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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I got into serious riding about 3 years ago at about age 50, I thought that most of the danger and accidents were with the young guys on crotch rockets. I mean it looks crazy to see those guys weaving in and out of traffic, high speeds, wheelies both front and back...etc. But when someone posted the topic that was titled "I'm going to hate myself in the morning" I googled something like "motorcycle deaths". That poor guy who made that post ended up hating himself in the morning as all the crap he took. But his topic was about helmet laws. But not relating to helmet laws, I just want to mention that from what I read, most increases in deaths are occuring in the baby boomer generation... 50 year olds and up. I didn't do a lot of research, and would have like to have seen the number of riders in each age group, and the percentage of them that have a fatal crash. But what I did come to find out was that the increase in motorcycle deaths is mostly occuring in the age group of those 50+. Some of the reasons were that we are living out our "Easy Rider" fantasies of our childhood and buying big expensive bikes without any riding experience. Another reason was that if we do get into an accident we're not as physically able to recover from the injuries because of age. Another thing unrelated to age is that most deaths occur from failure to negotiate a curve, and riding at night.

I'm not trying to scare anyone. Riding gave me a new life and got me off my retired ass. I'm willing to take the risk as it's worth the pleasure to me. But I did get into a few situations as a new rider, similar to the nerd in the new movie, "Wild Hogs". One was doing a U turn into a subdivision's divided entrance and going too wide. I went over the curb into the landscaping. Went through a nice soft bush and just ticked a huge rock with my foot peg, while an old man landscaper watched in horror (HE-HE). There is some realism in that movie...great movie. But for what it's worth, I thought it was interesting information to share. Maybe giving an old guy like myself some perspective in starting out small. I remember taking my MSF course with an old guy who dropped his Beul 500 several times (school bike). And, he had a fully loaded, brand new Harley Cruiser waiting for him at home, that he hadn't ridden yet. I wonder how he's doing?

Bocco
"Wild Italian" Maybe a bowl of steaming spaghetti and meatballs for a jacket patch?
 

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Bocco,

Just a guess of course, but I do think that alot of it has to do with 50 +ers like myself who have just gotten to a point where they can now afford a luxury item like this, but still young enough to enjoy it.

Again....my guestimate.

Beck
 

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I am in the same group as you. We are in the double dead zone, over 50 and 3 to 5 years of riding time. Everyone tries to hang it on our generations love for big cruisers. I believe this to be horse pucky. The problem is we have a little diminished capacity in terms of reaction time and physical strength. The other big problem is our generations fondness for alcohol. I notice that I need to get off the bike every 50 or so miles where younger folks don't mind riding a tank of gas off. We are also in the generation that didn't have quality riding instruction in our youth.
Just remember to keep your head in the game, drive conservatively and defensively, and enjoy what is left of your happy time no matter how long it is.
 

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At age 59 I can relate to what you're talking about. I've noticed that my reaction times are not what they used to be. I find that my experience over the years helps me now that I'm older. Also because I'm fully aware of my age related weaknesses I tend to wear alot more safety gear and I don't ride nearly as agressively as I did in my youth. I also recently went through the MSF course and learned alot more than I thought I would. I ride for pleasure not because I must and like anyone I want the pleasure to last as long as possible. Keep the shiny side up. :D
 

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A lot of older riders are also out of shape and fail to exercise. Exercising would help with stamina and alertness.

Newer (and older) riders will take the MSF course but will never go back and practice their slow turning so they really don't have as much control of their bikes as they should.

And yes there's always the story of the new rider that starts out on an 1800 and wrecks it the first week (happened last month). Too much bike too quickly.
 

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Boomers

I think you hit it squarely on the head. There are a lot of Boomers out there buying great big bikes they aren't ready to handle. It takes seat time to learn all of things you need to know. You don't get it group riding to the local Denny's for breakfast. When all of your attention is devoted to manuevering a big bike around, it takes much longer to learn to see and avoid hazzards. My wife spent nearly 2 years on her VLX polishing her skills. She has moved up now but that would not have been possible had she started on a big bike. I read every week, forum members encouraging new riders to "go big". Yes, they may have outgrown their smaller bikes in a year but they learned alot....and lived to talk about it.

The average rider only puts 600 miles/year on his bike. (I know, I know that all of you are big time, high mileage riders.) Sadly that is true and many of them are in way over their heads. The last 2 bikes we bought were from riders who thought they wanted to ride but were scared to death to be out on the road. We recently looked at a 2 year old Nomad with 43 miles. Only ridden twice, scared rider to death. How about an '06 Kaw 900 LT with 103? Same reason. A local broker estimates there are 10,000+ late model Harleys parked in garages here in Phoenix for the same reason.
Most of us over 50 have grown children and more disposable income. It's easy to walk into the dealership and plunk down a wad of cash for a big ol' Billy Bob cruiser to impress our friends. Statistically, a lot more of us than necessary are dying because of it.
 

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Paulie said:
I am in the same group as you. We are in the double dead zone, over 50 and 3 to 5 years of riding time. Everyone tries to hang it on our generations love for big cruisers. I believe this to be horse pucky. The problem is we have a little diminished capacity in terms of reaction time and physical strength. The other big problem is our generations fondness for alcohol. I notice that I need to get off the bike every 50 or so miles where younger folks don't mind riding a tank of gas off. We are also in the generation that didn't have quality riding instruction in our youth.
Just remember to keep your head in the game, drive conservatively and defensively, and enjoy what is left of your happy time no matter how long it is.
Voice of reason.
 

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Paulie said:
I am in the same group as you. We are in the double dead zone, over 50 and 3 to 5 years of riding time. Everyone tries to hang it on our generations love for big cruisers. I believe this to be horse pucky. The problem is we have a little diminished capacity in terms of reaction time and physical strength. The other big problem is our generations fondness for alcohol. I notice that I need to get off the bike every 50 or so miles where younger folks don't mind riding a tank of gas off. We are also in the generation that didn't have quality riding instruction in our youth.
Just remember to keep your head in the game, drive conservatively and defensively, and enjoy what is left of your happy time no matter how long it is.
I agree with all of it but the alcohol statement is really a big factor I think. I was at a local bar/grill bike night last night and surprise it was all about drinking. They looked at me like I had 2 heads when I asked for a sweet tea. I figured there'd be lots of folks not drinking due to being on 2 wheels, silly me, everyone had a beer in their hand. Scared me really, that many ppl drinking and riding.
 
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Just for the record I did not actually hate myself in the morning, I knew the potential for fallout.

Apart from a few power cruisers big inches mean little in the cruiser world, you would get yourself into as much if not more trouble with a inline 750 then a hulking 88 inch Harley.

I wish I could pin point the problem with older riders crashing more, perhaps it is a combination of factors, sloppy road habits learned from years in cages along with slower reflexes from years of being a couch potato. That is not to say all older riders are like that, but there seem to be quite a few.

One must remember that I am knocking on the 50 yr mark myself, butthen again I am not just getting my feet wet riding.
 

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Sure this is a great opportunity to blame the helmet laws (or lack thereof), engine size, age, and inexperience but if we look closer we see alcohol involved in 40% of fatalities and invalid license involved in 25%. This alone explains the increase in fatalities over the past few years.

If you're not in this group of irresponsible yahoos, statistically you should be Ok.

There are some interesting statistics here:

http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/SeniorStats/4-09-02Bikes.htm
 

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For what it's worth, I'm another member of the 50+ group (53), with little riding experience. Got my license (through the MSF course) about a year ago after not riding since I was 19.

Bought an Aero 750, spent LOTS of time in parking lots and neighborhoods before being comfortable enough to take it "on the road".

I ride because I love it. Pure and simple. I put about 5,000 miles on last year since getting my license in May (not bragging, just that's what it is). I ride every chance I get, including to/from work, etc. I know I have little experience, and I believe I ride with that in mind.

The only thing I was thinking as an "older" (gee, I hate saying that) rider is that I think I'm maybe more cautious than some younger guys? Maybe I don't accelerate as fast (well, I do have an Aero 750...) or corner as fast. And 65 MPH or so is fast enough for me so far.

Anyway, bottom line, what the heck, I love to ride, and hope to continue to do so for a long time. And I do hit the gym 2-3 times a week trying to keep fit enough for this and all the other stuff I want to do! 8)

By the way -- this is a great forum. I don't post much, but read it almost every day. Thanks to everyone who posts so much good info.
 

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CrazyDave said:
Apart from a few power cruisers big inches mean little in the cruiser world, you would get yourself into as much if not more trouble with a inline 750 then a hulking 88 inch Harley.
Couldn't agree more Dave. I started with a friend who bought an FZ6 for his first bike. If I would have started with that bike, I wouldn't be here now. I still don't think I can handle that little light weight 600cc thing.
 

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Paulie said:
CrazyDave said:
Apart from a few power cruisers big inches mean little in the cruiser world, you would get yourself into as much if not more trouble with a inline 750 then a hulking 88 inch Harley.
Couldn't agree more Dave. I started with a friend who bought an FZ6 for his first bike. If I would have started with that bike, I wouldn't be here now. I still don't think I can handle that little light weight 600cc thing.
Well, thankfully the FJR is heavier so you'll be much safer when I let you ride it.
 

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sdbrit68 said:
joepool said:
Paulie said:
I believe this to be horse pucky.
Horse Hockey. It's Horse Hockey.
okay.....well, how do the horses lace up their skates ?????




sorry,couldn't resist
One hoof at a time, just like everyone else :)
 

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chornbe said:
Paulie said:
CrazyDave said:
Apart from a few power cruisers big inches mean little in the cruiser world, you would get yourself into as much if not more trouble with a inline 750 then a hulking 88 inch Harley.
Couldn't agree more Dave. I started with a friend who bought an FZ6 for his first bike. If I would have started with that bike, I wouldn't be here now. I still don't think I can handle that little light weight 600cc thing.
Well, thankfully the FJR is heavier so you'll be much safer when I let you ride it.
I can handle the FJR I just can't find the pegs, thry're under my butt somewhere. Oh, and I can't chase it through the twisties (a nod back to the original theme of the thread)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Crazy Dave, boy I sure didn't mean anything by saying that you hated yourself in the morning. I was just using your topic in reference to mine. Hope there's no offense taken. Maybe I'll be the one to hate myself in the morning after bringing this topic up. As far as alcohol, I believe that came up in the articles I read. A significant number of deaths were alcohol related. But I would think that alcohol is as much of a problem for young people as it is for old. I just hope you guys realize that I thought this was an interesting topic, AND NOT AN ARGUMENT, and I am one of those fat over 50 coach potatoes that took up motorcycling. I had serious regrets after buying that first bike and was scared to death for the first 200-300 miles in traffic. The arguement about being out of shape is absolutely correct. I realized I had to do better, and I practiced in parking lots going slow, practiced turns, started working out, lost 50 pounds... all in the name of motorcycling. I needed another hip replacement, and I thought I'd get it that winter. I just wanted to have a bike before the hip replacement, and wouldn't chance riding after it. I wanted one all my life and that summer I thought was my last chance. In spite of the danger, and I do believe I put myself in danger, motorcycling improved my life. I never did get that hip replacement thanks to the lose of weight, and the excercise. My back problem (three fused vertabrae) has also been minimized. As to the riding, a big help was buying a DVD by a motorcycle cop called "Motorman" ... "Ride like a Pro III". A lot of it was similar to the MFS course but a good review. The MSF course, I feel, is inadequate. It was just being stubborn and tenacious that got me through to the feel good ride. But I didn't realize what I was getting myself into as was mentioned above, regarding the low mileage cycles for sale. But I'm glad I made it, and wouldn't give it up for the world now. If I die on a motorcycle, I'll have a smile on my face in the casket. :D The problems I mentioned above all came from a head on accident in a cage. You never know what's going to take you out.

Interested in all comments, but lets not argue. We're all friends here (I hope)

Bocco
 

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bocco said:
Crazy Dave, boy I sure didn't mean anything by saying that you hated yourself in the morning. I was just using your topic in reference to mine. Hope there's no offense taken.
I took Dave's commentary to mean "nope, it was just a flashy opening line" more than anything.

bocco said:
coach potatoes that took up motorcycling.
Is that like "Put me in coach, I'm feeling pretty spudly today!" ? :lol:
 
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bocco said:
Crazy Dave, boy I sure didn't mean anything by saying that you hated yourself in the morning. I was just using your topic in reference to mine. Hope there's no offense taken. Maybe I'll be the one to hate myself in the morning after bringing this topic up. As far as alcohol, I believe that came up in the articles I read. A significant number of deaths were alcohol related. But I would think that alcohol is as much of a problem for young people as it is for old. I just hope you guys realize that I thought this was an interesting topic, AND NOT AN ARGUMENT, and I am one of those fat over 50 coach potatoes that took up motorcycling. I had serious regrets after buying that first bike and was scared to death for the first 200-300 miles in traffic. The arguement about being out of shape is absolutely correct. I realized I had to do better, and I practiced in parking lots going slow, practiced turns, started working out, lost 50 pounds... all in the name of motorcycling. I needed another hip replacement, and I thought I'd get it that winter. I just wanted to have a bike before the hip replacement, and wouldn't chance riding after it. I wanted one all my life and that summer I thought was my last chance. In spite of the danger, and I do believe I put myself in danger, motorcycling improved my life. I never did get that hip replacement thanks to the lose of weight, and the excercise. My back problem (three fused vertabrae) has also been minimized. As to the riding, a big help was buying a DVD by a motorcycle cop called "Motorman" ... "Ride like a Pro III". A lot of it was similar to the MFS course but a good review. The MSF course, I feel, is inadequate. It was just being stubborn and tenacious that got me through to the feel good ride. But I didn't realize what I was getting myself into as was mentioned above, regarding the low mileage cycles for sale. But I'm glad I made it, and wouldn't give it up for the world now. If I die on a motorcycle, I'll have a smile on my face in the casket. :D The problems I mentioned above all came from a head on accident in a cage. You never know what's going to take you out.

Interested in all comments, but lets not argue. We're all friends here (I hope)

Bocco
No offense read into it, and none taken.

I do however get easily peeved when people seperate the name

it is CrazyDave :wink:

remember , even the best of friends argue, tis part of life
 
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