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What do you do when you’re too old to ride?

Old Ratrod

This guy’s daughter told him that he was too old to ride anymore, so he used parts from his bikes and his motorcycle memorabilia in his 1940 Dodge Rat Rod Pickup Truck.

Check out this short video we did with proud owner Rich Matthews, aged 77, at the Burbank Car Show at Bob’s Burgers.

“This is now my motorcycle,” he says.

“My daughter made me get rid of my motorcycle. All my buddies are dead or limping, so now I’m driving around in a rat rod.”

He tells the story of riding his 1948 Indian to Woodstock in 1969, his 1970 Harley jacket made of horse hide and the collector Harley beer cans he picked up at Daytona Bike week that now feature on the engine air cleaner.

Rich was also in a New York motorcycle gang in the 1960s-70s.

“Got some amazing stories that I can’t forget,” he says.

Has first Harley was a K model 1954 flat head.

“Then my Indians took over my life.

“I should be shot for cutting up all those frames and extended front ends.

“I cut one of my Indians in half and welded a Harley service car trike to it. It lasted two days; hated the trike ride.

His 1980 Harley-Davidson FXWG Dyna Wide Glide old
His 1980 Harley-Davidson FXWG Dyna Wide Glide

“My Harley FSWG 1980 was my last bike. Needed to take my new puppy, 60-pound Catahula Leopard dog, to Daytona bike week. Put on a side car so I could drive him down to boot hill Daytona.

“Couldnt wait to take it off. Motorcycles rule!”


  • What will you do when you get too old to ride? Leave your comments below.

  • If you think you’re getting too old to ride because of aches and pains, read this article.

  1. I plan to ride up until the day I die. I might have to change what I ride to suit my physical ability, but the way I look at it, whilstever I retain my licence, I’ll be riding something.

    My uncle rode pretty much up until the day he succumbed to prostate cancer, and whilst his last motorcycle was a scooter (well a maxi scooter), his humility and the need to ride impressed me no end that it doesn’t really matter what you ride, as long as you ride, it helps you stay young, if not in the body, in the mind.

    So next time you see someone on a scooter or a trike, or a spider or something different to what you ride, don’t have the attitude of “may as well be driving a car cause its not a real motorcycle”, but more understanding that at least they are riding something, even if you find it ugly or stupid looking. If thats what age dictates to us, toughen up and get something that lets you keep riding rather that letting vanity rule you out of riding altogether. You might not look as cool as most on nice modern sportsbikes, but you get over it if it keeps you in the saddle.

    Lets face it, some of us look ridiculous on on normal bikes, so lets encourage others to keep riding, as long as they can.

    Id rather be riding than pissing my pyjamas and smelling of Arrowroot biscuits in a nursing home.

  2. The Other Jeff’s suggestion is very much a young man’s one, but is always a possibility.

    I think that even if I am pissing my pyjamas and smelling of arrowroot biscuits, if I have a Harley Freewheeler parked out side the aged care unit I will still be a happier man.

    I took to sidecars for 7 years after my daughter was born until her legs were long enough to reach pillion pegs, so adjusting to changed realities with a Freewheeler should still put some smiles on my face.

    1. I’m 58. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to cope with not doing the things I love: riding motorcycles, doing weights, full-contact martial arts etc. TBH I”m bloody terrified!

  3. You might change riding style or motorcycle, but you can always continue riding, even a small moppet. There are thousands, if not millions of people over 60 or 70 who ride every day across the globe.

  4. Just turned 78 and still ride almost everyday, about 25000Km. per year.Bought myself a new Guzzi V7 for my 75th birthday.It now has 5400Km. on the clock and I have 6 other bikes I ride regularly. So don’t give up riding because of age. That’s like giving up living.

  5. Age doesn’t necessarily stop you from riding, but physical ailments can. Everyone ages differently.

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