Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Twin Cities of Minne-snow-tah
I started riding at 13, stopped at 21 when I moved from a rural area to an urban area. I was newly married, lived in an apartment, and it just wasn't practical at that time to have motorcycle riding in my life. At 16, on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, I met a pickup pulling a horse trailer, a neighbor of ours. No problem, huge dirt cloud, I could get through this. But his hired man driving the '64 Impala didn't see me, didn't stay to his side of the road, and my left knee hit his driver's side fender. Recovery was 82 days in the hospital, and 6 months on crutches after that. With some obvious mixed feelings, my dad decided that we could fix my motorcycle. I rode it until I moved to the city.
I took about 19 years off. When we moved to our first house, our backyard neighbor was a diehard BMW rider, airhead at that (oilheads weren't around yet, this was 1980). I lived my motorcycling life vicariously through him, watching him work on his bikes, listening to his tales of all the rallies. It just wasn't the right time for me to return to motorcycling; I had small children, was busy at work, money was fairly tight, etc. etc. Then, in 1999, I decided to return to riding. First I bought an '84 700 Shadow, then I bought a '77 R100RS, which I still own. This was followed by a '77 R100S and a '94 R1100RS. My wife was not happy about me riding, but didn't protest too loudly, since she knew I enjoyed it, it made me happy, and frankly, I didn't have any other habits or vices to worry about.
In 2007, I rear-ended a van that was stopped in traffic, or should I say, stopped rather quickly without the benefit of brakelights. I did this on my RS, and we all know how wonderful those brakes are. Bottom line, I should've left more room ahead of me, I should've been paying closer attention. The good news is that I was completely geared up, and as I tumbled through the air, I landed on my stomach, right on the centerline of the highway, and looked up to see the oncoming traffic parting as Moses did the Red Sea. I was stiff and sore, but that was it. My wife was furious, sick to her stomach, and just plain not happy at all about the situation.
I had my backup "S" to ride while the RS was being repaired. It took me a couple of months to get my riding "mojo" back. My wife has never ridden behind me, she has her motorcycle endorsement and has her own scooter, that she rides infrequently. That said, she'll very likely never ride behind me, which I regret, but on the other hand, that ship has sailed, so I'm not going to push it.
So, to the OP...good for you for fixing up the R80. We want to keep the airheads around as long as possible. As for should you get back on...that's up to you entirely. You're already back on, it sounds like, and aren't riding scared. This is good. How's your wife handling it? Is she OK with it? Does it bother her? How about your children? Do they have any input? As much as I absolutely love to ride motorcycles, it's not worth my wife having constant anxiety when I ride. At this point, my wife is pretty much OK with it, but I know deep down that if I quit riding tomorrow, she wouldn't be shedding any tears.
"By the way, you don't have to be sweaty and holding a basketball to enjoy a Gatorade. You could just be...a thirsty dude! Gatorade forgets about this demographic!"