Who started riding after age 30

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Shoganai, May 23, 2005.

  1. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    Took the MSF class at 39, a friend got a bike and got me thinking about. First bike 94 ST1100 dropped it 4 or 5 times in various parking lots but I love, even though picking it up is a bitch. Bought it in June and have put 12k miles on it so far this year with 4 multi-day trips plus riding around on the weekends.
    #81
  2. ChainSaw

    ChainSaw Ironbutt Wannbe

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    515
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    1. "WTF were you thinking?"

    Age: 31. I was trying to win a Harley in Vegas on the slots. Came home and started doing some serious research, which led me to the conclusion that all Harey's don't cost $25,000. Ordered one 2 days later, signed up for MSF course before bike was built. I thought, if I change my mind, the HD has great resale value, and I can walk away with a minor loss.

    2. What was your first bike?
    2001 Harley-Davidon Sportster.

    3. How do you feel about starting so late?
    If I had started before I was 21, I would have been a fatality statistic. Better late than never.

    4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
    Bought a second bike in June 2002, a 2003 Buell Firebolt, before the HD was a year old. Still have both, eyeballing getting a third.

    Fast forward 4 years, I have ridden my HD in 31 states including Alaska, Canada, and Mexico, all solo. I ride year round in anything but snow (although I've done that too). I've got 63,000+ miles between the 2 bikes, I wrench on my own rides, and spend way too much time on the internet reading about bikes, travel reports and tech tips.
    #82
  3. Mark P

    Mark P From the mountain

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
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    Location:
    Cape Town South Africa
    Started riding as a commuter at 37 on a Kawasaki 440 Ltd. rode that for two years then a giant leap to a Suzuki GSX1100 1981 model rode that for three years then was without for eight years. My current bike is BMW R 1150GS 1999 model which I have had for just over a year.
    #83
  4. Trey650

    Trey650 Are We There Yet?

    Joined:
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    Ramona, California
    My first bike was at 38. It was a XR625R totally tricked out for motocross racing yet it had a dual sport kit on it. I bought it from a friend. That bike was insanely powerful, crack the throttle and it would wheelie. It took me awhile to get used to it. I think that riding mountain bikes and jet skis helped me from killing myself those first years.

    I know one thing I am glad my parents never let me have one while I was younger, the way I rode I would have probally ended up dead.

    I now ride a XR650R and still like the feel of a big bike compared to the lighter bikes.
    #84
  5. BMWBard

    BMWBard Mystic Rider

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    much too close to San Francisco :P
    I'll phrase the first question in my Mom's exact words, "WTF were you thinking?" (5 years later her opinion hasn't changed)

    Good question. I believe I've related elsewhere my first utterly disasterous acquaintance with a bike, in the person of my idiot scumbag Hell's Angels wannbe brother-in-law and his Harley when I was 15; the time that he decided to terrify the kid sis by taking her for a ride sans helmets or instructions and gunned it into a high speed knee scraper type sudden turn...and I leaned the other way instinctively. Served him right! :evil His shrieking screaming name calling assertion that I had almost killed us sent me walking back home with the firm conviction that all bikes and bikers were dangerous, and I stayed far far away for years.

    Then someone I knew and trusted informed me --to my utter shock-- that he was a motorcyclist while I was grad school (about 24) and invited me to re examine the issue. (That I actually did prompts a Harley rider I know currently to say I have big brass ones :lol3 ) Turned out he was an MSF instructor, and you can imagine the differences in the way he went about doing a passenger ride. I rethought the matter and decided SOME bikers are dangerous assholes.

    Almost 30, and my fiance is a bike freak with a Yamaha XT, street legal. I rode behind him now and then. 30, and one day he says to me he can't imgaine spending forever with someone who doesn;t love them as much as he does. I agree to try operating the XT in the big empty KMart parking lot at dawn....fateful decision. It ain't NUTHIN like riding behind, is it? I had not gone ten feet before I was totally permanently hooked. I rode around the bloody lot doing circles, figure 8s, circling the light posts, yelling WHEEE!!!! and URBAN PONY!!!!! like a madwoman, grinnning that maniac grin, and leaving my fiance in the dust. He couldn't get me to stop!

    As soon as I got home I called and enrolled in MSF. (And can someone PLEASE explain to me WHY, in a class where they provided the bikes, a sea of 125s and 2 250s, I had enormous trouble with the 125s? Slow speed manuvers oopsies, stalling them out, dropping them...how on earth can a novice do better with a bigger engine and a heavier bike?!?) After taking the license I got a Kaw midsize.

    What was I thinking? From the moment I felt the XT balance and took off I never stopped thinking "WHEEEEE!!!! URBAN PONY!!!!!!"

    But if we're gonna bring mom into this....she never saw the little Kaw. It wasn't until a few months later, when I'd sold it and bought a BIG Kaw --750cc-- that she knew about this, when I went home for a visit, pulling into the gravel drive and carefully scraping a nice level dirt spot for the kickstand with one foot before setting it down and walking up to the house. She stodd there with saucer-sized eyes, looking from the bike...to me...and her eyes slowly traveled the length of my gear and stopped on my helmet. You could just hear her thinking "Oh....My....God....." and then disbelieving it because of the example of my borther-in-law, and THEN realizing I was better protected than he'd ever been riding...and not caring!

    But what she said was, "Come in and have some coffee". And she never once attempted to get me to reconsider. Smart woman....:D


    2. What was your first bike?

    80 something Kawasaki 454 or 440 LTD


    3. How do you feel about starting so late?

    Just fine. It came when it was time. Earlier I had way too much else to deal with and take care of.


    4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
    After the Kaw 750, there was the BMW K75. I loved that bike like a family member, went everywhere and did everything with it, from dirt country roads, to gravel, to fields, to claycuts, to freeway to paved streets to the airports, daily and recreational riding, all over the bloody state of California and a bit of the surrounding area. I have trouble understanding why people call it "the flying brick" or talk about how it hasn't got enough get up and go, or can't go anywhere that is not paved, or is no fun, or...etc etc etc.


    The silver baby K was wrecked by an asshat in a car, who darned near wrecked me too. Now I am back with a Kaw little bike, a 440 LTD junker. It needs tires, which I just got, and when I have found a eway to get them on it I'll be out and about again.

    But I dream of another K bike...just like my lost baby. Someday...
    #85
  6. r12gsman

    r12gsman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23
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    Isle of Man
    Okay I too was a late starter, at 39 I was getting pressure from new friends to get a bike licence.

    So I bought a Kawasaki KMX 125 and started getting some practice in, 11 weeks later I passed my test:evil I went straight home an called my insurance company to find out what the highest insurance group a new rider of my age could be insured for. I was informed the highest group I could start off on was 12 (max 17).

    This was better than I had hoped so off to the local bike shop and hey presto a 1200 Suzuki Bandit with only 450 miles on the clock.....bargain.

    This was the time when my wife thought I had gone mad, she expected me to buy a little ole 250cc bike.:puke1 naw I was gonna jump in with two feet.

    I got fed up with the Bandit after a year so I shopped around for someone to insure me on a Honda Blackbird......result. So off to the Honda dealer to order a brand new Blackbird.:D This lasted a year also when the bike developed mechanical problems so I managed to get Honda to change the bike for another new Blackbird. I had to put some cash towards it but as I had done over 7k one the first one I wasn't complaining.

    Another 18 months go by and I fancied a change, so I chopped the Blackbird in for a Suzuki VStrom 1000DL, this lasted about 9 months when I got T boned
    so that was the end of that.

    While waiting for the insurance to get settled I bought a second hand Kawasaki ZX12R, and two months later armed with insurance cheque went and bought a brand new Ducati Multisrada 1000DS.

    I kept the Kawasaki for about 3 months but didn't really like it so I traded it for a mint Suzuki Hayabusa.

    Although I liked the Multistrada, I found it a bit cramped two up, plus I had a few problems with it so 3 months ago I traded it for a brand new r1200GS.

    I still have the Hayabusa as well, but the GS seems to get most of my attention and is nearly always the first one I go for.

    I am now almost 44 so maybe it's time to slow down a bit ?????
    #86
  7. leadvegas

    leadvegas I want to see your uvula

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
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    Location:
    Colorado high country
    I suppose I can participate. I was 29 when I started, but only 4 months off of 30. I never had any exposure whatsoever to motorcycles growing up, and never really had any attraction to them. After college I concentrated on a career and buying a house and never gave bikes a single thought. After debts were paid and some dabbling in ATVs, I started eying dirtbikes.

    In the spring of 2004 I started looking at economy cars. For a great many reasons, I needed a second mode of transport but couldn't give up a 4X4/tow vehicle. I wanted economy, but hybrids are far less than ideal in this neighborhood, and VW TDIs were looking pretty great. However, light cars are torn up quickly here (I ruined a Geo Metro in 2 years on these roads). It dawned on me that a motorcycle would be a great compromise. Obviously a lot less usefull in the winter, but it wouldn't get torn up on the roads and is almost as efficient as the TDIs I was looking at. I started by looking at the 650 GS Dakars, but was also looking at the 1150 GS. A GS riding neighbor steered me to the KTM 950.

    May 5th, 2004: so now I'm a rider who has never been on a bike that now owns a 950. For the first day I felt completely overwhelmed. The first ride consisted of a 2 mile loop through the neighborhood, with a foot deep ditch at the bottom of my driveway I had to negotiate getting both in and out of. I didn't die... I didn't even fall, so I was feeling pretty good. However, Colorado MSF schedules sucked pretty bad and my class was still more than a month away. I had to rely on my neighbor to ride with me for that time, and yes, I developed bad habits. But in the end, I, a complete n00b (with a 30" inseam no less) managed to learn on a bike that is arguably not for beginners.

    I was hooked. I managed to get a fair number of miles under my belt the first year - enough to expire my bike's warranty for our riding season (May-Oct for my first year). Come the following February I bought a dirt bike (KLX 400) to further develop my dirt skills on the 950. Now I am hooked on that too. A mere 18 months later I have 3 bikes (got a KX 125 for a mere $250 this summer) and a horrible (horribly great) addiction.

    I occasionally regret that I hadn't found bikes far before now. On the other hand, I am enjoying the learning process and the travels greatly. Sadly, my pups suffer from some of my impromptu 15 hour rides, but I make up where I can. Hey, sometimes it takes 6 hours to get home from work. :ricky

    And then there's this place... bottomless wealth of information (good and bad) and opinion (mostly bad :deal). I've even been sucked into helping out with the Chaingolian invasion of Idaho Springs. I think I'll be around a while... and I'll see you all around the campfire sooner or later.
    #87
  8. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
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    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    I started riding at age 52, about 1 year ago.

    WTF was I thinking? Better late than never I guess. I deliberately postponed getting a motorcycle until I semi-retired because I knew I wouldn't have enough time for motorcycling and bicycling while working full time.

    My 1st bike, that I still, have is a BMW F650GS, though I'm thinking about a R1200GS.
    #88
  9. WoodButcher

    WoodButcher Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,219
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I'm 43 now and started when I was 41. Still have the bike I started with, plus I'm rebuilding an old Goldwing. I won't be doing too much traveling until the second kid makes it to college, but I'll keep working towards it.

    Also need to get the wife more comfortable with me riding that much on the street.
    #89
  10. ysr612

    ysr612 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
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    Location:
    Beaumont, texas
    I didn't start roadracing until I was over 50.
    #90
  11. Joebmetro

    Joebmetro 10 KTM 690E

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,637
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I started riding off road at 45 last April, first bike was a 91 KLR 250. First event was this years Hancock Quarry run where kickstarting the KLR after my many mishaps kicked my ass.
    I bought a KTM 450 EXC 2 weeks later.

    I Did a desert ride in Vegas 8/05 with KTM factory rider Kellon Walch in the Nelson Hills.

    We did the TCMC dual sport last week and we are going to the Meteor dual sport tommorow ( both in southern NJ.)

    5 of us are going to Vegas in January for a weekend of riding.

    I'm looking foward to trying an enduro next year.
    #91
  12. FlagRS

    FlagRS Gone to the Dogs

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,306
    Location:
    N. AZ
    I started riding in May 2004 at age 43. After about a year of thinking about it seriously, I finally convinced my wife to let me buy a new 2004 1150GS in May of '04. After a few weeks she agreed to ride on the back with me. 1500 miles later she (age 40) wanted her own bike. I bought her a new '03 F650GS in July '04. Although we were both avid bicycle riders and have logged over 5000 miles a year on our road bicycles, she had never ridden a motorcycle before. I tought her to ride a motorcycle on that F650 in an elementary school parking lot. She took the MSF course as I did earlier. In the next twelve month we logged 12K on our bikes. This summer we sold her F650 and bought her a K1200RS. Since we both started about 18 months ago we have ridden about 26K miles. It is a blast, we have traveled to areas in the southwest we have never been before and we have both lived here for over 25 years.
    #92
  13. runswithbeer

    runswithbeer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    templeton, ca
    This is a day of firsts. This is my first post and bought my first bike two days ago a 97 f650. I am 48 and have a grand total of about 1k miles of riding between a yamaha 225, KTM650 and a Transalp. Came into work sucks on Friday with an uncontrollable grin when they asked about the bike. Truely a fun ride home... not long enough. It will take getting used to starting the engine as it is carbed and not happy to turn over. Been to the f650 site for info, but like most women they have their quirks.
    Did I say that I almost single again after 21 years, and no this is NOT a mid life crisis thing.
    #93
  14. MissFenderFine

    MissFenderFine Now Offically De-n00bed!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,260
    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    Does anyone know about the Honda Rebel? Don't poke fun of me...I'm short!

    Also, the Yamaha Virago 250?

    Sat on a Rebel today...it fit me just right. Haven't sat on the Yammie yet.

    Taking the MSC next weekend. :)

    Oh...and I'm over 40 and just now learning to ride!
    #94
  15. murgatroid42

    murgatroid42 Great Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Ft. Collins, CO
    Get a used bike for your first bike. The Honda Rebel hasn't changed in years. You should be able to find a hardly used one in good condition. Let someone else take the depreciation hit; you should be able to sell it for nearly what you pay for it. If it fits you, it's good for you; the Rebel is a great starter bike.

    Eventually, when you get a few thousand miles experience, you might want a larger bike if you take longer trips on the interstate. Remember that your first bike is not your last bike. But do not start with a big bike and expect to "grow into it". That's a recipe for disaster.

    Take the MSC course, get a bike that you are comfortable with now, ride it often, and enjoy it. You are approaching motorcycling the right way. :thumb
    #95
  16. runswithbeer

    runswithbeer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    templeton, ca
    Well, now we know your gender, but I was refering to the bike as having quirks, not me... the "package" rests on the seat, but is not behind me. Appreciate being welcomed to the Asylum and looking forward to new adventures.
    #96
  17. MissFenderFine

    MissFenderFine Now Offically De-n00bed!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
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    Petaluma, CA
    Thanks, Murgatroid! I appeciate your vote of confidence! I sat on some dual sports but didn't feel comfortable with having to touch the ground with my tippie toes only!
    #97
  18. MissFenderFine

    MissFenderFine Now Offically De-n00bed!

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    Thanks, Gwen. Cool that you started on a Rebel too. I'm not ready to buy just yet. Someone on the KLR650 board told me about 2 Sherpa's for sale in Charlotte. Police Demo bikes...1500 miles on a 2000....$1500. I might check that one out too. Sounds like a good deal. They have two of them, the other is a 2002. I'm thinking I might need some experience under my belt before I try doing off road riding...
    #98
  19. BMWBard

    BMWBard Mystic Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    858
    Location:
    much too close to San Francisco :P
    YEEPS! As an equally short-inseamed lady I agree, reinforce, and applaud your discomfort!

    NEVER get a bike you can't get enough foot on the gorund to control. You will SO regret it some day!

    That said, just in case you don't know it, a lot of bikes CAN be lowered. My baby was lowered by a short shock, forks dropped as far as could be, and a different seat type. (Make sure the side stand is also changed or your bike may have a tendency to drop over in windy conditions; and see if the center stand can be changed too. Mine wasn't, and I had a H###ck of a time learning how to get it up to center at first. Some will scrape the center stand on the ground at times if not changed too, I hear, anyway, other folks here have more experience on the ins and outs of the procedure.)
    #99
  20. G-man17

    G-man17 The Devil Drives!

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,532
    I thought I would chime in,

    I began riding this year, 2005, but that is not to say that I had never riddnen before. I did--I had a scary incident (not mine but a friend) that sent me home with my tail between my legs. I was too stupid and too immature for something that required total concentration to enjoy.

    I went to law school met a guy who had been a Ranger in the army and rode a bike to and from school, simple transportation, but he had that cool and all of us know what I am talking about.

    When I was 27 I met a guy that rode cross country with his dad--I was in awe. I wanted that experience. I wanted those stories, I wanted to be able to say this is what I had done but, I still questioned my own . . . . He said to me that anyone can really become a good rider but that one should take the motorcycle safety course as a place to begin.

    In 1996 my son was born, I knew I wanted to do that trip with him. Now at the age of 41 with four children and a wife, I took the motorcycle safety course. I love my kids and want to be there for them but, this was something I needed to do for myself. I loved every minute of the MSF course torqueing that 125cc bike up third gear--the insturctor asked me not to inform that I had broken the rules--but it was great fun on the tarmac in riding gear in the sweltering heat and humidity of August.

    I passed; yes indeed, I passed. I had taken tests before--no really, ones that mattered like the bar exam, the series 7 exam, the insurance exam and countless others but the one that I took on the final day of the MSF course I think mattered more to me than any I had taken to date. (OK my priorites are arse backwards)

    But this is a longwinded way of say I purchased a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom. Why did I buy this bike? Because it was the BMW that I could afford. Huh? Well it is clear that Suzuki wants this bike to be their Adventure bike their "Long Way Round" bike.

    Did my Mother know? Well hey, that is a really funny and intersting story. My wife told my sister I was taking the MSF course--women! My sister promptly told my mom. She did not confront me. She did come to baby-sit one day and went looking in the garage. Each of my children had been warned to remain mum on the cycle. Low and behold my Mom found my baby under a tarp. She promptly came out and said to my six year old daughter: "Well, I see your father bought a motorcycle!" My daughter said: Aah, no Grandma, that's a horse." My mom said: "No. In the garage it is a motorcycle." To which my daughter persisted: "Grandma your not suppose to see that--It's a horse." Confronted with that my Mother could not be mad. Confronted with that I story, I became very worried about what is in store for me with that kid and her quick mind.

    Now I ride everywhere on the bike. I ride to the grocery store on it to the post office. I ride to the wine shop and Starbucks on it. I make up trips to go on and ride the bike, hell I have even thought of going back to church just so that I would have another place to ride the bike. I never want to go back to a car as my primary mode of transportation. No I am too old to become a racer but I want to be the best rider I can be.

    I long for those big trips--I have yet to do one, but there will be many. Someday I will post my pictures and my story on this site and I hope they're up to snuff.

    Thanks for the time and I hope to see you on the road.

    G-man.