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 I don't ride as much as I use to
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  10:44 AM                       Like
And one of the reasons is, the older I get the less tolerant I am of extremes of either hot or cold, and frankly I am finding my upper body strength lacking compared to what it use to be. Although I know there are many motorcycles heavier than mine, at 700+ Lbs. she certainly ain't light. Making things worse, when it is fueled up, 7.5 gallons it tends to be on the top heavy side. Also this past year I have been fighting Rheumatoid Arthritis. The use of NSAID have kept it under control to a point but there are some days, just the thought of getting the motorcycle off the center stand causes me to think twice.

My mental and physical motor skills are still plenty good enough for me to ride safely but I know, being on the down hill side of 66 my days of long distance riding are in the past. I am OK with that, I still enjoy limited day trips and still just love to ride. I am thinking seriously about moving to a lighter smaller machine, something that won't require as much effort to handle, mount. move around, and hold up. We shall see, I intend to test ride a number of different models and brands to see how they fit. One of the worst problems with this affliction is it attacks the joints in your hands, there are days when just squeezing the clutch can take a lot of effort and comes with a fair amount of pain.

Actually I was sure my current ride would be the last, but frankly the idea of looking at motorcycles with the eye towards a serious purchase has me excited again, especially if doing so will allow me more time in the saddle again.

Just wondering, has anyone else moved to a smaller lighter machine as they aged?

greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  11:25 AM
I moved to a smaller, lighter bike before I aged. After I bought a Yamaha XS1100E in 1978, every bike since has been under 500lbs and under 70hp. There was a 900cc BMW in that group but it had just about the same weight and power as the Suzuki DL650 I have now. Besides, weight, frame size is also important. I test rode a BMW F800ST last year and I felt like I was folded up inside an envelope. http://cycle-ergo.com/ is a good site to check bikes for ergonomics.

I am beginning to have the same feelings you describe now at 67. I didn't take a long trip last year because of the heat during two rallies I normally attended. I hope things work out better this year. I still managed to put on 7600 miles, mostly going to lunch out of state.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  11:51 AM
I have found that going to the gym at least a couple of times a week (no matter how you feel), is a good way to stay in shape for whatever activities interest you. I have always had Sportsters and they have gotten quite a bit heavier over the past 50 years. I ride 2 up about 95% of the time these days and the bike, as I have modified it fits us well, has more than adequate power. We looked at a Beemer ST 800 a couple of years ago and in the end decided that while it fit us, it still needed a couple of modifications to the bars and windshield.

We will ride as long as we can ski and we have skied half a dozen times this winter and plan to go a dozen more times before the season ends. This is the last year we had to pay for a pass as skiers over 70 at the local mountain get free passes.

Greywolf, thats some good advice, once you reach a certain age, find a bike that fits you and fits your needs. And I will add to that, my advice to stay fit.

Axxiom, once it warms up a bit, take lots of test rides, I see a new bike in your future.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  7:41 PM
Do you have a particular type (cruiser, sport, etc.) in mind?
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1688 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  8:27 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Have you looked at the new Honda CTX lineup?

Should be a low CG, haven't seen a published weight though. Auto trans Dual Clutch available with ABS too. Gas is low, and what looks like a tank is storage. Hard bags, backrest with luggage rack, tall screen and heated grips are options.

Low seat and pegs are somewhat forward. I bet that helps cranky knees.

Not a powerhouse, but ought to be competent. The styling is growing on me.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  4:41 AM
quote:
Do you have a particular type (cruiser, sport, etc.) in mind?


quote:
Have you looked at the new Honda CTX lineup?

Should be a low CG, haven't seen a published weight though. Auto trans Dual Clutch available with ABS too. Gas is low, and what looks like a tank is storage. Hard bags, backrest with luggage rack, tall screen and heated grips are options.

Low seat and pegs are somewhat forward. I bet that helps cranky knees.

Not a powerhouse, but ought to be competent. The styling is growing on me.


I have been on BMW's for the past 20 years and have had good luck with them. Admittedly I have an affinity for the marque and more than likely I will check out their offerings first. The new F800 GT looks promising, at 470 Lbs. and 90 HP in a small touring configuration. But by the end of the search I will have looked at, sat on and test ridden many I suspect.
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aa6vh
Male Standard Member
165 Posts


Oxnard, CA
USA

Suzuki

Burgman 650

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  9:15 AM
Have you considered a scooter? Low center of gravity, automatic transmission, no clutch squeezing. And the larger scooters such as the Suzuki Burgman's or Yamaha Majesty/TMax will have the performance that you are used to from a traditional bike.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  10:56 AM
A friend of mine has a 650 Bergman and I have ridden it often. I know the benefits of them, but am not yet ready to give up my gear box and clutch.
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  12:04 PM
A G650GS would be easier on your body unless you have short legs. I plugged it and the F800GT in at http://cycle-ergo.com/ and there is a 6 degree difference in knee bend and a 10 degree difference in body angle.

I know what you mean about standard shifting. I wasn't happy about going to an automatic transmission car in 2005 because my knees were complaining too much.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 03/02/2013 :  1:32 AM
quote:
A G650GS would be easier on your body unless you have short legs. I plugged it and the F800GT in at http://cycle-ergo.com/ and there is a 6 degree difference in knee bend and a 10 degree difference in body angle.

I know what you mean about standard shifting. I wasn't happy about going to an automatic transmission car in 2005 because my knees were complaining too much.


I suspect your comments about the GS are correct, we shall see. I am not married to anything at the moment and I do know more than likely any machine I may buy will need some modifications for a better personal fit. Bar backs/Risers, lowering foot pegs, different seats are all something I have had to do on just about anything I have ever owned. But of course if the fit is way off to begin with there is only so much you can do. I need it to be comfortable but I am not looking at buying something with a eye towards riding 6 hours or more at a time anymore.

The weather forecast around here continues to be lousy so I have plenty of time to do some pre buying trip investigation and research. Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions, What ever I do if it means parting with the RT, I will indeed be sad, she has been such a great and dependable machine.
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  8:48 AM Follow poster on Twitter
Have you considered a trike or a CanAm Spyder? The new Spyders are pretty sweet. A friend of mine, disabled Vet, got to the point that he could no longer support the weight of his Street Glide and wife combined due to knee and back problems so he traded it in for a Spyder RT. Both he and his wife say it's the most comfortable ride they've ever had and has a ton of storage space for the annual Rolling Thunder run to DC (we're all members)
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6884 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 03/11/2013 :  1:35 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Axiom2000

Just wondering, has anyone else moved to a smaller lighter machine as they aged?

I've never owned a bike that weighed more than 500 pounds and would prefer something under 400 pounds if at all possible. My XR650L weighs about 350, which is still too heavy off road, but pretty good on the street.

As for the temperature, I keep the trips shorter at the extremes, but I live where temperature extremes are a bit more rare. I have riding gear that can keep me comfortable down to about 40 degrees, and I'm okay up into the low 90's.

My excuse for not riding as much as I used to is that I seem to get busy with other things. If I didn't have to spend so much time dealing with job, home and family I would be able to ride more.
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madmac
Male Junior Member
43 Posts


Everett, WA
USA

Kawasaki

Vulcan 900-LT

Posted - 03/26/2013 :  1:05 PM
I think that I have reached a similar stage of my riding career. At age 66 and after a complete ankle replacement and surgery on my lower spine I felt that it was time to retire from two wheels. Surgery and convalescence have drained my lower body strength considerably. I have finally broken down and have gone to 3 wheels. The trike is going to re-invigorate my love of riding. To me, this is the alternative to giving up the sport altogether.
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Night Train
Male Advanced Member
1667 Posts
[Mentor]


Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada

Harley-Davidson

99 Sportster XL 1200

Posted - 04/04/2013 :  4:34 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I've just recently downsized my bike primarily due to my deteriorating physical condition from previous injuries. I had an Electra Glide Standard that became too heavy for me to support as my knees and hip would give out. After dropping it a couple times I traded down to a Sportster 1200. Significantly lighter, much more nimble, and actually faster. The ride wasn't as comfortable but I improved that by installing air shocks. Had I kept the Electra Glide my riding would have been drastically curtailed. With the Sportster, I ride every day during the season. I don't ride in the extreme cold temperatures anymore due to arthritis but I do have to make some concessions. Each year as the riding season comes upon us, I find I now do a self analysis to determine if my riding will continue. As long as I can still comfortably handle the bike and my reflexes, vision, and focus are intact, I will continue to ride. Any changes in that regard will no doubt drastically affect my lifestyle. I believe I will know when it's time to drop the kick stand for the last time and I sincerely hope I will be wise enough to do so.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 04/05/2013 :  4:13 AM
quote:
I believe I will know when it's time to drop the kick stand for the last time and I sincerely hope I will be wise enough to do so.


Rod,
You would be the last person I know that would cause me concern in knowing when it's time. Hopefully we both got a few more years to go.

Jerry
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SteveS
Male Advanced Member
1208 Posts
[Mentor]


Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Harley-Davidson

2018 Tri-Gliide

Posted - 04/05/2013 :  10:34 AM
You guys sound wise and it is good to read your thoughts and decision-making process.

I bought a new Electra Glide Ultra Limited (2012) last October just before having to shut down for the long winter. I've only been able to get 1800km on her so far and anxiously awaiting just a bit of warmer temps to be out regularly this Spring.

I turn 71 later this month but luckily I still seem to have my reflexes and focus and strength at a level which gives me the confidence to continue riding.

What has changed in the last couple of years:

Taking more time in the spring to get my "sea legs", so more PLP
Riding fewer hours in a day while touring. Nothing over 750-800km/day and none that distance consecutively.

Being more aware of twisting my knees and hips without thinking.
Taking more breaks and stretching my back, walking around a bit.

Not sure about the two-up this summer as my wife had a complete hip replacement in Feb. so she will be even more vulnerable to a "drop". We haven't decided whether she will take the season off or not.

So, your reminders are taken to heart and I do realize that I need to continue to take extra precautions and ride within my current skill set.

Cheers


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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 04/05/2013 :  11:01 AM
When my arthritis is acting up, I take a pain pill before riding. Otherwise, the hip and knee pain from switching my feet between pegs and ground makes riding unpleasant. It's especially bad in cold weather with increased joint stiffness and heavier pants. A footpeg lowering kit helps a lot.
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 04/08/2013 :  2:47 PM Follow poster on Twitter
I have highway pegs mounted in a configuration that allows me a couple different foot positions along with my stock footpegs. This allows me to shift to different positions to relieve the stiffness in my hips & knees when riding for a long distance. In traffic though, it's feet on the pegs ready to react to the idjits in their cages on the phone/laptop/ipad....
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  3:36 PM
Well I stated this conversation way back when, then I was suffering from some very severe pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since that time I have been to any number of Doctors, one of them tops in the field for my issues. Anyway the good news is the medication I am on has hit the sweet spot and I have been pain free now for almost one month.

I know my long distance touring days are over, I have noticed any more than just a few hours in the saddle and all I want to do is get off. But I still love to ride and intend to do so even if it is just local or maybe a weekend trip nearby. It was with very mixed emotions that I tell you that yesterday the big truck came and picked up my R 1200 RT, it has been sold and I hope the new owner gets as much pleasure from it as I have, I will miss that machine. Truth is it was purchased by a prominent member here on this forum if he wants to disclose who he is that is up to him.


I am heading over to the BMW dealer in Jessup Md. tomorrow morning early to test ride anything that looks like may strike my fancy and is lighter and easier to handle that the RT was. First on the list is the new F 800 GT, I won't come home with a new motorcycle tomorrow but even money says I will put a deposit on one.

I think read somewhere that generally by the time you have reached your 65th birthday you are done buying motorcycles, makes sense to me. I will be 67 next Wednesday and plan on rewarding my self for making it this long with a new ride. I am sure well almost sure this will be my last however. Even moving to lighter machines won't stop the aging process and eventually, later rather than sooner I hope I just won't be able to throw a leg over.

Jerry
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  5:57 PM
One of the more important things for me is seat to peg distance relationship. An upright position and a large knee bend angle (but without forward controls) are easier to handle. Check out bike ergonomics at http://cycle-ergo.com/ to start with.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6884 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  6:55 PM
quote:
Originally posted by greywolf

One of the more important things for me is seat to peg distance relationship. An upright position and a large knee bend angle (but without forward controls) are easier to handle. Check out bike ergonomics at http://cycle-ergo.com/ to start with.

And by "large knee bend angle", you mean your knees not bent at much of an angle, right? Right?

Of the last four larger bikes I've been riding, the Ducati Superbike had my knees folded up tightly, the Monster not as much, but still tighter than was comfortable for long rides, the ST2 had more legroom, and the KTM has a bit more than that. I still have to stretch my legs a little on long rides on the KTM, but I can tell that it is not as hard on the knees as the previous bikes.

The XR650L has my knees bent a bit more than the KTM, but there are other reasons why I don't want to go on long rides on that one.
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