The Aging Road Rider Thread

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by everetto, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Twin headlight Ernie

    Twin headlight Ernie Custom fabricated dual sport accessories

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,998
    Location:
    Dakota Minnesota
    I'm 55 with a wide variety of nine different bikes. I recently noticed a story of how the average age of the motorcyclist passed 60. I hang out with a few different clicks of motorcycle groups and enjoy the majority of them. I have noticed I am the young guy at the BMW and Moto Guzzi events but I tend to be the old guy at the dual sport events. I hang out with the senior riders at the moto-cross races. I try to do extended dual sport rides with a group of of very good friends that are all in their early 40's. We ran down to Moab this year and Alaska the year before. Looks like a week in the Black Hills is going to happen this spring. I just pack light, take it easy and enjoy the down time away. My number one goal is to not get hurt and be able to reuse the bike the following day.
    #21
  2. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    10,442
    Location:
    NW Illinois, Driftless Zone
    Just shy of 66. Just recently retired.

    We have a Triumph Bonneville (2007), and a HD Road King Classic (2011) both purchased new.

    We tour(ed) a lot, so we used the HD for anything from an overnighter to two week excursions. The Triumph is just too small for that, we've tried numerous times. I use the Bonnie for bombing around on the country roads that surround us, solo. Both extremely well maintained bikes that are super reliable, with a slight nod going to the HD, which at 47.5K has never had any issues whatsoever. Most reliable bike I've ever owned, still runs like brand new, as does the Triumph.

    I'm 5'-9", 200 Lbs., and in pretty good shape, and accustomed to the heavier bikes, so thus far, no problem.

    That said, the Mrs has developed a lower back issue, and pillions much less these days, so the need for the larger Touring Rig is lessening, although we DO venture out a least once a month for 2-3 day short adventures.

    If "new" Norton could get their act together, and prove out reliability and a decent Dealer network, I'd trade in both bikes and buy one today. I had two Norton's back in the late 70's/early 80's, and loved those bikes, warts and all.

    Otherwise, when the time comes, I'll sell both bikes, and buy a vintage Norton, maybe a '50's Manx!! :D That would be a great Project.
    #22
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  3. zap2504

    zap2504 Dave E.

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
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    Location:
    Middletown, PA
    Now 64.5 y.o.; 6' 2", 33" inseam. Have a number of "circumstance" bikes that more came to me than I went looking for. All in various stages of rebuilding or modifications as I also like to tinker and wrench. Thought I'd like to take long cycle trips but came to realize that my wife doesn't ride and I appreciate comfort and convenience more (and don't see any "fun" in doing 4-lane highways on a bike) - so any long-distance trips will most likely be by cage, in hotels. However, still want to do day trips on 2-lane roads (no off-roads any more) so am continually on the hunt for likely smaller-displacement, lighter-weight, low cost of ownership road bikes that fit my rider's triangle. Anxiously awaiting Yamaha's intro of the XSR700 into the USA market as well as BMW's G310GS.
    #23
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  4. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
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    Location:
    The Wilds of Western Wisconsin
    when I was 25 I was happy to fold myself into whatever origami position the bike required and to ride as far as time and money would permit. Having just turned 60 tho, I find center of gravity and the tightness of the ergo's matters a lot more than it use to. For instance, my touring bike had been an S10 and before that an ST1300. They are both wonderful bikes but fully loaded for a week or two trip that was a lot of weight perched pretty high up which can get to be a bit gangly at times. I now use a Road King for that sort of duty. It's a few hundred pounds heavier but the weight is a good deal lower along with the seat height which just makes it easier to control. Generally speaking, I find using the lightest bike for the intended purpose is both the easiest to control and the most fun. I'm lucky enough to have 5 bikes ranging from 300 to 800 pounds. Weight helps in long distance, high speed travel, not so much in the city or on a back country road. All of them tho share one characteristic: they all have fairly relaxed ergo's that let you move around (why I have a Bonnie, not a Thruxton for instance). While getting in and holding an aggressive riding posture didn't use to matter, much, older bones have better ideas. And personally, I intend to ride until I become a hood ornament on a Peterbilt, 'might as well exit will some style vs. just rusting away....
    #24
  5. Deans BMW

    Deans BMW Granpa Hoon

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,101
    Location:
    Alamogordo, NM
    Will be 75 ........in a few months....... Just traded my '14 Road King for a new '18 Softail 114 Heritage Classic as the RK was around 800+lbs and was getting heavy in the parking lot. The new HD is over 100lbs lighter with a lower center of gravity, Much better.

    Reducing my complete stable of bikes down to just two, this new HD and have on order a new BMW 310GS.

    The latest in my last new motorcycles......
    #25
  6. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,224
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    Some of us are blessed with better health or fewer/no injuries that result in more or fewer options for enjoyment, but the silver lining is that for me in my 50+ years of riding and racing all types of motorcycles on and off road there has never been a better selection of motorcycles to choose from be they old favorites to the newest gadget infused big, small or anywhere in between options. I get something different every 1-2 years and ride it as often and as far as possible and they have all been a hoot. Some weigh too much, some cost too much to service, some aren't as comfy, but all were smile makers well worth the time and money. At "our" age the worse thing to do is to do nothing by overthinking rather than doing (motorcycles, diving, golfing, hiking, whatever)! Wasting big chunks of time is a problem I see often, a particular bike needing to be replaced by another for whatever reason is an opportunity :happay. I accept eye glasses, old injuries coming back to haunt and reflexes being a bit slower, etc., but I can adjust and accommodate for those realities and for now riding and the quest for the "perfect" motorcycle keeps me in a very happy place. Several old friends that are also Old continue in a timeless manner while many have gotten to where they kinda go through the motions still and some tinker a bit and others have hung up their spurs. When it's no longer fun is only a question we can assess individually, but do enjoy it while possible! The younger riders will keep you young(er) while also making you feel your age, just avoid folks that are "constipated" full time regardless their birthday count as age is mindset as well as wear and tear on the hard parts....

    Cheers
    #26
  7. Kiwi Mo

    Kiwi Mo Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
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    Location:
    Te Ika-a-Māui Aotearoa New Zealand
    I have a Wing that I can ride all day but its not my choice for buzzing around town.
    I have a Triumph Scrambler for that and shorter 1 up rides.
    Lately I have noticed I was down to a 2 hr ride and I was not enjoying it later at home.

    I really did not want to give up on riding it so I remodeled the riders position. I fitted some T140 US bars ( up and back ) and a King Queen seat. What a difference that made. Its fun again.

    I agree 100% with bobw re the blokes who believe its a mindset thing.
    #27
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  8. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
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    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    My problem seems to be ass, the lack of it. Butt gets tired if I ride too long. I'm 70, been riding since I was 17. Went from a 305 Superhawk to Triumphs and BMWs. Been through sport bikes, off road, etc.

    Last screamer I had was an SV1000, powerful, but heavy and with a horrible seat. I'm now back riding a Triumph, Japanese version, Kaw W650. It suits me, fun through the curves, reliable, light, and fairly comfortable on trips. No trouble getting my leg over, and still like to give it a kick to start. I miss sport bike power, but I'm OK with it.

    I also ride off road with a Yamaha XT225. Not too powerful through the woods, but adequate and still fun, and light at 268 wet. No problem picking it up.

    If I ride someone else's tall bike, if need be I get on it like a horse. Foot on peg and swing over.

    Intend to keep riding as long as I'm able. No longer believe in The Who line, "hope I die before I grow old". lol
    #28
  9. MHaz01

    MHaz01 I Used To Be Faster

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    540
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I'm 68 and will be 69 by the next riding season. My current ride is a K1600GTL which seems just about perfect (if I wear thick-soled boots). I want to continue riding as many years as possible.

    My routine beginning every November 1st is to spend time in the gym at least three times weekly. I use a good trainer as needed, and lift free weights. Squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses, curls. Start very easy; add weight slowly in order not to damage tendons, joints, and muscles. I also do several rounds of planks (front and both sides) to strengthen my torso. And I walk 5-7 miles most days.

    My K1600 doesn't yet feel to heavy. It won't weight more next year than it does this year but it will FEEL heavier if I let my strength decline.

    At the beginning of riding season I re-read Proficient Motorcycling (for the umpteenth time), take n experienced rider class if I can find one, and spend a full afternoon in an empty parking lot practicing panic braking, u-turns, figure eights, etc.

    In 2009 I was getting an oil change at a BMW shop in Fairbanks. An older gent was doing the same thing for his GS1200. We struck up a conversation. He was 86, a widower, living in California. And a long-term rider. He had ridden to Alaska ans was going to cross most of Canada and cut over to New York state to visit relatives. And then ride back to LA. He said that he told his (adult) kids that if he dies motorcycling, he'll die happy. And he keeps as fit as his body allows.

    That was an unforgettable few moments. The guy inspired me.
    #29
  10. vicster

    vicster Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,394
    66 years old, shrunk down to something like 6'6 230#, in good health and reasonably good shape, been riding on the street 50 years. Like many here, although I can't seem to make myself give up my Rocket 3, I've been trending towards lighter bikes, having traded in my Victory XCT for the roughly 300# lighter KTM 1190. My "twilight" bike, should I ride that long is my DR 650. It's relatively light, narrow, easy and cheap to maintain, and really versatile.

    Given my health, strength, willingness to stick to a fitness regime, and my passion for riding, I can easily see being physically able to ride well into my 70s. But it won't be my health that has me all but give it up, it's going to be the increasingly bad traffic turning the risk/reward ratio on its head. There are simply too damn many people, too few of whom know how to drive. I had more close calls this past summer than I've had in the last 20 years combined. All in broad daylight in light traffic while I was doing the speed limit or less. Scariest ones are the texters drifting over the center line.

    Too many people taking the joy out of it will likely be what has me hang up the helmet.
    #30
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  11. cognosticator

    cognosticator YOU do it

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,751
    Location:
    Rincon, GA
    68 here and just sold my 2005 GS in July and the next day jumped on another Concours C14. 680 pounds but runs like a scalded dog, which I like. I have decided I want a smaller lighter fast bike like a 2 cylinder Tuono and trailer that bike to the mountains as it seems I haven't taken a cross country ride in years and doesn't look like I will in the future. I find that riding to the mountains I am excited to get there, but the 280 mile boring ride home just seems to wear me out to where I don't enjoy it.

    I still plan on riding until I have to change to a 3 wheeled vehicle and then until I can't ride anymore I hate it, but it will be here sooner than I want it to.
    #31
  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    Jan 14, 2010
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    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    The one's the phone people tend to take out are walkers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. They don't jump out at them when they look up like an SUV would, and are the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, most states don't keep track of accidents caused by distracted drivers, so no big push yet. Have to drive more offensively to stay out of their way, defensively doesn't work. Go faster and put more distance between you and anyone behind you.

    Here's an article about phone caused deaths: https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAtQOp7?m=en-us&ocid=News
    #32
  13. vicster

    vicster Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,394
    In one of the instances that happened to me I think you're right, I wasn't large enough to register right away. When she did see me she swerved, startled, back into her lane. In the other instance I don't think the driver ever saw me because I watched them continue across the wrong lane until they hit the dirt shoulder, causing them to look up.

    What's infuriating is the problem could be solved tomorrow. Any time the phone senses you are traveling more than say, 5mph, you can't send or receive texts, the screen won't come on, no incoming calls, and 911 is the only outgoing call you can make. Maybe allow the phone to inform you of an incoming call or text that you will then have to pull over and stop in order to check. Ticks me off that cell phone stupidity, so easily avoided, will likely play a huge role in my giving up riding on the street.
    #33
  14. everetto

    everetto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Central New Mexico
    I am always thinking of the next bike. As I said earlier my current bike with a chain will probably be the last one I own with a chain. In thinking of sport touring bikes, my definition of the word sport is; comfy, fast, shaft drive, and light weight. The common shaft drive sport bikes out there are always the FJR and the Concours 14. Neither are light, but the FJR is what - about 50 lbs lighter than the Connie? Oops, I just remembered another bike, in fact I almost bought one in place of the XR a few months back. It is the R1200RS and it really seems to fit my definition of sport touring. The only reason I did not get one is my local dealer did not have one and said he could not get the new '18 until late Sept or early October, and so I got the XR. Another factor was probably the boxer engine, as I was coming off a LC GS, and the engine is GREAT, but a little vanilla...... so now I am on a pretty badass I4. With all this said, the RS will definitely be back on the table, if and when the boxer gets the VVT and larger displacement. I will consider both the RT and the RS at that time, and the rumored Kawasaki H2-GT (supercharged sport touring bike) really intrigues me, but I am positive it will weigh more than 600 lbs. I am interested in bikes in the 500-525 lb range these days.
    #34
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  15. Joezeph

    Joezeph Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    735
    Location:
    AR
    Here's a consideration that's not quite so boring as the FJR (we won't even mention the Connie!) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_VFR1200F

    When l was in the UK l had the '98 VFR800 & at the time (being a young 50yr old) it was THE perfect bike for me, height, weight, & the engine could keep me running with GSX1000's in the twisties,,,,,,,,,,,,then there was the howl from that sublime V4 engine that made your right wrist develop "twistonitis!"

    Anyway, now my story; as a 65yr old lifelong 'biker, l've had all sorts, (but never a full on crotch rocket) & as a 6ft 195lb gym attending geezer with a dicky right hip (hereditory bad hip will be replaced at some stage..........no, really!) l'm currently enjoying the attributes of a Triumph Tiger (hence the avatar).
    It does everything l want it to, & has the option of me getting offroad as & when needed, but as a street bike it also shines & will do the twisties with ease, & even though the wonderful turbo like noise from the 3 cyclinder 800cc lump sound impressive, you have to keep it "wound up" to get the best from it!
    That said, it will cruise all day at 85mph in comfort......& when l say comfort, l mean comfort!
    I have 2 inch bar risers, the seat set to the "high" position, a genuine sheepskin seat cover with a 2 inch piece of good quality foam under it that l got cut to fit at a local upholsterers shop, l also removed the rubber inserts from the footpegs (even though the serrated metal pegs have ruined my left boot sole through getting on via the peg then twisting my foot around!) & removing the rubbers gives another valuable inch of leg room.
    I have suffered tremendously with a bad back over the years (self induced) & this bike can get me from A to B in comfort & my max day was 675mls & my two recent trips were a 2650ml loop to Colorado & back & 3 weeks ago l got back from a 2850ml trip to The Great lakes/Ontario/Niagara over 8 days.

    Another funny thing after reading some of the posts on here is the " what will l ride 'till l'm confined to a three wheeler" syndrome we all have, which is a healthy ideal because it just proves we have no intention of giving up 'biking, even if it will actually be "triking!"

    Hmmmm, l'm thinking a trip to Mexico won't go amiss before Xmas as another celebration of my 65th year on this rapidly declining planet.........:hmmmmm 7v7CAQ9.jpg :kumbaya
    #35
  16. everetto

    everetto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Central New Mexico
    Interceptor.jpg
    I love that bike, and I have considered it off and on for several years. I had the original Interceptor back in '83 I think it was, so no one has to convince me to love a V4!
    #36
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  17. oldgrizz

    oldgrizz Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,745
    I will be 66 in Feb. I am 6ft 5 in tall and weigh a feather lrss than 300 lbs.
    My bike is a 2012 FJR.
    I still manage to drag the pegs on the right road.
    I think my next bike will be a KTM 1290 Super Adventure as there are a lot of logging roads I want to explore.
    The other bike I realky want to check out is the new Kawasaki Supercharged sport touring one they are coming out with.
    My longest day was 850 miles 2 years ago aand that is with the stock saddle. So i am looking to change the saddle and the windshield on the FJR and if I dont buy a new one it will take me from British Columbia to Nova Scotia next year with a little luck that I get a 3 week hall pass from the warden.
    2 years ago I met a fellow who had just turned 88 years old on a BMW 1200GS that had spent 4 months on tbe road. So thwre is still hope for us old farts.

    Sent from my SM-N920W8 using Tapatalk
    #37
  18. curtis6870

    curtis6870 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,518
    Location:
    GA
    51 here, and ride Sporty Bikes.....VFR, Bandit, FJR, etc.
    I may move to extended suspension, upright, increased legroom bikes (Strom, GS, S10, etc) someday, but not yet.
    Anyone have a Tuono for Sale?
    #38
  19. PaD

    PaD Serial beginner

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I turned 66 this summer. Haven’t had a bike since mid 90’s.
    Been thinking of getting a bike for years and have been looking at F650GS, NC750X, CB500X. Fell for the Versys-X 300 when I first heard of it and then did a test ride this spring. I’ve had a nice summer with my Versys300.
    To me the low weight is a good thing. 385lb full tank. It’s a small engine but not too small bike. Hope to do a little longer trips next summer. I think the bike will be up to it.
    DE911382-C79A-412D-9AB6-93C9017B6AFE.jpeg
    #39
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  20. Joezeph

    Joezeph Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    735
    Location:
    AR
    I was inspired to turn my 65th year into a biking extravaganza which surpasses any Cecil B DeMille classic movie mainly because his shows didn't have Triumph motorbikes in them....................& he didn't have background music by Canned Heat!!!! :rofl:rofl:rofl
    #40