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Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-28-2006, 11:45 PM   #1
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Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Now that I am among the newly fired* I am curious how many of you started ridiing seriously. DH is riding a Burgman 650. I have started learning to ride a Kymco Bet an Win 250.* Just completed my Safety course.* I have a way to go but the open road is calling and we now have the time to answer. So what do you ride and where do you go.
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 05:47 AM   #2
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
Now that I am among the newly fired* I am curious how many of you started ridiing seriously. DH is riding a Burgman 650. I have started learning to ride a Kymco Bet an Win 250.* Just completed my Safety course.* I have a way to go but the open road is calling and we now have the time to answer. So what do you ride and where do you go.
I love this thread. I started riding at age 47 and had to quit for health reasons at 60. It was the hardest thing I've had to give up due to advancing years.

In the 13 years I rode, I covered about 15 states, as far as Wyoming,
Montana and Texas. Long trips (a week plus) were my favorites.
Toward the end of my career, I would ride along the Mississippi
for 2 or 3 days through Wisconsin and Minnesota. Fabulous.

I owned in order:

Kawasaki 1000
Yamaha Virago 535
Suzuki Intruder 800

The folks here will not be surprised to learn that I never took a safety
course and very seldom wore a helmet. I never even bothered to
get a motorcycle license. None of this was making a political
statement. I just didn't want to be bothered.

JG
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 05:56 AM   #3
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Got my first bike at 52 on e-bay (55 now and FIRE) after kid was outta college and DW said keep your life insurance paid up. Bought a "94" 750cc Magna, took the MSF course and have put a little over 10K on the clock. In the process of moving to the Chattanooga area in the next month where riding is nothing short of fantastic. Plan is to get a Honda ST1300 sometime next year and really enjoy the twisties.

Big fan of buying used bikes, some really good deals out there.

Ride safe.
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 07:39 AM   #4
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Just sold my beloved BMW K1200LT a couple of months ago after years of riding. I loved that hobby, been everywhere from the 4 Corners in the Southwest, to Death Valley to the Tail of the Dragon. Met some great folks.

Alas, here in Florida I found that I just wasn't riding much. I always rode in full gear for safety, and 6 months a year it is mighty warm around here for that. Being 6+ hours from cooler curvier roads also played a part. Finally, I starting getting real serious about FIRE and could no longer justify the costleasure ratio.

It's a unique and unforgettable pleasure. Ride a lot, ride safe, and stop riding when you get that little voice telling you it's no longer safe for you.
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 07:46 AM   #5
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

This is my second year of retirement and I like to tour on my motorcycle. I am 59 and have been riding since I was 18 but only have been touring for the last 22 years.

This year I have 22000 miles on my 2006 Goldwing and have been to the 48 States on the bike... no Hawaii or Alaska... leaving from central Wisconsin.

Southeast in April by myself.
Southwest in May with my DW.
Northwest in July by myself.
Northeast in September by myself.

Plus I went a a ride with 5 other guys with Harley's in June to Montana/Wyoming and DW and I went with another couple to Missouri in July.

Gonzo
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

There ARE some very good bargains on used motorcycles. My first ďcarĒ when I was 16 years old was a motorcycle.

I donít often travel to overnight destinations, but it isnít unusual for me to travel 300 miles round trip to destinations less than 100 miles away. The more the road curves, the better.

In my garage there is a 1979 Triumph Bonneville , 1986 Honda TLR 200 Reflex, 1991 Ducati 851 Superbike, 1995 Triumph Daytona, 1996 Triumph Daytona and a 1999 Yamaha YZF-R1. Iím keeping my eyes open for a bargain used Kawasaki ZX-14. I like the red one.

The American Motorcyclist Association is a worthwhile organization in that it seems to truly serve the interests of motorcyclists. I recommend joining.
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 05:02 PM   #7
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

I've got an '87 Kawasaki Concours sport-touring bike and a '98 Suzuki DR650 dual-purpose bike. I ride the Concours when going on rides over >70 miles and in cooler or potentially wet weather, the DR everywhere else. If you haven't been on a big single DP bike on the street you really ought to try one - plenty of power, very light, narrow, and "flickable". They make for delightful streetbikes.

I've also got an '83 XR-1000 in the livingroom and a couple of old Jawa speedway bikes in the basement too - I gotta sell those.

Cb
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 05:29 PM   #8
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

I have a 30 yr old BMW that I am hanging on to for several reasons, primarily though to ride during retirement. Hopefully, I will be riding in an area with less traffic and more scenic, closer-in riding areas. Would love to retire to an area and explore new places on a bike.

I have several other friends who ride alot more after ER/retirement.
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

I used to do a lot of bicycle riding until my deteriorating back made me give it up 12 yearrs ago. I really enjoyed getting out on quite country roads. Is it unrealistic to think about learning to ride a motorcycle at age 60? Now that I am retired and living near rural areas in Virginia I have thought about it. What type of motorcycle should a beginner consider? How does one learn to ride? Thanks.

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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 09:00 PM   #10
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
I used to do a lot of bicycle riding until my deteriorating back made me give it up 12 yearrs ago. I really enjoyed getting out on quite country roads. Is it unrealistic to think about learning to ride a motorcycle at age 60? Now that I am retired and living near rural areas in Virginia I have thought about it. What type of motorcycle should a beginner consider? How does one learn to ride? Thanks.
If you are reasonably fit and coordinated, and if you behave yourself, it is certainly feasible to take up motorcycles at any age. However, like all physical pursuits, you will need to stay well within your limits. There is a course given by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation that I consider mandatory. You can take that on their beat up old bikes and see how you like it.

Personally, I never rode without helmet and full protective gear. Many just use a helmet. Don't start off on too big a bike nor too small a bike. Something in the 600-700 cc range might be right for many, moving up to touring bikes once you get the feel of it.

The risks are real. Very real. If you are just curious, take the course and save the money and risk. If you remain enthused, go for it but only with full awareness.
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 10:25 PM   #11
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

I've been FIREd for 13 months now, and since my retirement date I've sold 15 bikes and their related spares (I tend to get lots of extra engines and stuff as I usually am buying "classic" bikes). But I've still got 12-15 depending on how you count partial bikes.

Motorcycling has been a part of my life for close to 40 years, and I still have current race licenses.

Motorcycling is fun, but I don't encourage just anyone to do it. Riding on public roads, at least here in the SF Bay area, can be pretty scarey. When I go for a street ride (not often) I wear the same gear I wear when roadracing. If I start doing enough street riding I'll buy a full Aerostitch suit and wear that. I still feel a lot safer on the race track than I do on the street.

Starting off with dirt riding is a good way to ensure you'll survive a bit longer on the street. You get to learn what you are doing away from traffic, and you'll get comfortable with riding on slippery surfaces. You'll also get some experience with falling down.

The new big scooters like the Suzuki 650 Burgman are in a half-way zone between traditional scooters and regular bikes. I think that they deserve a close look from anyone thinking about getting into powered two-wheelers.

If you want to give it a try, go for it. But don't skimp on protective gear, and do take the MSF course BEFORE you mix it up with coffee-drinking/cell-phone using/turning around to yell at the children idiots in their SUVs. They may not be deliberately trying to kill you, but they aren't trying too hard to avoid doing so.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-29-2006, 10:39 PM   #12
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Oh yeah, if you go to the AHRMA (http://www.ahrma.org) vintage races you'll often see out on the track these wizened old guys in their late 60s and into their 70s who happen to be former AMA Grand National champions. If you are on the track at the same time your usual view of them is watching the back of their bike disappear into the distance ahead of you.

Comfort. Think about it. I've been roadracing since 1977, with clip-on bar equipped cafe racers for 3-4 years before that time. I now find (btw I'm 53) that the pressure on the palms of my hands when I ride a bike with low bars makes my hands numb in 10-15 minutes. There aren't as many "standard" bikes as there once were, but the quasi-dual purpose street bikes (really street bikes, but with faux-dirt bike styling) are about as close as you can get these days to a standard with "upright" riding position, while still avoiding the bulk of a full-boat tourer.

Bikes like the 650 Suzuki and Kawasaki twins or the 1000cc Suzuki V-strom make great all-arounders. You can go down gentle dirt roads, do some moderate touring, and rail through the corners. You won't be as good as on something designed for a single purpose, but I've heard from a number of people (especially about the DL650/1000 Suzuki) that they can't imagine ever going back to the more focused bike they used to have.

If you are looking for a track-day street bike where you'll mostly be putting in 20 minute sessions, then the low road-race position is fine. But they really aren't meant for general rding, though I'll admit that the engines are way more tractable and powerful than the race bikes of 15 years ago.

But for a newbie rider, I think something in the 500-650cc range should serve you well. Back when I started riding a 500 was a big bike, and everyone started off on 50/90cc bikes. Nowadays, new riders seem to go out and buy a 145 mph sporting 600 to learn on, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-30-2006, 01:14 AM   #13
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

I'm not retired yet, but I just got a new bike. I started out on a '92 Ninja 500 eight yrs ago, and just switched to an '05 Suzuki Intruder 800. (both great beginner bikes) I am quite short so these beginner bikes are all I'll ever be able to ride. I am in Colorado, so have lots of great scenery to ride through, and the Intruder is much more comfortable than the Ninja was for long rides.
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-30-2006, 08:13 AM   #14
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Only 42 and have been riding for approx 6 years. Didn't ride as a kid and so took the safety course - thought it was great. In fact, found a similar course for Dirt Bikes and went through it with a 10 and 12 year old boy. Started out with a Honda 750 Nighthawk - this past spring traded it in on a 2006 Kaw Concours - working my way up to the BMW K12 or Gold Wing! Loving every minute of it but don't have a lot of time - looking forward to touring in ER. Western PA offers lots of hills, curves and only minutes away from the mountains - makes for great rides.
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Re: Motorcycles / Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-30-2006, 10:50 AM   #15
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Re: Motorcycles / Scooters after FIRE

Quote:
Just sold my beloved BMW K1200LT a couple of months ago....
I have lust in my heart!

I have been away from bikes since my early 20's and miss them. I want to go touring again.

On comfort: I like sitting upright with a soft seat (old BMW, for example) and good handlebars--the Norton Atlas had a beautiful set. Can't imagine leaning foreward all day trying to look up. My neck hurts thinking about it.

On safety: Helmet, always! Too many dead bikers out there. Choose the routes v-e-r-y carefully. Some roads scare me. From my experience on bicycles (I was hit by a car once) and my little Honda, personally I would get something not too heavy, with good accelleration [Dory! Where the hell is that spell-checker ].
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 09-30-2006, 01:08 PM   #16
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

I had a motorcycle for a few years in high school/college.

I'd love to do it again now, at age 53, but won't because I'm blind in one eye, and I don't think my reaction times are as good as they used to be. It's just not worth the risk for me.

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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 10-01-2006, 10:44 AM   #17
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

My first ride was a little honda CT 70 minibike I bought at a rummage sail from a sailor who used to carry it on his boat. It was so much fun that I bought a Honda Rebel. I then graduated to a Suzuki Savage and then to a Yamaha Virago. As a small person, I thought I was stuck with the cruiser type bikes and thought about getting a Harley 883. But my husband was riding sport bikes, so I was interested. Turned out that the Kawasaki Ninja fit. I could keep one tippy toe on the ground. The bike was light weight enough to be able to hold upright just fine in that position when stopped. Carpel tunnel type symptoms were only a problem when driving slow. Fast, the force of the wind pushed me up enough that the hand pressure was not bad at all.

A year or so ago we got away from riding the sport bikes and sold them. So much traffic out there. All along we also had a set of on-road off-road bikes which we still have. I have a suzuki DR 125. The big problem is that it isn't speedy enough--top speed is about 60. I probably will upgrade to the 200 version or go with a Yamaha TW 200. These are great for exploring the backroad.

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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 10-01-2006, 11:09 AM   #18
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Well, not RE yet, but here's my history:

Suzuki 125 - 1967-68 (While in the USAF, stationed in Lubbock, TX)
Honda 360 - 1976-79 ("Early civilian, early married")
Honda 750 - 1979-93 (20th anniversary 750 edition) Gave up riding in 93 when I had more than one experience of having 4-wheelers not "seeing me".

Follow-up:
2002 Mustang (GT convertible). That's my toy (14K currently). Making up for my teenage years?

Anyway - while I'll always like the bikes, I think my "time has passed" (anyway, looking at the Ford GT )...

- Ron
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 10-01-2006, 11:46 AM   #19
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Husband has ridden since he was 12, rode what he could afford but for the past 30 years he's had a Harley. I've had mine about 6 years now but rode dirt bikes for years. If it were something I was going to do after retirement ...hummm nope, not unless I'd been riding all my life. Too much traffic and too many idiots on the road for the beginner. I also find the older Dh gets (he's 64) the less he rides (although he rides more then most people his age) and the more he's into his other project, a 52 Ford Pickup.

And don't think that just beginners have accidents. Dh is still recovering from an accident July 5th. Taking the on ramp to the highway there was a bump in the road that caught the bracket under the bike that holds the foot peg on as he leaned into the corner. The bike went down on the crashbars, being the veteran rider he is he did his best to right it but just as he did the front tire hit the cobblestone edging the hot top. The bike flipped up in the air, he landed on his head (yes with a helmet) the bike (2005 Road King) landed upside down beside him. He wasn't speeding or doing anything crazy, just happened, could have happened to anyone. He was lucky, 10 stitches to the nose and some road rash on his arm and some lingering aches and pains, it could have been much worse.

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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE
Old 10-01-2006, 07:43 PM   #20
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Re: Motercycles /Scooters after FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
Husband has ridden since he was 12, rode what he could afford but for the past 30 years he's had a Harley. I've had mine about 6 years now but rode dirt bikes for years. If it were something I was going to do after retirement ...hummm nope, not unless I'd been riding all my life. Too much traffic and too many idiots on the road for the beginner. I also find the older Dh gets (he's 64) the less he rides (although he rides more then most people his age) and the more he's into his other project, a 52 Ford Pickup.

And don't think that just beginners have accidents. Dh is still recovering from an accident July 5th. Taking the on ramp to the highway there was a bump in the road that caught the bracket under the bike that holds the foot peg on as he leaned into the corner. The bike went down on the crashbars, being the veteran rider he is he did his best to right it but just as he did the front tire hit the cobblestone edging the hot top. The bike flipped up in the air, he landed on his head (yes with a helmet) the bike (2005 Road King) landed upside down beside him. He wasn't speeding or doing anything crazy, just happened, could have happened to anyone. He was lucky, 10 stitches to the nose and some road rash on his arm and some lingering aches and pains, it could have been much worse.

I was discussing my "biker" career with a house guest yesterday and
it occurred to me that with all the thousands of miles I rode, I never had a real bad scare. The only time I ever laid a bike down was when I was
standing still and lost my balance (for you non-bikers this is quite common).
Most of the bikers I know personally have had accidents themselves
and/or seen horrendous crashes. I know one guy who quit for 10 years after a buddy was broadsided. Anyway, it's a risky business.
So is living.

JG
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