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Old 02-06-13, 05:12 PM   #1
smoore
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Should I Go Back to My Motorcycle?

I'm 63 and in good health. I rode motorcycles for about ten years, sold them and bought a Miata that I've been enjoying for the last ten. There was a four year overlap where I had both, but ultimately decided the Miata was a better lifestyle move and of course, safer. The primary reason that pushed be over the edge was three friends who were in substantial crashes in one month...none of them their fault. One guy had a deer run into him, another guy was rear ended at a stop light and the third guy had a girl on a cell phone turn left into him. He lost his arm. So, that's why I gave it up and I thought my interest had sufficiatly waned as well.

However, I now have the bug again and even tried to buy my old bike back (Honda Hawk GT). Part of me wants to start riding again but another part of me is reminding me of my age and the inherent dangers even for a good rider. I just came back from a spirited ride in the N. GA mountains and the Miata is a great car for that...but it's not a motorcycle.

What say ye?
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Old 02-06-13, 05:20 PM   #2
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I was commited to riding motorcycles for 8 years. Then we had 2 kids and an idiot with a truck rear ended m and almost ran over my head. I had all the safety gear, was riding within the rules and I still almost died. Don't want to be dead at 40 and leave my kids with no Father. As much fun as it is, its on the wrong side of dangerous for me. Sold yge motorcycle and exclysivly cycle commute now.
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Old 02-06-13, 05:23 PM   #3
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I gave up motorcycles 25 years ago - not so much because my own abilities, but the other drivers on the road. I got wiped out twice by other drivers. Third time I might not survive.

Now it has only gotten worse with all of the other distractions in the cars, from looking at the GPS, to cell phones/texting, to on-board movies for crissakes.... I want at least two tons of steel around me!

yeah, I miss my old RD400, but I also miss a few other 'recreational' activities of my youth. Can't go back.
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Old 02-06-13, 06:07 PM   #4
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My last motorcycle ride was in the late 90's on my then already aged GS1100 Suzuki. I lived in Atlanta then and the traffic had gotten too hairy, too many close calls. I now live several miles out of a small town in a rural area and I'm feeling the call too but not for a 100+ HP superbike. Something like a Suzuki DR 650 sounds more like it, an old tech single cylinder thumper that works on road or dirt. I can get one new for the cost of a mid-range bicycle. It has a fairing, hang some bags on it there would be some cheap, fun and practical transportation. Not in Atlanta though.

I went through a 6-7 year period with nothing but a motor cycle and have several 100,000's of mile experience.
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Old 02-06-13, 06:13 PM   #5
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I've ridden since 1976 and was also a Motorcycle Safety Instructor in CT. When people tell me they are interested in riding I ask them if they mean several times a season or a serious commitment to ride thousands of miles a season. Because if you are planning to ride once in awhile you are asking for trouble IMO. As you pointed out it's a dangerous sport and you must give yourself over to it to the extent that you must always think like a motorcyclist when on the road. To do it part-time isn't good enough. Or safe.
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Old 02-06-13, 06:25 PM   #6
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Have ridden a motor bike since 1978, now ride a 2000 Moto Guzzi. Love it, but do notice it takes more caution out on the road today than it did 30 years ago. Like the previous post says, if it is riding once in a while, don't do it. Too dangerous. If you are going to ride many thousand miles a year, then I think it to be much safe as experience will be your safety net.
As it is, the motorbike may go this year, much to my young son's dismay, because I just don't ride it enough since I have added mountain biking to my weekends.
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Old 02-06-13, 06:29 PM   #7
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Years ago, heading back to work after lunch, I came upon an accident scene and recognized the motorcyle as belonging to a coworker. Talked to the police on scene (I knew them) and they told me the rider was not going to make it. I went to his wife's work to pick her up and drive her to the hospital to say goodbye to her husband. They had two young daughters. We were getting ready to have kids ourselves and the enjoyment of riding just wasn't there for me after that.

Fast forward a couple of decades and my sons were grown so I gave some thought to getting another motorcycle but stumbled upon bicycling instead. The feeling of freedom on a bicycle is awesome but I still get the motorcycle urge now and then. But it passes quickly and I'm happy to stick with pedal power.
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Old 02-06-13, 06:34 PM   #8
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H... it takes more caution out on the road today than it did 30 years ago...
This is true on a bike as well. Certainly, this knowledge is what kept me from indulging my motorcycle fantasy - heck, it's hard enough on a bike!
Plus, every year I get less and less exercize and shrivel and curl up a bit more - I'm guessing the decay woul accelerate if I took up yet another exciting but relatively inactive activity.

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Old 02-06-13, 07:09 PM   #9
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Have ridden a motor bike since 1978, now ride a 2000 Moto Guzzi.
Ah, a fellow Italophile. I will always have a Ducati but I have been jonesin' for a MG LeMans...the original of course. Some of my moto buds are into older bikes and I seriously thought about trying to find a BMW R100S like the one I once had. But, I can't get that LeMans out of my head.
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Old 02-06-13, 07:36 PM   #10
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Bicycling is not very safe either, although the speed thing is not there most of the time.

But one feels very vulnerable on two wheels whether pedals or motor.

I have often thought of getting a motor bike, but now being older I am more interested into self preservation!
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Old 02-06-13, 07:40 PM   #11
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Bicycling is not very safe either, although the speed thing is not there most of the time.

But one feels very vulnerable on two wheels whether pedals or motor.

I have often thought of getting a motor bike, but now being older I am more interested into self preservation!
There is some risk to bicycling but, unlike motorcycling, there is also the potential for big health benefits.
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Old 02-06-13, 07:57 PM   #12
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if i had the space to park a velomobile would be a consideration.

all weather low drag body and tadpole recumbent layout ..
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Old 02-06-13, 08:23 PM   #13
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I hadn't ridden a bicycle in over 30 years and it had been 20 since I last had a motorcycle. I'd been kicking around the idea of getting a motorcycle to cruise the beautiful country roads around my house. Ended up getting back into bicycling shortly before someone pulled out in front of my late brother's motorcycle. Country roads on a bicycle suit me just fine.
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Old 02-06-13, 08:26 PM   #14
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I rode motorcycles for about 10 years. To say it is fun is just not doing it justice. There is something about it that is like nothing else and there are no words to describe it.

But I have also had 2 coworkers killed on cycles -- which is a pretty high percentage considering how few of my coworkers ride.

I look at it like sky diving: if you want to do it, do it. But you should be ready and willing to die as it comes with a fairly high chance of death or serious injury. But, if you're willing to pay the cost, then go for it!
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Old 02-06-13, 09:05 PM   #15
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I sold my Harley 42 years ago, haven't ridden since. A month ago I bought a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 and I'm getting back into it. I sold the old Hog mostly because I got tired of having cars run over me, but then I was riding to work every day, and for pleasure most week ends. I plan to do most of my riding on country and mountain roads where traffic is light. Wish me luck!

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Old 02-06-13, 09:27 PM   #16
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My older brother rode street motorcycles for over 40 years without ever having a serious problem. He rode to work, toured, and rode in other countries including New Zealand, Japan, and parts of Europe. Cancer got him a few years back.
I rode off-road motorcycles every weekend for over 10 years and have some great memories from those times. If I ever found a butt-load of money so I didn't have to work I would consider getting another motorcycle, maybe a dual sport.
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Old 02-06-13, 09:30 PM   #17
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Been riding both motorcycles and bicycles for over 45 years, even teach the silly motorcycle thing. As for safety, I'm not sure what I feel more vulnerable on, bicycle or motorcycle. Both can get ya killed quick.

If you want to ride again, just take an MSF basic class, we provide the bikes, and see what ya think? You will be shocked how many others in the class with you are reentry riders.
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Old 02-06-13, 09:32 PM   #18
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There is danger riding your Motorcycle and a bicycle. And yet, it is the best feeling to be out on two wheels.



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Old 02-06-13, 10:05 PM   #19
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There is danger riding your Motorcycle and a bicycle. And yet, it is the best feeling to be out on two wheels.




Do our own taste in bikes match our own taste in motorcycles?




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Old 02-06-13, 10:24 PM   #20
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I'm not 50+ but I had 5 motorcycles (sportbikes/standard/motard) before I started riding bicycles and I also have a Mazdaspeed miata with all sorts of stuff done to it (handles great). I now only own 2 and I am pretty sure I'm going to sell both and hang up my leathers. I'll probably hang on to my SV650 for a little while but I'll eventually give in and sell.

The mazdaspeed is not as fun as hoisting the wheel of a 100+ horsepower bike but it's good enough for me.

A motorcycle is a beautiful machine. It's so pure in that it's just wheels/suspension and an engine. Working on them/building them and riding them is so much fun... on many of them the quality of the parts (even down to the fasteners) is amazing. They make so much power for their weight and everything on them has a purpose. When you ride and get in the zone it's a thing of beauty.. but it's just so damn dangerous (like everyone else has said). The chance of maiming/killing yourself is very high per mile (even if you ignore motorcycle deaths/injuries due to alcohol).

I know riding a bicycle is dangerous too but I just don't think it's on the same level as riding a motorcycle.
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Old 02-06-13, 10:43 PM   #21
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I know riding a bicycle is dangerous too but I just don't think it's on the same level as riding a motorcycle.
Fair statement.

However, you are from Santa Cruz so this may make sense to you, I'm at less risk on my motorcycle on Mission Street than on my bicycle on that street.

Just say'n
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Old 02-06-13, 11:20 PM   #22
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Motorcycles are very seductive. I got back into them in 11 years ago. At that time I thought I'd commute on my motorcycle 3 times a week and my bicycle 2. The first week that flip flopped and the second week it was all motorcycle. I put 75,000 miles on my KLR 650 in 4.5 years and never rode my bike once. I actually wore the damm thing out. Those were great times. I motorcycle camped, made new friends, and went places I'd never go in either a car or on a bicycle. But those days are gone. My eyes and reflexes just aren't good enough anymore. Now I just ride a bicycle; daily. But not for one minute do I think I'm safe.
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Old 02-06-13, 11:32 PM   #23
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Do our own taste in bikes match our own taste in motorcycles?




I think they do. I rode a Kawasaki KLR 650 and own two steel road bikes and one steel mountain bike. My buddy rode a Yamaha R1 and now rides a carbon fiber Look thing-a-ma-gig. I met up with him on the river trail and it was like deja-vu following him. He was R1 all over again...if you know what I mean :>)
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Old 02-06-13, 11:47 PM   #24
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Now I just ride a bicycle; daily. But not for one minute do I think I'm safe.
None of this stuff is "safe", we all know that. As for motorcycles, I know they are a very silly activity when you figure in an accident a motorcycle rider is 14 times more likely to die than a car driver.

I encourage people to ride bicycles all the time. I never suggest to anyone, who does not bring it up first, to ride motorcycles. I guess that says all that needs be said about which of my two loves I honestly consider more risky.
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Old 02-07-13, 12:01 AM   #25
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Fair statement.

However, you are from Santa Cruz so this may make sense to you, I'm at less risk on my motorcycle on Mission Street than on my bicycle on that street.

Just say'n
Does make sense. I would choose a motorcycle on mission over a bicycle.. at least you can stop by the brewery and get a beer first to calm your nerves after riding through that mess.

But if you're going out for a fun, longer ride in Santa Cruz, there is no reason to ride anywhere near traffic.
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