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#855348 08/04/21 4:16 am
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The other day I ran into an old friend and he said are you still ridding bikes? I said ya of course, there is no 12 step program! But at 73 I thought maybe I should look at an end date to this hobby. I have a 55 Triumph Thunderbird and a 68 Triumph TR6R as favorites for the vintage and a 02 Harley Davidson Duce as a longer distance ride. What is the thought out there? When do you rehome your stuff?

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Life's not fair. There's a lot of variables as we all age differently and have different damage histories. I'm 70 this November. I don't ride street all that much but still desert ride 5 or 6 times a year with a group of old riders. One guy in the group was still going, if I remember right, at 88 or so but toward the end he did get tired out easily. He became a real hero for us. I get tired out easily right now.

So I guess each one of us has to decide when to quit riding for ourselves based on our own situation. I tell myself I'll keep dirt riding as long as I don't scare myself too much and can still start my big singles.

This segues right into a discussion on physical fitness which I didn't used to give much thought too, but dirt riding has given me a very good reason to stay as fit as I can reasonably manage. I'm safer that way and enjoy the riding a lot more.

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Right now. I will send you shipping instructions for the 55 to Hilo.

Really, keep going as long as you feel good about it. Be mindful of your physical and mental limitations, don't kid yourself about when you are not capable or happy riding. (And kindly remind me of this when I hit that stage....) My best wishes for your health and safe riding! Joe

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Motorcycling comes second to horse riding for involuntary muscle movement so the longer you keep on doing it the better providing you can keep the shinny side up
I had been unable to ride for over a year and actually feel stronger & more flexiable every time I go for a ride .
We have had a few quite old riders in the club
Brian was around 84 and still riding when he died
Lenny was 86 and still wresteling the G14 on the street although it did have a chair because after his stroke he could no longer hold the bike upright
Ken stopped at 85 when he needed to be retested .
Big problem here is the compulsory retesting
At 75 you need to pass a medical
At 85 you need to pass a driving / riding test but you can not do it on a historical motorcycle, it has to be a fully registered one which of course will have the controls in the wrong place & going the wrong way.
Plus the medical become biannual
As such, most stop riding street at 85

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 08/04/21 9:22 am.

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That’s only New South Wales. Other States are different. Doesn’t mean the bureaucrats don’t play games with us mature riders but not the nonsense NSW pulls.
The art always lies in flying under the radar.

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If you don’t know if you are fit enough to ride you should probably not ride. Hopefully there will be someone there who will take the keys away at the appropriate time.

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Still riding thumbsup


BeezaBryan

He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide,
Its not the destination, It's the glory of the ride (Edward Monkton, Zen Dog)





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IMHO it depends very much on the individual.
I remember a couple of years ago I bought a bike from a guy and in the course of the purchasing discussions I asked him why he was selling the bike.
"Oh-- I am getting too old for it--thought it was time to stop riding" was the response.
I then asked him how old he was.
"63" he said " how old are you?"
"10 years older than you " I replied.

I also remember a number of years ago Vale-Onslow, who started and ran a big motorcycle dealership in Birmingham, UK was given an award by the Queen for services to motorcycling. He turned up at Buckingham Palace to receive the award riding a bike---on his 100th birthday!

So IMHO--very much depends on the individual.
But echoing Trevors thoughts---every time I ride a bike it brings a smile to my face and I return feeling so much more alive.
So--ride on!

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You are only as "old" as you feel.
I have known several guys who were in their 90's who still rode, and rode very well.

Chronological age has nothing to do with it.

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Originally Posted by Irish Swede
You are only as "old" as you feel.
I have known several guys who were in their 90's who still rode, and rode very well.

Chronological age has nothing to do with it.

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Last edited by Lannis; 08/04/21 3:39 pm.

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The original question has a different answer for each individual rider


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Balance and reaction time are a key indicator aside from plain strength.
I will mention that I have become overly cautious and a bit nervous pushing my ‘93 K1100RS around. If I drop it, I’m pretty sure I have passed the threshold of picking it up myself. It was a bitch before, likely a no go now.

Last edited by KC in S.B.; 08/04/21 5:14 pm.

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I’m 72 and it’s going to be a long while before I quit, God willing and the creeks don’t rise. I’m another vote for the “ride as long as you want/individual choice” contingent. What I don’t understand is folks saying “I should quit because I’m X years old” instead of “I don’t feel like riding anymore/ don’t feel safe anymore.”

Last edited by linker48x; 08/04/21 5:51 pm.
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I remember an ad from Honda Belgium, early 70-ties , featuring a guy standing proudly by his new Honda 350.
The man was 87 years old..

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One of the great cartoons some years ago in the calendar of Britain's Vintage Motor Cycle Club (VMCC) shows two riders conversing next to their bikes;

The young guy stands next to his vintage 1920's bike, the old guy is next to his new crotch-rocket.

Both are riders. Such is the spirit of our sport.

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Many years ago (over 25 years ago, I was almost 40), I was taking my 7-year-old son to school on the bike. Both of us had helmets on, but he was still little enough to sit in front of me, where I felt "safer" with my arms one either side, and I knew there was no way one of his feet couldn't get down into the rear spokes.

Anyway, ONE BLOCK FROM HOME barely up to 25 mph, at the very first intersection, this dimple-brain runs the stop sign! I hit the brakes, but couldn't stop in time. My son flew thru the windscreen which lacerated his eyelid just barely (could just as easily have taken his eye out). He landed sitting STRAIGHT UP, but with his back leaning against a telephone pole on the corner, with blood dripping down from his eye.

I didn't even feel my injuries. I just grabbed him up, yanked the passenger out of the car, and told the driver to take us straight to the emergency room. He was fine, just took 2 stitches on his eyelid. I was beat up pretty badly and the bike was REALLY messed up.

ANYWAY, since THAT day, I began to question my riding abilities, even though I was probably at my peak mental and physical health. Riding then lost it's pure FUN, and became a chore to be hyper-vigilant lest it ever occur again. It took many years, but I still find I'm mostly "on watch" all during a ride, instead of enjoying the scenery and the winding roads.

THEN, last November, in a moment that really caught me out, I was shocked back to hyper-vigilance mode. We were in stop-and-go traffic and I made 3 good stops, but I missed the 4th one and clipped a lady's rear bumper with my right foot, breaking my fibula. That required a plate and a handful of screws, and too fully 6 months before I felt I could safely manage to hold up my heaviest bike with the "bad" leg, and therefore, ready to ride again. After once around the block, that was enough. My ankle still wasn't happy operating the brake pedal.

FINALLY, about 3 weeks ago, I did a 260-mile round trip to meet a friend for lunch. 100% up to it, but ye gads, it was SWELTERING HOT. I was "all in".

I have wanted to do a "SaddleSore 1,000" Iron Butt ride, now I'm not 100% sure I could handle it unless the weather was really great. Even then, it would probably be the last time I ever try that, whether I make it or not.


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One of my Iron Butt attempts started off with a few hours of moderate rain, at night.
Just about got sucked under a tractor trailer!

Pick your weather well!

Saddlesore 1K shouldnt be too hard.
I made my attempts tougher by using the route of an organized adventure ride event in my mileage.
1st attempt failure started fairly early, didnt make a difference, dropped a bike and holed a case.
Who knew you couldnt buy JB Weld Quick in the middle of the night in Nowhere GA?
2nd attempt would have completed easily without the adventure ride mileage.
The bike, a Suzuki DRZ400 dual sport machine!

After I was hit by a red light runner last October, followed by the cancer thing, I am "healthed out"
Not strong enough these days to ride anything, and you have to be on your toes around here.
Hoping to get back to riding one of these days...


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Good thoughts came from all the replies. I am in pretty good physical condition, no trouble moving bikes around and can get the TR6 in the back of the truck when needed. I enjoy riding in the back two lane roads a lot, not much on freeway around San Diego traffic is too inattentive. All but three of my old riding friends my age stopped riding and another says he is selling is 50 Panhead he has owned since before he went to Nam. That is why I was thinking about packing it in. My riding skill are still good so I think I'll wait a while, maybe when I can't kick start the TR6 while holding a beer I'll rethink the skill set.

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Originally Posted by BeezaBryan
Still riding thumbsup

You and Ben Strain. My hero's and inspiration to never give it up. At 67 I can still handle any of my bikes but I know the time will come that I can't. A few years ago I bought a 2017 Triumph T100. It's nice and light and low enough that I can flatfoot it at a stop but has enough power to do whatever type of riding I want.


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Originally Posted by scott garland
... maybe when I can't kick start the TR6 while holding a beer I'll rethink the skill set.
Actually, I believe that's the OFFICIAL signal that you're an old git, and you'd best stay off yer bike!


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Ill speak up for Dick Harris... He is in his 80's and has some issue that keep him from coming to the swap meets now but I saw his son at the last Triumph rally in Oley . He said Dick is still riding hard and working on his bikes every week ... Or every day.... Cant remember now.... Maybe Im going senile....

I agree with the previous statement that the less you doing it the worse you will get.... I plan on riding more as I get older.... Hopefully work will stop getting in the way and now it wont be long till I will live where my bikes are full time...


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Beer is not the Answer.... Its the Question..... The answer is YES

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As someone else said, a man has to know his limitations. Reactions certainly deteriorate, as does flexibility, core strength and eyesight. However, experience counts for a lot, as does the ability to avoid street racing and confrontations.

One of my concerns is the risk of heart attack when pushing a u/s motorcycle, so it can be important to have assistance available

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Dirt bike riding is probably a good way to get the heart rate up.

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Things can change just like that, sound of snapping fingers......two years ago I was a vibrant 72 year old...then came a life threatening disease with brutal treatments that has affected my strength and balance.I had to buy a roller starter because I cannot kick my Brit bikes for a cold start. The Ducati 900 comes with the starter, lol .I still ride but not as much..Once I take off on a bike the troubles fade away,I grin and open the throttle of the internal combustion magic carpet ride..


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Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"
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Originally Posted by KC in S.B.
I will mention that I have become overly cautious and a bit nervous pushing my ‘93 K1100RS around. If I drop it, I’m pretty sure I have passed the threshold of picking it up myself. It was a bitch before, likely a no go now.
I feel the same trepidation about riding my K, if I go down I'll probably get run over while trying to lift it off me. I've never been able to lift that bike unassisted.

I recently had a friend break his leg in an accident on a 3-wheeler. He's in his 70's and sold his Harley the next day.
Barring accident, I'll quit riding right after I start posting about electric start conversions for my Brit Bikes. laughing


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