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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?
 

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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).
 

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Honestly, start with the basic course from your local Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

https://msf-usa.org/

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.

Guy
 

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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.

Guy
 

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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.

Guy
 

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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.
 

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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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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. :bawling:

T.S.
 

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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!

ca'jun56
 

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HIKayaker - mine is a little bigger than a 250, because I want to be able to get out on the highway and put the miles behind me at freeway speeds. But I also want to be able to ride dirt & gravel roads. For me, this Suzuki 650 has been an ideal bike. It's a twin-cylinder design, good power but not overwhelming at all. The fairing give me a little wind protection. Longest tour I did on it was back in 2013, seven western states, almost 3,000 miles, over ten days. Camped some nights. Motel a couple of nights. Stayed with relatives a couple of nights. Good trip. The bike will do 300 miles between fill-ups, though I don't push it that far.

This year I got back out on the local county roads, paved and dirt. A few photos of what I do with my bike, which may not be quite what you intend, since I do a fair bit of highway riding:





Loaded up for a week of touring the backroads. That's got my tent & sleeping bag and everything else I needed.




My oldest son (33) rides - but he doesn't like my bike. He calls it an "old man's bike." :) Which is true. It's also a little taller at the seat than he likes, he's 5-10. I'm a couple of inches taller and don't think it's too tall.

Guy
 

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Guy, riding roads like that I hope you take some tire irons
And some thing to fix a flat tire. ??
I've settled for some tire plugs and a small compressor. Thought about the tire-irons, some of my riding buddies go that route, but I've stayed with the plugs and a compressor. Fortunately, have never needed to fix a flat out in the boonies. Yet. :)

Guy
 

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There are two kinds of riders... Those who have gone down and those who will... I've ridden my entire life... Have a Bandit 1200 now and the one before that was a Blackbird... Both fast and both have been on their sides at less than 10 miles an hour... Even slow is dangerous...
 

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A Penny lost is a Penny ....oh. wait a minute. :hmmmm2:That's not right.

Yep, I've had my encounters with cattle guards too. Plus, the movable bridges to ferries etc. can be treacherous. And then there's gravel on highway shoulders!!!! Lots of ways to lose traction/bearing on two wheels.

That said, the acceleration and maneuverability is exhilarating! :top:

T.S.
 

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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!

ca'jun56
Hey Cajun i also had a honda 360 , rode the crap out of it. I finally got tired of getting wet when it rained and was sick of eating bugs, sold it long ago.
 

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Ya wanna learn how to ride at an "advanced age"? I recommend small and slow, on streets. Nothing powerful, or off-road. Get used to the basics first.
 

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go for it, aint no time like now, life is for living, and of course from what I understand in most states you have to take some sort of motorcycle course before getting a license for driving one on the road, not like when I had a bike in my teens could ride one in Florida with just a learners permit back then.
 

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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?
FWIW, if never rode before, practice first with a bicycle and just learn to balance good on two wheels, both fast and real slow..Ya might find it harder than ya think...but if ya fall over, it's not much to repair a bicycle and it don't have leg breaking 500+lbs weight either. just to find out.


Plus it'll do wonders for your (first?) learning how to balance on 2 wheels. Then find a friend with a small trail bike, say a 125cc or so. Learn to operate clutch, throttle, brakes ,start it, start off from dead stops, practice panic stops etc and become very expertly and very proficiently on IT. Once you've mastered riding a small trail bike of @ 275-350 lbs you'll then be ready to move up to your planned motorcycle.

This method prevents serious injuries trying to LEARN how to balance on 2 wheels with a 600 lb Harley or Ricey Racer Super Duper Ninja bike. Starting small and working your way up is safer for those who have never ridden a m/c before. And if at some point you decide being a biker isn't for you....you're not out $4000-$17,000 plus, on a now dented/damaged brand new motorcycle.

I started with bicycles as a kid,, me and Dad built a homemade mini bike from a Mattell V-rroom bike frame, then got a Honda Mini Trail 70 manual,another one, that "scaled down for kids dirt bike" Yamaha (70/90cc motor??) for a cheapy....and then later, I was riding a 350 lb 1966 YM-1 Yamaha Big Bear Scrambler at age 13. I was pretty good on it too.

It'd do 0-90 PDQ because I geared it low, real low. AAMOF I passed a couple of the Storm Troopers M/C members in less than one city block from a dead stop and they had a 60mph head start.(Several lived in my area when I was a kid and knew the prez for years later.(RIP Larry) They rubbed me on the head and told me I was a crazy little fellow........later on moved up to Honda 450cc and then got a 750cc Honda (with bent frt forks and replaced them) for real cheap.And then I moved on up to my totally preferred bike, a 1980 H-D Super Glide. I was 21 by then IIRC. Now, myself & cars were a little different story...........

Once you learn to ride, it's the idiotic cagers ya have to look out for......as far as age... I have known several 75+ yr olds that ride...one rode a hardtail H-D. You're as old as you feel IMO..

Ol' Pop hung with us younger guys just fine on the runs. I still have a pic of him out of a Easyriders picture mag of rallies on my mirror. Good Ol' Guy
 
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