    Penderic Format C:/u

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
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    Location:
    South Gulf Islands B.C.
    I am retired now. I too rode an ST1100 for many years, till the weight started to get to me. And when I moved to an rural - urban location I found my riding needs changed a lot.

    I just don't feel like going on fast long distance rides on crowded highways anymore. If I had liked to go to distant events and mingle with like minded riders, I see the logic of still keeping a big rig.

    Very hilly, curvy roads and slow speeds take up most of my time now. Thick forests and lots of deer, tourists on bicycles, and a large retired population - keep my high speed events way down.

    I sold the ST1100. I thought a restored classic might be fun, there are a couple of shiny antique Indians around here, but they require a lot of protection, care and expense that I didn't want to take on - but I did want to have a ride that was fun.

    I looked at some light weight bikes and scooters. Drawn to the Retro Truimphs, Guzzis, Royal Enfield, Kawis...... I did some more researching and thinking and....

    [​IMG]
    Lightweight, lovely sound and a nice engine response .... my V7Classic is unique, gets a lot of attention and with a few comfort add-ons, it is fine for the occasional long trip.
    #27
  8. Thickasabrick

    Thickasabrick Adventurer

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    Jan 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Just turned 60 and have been thinking lighter bike for the last couple years. Have had a K1200GT for some years and loved it, but the weight when not rolling sucks. I have an R75/6 and will probably get an R90/100 sometime in the future for trailer towing (Anyone want to trade your R100RT for my K bike). Really like the luggage options on Airheads, and so far the availability of parts. Having said all that, and after reading the above comments, a single is looking better and better.

    Great thread....
    #28
  9. Velocipede

    Velocipede Been here awhile

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    Kingston Ontario Canada
    #29
  10. jackd

    jackd Long timer

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    Actually I'm starting to enjoy the complaints of my similarly aged fellow workers that own Harleys - they're finding them too unwieldly to handle anymore. I've always tormented them, that they were that way all along. :roflThey hate to admit that my GS is just the right size.
    #30
  11. old paul

    old paul Been here awhile

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    Prairie Grove, Arkansas
    At 68 or so I sold the R100RT for the reason everyone is talking about - mostly moving it around the garage and then out onto sloping gravel to get started down a long, fairly steep driveway. Tried a KLR and loved it for a year or so. Then on a whim picked up a VStrom 1000 and discovered it is still fun to ride fairly quickly. Now added an unfaired R90/6 and am happy again to be back on an Airhead. But now pushing 71, the day is coming to turn the Strom back into a KLR or similar. KLR is hard to beat, at least for those of us who have legs that reach the ground.
    #31
  12. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    backwoods Alabama
    I'm 63-going on -4, with a 29" inseam. I've always stood at tippytoes on the bike and don't know no better. The big change over the past few years is I can't just throw my leg over the bike while holding it up-- just not "agile enough" anymore. I mount it with the bike on (Browns) sidestand: step up on the left footpeg with the left foot and swing the right leg over. Tilt the bike upright (to the right) and retract the sidestand. Dismount in reverse. Picking a dumped bike up is still easy-- lean with your back to the bike and "walk" it up.

    I have no idea what the next 10, 20 or 30 years will bring, but I'll keep riding til I can't.

    I am toying with the idea of getting a scooter for 'round the town jaunts. Something like a Helix. But heavens no, I refuse to become an old guy on a scooter. My intention-- and this idea is backed up by what was called "The Cycle of Doom" that I saw (Motorrad) Rick Jones riding at the last Barber Vintage-- is to get a Helix (or something like a...), strip all the tupperware off to a bare frame and give it the Steampunk or the Mad Max treatment. No big hurry on this-- I've got my feelers out and will happen upon the right bike at the right price. A scoot is a fun drive, but I only if I can be subtle.

    :rofl:D:rofl

    --Bill



    PS-- had a photo of part of the Doom Machine online:

    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. backfill

    backfill Adventurer

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    Ancaster, Ontario
    I am 53 and my '92 R100R is much lighter than my Yamaha FJR, but they are both fun to ride. However, i can see the FJR eventually being too big to move around easily. Not yet, but i am sure it will happen.

    My Dad is 83. He has been riding for years, but found his hip was bothering him so he couldn't throw a leg over a bike any longer. He bought a Yamaha Majesty 400 cc scooter and loves it! We occasionally go for rides and the scooter is very fast, easy to move around, really low center of gravity, and has great wind protection. He can even put a couple of bags of groceries under the seat. Dad rides with guys on cruisers and they are impressed with how easy he can move it around.

    I LOVE riding scooters, but usually keep it to 50cc. Small scooters are the only bikes i have ever owned that I can ride with the throttle wide open all of the time. I ride my scooter mostly in the country - it is like riding a bicycle but you don't have to pedal - but I also use them in town. Scooters just plain work well, so don't think of them as the end of motorcycling. New scooters are really motorcycles in a slightly different form.
    #33
  14. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    Branson MO
    Bill what you are describing was sold by Honda. It's called a Big Ruckus. Here is a shot of a good friends Ruck. She has to carry a cane as she has a very game left leg, but a step-thru frame allows her to ride all over the country.

    [​IMG]
    #34
  15. Garbln

    Garbln Been here awhile

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    I'm 67 and have a stable of bikes, 2003 Kawi Vulcan 1600, 76 R90/6, 76 R75/6, 77 Yamaha XS 650, 73 Triumph Tiger, and a 70 Guzzi Ambo basket case. I ride the 2003 Vulcan the least, it's low so I can flat foot it, newer so it's reliable, and a pig at slow speeds. I only keep it to go on long trips or if my wife want's to go for a ride. The rest are smaller, easier to handle, and more fun. As far as getting a newer bike so I don't have to work on it, forget it! What else have I got to do? That's what keeps me busy all winter, preparing for summer riding. And if one craps out during riding season I have others to ride til I can get it back going. Right now I feel I could hop on any one of my bikes and go anyplace in the country, without a second thought. Well not the Guzzi as thats still in process. Anyway when you retire you need something to occupy your mind, body, and time. For me that's my older bikes, fishing, and shooting. I don't have enough time to devote to all my hobby's and keep the wife happy too! Poor me! :cry
    #35
  16. type918

    type918 Adventurer

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    Garblin:

    Sounds like you've got it pretty well figured out! Long may you ride. And wrench.
    #36
  17. fastdadio

    fastdadio Still gettin faster

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    Sep 18, 2009
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    Pinckney Mi.
    This is the Airhead thread, no one mentioned an R-65. Has all the qualities we're looking for in a smaller, lower, lighter package.
    #37
  18. Bikaholic51

    Bikaholic51 Electric Kaiser

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    Aug 28, 2008
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    FIB LAND USA (Wauconda, IL)
    So I am not the only one that collects Guzi basket cases??? :clap Nice to know. Mine is a 72 eldo. plus a couple two stroke projects. Will be 62 and retired in a couple weeks. Riding a 99 R1100GS as my main ride. 96K on the clock. Then for fun I have an 04 R1100S. I think about selling this bike regularly but it is too much fun and they do not seem to be worth too much. And then of course I have the /5's One with a hack. the hack will keep me riding for a long long time. :lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3
    #38
  19. zenduddhist

    zenduddhist Been here awhile

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    Jul 2, 2010
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    Ohio
    I am 48 years old, but looking ahead. I already have 2 sidecar rigs that I plan on using as I get older. I ride them now for fun, but as I get older, I plan on riding them out of necessity. Sidecars are a blast and are very "age friendly".
    #39
  20. Garbln

    Garbln Been here awhile

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    Cool, so I'm not the only fool out there. I Retired at 62 also, best thing I ever did. Keep your garage full of projects! I have enough bikes that are suitable for sidecars so that is my plan, to find a sidecar and slap one on one of the bikes when I feel the need. But not quite yet, and they do take up more space.
    #40