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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.

327 Posts
I've thought an awful lot about this, had too much coffee before bed and it was on my mind. :(
Some thought as to why older riders may well be at greater risk, actually one thought, it's the bike. If a 20 year old is going to buy a bike you can bet he's looking at a crotch rocket and the 50 year old is looking at a cruiser. I know those crotch rockets have insane specs, etc. But I've watched these kids on these super fast bikes and here are some observations.

Sport bike: very light and nimble.
Cruiser: Heavier and not nearly as manuveurable. Of course, some are better than others.

Sport bike: It's fashionable to wear a FF helmet and armored gear.
Cruiser: You're only cool if lidless and in a T-shirt and jeans, at least leather jackets and sturdy boots made the fashion cut, but only if cold enough outside.

Sport bike: Those guys can ride. The "cool factor" may be somewhat dictated by acts that are rather foolish but, you only look cool if you can ride really well.
Cruiser: It's all about the bikes appearance and image. Unless you make a complete fool of yourself your riding skills are rarely challenged.
I was Bikeweek in Daytona in traffic. As we crept along I watched the guys in front and behind me. Most were dragging thier feet unless we got of 10 - 15 mph, but they had some nice looking, expensive bikes. I've rarely seen sport riders drag thier feet. Personally I'm upset with myself if my feet ever touch the ground while moving, and I hate taking my feet off my pegs.

Sport bike: Higher, more aggressive riding position.
Cruiser: Low seat height, leaned back angle.
The riding position on a sport bike makes it easier to see and deal with hazards in traffic where we have the least control over our enviroment. I've thought about buying a sport bike for commuting since I take the most agressive riding position I can when riding around town.

Sport bike: Take a corner at speed limit and find out it's tighter than you thouht you probably have room to go to get a tighter turn.
Cruiser: We start dragging pegs floorboards, etc much quicker.

Lastly, attitude I've seen with guys I know my age (43) and older. Most figure since they rode a dirt bike once upon a time there's no need to take any classes let alone read a book or practice. They really seem to think that since they can keep it upright while moving they know how to ride. If they do take MSF it's not to learn it's just to get thier endorsement. Many seem to think that highway riding is the most dangerous since higher speeds are involved and think little of in terms of danger in city driving. I've seen that numerous times here on the board with statements like "I only wear a helmet on raod trips, not around town." Regardless of what any study says, around town is where there are alot more dangers due to cager than out of the highway, IMO. Plus, out on the open road it's up to me to determine if I wreck. Most studies I've seen indicate most accidents in rural areas are due to riders taking curves too fast, not those mean cagers.

Add these factors and the ones mentioned earlier, alcohol, fatigue, etc. I find it very easy to believe that older riders are much more at risk.

Feel free to flame away if you disagree but this is only my opinion based on what I've observed, I'm not claiming any scientific proof.

chornbe said:
Don't rely on statistics and for the love of all that doesn't suck, don't settle into some stupid "I fall outside those statistics so I'm safe from [insert cause here]" mindset.
But, but... I'm under 50 and ride a smaller displacment (750) bike... you mean I'm not bulletproof... but the stats say I am. Thanks for raining in my parade. :(
OK, that last bit was satire, I think chrombe knows that but some others may not understand so I better clarify
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