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Old 09-27-2005, 06:54 AM   #76
D'Artagnan
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Location: Houston, TX
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I started riding at 41, just about 3 weeks ago.

Did the MSF course, and was about to buy a Wee-Strom when a great deal on a slightly pre-owned 650GS popped up.

Why did it take me so long to do this?
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:58 AM   #77
Geeba
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If you don't count the home made motorized-bicycle stage, and want to consider only actual motorcycles, I started riding at age 15 (in 1968), rode on-and-off til age 21 (1974), and re-started at age 51 (2004).

My first was a "borrowed" Honda 50 walk-thru. The older brother of a friend had gone off to college, and foolishly left the Honda where we could get to it. No license, registration, insurance etc. - we just got on and rode it. Thought we were Hell's Angels.

First "owned" bike was a Ducati Falcon Sport 80 (co-owned with another buddy). Small and smoky, but fun. I still have pictures of us trying unsuccessfully to kick-start that POS.

In college I had the worst Triumph ever made, a 1965 TR6R. It left me stranded many, many times. Worst of all, I never impressed anyone when I rode it (important at that age).

I did not ride after college, can not say why.

My next was in '04, a 1979 Yamaha XS650 Special. Fun bike, cheap, easy to get parts, terrible charging system.

After that, a 2004 Triumph Bonneville. Wonderful motorcycle.

This year I upgraded to a BMW K1200S. Two weeks ago, I got my first motorcycle speeding ticket. Ever. Fun, fun, fun, but way too exciting when you get a sudden flat front tire at 60+ MPH.

My wife is nervous about me riding but has been a good sport. My younger sister is angry with me and refuses to discuss it. My 80-year-old mother does not need to know.
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:09 AM   #78
Plan B
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Location: Home of the Canucks
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Talking

First post!
All these stories of riders starting later in life is inspiring. I've had the bug for a few years and a couple of months ago began consuming all the info I can on this site wondering if I can start riding at 41.
My only real "motorcycle" experience consists of owning a scooter while in college (20 years ago) and about three hours riding single track on a kz 250 this past summer.



I've been riding and racing bicycles most of my life and feel super comfortable on two wheels, I also feel like I've aquired a sixth sense for two wheeled traffic safety over the years. My favorite type of ride is a super long mountain bike ride with friends, but at 41 I'm running out of buddies who feel fit enough to hit the trails for 5 or more hours.

I'm addicted to the stories in ride reports and I've been spending WAY too much time following other peoples adventures and I really want in on the fun. So basically, I'm such a noob that I don't even have a motorbike yet!

Last week I became a naturalized citizen (Insert free speech exercising political rant here) and immediatly after taking my oath I registered to vote, walked out of the court house and went straight to local motorcycle dealer and picked up an Arai XD. (did a search here on helmet recommendations and 'loadedagain' said the XD is the shitzzle.)
The local MSF classes have been full all summer so I guess I'll try to enroll in a class next spring. In the meantime I figure I better stop lurking and start contributing to this awesome forum so I can become a legit member.

I'm not sure what bike I'll end up with, the 640 adv is the bike that has me slobbering all over myself but I'm not sure if it's too much for a first bike. All I know is the 640 guys sre doing the kind of riding I want to do and they sure seem too be having a lot of fun doing it.
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:07 AM   #79
MtnBikeHer
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Joined: Jun 2005
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almost 30

started riding at 29, i'm 30 now. wish i started when i was a wee one. but hey, never too late they say!
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:33 AM   #80
bojohnson
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When I was 12 a kid down the street got a Sears Moped. While my friends and I were riding solo on a bicycle, he was tooling around town with girls on the back. I begged my father for a moped. He made it very clear that if I ever asked again he would kill me.

Fast Forward 37 years. My best friend and I are out fishing one day when he casually mentions that when he turns 50 a year later he is buying a motorcycle and taking a month-long trip out west. I immediately said count me in.

We took the MSF new rider course and, against everyone's advice, I bought a bike that was way too much for my skill level: a BMW R1100R. On my first day of ownership I decided to ride over to my friend's house and show off my new (used) bike. It was a hot, humid summer day and I was dressed in all the gear. I stopped at my first stop sign. I dropped the bike. I finally got it up on two wheels and continued on. I reached my friend's neighborhood and stopped at another stop sign. I pulled out and turned left. My hand grabbed way too much throttle and I ripped across the street, into his neighbor's yard and crashed into a yard man's trailer. Fortunately, the bike was fine but my ego was shot to Hell.

For days I would look out of my second story window and see the BMW sitting there in the driveway, all the while getting a major pit in my stomach. WTF had I done? I would have quit riding at that point but too many of my friends knew I was getting into riding and my damaged ego could take no more abuse.

A few days later I decided to venture over to the empty Vanderbilt University parking lots near my house and practice stopping, turning, etc. After a couple of hours of learning throttle control it was time for the highway.

After about 6 months of riding, my friend and I rode to Atlanta and took the two-day Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School course at Road Atlanta. It all finally came together and riding became the fun I hoped it would be.

The next summer we made a 25-day trip to Colorado. It was the trip of a lifetime and I was hooked.

Now, at 53, I am riding a 2004 DL1000 vStrom and a 2001 Aprilia Futura.

The morals of the story are; first, it's never too late to do the things in life you really want to do. Second, when people tell you not to buy a 1000cc, 550 pound bike as your first ride, listen to them.

bojohnson screwed with this post 10-08-2005 at 11:38 AM
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Old 10-08-2005, 12:01 PM   #81
Loud Al
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Took the MSF class at 39, a friend got a bike and got me thinking about. First bike 94 ST1100 dropped it 4 or 5 times in various parking lots but I love, even though picking it up is a bitch. Bought it in June and have put 12k miles on it so far this year with 4 multi-day trips plus riding around on the weekends.
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Old 10-09-2005, 12:19 PM   #82
ChainSaw
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Location: Colorado, USA
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1. "WTF were you thinking?"

Age: 31. I was trying to win a Harley in Vegas on the slots. Came home and started doing some serious research, which led me to the conclusion that all Harey's don't cost $25,000. Ordered one 2 days later, signed up for MSF course before bike was built. I thought, if I change my mind, the HD has great resale value, and I can walk away with a minor loss.

2. What was your first bike?
2001 Harley-Davidon Sportster.

3. How do you feel about starting so late?
If I had started before I was 21, I would have been a fatality statistic. Better late than never.

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
Bought a second bike in June 2002, a 2003 Buell Firebolt, before the HD was a year old. Still have both, eyeballing getting a third.

Fast forward 4 years, I have ridden my HD in 31 states including Alaska, Canada, and Mexico, all solo. I ride year round in anything but snow (although I've done that too). I've got 63,000+ miles between the 2 bikes, I wrench on my own rides, and spend way too much time on the internet reading about bikes, travel reports and tech tips.
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:59 PM   #83
Mark P
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Started riding as a commuter at 37 on a Kawasaki 440 Ltd. rode that for two years then a giant leap to a Suzuki GSX1100 1981 model rode that for three years then was without for eight years. My current bike is BMW R 1150GS 1999 model which I have had for just over a year.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:22 PM   #84
Trey650
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Location: Poway, California
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My first bike was at 38. It was a XR625R totally tricked out for motocross racing yet it had a dual sport kit on it. I bought it from a friend. That bike was insanely powerful, crack the throttle and it would wheelie. It took me awhile to get used to it. I think that riding mountain bikes and jet skis helped me from killing myself those first years.

I know one thing I am glad my parents never let me have one while I was younger, the way I rode I would have probally ended up dead.

I now ride a XR650R and still like the feel of a big bike compared to the lighter bikes.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:54 PM   #85
BMWBard
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whooooeeeee I LOVE this thread!

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

Good question. I believe I've related elsewhere my first utterly disasterous acquaintance with a bike, in the person of my idiot scumbag Hell's Angels wannbe brother-in-law and his Harley when I was 15; the time that he decided to terrify the kid sis by taking her for a ride sans helmets or instructions and gunned it into a high speed knee scraper type sudden turn...and I leaned the other way instinctively. Served him right! His shrieking screaming name calling assertion that I had almost killed us sent me walking back home with the firm conviction that all bikes and bikers were dangerous, and I stayed far far away for years.

Then someone I knew and trusted informed me --to my utter shock-- that he was a motorcyclist while I was grad school (about 24) and invited me to re examine the issue. (That I actually did prompts a Harley rider I know currently to say I have big brass ones ) Turned out he was an MSF instructor, and you can imagine the differences in the way he went about doing a passenger ride. I rethought the matter and decided SOME bikers are dangerous assholes.

Almost 30, and my fiance is a bike freak with a Yamaha XT, street legal. I rode behind him now and then. 30, and one day he says to me he can't imgaine spending forever with someone who doesn;t love them as much as he does. I agree to try operating the XT in the big empty KMart parking lot at dawn....fateful decision. It ain't NUTHIN like riding behind, is it? I had not gone ten feet before I was totally permanently hooked. I rode around the bloody lot doing circles, figure 8s, circling the light posts, yelling WHEEE!!!! and URBAN PONY!!!!! like a madwoman, grinnning that maniac grin, and leaving my fiance in the dust. He couldn't get me to stop!

As soon as I got home I called and enrolled in MSF. (And can someone PLEASE explain to me WHY, in a class where they provided the bikes, a sea of 125s and 2 250s, I had enormous trouble with the 125s? Slow speed manuvers oopsies, stalling them out, dropping them...how on earth can a novice do better with a bigger engine and a heavier bike?!?) After taking the license I got a Kaw midsize.

What was I thinking? From the moment I felt the XT balance and took off I never stopped thinking "WHEEEEE!!!! URBAN PONY!!!!!!"

But if we're gonna bring mom into this....she never saw the little Kaw. It wasn't until a few months later, when I'd sold it and bought a BIG Kaw --750cc-- that she knew about this, when I went home for a visit, pulling into the gravel drive and carefully scraping a nice level dirt spot for the kickstand with one foot before setting it down and walking up to the house. She stodd there with saucer-sized eyes, looking from the bike...to me...and her eyes slowly traveled the length of my gear and stopped on my helmet. You could just hear her thinking "Oh....My....God....." and then disbelieving it because of the example of my borther-in-law, and THEN realizing I was better protected than he'd ever been riding...and not caring!

But what she said was, "Come in and have some coffee". And she never once attempted to get me to reconsider. Smart woman....


2. What was your first bike?

80 something Kawasaki 454 or 440 LTD


3. How do you feel about starting so late?

Just fine. It came when it was time. Earlier I had way too much else to deal with and take care of.


4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
After the Kaw 750, there was the BMW K75. I loved that bike like a family member, went everywhere and did everything with it, from dirt country roads, to gravel, to fields, to claycuts, to freeway to paved streets to the airports, daily and recreational riding, all over the bloody state of California and a bit of the surrounding area. I have trouble understanding why people call it "the flying brick" or talk about how it hasn't got enough get up and go, or can't go anywhere that is not paved, or is no fun, or...etc etc etc.


The silver baby K was wrecked by an asshat in a car, who darned near wrecked me too. Now I am back with a Kaw little bike, a 440 LTD junker. It needs tires, which I just got, and when I have found a eway to get them on it I'll be out and about again.

But I dream of another K bike...just like my lost baby. Someday...
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:52 AM   #86
r12gsman
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Who started riding aftre 30

Okay I too was a late starter, at 39 I was getting pressure from new friends to get a bike licence.

So I bought a Kawasaki KMX 125 and started getting some practice in, 11 weeks later I passed my test I went straight home an called my insurance company to find out what the highest insurance group a new rider of my age could be insured for. I was informed the highest group I could start off on was 12 (max 17).

This was better than I had hoped so off to the local bike shop and hey presto a 1200 Suzuki Bandit with only 450 miles on the clock.....bargain.

This was the time when my wife thought I had gone mad, she expected me to buy a little ole 250cc bike. naw I was gonna jump in with two feet.

I got fed up with the Bandit after a year so I shopped around for someone to insure me on a Honda Blackbird......result. So off to the Honda dealer to order a brand new Blackbird. This lasted a year also when the bike developed mechanical problems so I managed to get Honda to change the bike for another new Blackbird. I had to put some cash towards it but as I had done over 7k one the first one I wasn't complaining.

Another 18 months go by and I fancied a change, so I chopped the Blackbird in for a Suzuki VStrom 1000DL, this lasted about 9 months when I got T boned
so that was the end of that.

While waiting for the insurance to get settled I bought a second hand Kawasaki ZX12R, and two months later armed with insurance cheque went and bought a brand new Ducati Multisrada 1000DS.

I kept the Kawasaki for about 3 months but didn't really like it so I traded it for a mint Suzuki Hayabusa.

Although I liked the Multistrada, I found it a bit cramped two up, plus I had a few problems with it so 3 months ago I traded it for a brand new r1200GS.

I still have the Hayabusa as well, but the GS seems to get most of my attention and is nearly always the first one I go for.

I am now almost 44 so maybe it's time to slow down a bit ?????
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:14 AM   #87
leadvegas
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I suppose I can participate. I was 29 when I started, but only 4 months off of 30. I never had any exposure whatsoever to motorcycles growing up, and never really had any attraction to them. After college I concentrated on a career and buying a house and never gave bikes a single thought. After debts were paid and some dabbling in ATVs, I started eying dirtbikes.

In the spring of 2004 I started looking at economy cars. For a great many reasons, I needed a second mode of transport but couldn't give up a 4X4/tow vehicle. I wanted economy, but hybrids are far less than ideal in this neighborhood, and VW TDIs were looking pretty great. However, light cars are torn up quickly here (I ruined a Geo Metro in 2 years on these roads). It dawned on me that a motorcycle would be a great compromise. Obviously a lot less usefull in the winter, but it wouldn't get torn up on the roads and is almost as efficient as the TDIs I was looking at. I started by looking at the 650 GS Dakars, but was also looking at the 1150 GS. A GS riding neighbor steered me to the KTM 950.

May 5th, 2004: so now I'm a rider who has never been on a bike that now owns a 950. For the first day I felt completely overwhelmed. The first ride consisted of a 2 mile loop through the neighborhood, with a foot deep ditch at the bottom of my driveway I had to negotiate getting both in and out of. I didn't die... I didn't even fall, so I was feeling pretty good. However, Colorado MSF schedules sucked pretty bad and my class was still more than a month away. I had to rely on my neighbor to ride with me for that time, and yes, I developed bad habits. But in the end, I, a complete n00b (with a 30" inseam no less) managed to learn on a bike that is arguably not for beginners.

I was hooked. I managed to get a fair number of miles under my belt the first year - enough to expire my bike's warranty for our riding season (May-Oct for my first year). Come the following February I bought a dirt bike (KLX 400) to further develop my dirt skills on the 950. Now I am hooked on that too. A mere 18 months later I have 3 bikes (got a KX 125 for a mere $250 this summer) and a horrible (horribly great) addiction.

I occasionally regret that I hadn't found bikes far before now. On the other hand, I am enjoying the learning process and the travels greatly. Sadly, my pups suffer from some of my impromptu 15 hour rides, but I make up where I can. Hey, sometimes it takes 6 hours to get home from work.

And then there's this place... bottomless wealth of information (good and bad) and opinion (mostly bad ). I've even been sucked into helping out with the Chaingolian invasion of Idaho Springs. I think I'll be around a while... and I'll see you all around the campfire sooner or later.
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:54 PM   #88
GSWayne
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I started riding at age 52, about 1 year ago.

WTF was I thinking? Better late than never I guess. I deliberately postponed getting a motorcycle until I semi-retired because I knew I wouldn't have enough time for motorcycling and bicycling while working full time.

My 1st bike, that I still, have is a BMW F650GS, though I'm thinking about a R1200GS.
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Old 11-11-2005, 04:24 PM   #89
WoodButcher
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Location: Austin, TX
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I'm 43 now and started when I was 41. Still have the bike I started with, plus I'm rebuilding an old Goldwing. I won't be doing too much traveling until the second kid makes it to college, but I'll keep working towards it.

Also need to get the wife more comfortable with me riding that much on the street.
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Old 11-11-2005, 06:42 PM   #90
ysr612
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I didn't start roadracing until I was over 50.
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