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Old 09-21-2008, 09:06 AM   #181
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Santa Barbara
Oddometer: 3,097
I started riding at 52, 4 years ago. I never rode as a teenager like most guys because my dad was totally against them (perhaps due to a crash he had on one as a teenager). I waited until I was partially retired so I could have time to ride motorcycles without cutting into my time to ride bicycles.

I took the MSF class and then bought a used F650GS that was chosen as the smallest bike that had ABS. I put about 10,000 miles on it in a year, and then bought a used R1200GS, that I have put about 35,000 miles on so far. A majority of my riding is touring 2-up with Eyes Shut

I have no problem with starting this late, I have still had time to ride through most the the lower 48 and a couple a Canadian Provinces. My biggest surprise about riding is the social aspect. Even though I don't ride usually ride in groups, you have much more social interaction with people when on the road on a bike compared to in a car. There is also the ADVrider and Chaingang communities that has been a pleasant surprise.
It isn't the conditions its the decisions

Don't bring a motorcycle to a car fight
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:13 AM   #182
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Westerville, Ohio
Oddometer: 44
Was looking for something to do (was looking at old VW's or British sports cars) and decided after reading "The Zombie Survival Guide" that in the impending zombie take over, it would be a great skill to have in case I need to escape the zombies, and there are no cars to be had. Also I met up with Ratman (pete springer) who is a part of my wife's extended family and thought, man, this adventure riding looks AWESOME!

I am just about to start riding (ordered my 2009 Ninja 250R last week) and am taking the MSF class in October.

I don't feel bad about starting too late, this will be a new phase in my life, and new cool hobby.

I am 38 years old.

evildeadmike at
2009 Kawasaki ER-6n
2009 Kawasaki Ninja 500R (totaled)
1993 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (sold)

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Old 09-21-2008, 09:17 AM   #183
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Boise, ID
Oddometer: 803
Last summer, at age 47. My 10 yo son wanted to ride dirt bikes, so I needed something to take to the desert with him. So I bought a used TW200 and rode it home. Laughed so much on the way I decided to ride it to work to save some gas. Did that for a while (2 months) and decided I wanted something bigger (I should mention I am probably going thru the crisis most guys go thru in their late 40's, when death starts to appear on the horizon - some guys get mistresses, some get corvettes, etc). Anyway, I went and bought a '93 R100GS/PD. Which was a lot of fun, but after I rode it a couple of months, I realized that I was not into the entire airhead cult thing (which is very cool - don't get me wrong - but just not for me. By cult, I mean that you have to measure the base gasket on the oil filter or you'll lose oil pressure types of things - which again, are cool if you are into that, but seem to be less than desirable from an engineer's point of view, which I am). So, I sold the R100 and bought a DR650. Which has been a lot of fun. And this month I picked up an SV650, which has also been a lot of fun.

So in the 18 months I've been riding, I've been rear ended once on the street, and have crashed 18-20 times out on the dirt bike. So far, so good, as everything is still working the way it's supposed to (chest protectors, elbow guards and shin guards are your friends).

1995 DR350SE - mini adventure bike,,,,
1982 R80G/S - bigger adventure bike,,,,
1995 R1100R - touring adventure bike,,,,
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:53 PM   #184
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Chicago
Oddometer: 214
Laugh Catching up for lost time

I'm 44. I'd fallen off the back of a motorcycle, I mean over backwards at 30 MPH, riding with a stupid friend of mine when I was 17 or 18. Didn't much like bikes after that.

Then I saw a Honda Ruckus scooter 3 years ago and had to get one. After a year of trying to keep up with traffic on Chicago streets, I realized I wanted to learn to ride motorcycles. I absolutely loved riding the scoot, but need MORE SPEED!

So I did a HUGE amount of research and set my sights on finding a used Yamaha XT225 to learn on. Found a great deal on an '02, bought it and taught myself the basics in the alley, 'round the block, etc.

This year I took a state sponsored rider's course that included the road test at the end of the course. I got extremely nervous and I failed the test. Needless to say, here I thought I was the shit and couldn't pass the road test.

I developed a mental block about this frigging test. Later this summer I took a MSF course and re-took the road test. Failed again. I mean, here I was cruising through the course, blah blah blah - and I still couldn't pass the test.

For two weeks, every day, I set up crushed soda cans in the offset weave pattern (per the test specs) and ran through in the alley - over and over and over. Then I set up a 90 degree turn and did that ad nauseum. My wife though I was insane.

Finally, at the end of Aug. I just rode my own, sadly neglected XT225 to the DMV took the road test on my own (and on my own bike). . . . . . wait for it. . . . and passed. I almost cried. I WAS FREE!!!!!

I immediately sold the XT225 (to a fellow inmate, thanks Jaseun!) and had my heart set on a new Wee-Strom. Then I saw this '89 Transalp for sale that was meant to be mine - I mean, it was in Chicago and within my budget!

Since I bought it a few weeks ago I've been riding it every chance I get and overall I haven't been this happy maybe ever.

Sorry for the long post. I think I need to get my shame over failing the road test twice (!) off my chest and move on

- Scott
Scott Taves
Rider, journalist, librarian and feral cat wrangler

1977 BMW R100/7
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:10 PM   #185
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Portland
Oddometer: 638
I started at 35, got tired of gas prices and trying to park my truck. Did some research and decided on BMW.

Bought a new 04 R1150R before I had endorsement or even a permit. Trucked it home, got permit the next day and then went for a ride to the beach that weekend with a group that kept it simple for me.

I sold the R last summer and got a GS, easier on my back and better two up.

Have been grinning and giggling ever since I started riding.
04 R1150R - sold
07 R1200GS - sold
05 K1200LT
13 Patrol
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:24 PM   #186
SW Neanderthal
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: El Paso, Tejas
Oddometer: 379
So what does you wife of nearly 30 years get you for your 49th birthday? How about the video "Happy Feet" cause she thinks it's cute.

Few months later, while she was on a trip, an old Honda GL 650 came up for sale cheap. She comes home, opens the garage door, and says "What's this?!!"

"It's a Honda, honey."

"Get rid of it"

"Nope, it's staying."

Rode it for a while, the old 4Runner died big time after a quarter million miles of service.

Then shortly before my 50th birthday she comes home, opens the garage door....

"What's this?!!"

"It's a Beemer baby....."

Sometimes it pays to buy your own birthday presents.
Anyone who hates Tamarisk can't be all bad...
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:44 PM   #187
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Everett, WA
Oddometer: 130
Returned after 25 or so years

As some of the others here, I had a bike as a kid. I was the youngest and only sibling to get a motorcycle. I later figured out that my parents realized they coudl not put us all through college, so me being the youngest they would, well, dispos of.... They were kind folks, figured getting me a motorcycle when I was 6-7 should do the trick and at least alow me to go out with a smile. I showed them I rode that Trail 90 into the ground and survived, a bit of a limp but survived. (the made me pay for my own college) When that bike died so did my riding. Until 2004

1. "WTF were you thinking?" Hung around with the wrong croud at work, a couple on our shift were bikers, then 2 of the engineers picked up bikes. I have wanted a bike for years, now my friends had bikes. So I convinced my wife that a bike would save on my gas bill >200 miles of commuting each week. I had given her a baby boy so she OK'd the bike. Little did she know what it would lead to.

2. What was your first bike? Honda Trail 90, then a well used 83 Honda XL600

3. How do you feel about starting so late? Why did I not start sooner, bu tglad I waited long enough to understand there are is more to being a biker then riding a Harley.

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru? So in 2004 I picked up a used '83 XL600, took the riding course and used it for soem exploring and a little commuting. Then my buddy invites me to ride to Moab, I say yes. Beg the wife to let me pick up an Adventure bike to ride a mix of drit, gravel and paved roads to Moab. She said OK, but donot spend all our money. Picked up a brand new Suzuki DL650 VStrom in Feb of 2006. (over 38k on it now). I road every chance I could, commuted all the time, had the best vacation ever... In October of 2006 I again convince my wife (gets harder each time) to let me pick up a used 2006 Husqvarna TE610.

Both bikes are great, I ride every month of the year (december-february gets to cold to ride more then a few days each month)

Now I am jonezing for a F800GS, but my wife says I would have to sell some toys. Never have sold any of my bikes, my trail 90 sits at my folk's.....

(and now I start my boy, he has a JR 50, we go out about once a week)
Scott Hollenback
'12 Tiger 800 XC
'06 Wee-Strom
'06 TE-610
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:05 PM   #188
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Duneland
Oddometer: 211
Age 38.

2. What was your first bike? Honda CRF 230 L

3. How do you feel about starting so late? Part "what took me so long" and part "finally".

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru? In May, sick of gas prices, I started investigating bikes, and decided I wanted something with low weight, good gas milage, and dual sport. After toying with some larger bikes ... specifically the KLR and the Versys, I decided they were too heavy, and not efficient enough. I was torn between some shorter dualsports ... namely, the XT250, TW200, DR200SE, and the CRF230L.
I probably would have been happy with any of those.
The future is wide open.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:28 PM   #189
Joined: Jul 2007
Oddometer: 13
Never too old

I have never ridden a motorcycle until I bought a used 1150 GS for my 65th birthday,three years ago. I sold it after about 300 miles and bought a new 2005 1200GS and a new 1200ST.

I have ridden in 31 states, a bit of Canada,Germany, Switzerland,Austria,and Italy. Two round trips from Indy to Calif. this year two-up.

I currently have a little over 41,000 miles, all on BMW's. I'm down to one bike, a 2008 1200GS which I bought new in June and just turned 8000 miles. You could say that I like to ride, shame I still have to make a living or I would ride more.

Planning a solo ride to the Arctic Circle next June, will be able to check off a few more states and more of Canada.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:38 PM   #190
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Oddometer: 16
61, but who's counting?

I sorta got into this tush-end first.

WTF were you thinking?

My kid, 22 and with some change in his pocket from his first job,
wanted to buy himself a crotch rocket and start riding... Trying to
save him from himself (his career on 4-wheels has not been
distinguished), I took the MSF class with him and bought a little
KLR 250, so that he would get a little experience on something less
likely to be fatal. Oh well, he put about 40 miles on the KLR before
buying himself the death machine of his dreams...

What was your first bike?

So I had this KLR 250, and was smarting from failing the MSF class in
front of my kid... , so I got to practicing on the orphaned KLR...
I got hooked. Ride the damn thing all the time. Even ride with Da Kid (to
take the KLR out to kick around in the dirt). Shoot, I ride more than he

How do you feel about starting so late?

Better late than never. Old dog learning new tricks is goodness

What bikes have you progressed to / thru?

I am still having fun with the little KLR, but I do feel lust in my
heart for a classic KLR 650 to thump out to more distant places.
God, the economy and my significant other willing, it won't be too
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:07 PM   #191
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 390
[quote=Shoganai]This is for anyone who started riding after age 30.

I'll phrase the first question in my Mom's exact words, "WTF were you thinking?" (5 years later her opinion hasn't changed)

2. What was your first bike?

3. How do you feel about starting so late?

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?

Started when I was 35 (now 39). First two bikes were '00 and '06 Triumph Sprint STs which I rode for 10,000 miles each, commuting mainly. No drops or accidents. Hid it from my Mum for the first year. I wish I had begun earlier but also know that with age comes a tempering of the invincibility of youth!! I now have a KTM Adventure 990 and only ride to and from dirt roads at the weekends - commuting just isn't fun any more.
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:37 PM   #192
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Fareast PA (formerly NJ)
Oddometer: 768
Middle age crisis thing.

Cheaper and safer than a girlfriend.
A serious side effect of life is death. Ride while you can.
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:59 PM   #193
Balding Gloriously
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Nowhere Valley, CA
Oddometer: 636
Interesting thread

Started riding in 1999 age 38. I changed jobs and was commuting on a canyon road about 25 miles each way in my Ford Ranger pick up and it was a total drag, and I thought what a joy it must be on a bike.

Walked into a dealer in Riverside CA, and was given a card for the MSF riding course in Colton. After two tries, I passed the course and got my licence. Mom wasn't an issue, she was in another city and didn't need to know. First bike was a Kawaski Vulcan cruiser, I forget the year. It was the 500 twin. I put about 10K on it before I sold it for something with a bigger gas tank.

Since then, I've put over 100K miles on the following bikes. 2001 and 2002 Triumph Sprints, 2005 Triumph Tiger, and most recently, 2008 Wee. Also have 2006 Husqvarna TE 610 as a true DS. As I mature as a rider, I assign priorities differently, and the Wee suits me fine. Although that Ducati Strada Aperta definately has my attention.
What a lovely bunch of coconuts.

Better to be a fast mule than a slow race horse.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:15 PM   #194
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Under the Overpass for I84 and I91 Ausfahrt
Oddometer: 2,122
Originally Posted by NJ-GS
Middle age crisis thing.

Cheaper and safer than a girlfriend.
Same o'
Just remember, once you're over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.

Devil's advocate. Hell conscientious and informed and downright argumentative dissenter.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:09 PM   #195
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Gone fishin'.
Oddometer: 673
Originally Posted by Hltoppr
OK, as a total newbie, I'll bite...I'll be 33 in 2 weeks.

2. 2002 Honda XR650L, picking it up this week....
3. The idea is both incredibly exciting and a tad scary...
4. We'll see.....I'm coming from a 1992 FJ80 Land Cruiser, so it seems like the only thing similar is a BMW GS Adventure or KTM...I have my eye on both...

Can't wait to do Baja on the Bike!

YEAAAAAA!!!!!! Another MUDer (RiggerFJ80)! (sorry, can't give you the "real" salute

I haven't been on a bike in over 10 years and I'm kinda scared. Shhhhh, don't tell my wife. She thinks I'm a badass!
I can imagine a no more rewarding career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: "I served in the United States Navy." JFK

"I rode a lot of dirt bikes when I was younger, so I trust the chain and sprockets more than that newfangled voodoo shaft stuff!" DolphinJohn

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