When you picture your golden years, you might never have imagined that some of your best days would be spent cruising around on a motorcycle, but that is exactly what more and more people are doing later in life.

California Department of Motor Vehicles data shows that baby boomers make up 56 percent of the almost 1.4 million Californians licensed to operate motorcycles, while only 30 percent of Class M licenses are held by people ages 16 through 40. There are many factors that might contribute to the larger number of older riders.

Why Start Riding

After 40 is the time when most parents become empty nesters, which affords not only more time to enjoy hobbies like motorcycle riding but also the disposable income that can make owning a recreational vehicle like a bike or a trike possible.

After a decade or two of cruising around in family-friendly minivans and SUV’s from soccer practice to dance class and every other extra-curricular activity, motorcycles are a great way for a couple to reconnect and begin to explore the sites, scenery, and activities that they didn’t have time to enjoy when raising a family.

A Great Way to Unplug

For most people, a motorcycle represents freedom and even that little bit of rebellion that we all hope is still alive somewhere inside the responsible adults that we have become. Just taking a few hours for an afternoon ride can leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Riding offers you time to unplug from email, text messages and the rest of the world to focus just on what is around the next curve. And taking a long weekend just to explore and unwind can feel as good as any week of vacation that you can recall. There are actually some very simple reasons why bike enthusiasts experience this clarity after a ride.

Mental Benefits

Dr. Michael Russell has been riding motorcycles for over four decades and has witnessed many of the mental health benefits of riding over his career. He refers to riding as a meditative activity as he explained in an interview earlier this year.

“The attention needed to ride safely but with ‘energy’ requires near complete concentration,” he explains. “The mental demands of riding can help keep your mind clear and sharp, while the brotherhood that exists among bikers is very genuine. Riding with brothers (and sisters) provides significant psychological relief from excessive worry.”

Physical Benefits

In addition to mental health benefits, riding also offers some very important physical health benefits. Riders need to maintain at least a minimal level of physical fitness to enjoy riding. There is some walking involved, as well as the fitness level needed to get on and off the bike, don riding gear and to have the stamina for the ride itself.

Riding also requires a certain degree of strength and balance, which is used and practices with each adventure. And possibly the biggest physical health benefit is that motorcycle riders need to have quick reflexes to avoid possible dangers.

As mature adults, we all know and understand that staying in good shape will help to keep our reflexes faster which will also help to keep us alive in the event of a car suddenly stopping or swerving into our lane.

Making Smart Choices

And that same mature thought process is also what we all rely on to tell us when we have reached the time to make some changes in our riding or to close that chapter of our lives. It is critical that each rider be honest with himself or herself about both physical and mental capabilities needed to ride safely.

This can mean electing not to join the group for a ride on a cool day when a trick hip is giving you problems or when you are experiencing some vision issues. Or it could mean that it’s time to trade in two wheels for three.

Three-Wheeled Options

Trikes are the large three-wheeled motorcycles that many older riders are turning to for the added stability and comfort that they offer. In addition to the added comfort for riders, these larger yet still sporty vehicles offer a multitude of storage and cargo capacity as compared to a two-wheeler. This makes them a great option for an overnight trip or a long weekend.

The Can-Am Spyder and the Polaris Slingshot have also entered the three-wheeled arena as rivals to the trike industry leading Tri Glide and Freewheeler models from Harley Davidson.

Check Out the Market

What might surprise some riders who are considering the addition of a third wheel, is the cost of these bikes. The cruiser touring models of the Spyder line start at just over $26,000 while the Slingshots come in at about $20,000 for a base model. And as always, the Harley holds an impressive price tag at over $34,000 for a new Tri Glide Ultra.

To put this into perspective, the average sport touring two-wheel bike will run you between $10,000 and $15,000 in the states, while the superbikes are going to come in at anywhere from $15,000 to north of $30,000 depending on the brand and your need for speed.

Live the Dream

Regardless of the type of bike that you choose, the point is that just because you are a little bit older does not mean that you can’t become a motorcycle rider or continue to ride. Older riders simply need to be honest about both physical and mental capabilities and make smart choices about when to ride and even what to ride.

There are many options that can offer more comfort, easier maneuvering and require far less balance and strength sport bikes or large cruises. Riders just need to find the perfect bike to fit their needs later in life so that they can begin to continue to enjoy all of the benefits of motorcycle riding.

63 Comments

  1. May 20, 2019
    Reply

    That is interesting that motorcycle riders need to maintain a minimal level of physical fitness. Maybe it would be good to get some motorcycle training to find out what level of fitness I need to be at. This is something I am going to have to look into getting sometime soon so I can ride a motorcycle.

    • Allen Bothwell
      April 9, 2020
      Reply

      I dont know where you live but more and more states are requiring a safety class with a motorcycle to even get your endorsement. I would recommend your local Harley dealer so you get practice on a real bike instead of a Honda 250

      • Gary white
        April 13, 2020
        Reply

        I don’t know where you live but here in NH you learn on a 250 dirt bike, then take the test.

      • Chuck Faulkner
        April 20, 2020
        Reply

        At our Harley dealership motorcycle training they used a Buell to learn how to ride on. My wife could not ride this bike at all. I disagree with your comment about the Honda 250. The Honda is a great bike to learn the basics on plus it’s reliable.

        • hahd werk
          April 21, 2020
          Reply

          Did she pass? Did she go to a different school?

          • Robert Wison
            April 22, 2020

            You forgot to to mention the BEST three wheeler….

            SIDECARS !!

            More fun than a barrel of monkeys and your grandkids will always want to visit.
            Plus you can carry more beer….
            For drinking at the end of an enjoyable days ride of course.

        • Robert Lewis
          April 22, 2020
          Reply

          Way in the hell back hardly any of my buds had m.c. license and we rode 750 hondas,900cc sportsters, and graduated eventually to super or elrectra glides this was when the laws reasoning was your not drunk if you can get on your bike and ride and not fall, well times changed so we had to get mc license after miles and years of riding ,all on my ex ex old Ladies 250 rebel …stay healthy ,an ridingstay on 2

          • G Willy
            April 22, 2020

            Those were the days. Our rule was if you could kick start your bike you were sober enough to ride it. Some Triumph riders were never quite sober enough it seems.

      • hahd werk
        April 21, 2020
        Reply

        (sigh)

        A Honda 250 IS a real bike.

      • Christopher Pearson
        April 23, 2020
        Reply

        Actually trying to commence on a Harley is not the way to go. As we get older usually its time to hang up the Harley and get a more manageable motorcycle. Our club in Australia has a number of our older riders on scooters and really enjoying the rides

    • April 13, 2020
      Reply

      Hi Dave! Sorry this reply is so late. Hopefully you got yourself riding long before now.
      I would agree it pays to be reasonably healthy on a bike. Your whole body is used to control it and so if you have mobility issues it’s going to affect your control level.
      There’s no need to be at the Olympic athlete level of fitness, but well enough to be able to lift up your bike should it ever fall over or push it a fair distance if you have to.

      • Mark
        April 18, 2020
        Reply

        If physical fitness is needed, why are there so many greatly overweight Harley riders?

        • April 18, 2020
          Reply

          Hahaha great observation Mark!

          I would agree many riders perhaps aren’t in the best shape they could be and luckily big cruisers aren’t the most demanding bikes to ride since they’re generally used as highway machines where their high weight is helpful when at speed for stability.

          Still those people would find it much easier going at low speeds around town and in parking lots while maneuvering their “hogs”.

          It’s like anything physical, being fit makes the effort less substantial. Off road riding is the best example of where physical fitness is paramount. You steer the bike with your whole body and over varied terrain a rider will shift their weight quickly left and right, even front and back to keep the rubber side down. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye even on road.

        • Tom
          April 20, 2020
          Reply

          Have you ever seen America’s biggest losers? They start with 450 pound people and by the end have 250 lb lean machines. As you go through though it’s amazing how strong those 450 people really are – it takes quite a bit to carry all that extra weight around for years. Just because they’re fat doesn’t mean they aren’t strong!

          • Paul Collins
            April 24, 2020

            The wife and I have been riding as a couple for 10 years and myself for around 45 years on a daily basis.
            The wife and I have travelled most of Australia towing a trailer and camping wherever.
            My job is intense and time out on the bike is massively therapeutic whether a day an hour or a month on the bike it is to be free a rider for as long as we can.

  2. Leon Ellis
    April 3, 2020
    Reply

    Very good article. Me riding for 42 years. It’s still a way of life. The feeling of freedom!

  3. Ron
    April 4, 2020
    Reply

    Riding for 50+ years and agree with everything stated. Can still put in 500+ miles on freeway when required but will also know when it’s time to make adjustments. No stereos, just deep meditation. Fortunately I have 4 different types of motorcycles when changes required.

    • Manish Mahesh
      April 7, 2020
      Reply

      Nice article. I took up motorcycling at 40+ now after having been unable to live the passion from my early 20s…. I can connect with all the reasons you listed above.

      • Christo Bosman
        April 27, 2020
        Reply

        The way I learned to ride a bike was to get on it and ride around the block in one direction getting used to change gears and braking after I masterd that by going around the block a few times I went around the other direction and again get the feeling of gear changing and braking after that exercise I could ride a bike it was a 250 cruiser and I was about 55 at that time now 61 and still enjoy riding fell a few times but that is part of the game

  4. Debbi Harris
    April 8, 2020
    Reply

    So true, so true. Great article. Just got my motorcycle license and Spyder at 62. Loving it.

    • Wilma Crous
      April 14, 2020
      Reply

      Thank you! You give me hope! I’m 62 and will begin in July with riding. Get bike learners last year. Circumstances are not always what we want!

      • April 14, 2020
        Reply

        Hi Debbi and Wilma!

        I’m thrilled to hear people your age getting into riding because from what I’ve heard motorcycling is dying off in the youngest demographic.
        More manufacturers are building machines like the Spyder to help us keep riding in our later years. My Father rode motorcycles all his life and planned on touring extensively after retirement, but some health issues appeared later in life for him affecting his sense of balance and he hasn’t carried on riding bikes as planned for that reason.

        I hope to my whole life but not necessarily on 2 wheels. Three would be fine!
        Just out of curiosity how did you come across this article? Was it shared with you somehow or did you just search in Google?

        Thanks for visiting our page. Feel free to check out our sister website focused around new riders as well. It’s called bestbeginnermotorcycles.com

  5. Jon
    April 8, 2020
    Reply

    Agree with everything stated. Started riding 2 years ago at 64 and enjoy every minute of it!

  6. Siyabonga
    April 9, 2020
    Reply

    Absolutely interesting analysis

  7. Allen Bothwell
    April 9, 2020
    Reply

    Good article right on point. Ride what you can handle but ride. I have everything from a honda to a Kawasaki. Just got my first Harley at 65 thanks to a surprise birthday gift from my wife. They are a heavy bike so if you strength isnt there be ware. To me it doesnt make any difference what you ride as long as you ride!

  8. Shan O'Hara
    April 10, 2020
    Reply

    I’m 69 and retired in late 2013,and bought a used (2000) Harley for my retirement project. After not riding for about 40 years I was amazed that I was still capable. I ride back roads mostly and try to stay off high traffic areas like freeways and highways. One of my son’s bought a new Harley too, so we ride together often. I sometimes ride with his buddies but they tend to like to speed too much for me. Last year I had a heart attack in February. Although I did ride a couple times after recovering, I stopped riding because of the meds. I was taking made me feel too unbalanced to be comfortable. Now after 1 year of recovery I have finished with the meds., and am looking forward to this coming riding season. I know I don’t react a quick as I used to and I certainly am a lot stiffer, but once on and riding I fell the thrill, the pleasure, and the personal accomplishment of mastering the beast again. Although the rides don’t last that long anymore because now I need that afternoon nap. Keep riding Cheers..

    • Kevin Grimbeek
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      Shan, I too am 69 and have been riding from a very young age! I have also survived a heart attack, major back surgery and cancer plus PTSD after 14 years fighting a border war between South Africa and Angola.
      I retired early for aforementioned reasons BUT have kept up with motorcycling for all the previously mentioned benefits already discussed. I have a Honda Steed VLX 600 (aka Shadow) which I’ve owned for 23 years from new. She still pulls like a beast, has never given me s moments trouble and looks as good as the day I bought her! Oh, and she’ll keep up with the Harley’s all day long!!!
      Here’s wishing you everything of the best with your revised adventure.
      Kind Regards,
      Kevin Grimbeek
      South Africa

  9. Jim
    April 10, 2020
    Reply

    Been riding motorcycles going on 60 yrs. Earlier days in Illinois was riding when all you needed was a drivers license. In the 70’s Illinois came out w/ M license so knowing my Harley would not pass borrow a Honda to get licensed. Age state of mind so at age 77 yrs young. And after knee surgery a knee replacement and lastly reverse shoulder replacement unfortunately my left arm being of 7% still in the wind but on Harley Tri Glide. Ride safe

    • April 14, 2020
      Reply

      Hi Jim!

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m a fan of the Harley Trikes too and I have no knee or arm constraints. It shocked me how little lean those trikes have when cornering and how quick they are too!

      Live to ride, ride to live!

      • Errol
        April 27, 2020
        Reply

        I am 77. Been riding a XS 1100. Now bought a BMW 650. Much lighter and just as exciting. Now possible to do adventure rides. I agree fitness and awareness is essential. Will eventually add a sidecar to my XS 1100 when balancing becomes a little more tiring. Keep the rubber on the road. God Bless you all. Brother in biking

  10. Jamie
    April 10, 2020
    Reply

    I started riding at 40yrs old, now am 60. Still going strong but I do agree riding takes strength and is also good exercise for mind and body. Gotta keep somewhat healthy though.

  11. Leo Rijs
    April 12, 2020
    Reply

    Been riding all my life and now at 72 drive an outfit.

  12. Mohan
    April 12, 2020
    Reply

    Good and encouraging article for people wants to start riding after retirement am 58 retired planning to buy an adventure bike to go on adventure and on road tours which is my dream I was in dilemma whether I ride an adventure bike at this age,now I can fulfill my dream

    • April 14, 2020
      Reply

      Hi Mohan!

      Adventure bikes are my favourite ones on the road! Such a variety to choose from ranging from 160hp KTM 1290 Super Adventure rockets down to the new Honda CT125 and everything in between.

      If you’re concerned about the weight or seat height on the adventure bikes I can relate. I’m short so many of them are too high for me to manage, especially off road.

      The Royal Enfield Himalayan and the new KTM 390 Adventure are excellent options is that’s the case with you as well. If you’d like some more suggestions just let me know.

  13. George
    April 14, 2020
    Reply

    Very good article….hits all good valid points. Am 72, fully retired 4 yrs ago. Had M/C license since I was 20. Rode off-road for awhile with my brother who since passed.
    A number of retired co-workers are riders….best way to maintain old friendships.
    It’s great….up here in Canada.

    • April 14, 2020
      Reply

      George I want to be like you when I’m 72.

    • Kathy Koewler
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      Thank you, George! I have the benefit of a very mild climate here in AZ so I hope to follow in your tire tracks and be riding at 72 and beyond. I firmly believe that with a little good judgement and honesty with myself, I can safely continue to ride and enjoy that feeling of being ageless each time I throw my leg over a bike.

      All the best to you!

  14. Doug Townsend
    April 15, 2020
    Reply

    Great article, thank you. I’m 67 and ride with a small group called OGRE’s. Old Guys Riding Everything and your article was true to the heart.

    • Kathy Koewler
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      Thank you, Doug! Glad you that riding has provided a great opportunity to keep active and enjoy time with a group of friends. Not too many activities can be as enjoyable in a group as they are solo but for me, both are a great way to relax, enjoy and recharge.

      All the best

  15. I started riding two years ago, in my mid-fifties, having ridden my last bike in 94. I can relate to all the points mentioned- one definitely needs to be fit to ride, especially in India where city roads are so congested. But the highways/expressways here have improved offering a lot of good roads for bikers!

  16. RAY STEENSMA
    April 15, 2020
    Reply

    I bought and rode my first bike 5 years ago at age 69. I have now covered 66,000 kms and loved every minute. Sadly in South Africa we are in complete lockdown so I’ve not ridden for a few weeks. I look forward to riding again for that sense of freedom and excitement. For any older person considering a purchase I recommend that you ensure it is the right power, weight and height for you. Also, ensure that you go for professional riding lessons – there is a lot to learn.

    • Kathy Koewler
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      Ray- Hang in there! I am very fortunate to be able to get out for rides even under the current conditions. For me, it is very peaceful inside my helmet when I am riding. I have no news, texts or email to clog my thoughts. I am just able to focus on the job at hand, managing my ride for my own safety and enjoyment. Hopefully you will be able to return to your bike very soon and get some much needed enjoyment and perspective from up on two wheels.

      I also know that riding is a motivation for me to keep up on my physical conditioning. At 52, is am still a die hard sport bike rider. But I have promised my family and myself to give up the rocket when I can no longer jump on it, launch, and enjoy the feel of the bike. My bargain with my adult brain is to keep hitting the gym to extend my relationship with my Ducati 959 for as long as possible. But at some point, I know that it will be time to go with something a little more sedate. But for now, if an hour a day in the gym can keep me in shape enough to handle my dream bike, then it is a great trade off.

      Keep me posted. I am looking forward to hearing from everyone about their first rides after they have been released from lockdown. I am curious to know what has changed for people. What do you appreciate more? What used to annoy you but not is really not a big deal or what surprised you about your first few adventures back on your bike as you greeted our new normal.

      All the best to you!

  17. Al
    April 16, 2020
    Reply

    I’m 78 now and started at 16. Still ride 2 wheels, a 2017 CVO Harley Electaglide.My advice: stay in shape and take advanced classes plus practice every chance you get.

    • Gary Stubbs
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      I am 85 and still riding from a Goldwing 1500 till 72 now a scooter and it s great, gives a new lease of life and it keeps you young.

  18. Richard
    April 16, 2020
    Reply

    I totally agree with the article..
    In the UK you have to sit a two stage test, first one is based on manoeuvres, & slow control,
    Second test is based on road riding,
    ITS done o 600cc bike.

  19. Brian Fetherston
    April 19, 2020
    Reply

    Started riding at 13 on a Bennelli minibike on family’s rural acerage. After that continued riding Honda’s and Yamaha’s. Now at 65 I ride my deceased father’s 93 Harley FXR lowrider and my 07 Ultra Classic. Had heart failure 2 years ago. Riding was the best therapy during recovery . Hope to keep going as long as I can.
    Brian

  20. Steve
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    An athletic 68 rider on a sport touring haven taken riding up at 50. At 50 your thrill of speed succumbs to the fear of injury so your a more thoughtful careful focused rider. Hunter Thompson said faster faster faster until your fear of death is overcome by the thrill of speed. Nope not me.
    Pulled up a few months ago to the local gas station and a group of high school girls looked up and said nice bike. Then took of my helmet and they could see the white beard and said you look like my grandfather in surprise
    You don’t get too old to ride
    You get old when you stop

    • Kathy Koewler
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      Very well said Steve! I look at my Duc 959 as my personal fountain of youth. It keeps me young at heart and my survival instinct provides throttle control. I got my first bike in high school but it was a fixer upper and my dad made sure that it didn’t run very often or very well. Looking back, I now understand his thought process. He knew that I didn’t have the right mindset. It took many years and some tough life experiences to gain the fear of injury or worse that now keeps me safe. Apparently, I am a very slow learner and it took me much longer than most to understand that balance between fast/fun and living to ride another day.

      All the best to you!

  21. Bill Meyer
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    I recently returned to motorcycling after over 40 years away. Yep, I’m 70 now and three months ago I bought a Suzuki SV 650N. In my teens and twenties I road raced a Ducati, had a desert bike, a number of street bikes, and was a mechanic at a busy Honda dealer in Hollywood, California.

    I quit riding mostly due to pressure from the parents of my fiancé. Big mistake, but when you’re just a love-struck idiot you do stupid things.

    Having a bike again is easily one of the best things I’ve done. My wife of 15 years is not into bikes but says she’s never seen me happier. Now I’m shopping for an adventure bike..

    • Kathy Koewler
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      Hi Bill! So glad that you found your way back to riding and also to sharing your life with someone who is just happy to see you happy. I was very fortunate to find a husband who loves to ride and has encouraged me to ride. Our son is grown and we are now taking/making the time to do the things that we enjoy like riding and scuba diving. Life is about balance and if you can find something you enjoy, then you should enjoy it whenever you can. Glad that being on your bike is giving you the enjoyment that you deserve!

      All the best to you!

  22. James Rogers
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    Great article. I just started riding last year after many years off the bike. I started by taking the safety course at the local Harley dealer and everything came back quickly. I want to take some advanced courses just to keep learning from experts. I ride a BMW F700GS and had to purchase a new seat to fit me and my riding style. My concerns remain the crazy drivers in urban areas to I tend to not to ride during rush hour and use less congested routes when I ride during the week. Looking forward to getting back out after the pandemic.

    • Kathy Koewler
      April 20, 2020
      Reply

      Thank you so much, James! It is amazing how quickly it all comes back to you… I guess there is a reason for the saying, “it’s just like riding a bike”. Living in a city with what is easily one of the worst groups of drivers in the country, I share your concern for the skill or lack thereof, of the other drivers on the road. I hope that each of us that has that thought is a bit safer and more attentive because of our concern.

      Please let us know more about your riding once the stay at home restrictions are lifted. I am going to be very interested to learn how it impacts your rides and your thoughts on riding. What will be the new takeaways and epiphanies when you get back out on the road. Having grown up in the midwest, I imagine many riders will look at that first ride the way I did the first warm day of spring. I would race outside without a jacket and I dreaded the thought of going back indoors as the sun was setting. Whenever that day reached your community, enjoy and be safe!

  23. April 20, 2020
    Reply

    Great stuff! Been riding all my live and I’ve often said “it’s in my blood”. At 69, I sold my Harley Davidson FXDF and purchased a KTM 790 Adventure R! For a little more excitement. The cool thing about an adventure bike is you can really explore on or off-road and find those hard to find fishing spots! But there is nothing like sitting on top of a mountain peak or traversing a mountain goat trail with a bunch of old guys, while gazing out over the range 40 miles from your staging area. It’s surreal, an experience only a very few do and the rest of you only dream about. Thank god we live in a county where freedom is possible.

  24. Byron Selman
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    I started riding when I was 15. Bought a non-functional Cushman Eagle and got it running. Over the years I owned 10 different MCs. Mostly Brit bikes, a few Japanese and one Harley. Then in 2004 I moved out of the US and sold my last bike, a Honda 650 Nighthawk. For the next 15 years I didn’t ride. Then I became a widower, moved back to the US, and decided I wanted to ride again, but was leery of heavy two wheelers, So I bought a Can-Am Spyder, and I love this thing. Doesn’t ride like a two wheeler, but the whole experience is very close. Except this time around I can’t fall over onto one of my two artificial knees. I will be 70 in November, and still riding the mountain roads of Colorado.

  25. Bruce
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    I am now 66 and have been riding since I was 14 years old. I retired early so the past 16 years riding has become more of a passion than a means of transportation. I have a couple of comments. I do believe motorcycling can be a great thing as we get older but wholeheartedly agree with the previous comments regarding fitness. To ride well and safely it takes both physical and mental fitness. It without a doubt can become a zen like experience. One which is nearly impossible to explain to a non-rider. When I return from a ride, whether it’s 3 weeks or one hour my wife will ask “How was the ride”. I always start my reply trying to explain the joy of the moment then seeing her eyes glaze over, reply….”it was great.”

    My second comment to older beginner riders is, take a class, take a class, take a class.

    Finally I will mention that as I have begun to age I have suffered all the ravages. Bad back, less strength in my hands, etc. I have progressively downsized from a large sport touring bike to a naked BMW R1200R and may down size to an 800 before long. Oddly as I moved to the smaller naked bike I felt a sense of renewed connection. My point here, is that despite the hype there are lots off very capable motorcycles outside of the big “adventure” models. I often see new riders out on the road struggling with too much bike, regardless of the brand. So my advice would be to be practical when you buy your first bike.

  26. Gary
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    Took up riding as my 60th birthday gift to myself. Since then have owned 4 bikes and a new one is being delivered tomorrow. For me, it provides the freedom, mental break and some excitement each time I ride. Only promise I made to myself is to take a riding course each spring. With the exception of this year, I’ve learned from track days and coaching sessions.

  27. Kathy Koewler
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    Thank you, Mike! I must admit that I have gotten a little soft in my old age. My off-road toy was a quad but now we have gone to a more sedate side by side. The terrain near me is very rocky and I would pay for a day on the quad for about three days. But by mid-week I could feel and move my fingers again and was ready to do it all over again. However, that was not working out too well for me as a full-time writer, so I gave up the quad. But my street bike is still a sport bike so that is where I get to have my fun.

    You are an inspiration for all riders who secretly wonder if they will be able to continue their passion later in life! Life anything in life, you might need to make a few slight alterations but if you love riding, there are plenty of ways to continue to take part. It is just a matter of wanting it and having a positive attitude about making it happen. I know that one day, I will have to part with my Duc, and it will be a sad day. But I will move on to the next phase of my riding, whatever that may be.

    Thank you for leading the way for our older by still very able pack!

  28. Rand
    April 20, 2020
    Reply

    Sixty eight years young here. I’ve been riding since I was 16. My first bike was a Honda 90. As I can still stay up on two wheels, I ride either my 2013 Harley Switchback for around town riding or for the longer rides, I have a lowered 2016 HD Ultra Classic. I am barely 5’8 now (that comes with age too) and want to be sure my feet are flat on the ground so as to maintain good stability when I stop. If there is one lesson I have learned it is to ride on full defensive. Anticipate every other driver’s possible sudden change in lanes, entry into traffic and that dreaded killer of so many, the texting driver.

    • Kathy Koewler
      April 22, 2020
      Reply

      You are so right, Rand! In most cases, it’s the motorcycle rider who ends up paying for the mistake of a car driver. And texting is leading the way in most states when it comes to irresponsible acts. I completely agree that riders need to expect the worst from every drive around. I also try to maintain two escape options just in case multiple drives team up on me. Fortunately, with all of the drawbacks of age comes a few benefits. Wisdom and experience are a huge help in overcoming the challenges of staying on two wheels.

      All the best and stay safe!

  29. Stephen P
    April 21, 2020
    Reply

    Oh my goodness… I am so encouraged by the responses of the senior riders. We have been told that there are fewer “old-guys” riding hence the reason most motorcycle dealers are focused on sport bikes and dirt bikes than bigger cruisers. I am a young 63 yr and have been riding since I was a kid on mini-bikes. In my 20’s I got a Honda 360 but sold it when we started having kids (I was okay with that). When our youngest turned 20 we bought the motorcycle of my dreams, a used Honda Goldwing GL1500. My wife and I have traveled all over the western US . A few years ago we traded up to a GL1800 and it’s even better! It’s a cruiser, it’s a sport bike, it’s quiet, it’s smooth, it’s comfortable (sometimes my wife dozes off on long rides)… we can even pull a small trailer with it on long trips. But this isn’t so much about the bike (although the wrong bike for you will make riding miserable), it’s about the ride. “Freedom” isn’t a big enough word to describe the experience. Open a thesaurus and start the search… there are hundreds of words that could fit. I also will say riding isn’t for everyone. My wife has no desire to grab the handlebars, but she loves being a co-rider. Once you find the passion to ride then you have the desire to stay in shape (at least where you can get on and off the bike comfortably). Motorcycle riding is good for the body, it’s good for the mind, it’s can be good for the relationship. My favorite quote is “You will never find a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist’s office”

  30. Howard
    April 22, 2020
    Reply

    Thanks for a great article. I started riding in the early 1970′ s. I have been living in Australia since the 70′ s and been on some fantastic long distance rides. But have sold the love of my life,a Virago 1100. Having retired and become my wife’s carer with little time to ride it was time to let it go. Also being 72 l have lost a lot of upper body strength and couldn’t lift it if it fell over.
    So it time to downsize. Maybe a 600 or less. Todays bikes are super fast enough. I agree with Rands advice, drive like every car is out to knock you off. Keep the headlight on at all times. Drive defencevly. Stay safe and grow old disgracely.
    Cheers

  31. Steve, West Australia
    April 22, 2020
    Reply

    Hi all, agree with the Zen/ meditation comments and in the zone type feel, but also add that a little dash of adrenaline is a constant background buzz. Took up riding for a couple of years in my late teens, made a conscious decision to stop as I realized my level of responsibility was a threat to my and other road users safety, the need for speed and sometimes reckless impatience kept pulling me to the edge. Fast forward 30 plus years and I returned to riding with the benefit of life’s great treasures, children, wife, family and friends.Still see that guy I was on the road from time to time and hope he makes it. Just come out of hospital after hart surgery, if nations and communities have a common hart, health workers have more than most, amazing people, glad I never burdened them with my young self’s antics.Ride a 2007 R1200R, Monster 696, Guzzi 750, CT110 and Sherpa 250, as a very lucky man I have one amazing wife, ahem, partner, but many beautiful girlfriends, LOL

  32. Kathy Koewler
    April 22, 2020
    Reply

    I agree Steve! I enjoy the same rush of adrenaline after a ride that I get after a good workout in the gym. I too was one of those fortunate young riders who quickly learned that my brain was not ready to control my daredevil heart. That kept me from riding much until I developed a healthy respect for the injury potential. And due to my slow learning gene, that took a few decades. But for the most part, I have learned to control that creature inside me that needs to run like a wild horse that just jumped the fence. But there is a certain intrigue to that moment when you are going so fast that everything around you begins to slow down. It is the point of total focus and body control that makes you feel like you have defied the laws of time and physics. But old age makes me much more selective about when and where that moment is appropriate!

    All the best to you and stay safe!

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