Who started riding after age 30

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

  1. xpi0t0s

    xpi0t0s n00b

    May 23, 2005
    I started riding in early 2000 when I was 33. When I stopped cycling everywhere several years previously I had ruled out a motorbike because you could never account for all the other idiots, but when I moved south (in the UK) it eventually dawned on me that all those other idiots - myself included - were permanently stuck in traffic jams. My principle reason for not biking thus evaporated, and after a friend in Birmingham said how much fun he'd had on a scooter was all set to follow in his tyretracks. Mentioned this to my Dad, who said that a bike was better than a scoot because the larger wheels make them more stable. I'd already decided a decent size scoot would have required a full bike licence anyway, so thought what the heck and went all the way up to a motorbike.

    This decision did worry my Mum, but this worry was averted on two counts - firstly that I said I would get all the training I could (and in fact have now passed my Advanced Riding test), and secondly because it turns out she used to ride everywhere as well and also has a full bike licence, much to my surprise. She even said she'd been riding several months into her pregnancy with me! So maybe riding reminds me of the womb, or something daft like that.

    2. What was your first bike?

    What happened to 1? Anyway, my first bike was a dual purpose 125 (can't remember the make;Honda or Yamaha) so I could practice riding off-road. By the time I found out that this was in fact just as illegal as riding on-road I'd done over 100 miles and was well and truly ready for my CBT*, then after getting through that I could ride the bike on the road.

    For my bike test* in Nov-2000 I got a Honda CB750 which I practiced riding in car parks; passed the test on the 3rd attempt and got a full Category A licence as opposed to the silly A1 restricted you get if you only pass on a bike that outputs less than 46bhp (the 125 was 11bhp. Wow, I still remember getting on it the first few times thinking "this is way too powerful...")

    (* Getting a bike licence in the UK is complicated business.)

    3. How do you feel about starting so late?

    It's probably just as well; I've had several accidents in the cars I've had over the years, and if those had been on a bike I'd have been in much worse shape than I am now, and as a result I'm much more tolerant of other drivers' errors. But I guess you mean "do you wish you'd started sooner", to which the answer would be "Don't know; everything considered, probably not." Riding is definitely the best fun I've had with my clothes on.

    4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?

    Traded in the 125 and the 750 about a year after my test for a Fazer 600. Traded that in in March for my current bike, a BMW R1200GS. The 125 and 750 were both second hand, and the Fazer and Beemer were both new.
  2. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

    May 13, 2004
    NoVA for now...

    BMW R1150RT. Yup, I started right off on the big toys. Dropped it making a u-ttrn into the garage within the first hour of owning it. STALL... BANG! Back to the dealer to get head guards installed with my first service.

    WhyTF did I wait so farging long??!! I've been a bicyclist for the last 18-ish years, so the two-wheeled controls weren't too foreign. Its absolutely amazing how much further you can go on a motorcycle than a bicycle!

    Bought the RT, started surfing MRN. Found about this place from Fish when he got banned over there. Started surfing ADVRider and saw that riding these DS bikes looked like an absolute hoot. I ride mtn bikes, road bikes, race track and cyclocross so having "one of each" sounded like a grand idea. I decided that I wanted a KTM 640ADV. Found one for a good deal coupla months ago and picked it up at the end of April. Now I'm learing dirt skillz and having a blast!

    To answer the first question last, Mom still ain't happy her firstborn is riding around on a "deathsicle" but since Dad's had several and my next little brother has two bikes, she can't complain too much. She does make it a point to make sure I know she don't like the idea that her family is riding motorcycles pretty much every time we talk on the phone.

    I was sitting in traffic, age 35, in my F150, driving somewhere around rush hour. Sitting on the 5 southbound, idling, when a few bikes passed me splitting lanes. Hmmm. A little later another few bikes passed me. Hmmmm. That looks like a GREAT IDEA! I think I'll get one! After all, I've wanted a bike all my life.

    Decided I wanted a sport tourer 'cause I wanted bags to haul paperwork around. First choice: Aprilia Futura 'cause I love the looks. Second choice: BMW. Third choice: VFR. The Aprilia dealer wouldn't/couldn't get financing, so off the the BMW dealer I went. They floated an app. Salesguy and I sat around twiddling thumbs waiting for the computer to spit back an answer. I was fully expecting to have the salesguy look at me and say "sorry Mr. Shaw, but we can't finance you." When he raised his eyebrows and said "you're approved" you coulda knocked me over with a feather. Oh shit! This means I GOTTA BUY the thing! HOLY SHIT! WTF now?!

    Since I didn't have a license, they wouldn't let me ride off with it so I had them deliver it to the office. Once there, I hopped on and took off. Took 30 days or so to get the permit, and another few months to get an appointment to take the test. Found out that riding a bike in traffic is a lot like racing bicycles, but the consequences of messing up are a lot bigger! I'm still not sure where exactly the limits of traction are on the bike and don't really wanna find out ala Steve and Jabba.

    That was 24k mi ago on the RT and another 1000-ish on the ADV. Next: Ducati 916-996-998!

  3. Anciano

    Anciano Bushpilot

    Dec 6, 2004
    Central California
    1. "WTF were you thinking?" - I always wanted a bike, but we were poor. Got married, still poor. At 30 I decided to go to college. Went to bank and got a student loan of $600. Went to a M/C dealer and bought a bike.

    2. What was your first bike? - New 1969 Kawasaki 175 enduro.

    3. How do you feel about starting so late? - I cuss my old man everyday for being born poor. I missed out on at least 15 years of fun.

    4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru? - Have had a series of dirt and dual sport bikes, currently riding a 1997 DR650 (can't wear the SOB out). Never had a street bike, that pavement scares the shit out me.

    I have been riding for 36 years, but it could have been more than 50 years.

  4. DoctorIt

    DoctorIt vrooom!

    Sep 9, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    I'm not 30 yet, so I guess I can't play in this one...

  5. Loser

    Loser king of white trash

    Sep 2, 2004
    hanging with the vapor brothers
    I do not feel so lonely now.
  6. wxwax

    wxwax Excited Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    That fizzer didn't last long, huh? Didn't realize you'd moved on. Still wish I'd ridden your Quoto at Rolla, just to get a taste of it.
  7. big_weight

    big_weight Adventurer

    Aug 1, 2004
    Vancouver, WA
    This is for anyone who started riding after age 30.

    I'll phrase the first question in my Mom's exact words, "WTF were you thinking?" (5 years later her opinion hasn't changed). My mom said that she never expected one of her kids to ride a motorcycle. She did ask "are you riding a HARLEY????"

    2. What was your first bike? 2002 1150GS, bought 8/28/2004, after passing MSF mid-July 2004.

    3. How do you feel about starting so late? - Can't believe what I missed. But at least I can afford to buy good safety gear - ATGATT!

    4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru? First bike is only bike.
  8. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

    Dec 27, 2002
    Bought/rode a bike for the first time three months before my 30th birthday - I'm 32 now.

    1st bike = 1995 KTM RXC 620 (bigheavytallleftkick... great bike).

    This was my first ride:


    Sold that to get the 640 Adventure.

    Wrecked that ... & just got a 950 Adventure.

    Plus a Gas Gas 280 Trials & a YZ 426 for good measure... :D
  9. cowboy3134

    cowboy3134 Adventurer

    Jun 22, 2004
    Wo are us older riders, wishing we had discovered the pleasures of motorcycles earlier in life. But, we get here when we do!. I started four years ago at age 57, with the support of friends who ride. Took the MSF course, purchased a used R1150Gs, and started riding. Living in the mountains gave me great roads to learn to ride on. I took Reg Pridmore's CLASS course and last summer took the Ridin safe class from Leon Grodsky. I've logged about 30K, and am hoping to get more time to ride in the next few years. I'm looking at the new R1200RT's, and may purchase one, keeping my GS, so my son in law can ride with me.
  10. DataDaddy

    DataDaddy @ the new dad thing

    Apr 14, 2005
    back a'ridin...

    Ah, yes... I remember it like it was just last month. Oh, wait it was! My mom was a little nervous. I had completed the MSF course with a buddy and was hemming and hawwwing about the bike. My wife, she got tired of me talking about it. She got me my KLR as a surprise for my 36th birthday.:crash Thanks again Data-spouse!!!

    Been riding and racing bikes for a number of years. Always loved adventuring on the bike, the motorcycle is great too -- you get to see more places...

    My first rider report

    2005 KLR 650

    Like everyone else, I wished I had started earlier. Having said that, I am glad that I started at this age... I am able to do it right -- MSF course, ATGATT, etc. I have gotten the need for speed out of my system --well, most of it:evil.

    Riding is just soooo damn cool...its hard to explain to others why I go "riding around" for a couple of hours after work and during my luch hour.... I am habing enough fun that my wife is actually getting interested in riding. Guess its the dumb-ass grin when I get home...:D

    Same bike...still:rofl
  11. Redne Dab

    Redne Dab Poseur Extraordinaire

    Sep 12, 2004
    Spokane, WA.
    My brother and I used to do a fine imitation of kamakazii pilots on out Honda 70's and 90's. The height of my motorcycling youth was the day I jumped over the manure pile. But that is a different story...

    When I was still young I got really sick and had to entertain myself with books and computers, then girls and cars. I always admired bikes but didn't think I could ride a real bike...

    About a year ago my wife got pregnant and I saw nothing in my horizon but work and death. My wife generously allowed me to take an MSF course to determine if I could still ride. As soon as I got the book in the mail, I read it over and over -I had the book and all of the tips memorized. The day of the class -I was practically spinning.

    The bookwork was easy. Re-learning to ride was tougher.

    A result of being sick as a kid, my left hand does not work as it should -I don't just pull and release the clutch, I have to request, convince and sometimes coerce my hand to work the clutch. Makes it challenging.

    Luckily, riding was even more fun than I remembered it. I droped the in-class Sherpa once but passed the test. It only took a few more weeks of constant begging to get permission from my wife buy an '05 KLR 650.

    I have ridden the thing almost daily since I got it. Nothing too long yet but as I was only qualified to do circles in a parking lot ten months ago, I'm pleased with my progress.

    My wife is cautiously encouraging, my Mother has no clue about it and most of my friends think I've hit my second childhood.

    Wish I'd gotten it sooner!
  12. FlyingScotsman

    FlyingScotsman Crash Test Dummy

    Mar 3, 2003
    Sugar Land, Texas
    That would include me then :1drink

    F650GS Dakar. Purchased two years ago on my 30th birthday.

    I don't mind starting so late. I think if I started when my Dad wanted me to, I would probably be dead by now - I had no sense back then.

    My ol' man has been riding M/C's since he was 14 and was racing them by 18 (he rides a 2004 R1 now and he's 55). He is able to strip down bikes to their nuts and bolts (including that 2004 R1) then put them back together again with his eyes closed - although, I do wish I had that skill. Anyway, when I started University, he wanted to buy me a M/C as a cheap form of transportation around Edinburgh but me being me, wanted a car. Well, Scottish winters are friggen cold :vardy and it rains all friggen summer. Dad couldn't afford to buy a car (he was paying for me to attend Uni after-all but I didn't appreciate that back then). Anyhoo, I was too stubborn; "if I couldn't have a car then I'll be dang it if I were having a bike", so I ended up spending the next 4 years walking in the pissing rain :bluduh or bus-ing it...TWAT. Told you I had no sense back then.

    Now, when I call Mum and Dad, Dad is enthusing all the time about "bikes this and bikes that".

    The F650 was my first which I sold last year, went 6 months without a bike and recently bought a R1200GS. I loved my Dakar but I'm really enjoying that 1200...."Thanks" Dad to keeping the faith.
  13. MooseKiller

    MooseKiller Tripod

    Sep 20, 2004
    New Spokananian, DrySide WA
    I was 31 when I got my license through the local rider's class. I got my 1st bike the following spring and I haven't looked back since... I had been wanting a bike since I was about 19 but due to life happening I wasn't able to get one until last year...

    My first bike was (and still is) a Yamaha V-Star 650 Silverado. I had done my shopping years before and after a lot of looking that was the one I knew I was going to get. (Though I have to admit that I waffled a bit about a week before I bought it giving consideration to a DS...) I by far do not regret my decision, though I eagerly anticipate picking up a DS as soon as I am financially able to! I can't see myself ever getting rid of my Silverado though...

    I think waiting to start riding was a very good thing, though I do miss the years that could have been. I have a maturity now that (I hope) will allow me to ride for many years to come. Had I started younger, my daughter may not have a father at this time.

    I haven't progressed to another bike yet, but I was close to picking up a KLR650 a few months back. That dream was torn from me thanks to the evil IRS, but that is a different thread... Hopefully I can scrounge the green to get that KLR if it is still around, but if winter comes then I will save up to spring for a new DS next season... A BMW 650 GS, or 1200 GS if I am very very lucky! :ricky
  14. Stromski

    Stromski Been here awhile

    Nov 15, 2004
    The Virginias
    I took the MSF course in '03 when I was 36 with "no serious intention" of getting a bike. It was Feb '04 when I got around to taking the written test for my license. In March, I met a woman whom I thought might be "the one". Feeling like my days of disposable income and flexible priorities were getting fewer, I decided it was time for a bike. In April, I wandered in to a shop, sat on a KLX 400 and fell in love.

    Girlfriend fretted, but approved and named my little KLX Sweetpea. That bike was stolen in October, then I found a deal on a DL650 in November.

    5000 miles on the KLX (my heart and my butt ache when I think about that bike) and 6000+ miles on the WeeStrom.

    Oh, by the way, Rosemary and I are going to be married on June 4th, two days after my 38th birthday.
  15. Flumanchu

    Flumanchu how does this work?

    May 25, 2005
    '04 1150GS
    When I was a little one I had a neighbor who had a BMW with a sidecar and have been waiting to get one ever since...

    Two weeks ago I am sitting at a gas station waiting for a pump to free up and in rides an old man with a decked out r1150gs on his way across the country...I walked up and told him I couldn't wait until I get one and he said, "Don't wait as long as I did...." Bought my own r1150gs one week later and have been lovin it ever since.....
  16. MP40MAN

    MP40MAN Last Ride?

    Apr 20, 2005
    Had a gold Honda 350 a year after I got out of high school, (20 years ago). Gave it up after a near miss in the first week.

    A few years ago two bastard friends of mine got bikes one after another so I had to get one. Damnit!

    I got a 1985 Yamaha Maxium then a Honda VTX1300, traded that this year for a 05 DL1000. The VTX just was not that good in the dirt:D And the cruiser look (village people look) just does not fit me.
  17. northrider

    northrider Traveler

    Nov 22, 2004
    Vancouver, WA
    A friend taught me to ride his Yamaha XT600 on a highway construction site in South Africa when I was 26. I spent the next six months riding all over South Africa. I then proceded to not touch a bike for the next 15 years. At 40 I had a mild mid life crisis and decided it was time to start riding again. Took the MSF class and bought a KLR650 and fitted it out for touring. I sold the KLR with about 16,000 miles on it last winter and picked up a KTM950. Heading up to Dawson City Yukon and then to Inuvik Northwest Territory in a couple of weeks. I try to make one good trip a year and as many day trips as I can in a season and hope to keep going for the foreseeable future.
  18. nostromo

    nostromo n00b

    May 14, 2005
    Started riding this year with 35 year on my back. 8400 km in 3 months
    2. What was your first bike?

    BMW F650GS DAKAR (2005)

    3. How do you feel about starting so late?

    As little boy with his new toy. The main difference between fathers and children is the price of their toys.

    A little fredom and peace

    4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
    None to BMW Dakar

    I'm thinking in a new bike, how about KTM dirt one?
  19. sillymike

    sillymike Yep! That's me...

    May 5, 2005
    I just started to ride at 34 (Canadian years, so that's about 26 US... does that still count :D )

    2. What was your first bike?
    KLR A10

    3. How do you feel about starting so late?
    If I would have bought a bike any younger... Chance's are I would have got a croch-rocket... and I wouldn't have live/kept my license this long! I'm glad the girlfriend wanted to get dual-sports motorcycles! (Yes, it was her idea!)

    4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
    Still with the KLR... why change?

    Safe riding,
  20. northrider

    northrider Traveler

    Nov 22, 2004
    Vancouver, WA
    Unfortunately I can't commute very often, have to take the kids to school/camp in the mornings. Most of the day trips are on the weekends although they are usually 300 miles or better.

    Look me up if you make it to Alaska next Summer.