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Riding regrets – I’ve had a few!

Regrets Mexico travel

There are very few regrets about my 40-odd years of motorcycling, but there are a few that are worth mentioning.

I’ve listed just five. How many do you have?

1 Earplug regrets

My biggest regret is not wearing earplugs.

Wind noise can be over 100dB at highway speeds and after just 15 minutes it can do damage to your ears.

I’ve lost a little bit of hearing over the years, but mainly I now have ringing in my ears (tinnitus) which is sometimes so bad it wakes me at night.

Simple $2 foam earplugs would have saved my hearing.

Now, I won’t even ride to the nearby shops without shoving in my Alpine MotoSafe earplugs that filter damaging wind noise so you can hear emergency sounds (sirens, horns, screeching tyres) and pleasant sounds (your bike’s exhaust and Bluetooth intercom/music).

Alpine MotoSafe earplugs make riders safer sound
Click here to BUY Alpine MotoSafe earplugs now in our online shop

2 Crashing regrets

I’ve had a few crashes over the years and I’m now suffering from the residual pain from old injuries.

Every single crash was my fault to some degree and I regret not having taken a little more care.

3 Selling bikes

I have owned a lot of bikes over the years and couldn’t afford to keep them all as I updated to newer, faster, more expensive models.

There are several I regret selling, but none more so that the 2010 Ducati GT1000 that I had heavily modified exactly to my riding style and tastes.

Ducati GT1000 carbon wheels farkle project tall used
My Ducati GT1000 with updated wheels, mirrors, seat, suspension, etc!

4 Training

California Superbike School BMW K 1200 S track day - simple
Rider training at the California Superbike School

I’ve been lucky to be invited to several free advanced rider training courses over the years and have paid for a couple myself.

Every time I go I learn something new.

I just wished I’d gone to them earlier in my riding life.

5 Overseas travel

Sri Lanka Royal Enfield Classic 350 even tours turban
Sri Lanka tour with Extreme Bike Tours

Again, I’ve been lucky to have been invited by several motorcycle tour companies to join their tours and ridden in many countries on motorcycle media launches.

However, I should have also shelled out the cash and joined some of the more adventurous tours that may soon be beyond my abilities, what with the aches and pains of those crashes!

  • Now tell us about your riding regrets and leave your comments below.

  1. One of my biggest regrets is not keeping some of the best bikes that I have owned, but to be fair I couldn’t afford to keep them all. One bike, a Yamaha 650 cc twin, is still pulling good prices, gave it away to an old friend who went back to Tasmania so it is long gone.
    My 1985 Harley Low Rider, first of the blockheads in the original frame was and is a rare classic. Also had a 2004 Softail for a few months but the wife wanted the Heritage so we could go for picnics. Sold the 2004 Heritage Softail at the start of the year as it was getting too heavy for me so I bought an 883 iron sporty only to trade it in on a 2019 Street Bob 4 months down the track. Best thing I have done this year. Going to have to start customising it to suit my style but boy does it move and handle better than any previous Harley I have had, it may be the last bike I buy due to my age.
    All the other Japanese bikes and Harley’s I have had, apart from the Yamaha XS650 were not worth keeping and I virtually just gave them away.
    Let’s see what happens in the next few years as I like the Harley trikes and my back would not have to suffer to control them.
    Motorcycling is in the blood, you either have it or not. The only way to find out is to get out on the open road on one and feel the adrenaline for yourself.

    1. I made a mistake, it was a Yamaha XJ650, 4 cylinder road bike that I now feel that I should have kept, along with the Low Rider. I sold the Yamaha because it was too agile and fast and would go between moving cars with ease. Two terrifying mistakes on the one rainy day left my heart pumping to the point of nearly exploding.
      I bought the Low Rider as it was a lot less likely to get me into trouble due to its lack of acceleration and size, too big to weave in and out of traffic, but boy was it a nice bike to ride, the Rolls Royce of motorcycles.
      Riding from Newport to Heidelberg every day in rain, hail or shine on the Yamaha made me feel invincible, the speeding tickets brought me back down to Earth.
      P.S. I ran in the XJ650 by riding to the Gold coast, changing the oil and filter and then after a couple of days to recoup and feel my arse again rode straight back to Melbourne. The mechanic from the Footscray dealership loved the way the engine responded and was keen on telling all new owners that my running in method was a good idea if they had the time.
      Cheers to all riders and ride safe, you only have one life.

  2. A few riding mishaps since 1973, some minor ‘mistakes’ with lucky results though one was giving up caffeine for 7 weeks and falling asleep on Spliyard Creek in 2004, followed by a RACQ reduce chopper ride off my chops on injected sedative.
    I regret selling my first bike a new 1973 Yamaha RD350 & my Yam MT-01 🙁
    Quite a few overseas trips, but sadly none on bikes 🙁
    Current 2017 R1200R LC is AWESOME, but new 2020 R1250RS exclusive will be here by the end of this month…it’s a keeper 😛

  3. Hearing protection, like Mark, is top of my list. Not just for riding… when I was young occupational and recreational risks were taken that weren’t necessary and I was foolish for a long time. I miss my hearing, and also a quiet night’s sleep.

    Part of me regrets not riding more when I was younger, and not returning to riding earlier, but if I’m being honest, a larger part of me is grateful for the break… I’m not sure I would have survived my own youthful recklessness, which was the reason I stopped in the first place.

  4. Silly me with my earlier response….Earplugs, been using Alpines (purchased originally from the Nederlands) since 2001 & those industrial worker plugs all my riding life 😛
    So buy earplugs people my best friend & Audiologist will love you for protecting yourself!

  5. Have had a few bikes that I regret not still having. Bultaco Metralla that used to rattle and pop and smoke at the lights, but was quick as once they changed. Bultaco Frontera that was beautiful in the bush, but unfortunately had an appetite for rear wheel bearings (that hindsight tells me may have been my fault as I may not have allowed enough chain slack for the long travel rear shocks. I’d like my green tank Elsinore CR250M back, too.
    I also regret all the bikes I’d like to have, but probably never will.

    1. Hi Tempocyclist,
      Thanks for rubbing it in.
      I’m currently looking for another donor GT for a project and this one will look even “lusher”!
      Stay tuned.

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