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….

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

  • I am 70 and have been riding for 57 years. I am a Ducati nut and own the Streetfighter V4s, Multistrada 4s and the Diavel 1260s. The Multi is for longer two-up trips, the Diavel is for shorter two-up trips and the Streetfighter is for solo riding and building (and maintaining) skills. I figure I will ride another ten or so years depending on how my health goes. One of my main motivations for staying in good health is so that I can ride often and for as long as possible. Let’s face it, for many of us life is a bit of a bore and riding helps with this existential emptiness. I was riding with an 80 year old in a circumnavigation of Turkey who put it this way, “riding is living and everything else is just waiting.” A bit sick, I know, but that helps explain the reason many of us ride.

  • Good for you, especially with your grandson with you! That’s a wonderful ride, much nicer since you are not going during Sturges. I also ride a trike now, ( I’m 76) it’s so much easier, especially with stop and go traffic. Have fun.

  • Greetings,

    This is an interesting topic for us geezer riders. I’m been riding motorcycles since I was 12 years old, so that’s nearly 65 years. My first bike was home made using a 26 inch Hiawatha bicycle and a small Briggs and Stratton engine from a Maytag washing machine. Since then I’ve owned 13 more motorcycles beginning with a 1966 Honda C200 up through a 2000 Harley Davidson Road King. I’ve had two minor falls, both a very low speed and no injuries requiring medical care. They both happened before 1968. Now I ride a mint 2003 Honda CB750 Nighthawk with only 12,000 miles on it.

    As far as what age is too old to ride, I don’t see it as a number, but rather a question of ability. I did not ride for about 6 years after I sold the Harley in 2015, and I was very tentative when I first rode the 2003 Nighthawk, which I bought in April 2021. Since then, though, I’ve read and re-read several books on riding technique, subscribed to MCrider, Ride Like a Pro and MotoJitsu. Since acquiring the Nighthawk, I’ve ridden 3,000 miles without any close call, and have plans for several rides this summer with my oldest grandson. We plan to trailer our cycles to Rapid City, SD, and ride the Badlands Loop, Spearfish Canyon, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, and the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway (which encompasses some of the preceding routes). We hope the trailer on to Buffalo, WY, and ride from Buffalo through the Big Horn National Forest to Ten Sleep, WY, as well.

    I think there are three key aspects to keep in mind as we riders age: 1) Reaction time; 2) Sense of balance; and 3) Vision. There are plenty of excellent books on the subject, so I’ll let it go at that.

    I wish all my fellow Geezer Bikers a great season of safe and enjoyable riding.

  • In 1964, i took a course riding motorcycle in the cdn army with the military police, i was 19 years old (old Triumph 500 cc of the fifties). Some years after my release, in 1969, i got my first moto a use Honda scramble 175 cc, in 1972 i bought a brand new Suzuki TS 250. After that, i got a CZ 400 1973 for moto cross racing and trail riding, next was a Yamaha YZ 250 1977, then a Yam scramble 500 cc 1979, a short burst on a Kawasaki SR 650 1979 road model that i change with a guy for a honda XR 500 1981( later my young son got a XR 80cc, a Yam 175 2 strokes and finally my XR 500) after giving my 500 to my son i purchase a Kawasaki enduro 2 stoke 250 1985. I change it for the XR 400 1987 with it i got a very bad accident 3 weeks in the hospital with brokens bones! The same summer, i started riding again and change the 400 for the new XR 650 2005 , in 2009 i was 66 years old, may son told me that i was mayby too old for motorclycles and i should buy myself a VTT . So so i got a Honda TRX 700 cc 2009, after that because my son a mecanical ingeneer working at Can Am Valcourt PQ, i got a 2012 Renegade 1000 cc 33,000 km, after a 2016 1000 cc wich i put 54,000 km on the odometer, i use the VTT mostly in the winter, so in beetheen, i was missing riding motorcycle so much i had a use very clean Honda 230 cc and after a 2019 Honda CRF 250F, the F was ok but the guys i ride with all have 400 plus cc and i was always over the capacity of my poor little bike. So i just turn 79 in september , i am pretty much in shape, i work on it everyday ( No more jogging, biking, cross country skiing, wind surfing ect…. but a lot of walking and a minimum of muscle training) I told myself it is not in 2 or 3 years it is right now so i changed my Renegade 16 for a new 2022 850cc and i change my Crf Honda for a brand new Yam WR 250 F, i did’n really like it at first but after a couple ride with my young buddys i came to really like it (over 1000 km on it ) i long for the spring to come. Main time i use my new Renegade on the winter trail and enjoy it with my winter gang older gentleman!!!

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