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Shark of the Month October 13
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I'm going to be 69 in Feb., and have been riding (scooters, etc.) since I was 10, and bought my first motorcycle (used Yamaha 100) at 13. I've ridden and owned bikes of most every make, size, and function, with my current 2011 RGC being my first touring bike and first HD. I suffer from my share of ailments, the one that affects my riding time is arthritis. I can still ride for a long day - but I do so knowing that I'll pay for it in significantly increased aches and pains the following day or two. I also have developed neuropathy issues in my toes and know that at some point trying to balance a 900 lb. touring bike won't be in the cards.

I also was struck by Taz' post earlier this week when he announced that he was very likely to be selling his bike and retiring his helmet very soon. He talked openly and honestly about never having had a crash but starting to feel like the odds were starting to turn against him. He expressed a feeling akin to having to start 'looking over his shoulder' when he rides. It's probably time to move on to another hobby when you get those feelings. Taz and I both have to deal with Florida drivers - especially during the winter tourist season. I love living here during this last quarter of my life, but I have to admit that Florida is a very scary place to ride. There is an over abundance of people here that just should not be driving. You have to be on your 'A' game defensively 100% of the time in order to survive here.

All of the above has caused me to think a little more seriously about the whole subject. After 55 years, motorcycles are so ingrained in my 'being' that I never really thought about having to give them up.

How will I know it's time to pack it in?
Will I break totally from riding or switch to a trike or sidecar rig?
Is shifting to a significantly lighter bike for day rides for several years a reasonable solution?

These questions and a few more are on my mind these days and I was wondering what others who are in a similar age group are thinking on this subject.

I'm hoping to continue riding on 2 for a while yet but this issue is going to be such a huge deal to me that I wanted to see what others think they'll do when they can't handle a touring rig any longer. Your input is greatly appreciated.
 
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Kevin, I don't reach your age criteria; I'll be 61 next month but you know my health history,(which on bad days makes me feel like,what I "think" a late 60's rider might feel like), as well as probably anyone on this forum. My .02: I have, and have had "the bug" for most of my life. The thought of not riding is almost incomprehensible to me. I got rid of the '15 RG because of the weight issue and bought the Slim just so I could at least ride! Wasn't the best choice in hindsight but it's fun for quick runs through the country to clear the cobwebs out. I think a Heritage would be a better choice for "day rides"; even though I'm not sure what constitutes a "day ride" to you. For me, more frequent breaks make all the difference. Just get off, stretch, walk around a little and of course "coffee". Since my grandkids live in Florida I know what you mean about the drivers down there; they scare the crap outta me. But bottom line is only you know your tolerance level and "if the joy" of the ride outweighs the concern. I feel like I'm just rambling but as with Taz; only you "know" where your gut and head are leading you. Follow that I think. Hope I helped.
 

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I'm going to be 69 in Feb., and have been riding (scooters, etc.) since I was 10, and bought my first motorcycle (used Yamaha 100) at 13. I've ridden and owned bikes of most every make, size, and function, with my current 2011 RGC being my first touring bike and first HD. I suffer from my share of ailments, the one that affects my riding time is arthritis. I can still ride for a long day - but I do so knowing that I'll pay for it in significantly increased aches and pains the following day or two. I also have developed neuropathy issues in my toes and know that at some point trying to balance a 900 lb. touring bike won't be in the cards.

I also was struck by Taz' post earlier this week when he announced that he was very likely to be selling his bike and retiring his helmet very soon. He talked openly and honestly about never having had a crash but starting to feel like the odds were starting to turn against him. He expressed a feeling akin to having to start 'looking over his shoulder' when he rides. It's probably time to move on to another hobby when you get those feelings. Taz and I both have to deal with Florida drivers - especially during the winter tourist season. I love living here during this last quarter of my life, but I have to admit that Florida is a very scary place to ride. There is an over abundance of people here that just should not be driving. You have to be on your 'A' game defensively 100% of the time in order to survive here.

All of the above has caused me to think a little more seriously about the whole subject. After 55 years, motorcycles are so ingrained in my 'being' that I never really thought about having to give them up.

How will I know it's time to pack it in?
Will I break totally from riding or switch to a trike or sidecar rig?
Is shifting to a significantly lighter bike for day rides for several years a reasonable solution?

These questions and a few more are on my mind these days and I was wondering what others who are in a similar age group are thinking on this subject.

I'm hoping to continue riding on 2 for a while yet but this issue is going to be such a huge deal to me that I wanted to see what others think they'll do when they can't handle a touring rig any longer. Your input is greatly appreciated.
I'll be 70 next year. I've done 2 iron butt rides and don't plan on doing any more. I've always said if I have to go to a trike I'll just get a Mustang convertible and quit 2 wheels. Like you my RGU is getting way too heavy for just city riding. In light of my current riding I went and bought the Harley Livewire. That bike has brought back the excitement and joy of riding that I had at a younger age. My RGU has been collecting dust for the seven months I've had the electric bike. The Livewire has been so much fun I have an order for the Mustang BEV coming out next year. When you make the decision on what do do for yourself it will be the right call for you.
 

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I'm not quite in my second stage of old yet, but have my fair share of medical problems and some days feel like I'm in my third stage of old. I know personally even a short ride on a bad day seems to make everything better. I'm still able to hold the bike up no problem, but when the time comes that I cant, I think I'll add a training wheel kit. Seen one years ago and it looked good. The training wheels dropped to the pavement at slow speed and lifted up as you sped up.
As far as worried about other drivers, that's just a daily accurence in most of the south. Keep your eyes open and stay alert. When it's your time ,it's your time. I figure I'll give it up when it ain't fun no more, but not until then.
 

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63 this year , and I have considered it more as I get older .. I have "thought" about something like a Heritage for a touring rig , but by gawd I will always have a soft spot for a Wide Glide or Low Rider as a touring rig , and I loved my Super Glide ..
Town riding doesn't bother me with the Roadie , I love it wherever I'm riding ..
My main riding partner Bill passed away in 2016 at age 77 , he rode to the very end on a bagger ...
I would love a new bike , but don't see it happening .. I will either trike or hack this one and continue that way if need be ..
I rode a Tri Glide about ten miles a few years ago when I was thinking of trading for one , I really liked it , would take some getting used to , and the reverser from Harley is a little confusing until you get used to it ..
Last year I rode Bob's hack around the parking lot at the motel , I have always leaned towards the hack if the time comes around , and I really liked it more than the trike .. Bob most graciously told me I could spend the day on it when we rode , but I declined .. And the Hannigan reverser is much easier than the Harley reverser to figure out ..
I also told wifey if I was able to get the truck that I want , I would sell the scooter , but I don't see that happening ..

JtB
 

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Shark of the Month October 13
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
63 this year , and I have considered it more as I get older .. I have "thought" about something like a Heritage for a touring rig , but by gawd I will always have a soft spot for a Wide Glide or Low Rider as a touring rig , and I loved my Super Glide ..
Town riding doesn't bother me with the Roadie , I love it wherever I'm riding ..
My main riding partner Bill passed away in 2016 at age 77 , he rode to the very end on a bagger ...
I would love a new bike , but don't see it happening .. I will either trike or hack this one and continue that way if need be ..
I rode a Tri Glide about ten miles a few years ago when I was thinking of trading for one , I really liked it , would take some getting used to , and the reverser from Harley is a little confusing until you get used to it ..
Last year I rode Bob's hack around the parking lot at the motel , I have always leaned towards the hack if the time comes around , and I really liked it more than the trike .. Bob most graciously told me I could spend the day on it when we rode , but I declined .. And the Hannigan reverser is much easier than the Harley reverser to figure out ..
I also told wifey if I was able to get the truck that I want , I would sell the scooter , but I don't see that happening ..

JtB
I'm with you on the sidecar vs trike decision. At least your ass is still on a motorcycle .... with a big training wheel on the side! Trikes are a dime a dozen these days and a sidecar always draws some interest at a gas stop, from what I've seen. Personal preference issue and I decided long ago that I was a lot more likely to do a sidecar than a trike.
 

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Doesn't it suck when reality starts to come into view? I'm only 61 but have my issues (pacemaker, COPD). Dustriders Motorcycle Hoist rides in one of my saddle bags all the time, because I can't pick this beast up by myself. If I'm not careful about where/how I park, I can have a real problem because it ain't easy to back it up (virtually impossible on grass or dirt).

I picked up that V Star, so I could practice with. In particular the 650 because it runs just a little over 500 lbs. I do intend on keeping it for a while but what its got me thinking about is a Road King with a reverse gear. The first time I rode a Road King was last fall. I remember thinking how light it felt. Running this little Star around has me believing that all my weight issues stem from from the 100 lbs of fairing and Tourpack swinging around up high (that lever thing is readily apparent). I'm beginning to think the weight won't be a major issue, if all stays down low. It also reminds me how comfortable the RGU is.

Traffic is a different issue. I used to live and work in S FL and from time to time still ride down to visit. When I'm down there, the bike becomes transportation, not fun. If I still lived there, this would not be the bike I'd be riding. I'm living in the panhandle now, out in the country. Rush hour around here is when there are two vehicles on the road at the same time. Critters are a much bigger issue (I've got deer whistles mounted on the lowers). I do have to travel a bit to shop, but that's just another excuse to ride. I go 1/2 mile down the dirt and when I hit the pavement the speed limit is 55 mph.

You've told me before which town you're in, but at the moment I don't recall. I'm thinking its more suburbs than city though. Not exactly the panhandle or ME but definitely not as bad as MIA.

There are other realities that are beginning to come into view for me as well. The plan for now, is to ignore them as long as I can.
 

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I'm only 52, but have my share of health issues. 3 years ago, I was experiencing some vertigo issues, saw lots of doctors and specialists, but I refused to give up motorcycling, as it is more than a hobby for me...so researched a lot on hacks and trikes...then rented a trike so I did not have to cancel my Laconia plans...let me tell you something...when I can no longer ride my 2 wheeler.....I would definitely get a kit and convert my bike into a trike.

Those 5 days on a trike proved something to me....a trike can best a 2 wheeler even on the twisties...it is fun (even though you do miss leaning).....it is safer as it is larger and easier for drivers to see you (I noticed I was not getting cut off as I would typically happen on my Ultra)...and you get to keep your bike if you love it. Hacks are cool, just watch yourself when you make those lefts.

At Laconia...I was all set on getting a Transformer kit from Hannigan...but the weirdest thing happen on my way back coming home from the rally....my vertigo episodes that I was experiencing for 4 months went away.....after a few weeks, bought my 17.

Anyway, if you are thinking of triking or adding a hack...I highly recommend Triketalk.com

Laconia Trike_zpsyad8wfh5.JPG
 

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I am in my 70s and have given some thought as to what if for the future of riding. For me, I have decided, subject to change, to continue to ride my RGS. When the time comes that it is just too heavy to safely ride, I will get a lighter H-D for around town and shorter day trips. I have made an effort to be more mindful of careless drivers and ride very defensive. I found that being very careful of other drives have given me more confidence in keeping safe.

I know my day is coming and I realize I have been very lucky to ride and been able to meet some great riders over the years.

We are a lucky group to be able to enjoy riding and seeing things others have missed. Like the saying states, “If I have to explain, you would not understand“
 

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Don't over think it! You"ll know when it's time. After a bunch of days of no riding due to rain or winter, some of those thoughts start coming round but, 5 minutes on the bike and they're all gone.
I do notice a big difference in my riding comfort/handling if I have kept up with my exercises - especially squats.
65 BTW.
2017 RGS
 

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Well well whel piclcke da fk & stem to the wishing... firepit cats protect our nifgthy gettins..

Barefoot love n MC riding lastly not short a breath we both protest n call bro shit' , hear the hummingbird
I have no fucking idea what that means but it still made me laugh.
 

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First, I am 65 years old. I’ve been riding bikes behind my parents since I was old enough to walk. My father was the VP of a club when I was growing up. I got my first bike when I was 10 years old. It was a Honda trail 50. I have always had a motorcycle every year of my life. I’ve written all types and models, both here in the US and overseas. I’ve ridden Harleys since I came back from overseas in 1977. I have totaled four Harleys. But my injuries from accidents have only been a broken arm. I have had more serious and life threatening injuries at My work than ever riding a motorcycle. I ride my motorcycle every day that I can. Yes, even in the rain. My father tells me if I could I would marry my Harley. Every year I ride across country to Las Vegas. When I first start, I ride at least 1000 miles before my first stop, just to enjoy the open road.
now, if you ask if I’ll ever stop raining? I guess, if I ever get to the point where I can’t pick it up anymore, I may consider it. But as far as I’m concerned I will ride until the day I die.

Now, does that answer your question of how I feel about “Hanging up my Helmet?” (Yes, I wear a helmet)
#Ghostin #RideNotHide
 

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Don't over think it! You"ll know when it's time. After a bunch of days of no riding due to rain or winter, some of those thoughts start coming round but, 5 minutes on the bike and they're all gone.
I do notice a big difference in my riding comfort/handling if I have kept up with my exercises - especially squats.
65 BTW.
2017 RGS
That's the key, if it is an option. Get in shape. I know it isn't an option for everyone but two years ago, I lost 40 pounds and started working out 5 days a week. Prior to losing weight, I was getting shaky at lights. I even dropped the bike once. Now, I feel like I felt 20 years ago. You would be amazed at how different you feel after weight loss and regular exercise. I'm only 57 but I felt like I was 70 prior to getting in shape.
 

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Coming up on 66 here next month. I’ve already had to sell one bike that was too heavy (Voyager) but I love my RG so much hopingI can hold it up another 3-4 years. Only trouble so far is backing up but it is nowhere near as hard as the Voyager. Hopefully I’ll know when it’s time to downsize before I hurt myself. I didn’t start riding until I was 47 so feel like I still have some catching up to do lol.
 

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First, I am 65 years old. I’ve been riding bikes behind my parents since I was old enough to walk. My father was the VP of a club when I was growing up. I got my first bike when I was 10 years old. It was a Honda trail 50. I have always had a motorcycle every year of my life. I’ve written all types and models, both here in the US and overseas. I’ve ridden Harleys since I came back from overseas in 1977. I have totaled four Harleys. But my injuries from accidents have only been a broken arm. I have had more serious and life threatening injuries at My work than ever riding a motorcycle. I ride my motorcycle every day that I can. Yes, even in the rain. My father tells me if I could I would marry my Harley. Every year I ride across country to Las Vegas. When I first start, I ride at least 1000 miles before my first stop, just to enjoy the open road.
now, if you ask if I’ll ever stop raining? I guess, if I ever get to the point where I can’t pick it up anymore, I may consider it. But as far as I’m concerned I will ride until the day I die.

Now, does that answer your question of how I feel about “Hanging up my Helmet?” (Yes, I wear a helmet)
#Ghostin #RideNotHide
Pretty much me there too , wifey in a round about way says I'd marry the beast if I could , bike is still my first option when I go somewhere ..

I said this before here , but I get just as big a thrill dropping into first gear for a ride into town as I do dropping into first gear for an extended road trip ... Definitely been a life long love affair ...

JtB
 

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Great question that has crossed my mind lately. Turning 66 in a week. Like some I rode as a kid and when young, then mostly got away from it then got back into it about 10 years ago. Health wise I'm pretty lucky. Had prostate cancer and an unusual electrical heart problem from too much distance running (now limited to running 4 miles and keeping heartrate down) . . . but overall I'm still doing pretty good. Try to do core exercises so that back pain isn't an issue - but for some reason I'm just not too religious in doing them.

Love riding. The virus thing now has messed up my routine, but really enjoy rolling out of bed early before traffic and heading on a couple hour or so loop to the mountains for breakfast most days. What a great way to start the day. And knock on wood, but I really haven't had many close calls on the bike. I've had a lot more close calls in my old 2-seater convertible where folks driving badly didn't see me. Weight is an issue . .. .. I can't seem to watch enough videos to be able to pick this thing up. Fortunately haven't dropped in a while (probably just jinxed myself again), but I always say if I drop it I'll just have to go buy another one because I can't get it back up alone.

A big piece of the equation for me is my wife. Likely, if she gets where she just won't ride, or thinks I'm losing it . . . .. she'll stop and I likely won't be far behind. This bike is a bit of an investment and if it's just me riding there's a chance that will push it out the door. But I'd hate to give it up.

Not to ramble on too much . . . . I think this question for me will likely be similar to a couple other posts above. I think I'll "just know" when it's time. I'll be watching for little "mistakes" mostly where I'm not paying enough attention. I've looked a lot before at things like the trikes, training wheels or other options, but I really think then we might just move on to another hobby. Or, get another convertible to enjoy some breeze.

There ... . that was enough thinking for the morning. Maybe I'll go take a nap now :)
 

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I'm 58, but thought I was going to have to give up riding when my back got ate up with infection in '17. I definitely don't ride the 25000 - 30,000 miles I was riding the 10 years leading up to then, more like 5000-7000 last year, but I am still riding. Of course I live out in the country so traffic is what I avoid these days. I might hop on the bike and do a 30 mile twisty road ride before or after supper. I will take a circuitous route to run an errand on a bike. I believe I will always have a bike, but as I age I may have to limit where and how I ride.

Uncle Fuzzy, I don't know how the roads are laid out where you live, but if you can avoid the "tourist" and "blue hair" roads and still enjoy the ride, you should look into those alternative routes. That's what I did as a teenager and young adult living in Daytona Beach. Take the roads less traveled until you have to pop out on the main road to get to your destination.
 

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For some of the folks that are talking about issues backing the bike up, one is my favorite modifications has been air ride. When I park I drop the bike all the way. So I can swing my leg over the bike so much easier and I can drop it and back it up much easier with all the weight lower. The sweet spot when riding is still about stock height, but I have flexibility to stiffen or soften the ride while going. But lowering at park is really helpful for me. I’m 6’3” but I lost a disk in my lower back about 15 years ago.
 

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I'm only 44 with a couple health issues myself and in fact my doctors told me I should've been dead 4 years ago due to massive blood clot in my lungs. They never put me on any restrictions but I'll be on meds for the rest of my life because of it. At some point in our lives ALL us will have to make these decisions. I've lost friends to motorcycle accidents and I myself have had two which are in part to blame for my health issues today. These decision's won't be easy to make but all we can do is what our hearts tell us to do. Best of luck in your decision.
 
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