How Old Is “Too Old” To Ride A Motorcycle?

Old Motorcycle ManHE SAID HE WAS TOO OLD TO RIDE.  So, now, he and his wife were traveling on a trike.  We met at a gas station and talked for a while, before we each headed back out on the road in different directions as part of our separate multi-day rides and they sure looked like they were having just as much fun as I.

As a result of our conversation, that was the first time I considered the notion that there could be a day when I’m too old to ride.  That moment was also the first time I entertained the possibility of a three-wheel vehicle.  Personally, I found myself contemplating a motorcycle with a sidecar more than a trike.  Of course, since I haven’t ridden with a sidecar or on a trike, I have no basis to judge which I might prefer.  Having said that, I have ridden a Can Am Spyder, with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back. Although that machine didn’t inspire me, I think it’s good that there are options for three-wheeled vehicles. (For more info, see Worst Motorcycle Demo Ride Experience).

So, how old is too old to ride?

Heck, for that matter, at what age does this concept of “old” begin?

For me, I know I ride smarter (and slower) than when I was a kid.  But I can’t say I have the same reflexes.  Nor do I have the same endurance.  I don’t know how many thousand-plus miles per day I have ahead of me, but factually, there is very little reason I need to put on those miles in a day anymore, anyway.

So, at what point would I say that I’m too old?

I imagine if I start trying to figure out how to replace a motorcycle seat with a rocking chair, while allowing the handlebars to sway up and down at the same time as the rocker, then I may have passed the point of being sensible.  (Actually, I might have passed that point a long time ago, if I was ever sensible at any time).

Back to the point of which I have no answer: how old is too old to ride a motorcycle?

If you have any guidance or thoughts, I’m interested….



"Wandering Around" is my motto: Up and down the California Coastal Ranges; the Rockies; the Appalachians; the beaches of both North American coasts; and everywhere in between. Any two wheels with a motor and a full gas tank will make me happy.

103 thoughts on “How Old Is “Too Old” To Ride A Motorcycle?

  • And now, count me among the thousands of Boomers with the time and disposable income to completely outfit the bike and myself before ring the first mile on it: pair of Givi 48L Trekker Outback side cases, Happy Trails HD skid plate and crash bars, Hepco & Becker center stand, Barkbusters Storm handlebar guards, Alpinestars Andes V2 jacket and pants, Forma Adventure boots, Arai florescent yellow XD-4 helmet. Time to start training!

  • And I passed the BRC, one of four graduates out of six who began and more than 40 years older than all of the others.. I now have the coveted M endorsement on my DL. Waiting for the Happy Trail crash bars and skid plate to arrive.

  • I’m a 69 y.o. male retired soldier. I don’t know how old is too old, but I’ll soon find out. Signed up for an 18-day adventure bike tour with my son, an experienced cyclist, in Patagonia next year. To train for the tour I bought a virtually new BMW G650GS, presently parked in my garage awaiting my successful completion of the Basic Rider Course next week. That’s right. I’m a newbie. Previous experience limited to tentatively driving my daughter’s Yamaha V-Star in the relative safety of our neighborhood. If I fail the BRC beyond hope I’ll cancel the trip and sell the bike, never having ridden it. In the meantime, nothing ventured . . . !

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