At our age, a small atv might make more sense
That previous post about the TW200 got me thinking.
I'm 66 and I resemble the Dual Sport in that other post... "fat and slow". 5' 10" 240#
Learning to ride a motorcycle is on my bucket list, but I've never ridden, except under my own power. I'd be learning from scratch.
Where would I ride? Dirt roads, easy trails, back roads, maybe on the beach... No jumps, no highways, no cruising, no cities.
Now that I'm retired, I think I'd like to try it, but I'm afraid of it also. Even a low speed wreck with a broken bone would be a disaster for me.
Still it's something I keep thinking about. It looks like so much fun. On the other hand, I don't need another hobby, with Marlins, handguns, fishing, and ham radio. Maybe I'd go out 15-20 times and then hang it up. I don't know.
Is this reasonable? Or has my ship sailed?
And if I were to do this, what used bike would you recommend?
NRA Endowment Life Member, SASS, OGCA, NC Watermen United
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell
"Corruptissima in republica plurimae leges."--Tacitus
The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.
At our age, a small atv might make more sense
You will get many different opinions, but I sold my last one when I was 30. Every once in a while I'll get the desire again, especially when I hear a Harley with Straight Pipes go by (I only had Harley's), but especially around here with the deer population we are always fighting with, I quickly dis-miss the idea. As for off road, I rode very little of it (on friend's bikes).
Honestly, start with the basic course from your local Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Don't even usually need to own a motorcycle. They have bikes for their students, very good bikes for beginners. I rode for a few years before the USMC mandated all riders on base take a safety course. That three day course changed the way I rode, and made me a far better rider. I was skeptical going in, but here I am, 40 years later, and still using the lessons learned during that course. I ought to go back for a refresher one of these days.
Start with the safety course, learn to ride, you'll also get a better idea about what you like and don't like about motorcycles.
Then - there are a multitude of good, used, well-maintained Japanese bikes available. Most are priced reasonably and will work just fine. My bike is on the more street-oriented side of the dual sport equation, but has seen it's fair share of dirt roads. It does what I want it to do, am still happy with it after ten years.
More in a bit - but ya - I'd recommend starting with that MSF course.
Since you don't need a gob of power, you don't intend on highway travel, a lightweight dual sport like Yamaha's XT250 makes a lot of sense.
Simple to operate & maintain. Light, which is nice when (not if) it falls over. Great fuel economy. Excellent trail & road manners. I like those little 250's, and if I had room in my life for another bike or two, I'd have one of them in the garage. Most of the other companies make something comparable.
A low speed "wreck" is often referred to as an "unplanned get off."
Danged bike just goes out from underneath, for any number of reasons. In my experience, loss of traction on a muddy road is a common reason. I've had the danged things go out from under me a few times at low speeds, and it's not the scary emergency-room trip folks fear - nope - usually I just stand up and let the bike go. No big deal. Then I pick it up, get back on and get going again.
At higher speeds and/or on pavement & concrete the risks do go up. Knock on wood, so far after decades of riding, I've never broken a bone. I haven't had an "at speed" crash in several decades, though I came close to one, while riding too aggressively on a dirt/gravel road. The road surface changed, got much wetter & softer, and I hadn't seen that change coming in time to shed much speed. I almost lost it on that one. Got smarter then and there, and slowed my old butt down!
Mostly though a "get off" is no big deal. Happens.
Really enjoyed my BSA's in the late 60's and early 70's till some clown t-boned me. Claimed he didn't see me. Almost lost my left leg with a crushed knee. It was one year of hell going through rehab, and I was a young man then. I now look at the old BSA's for sale and contemplate buying one. The memory of that accident and my old age common sense laughs at the thought of riding now. Even an "unplanned get off" would cripple me for years, possible for life. But they sure are purtty.
We all have it coming, kid.As the riders loped on by him, he heard one call his name"If you want to save your soul from hell a' ridin' on our range""Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride""A-tryin' to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies."
I have rode all my life, just sold my last ride two yrs ago.
My first bike , and first registered vehicle on the road was a Moto Morini Italian bike my father bought me when I got my license. That was back in 1966.67. One thing you should pay attention too, is the seat height iam a short guy, 29" inseam. If you get a on/off road bike they have a higher ground clearance taller seat height. When you stop at a traffic light and have to put your feet down, if your short like me, your going to have to lean that bike over, and it's going to get heavier every year you ride, holding that weight, myself I road alot , but picked my rides away from all the congested cities. It took 20 years for some ×÷+/##@% , to rear end me ,when I was waiting to make a left hand turn, and sent me flying true the air. But they got me. Didn't stop me from riding. But now I say there's only two kinds of bikers , the ones that have crashed and the ones that are going to crash. Enjoy your ride.
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Team Oliver Tractor 550
Staying off of the pavement is a good idea. Most of my life, I rode street bikes including cruisers and very fast sport bikes. A few close encounters but somehow I survived. I am around your age and noticed a few years ago my leg strength, balance and reflexes aren't nearly as good as they once were. Thus I sold my last bike.
I also did some off-road dirt bike riding. In fact that's how I started. It's a lot of fun. I suggest you scratch that itch with a 250 cc to 100 cc dirt bike. Start out in an open field with no close trees , buildings, gates or anything else that won't move out of the way. And take it slow in the beginning. Wear a proper helmet. As you progress you will expand your outings but always keep a little fear with you. Complacency can get you killed.
Me, I'm thinking about a four wheeler for hunting. I'm not up for those long hikes anymore.
NRA Endowment Member, Texas State Rifle Association Life Member, Firearms Accumulator, Native Texan, Team 99 #29
When I was young "teenager young" I had a honda 360 everything was fine until I had Penny on the back with me, riding on the island, cattle-guards was set up on road. Front tire got wedged while we was crossing and we was thrown off! Hurt wasn't the word! no broken bones but plenty of blood flowing from scraps and cuts! Dad made me get rid of it and as for Penny her mom said go away!
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