We know it can be hard to imagine life without your motorcycle, but there will eventually come a day when you’ll be forced to give up your bike for good. Everyone experiences the challenges of aging at different rates and in different ways, so it’s up to all motorcyclists to make the decision for themselves.
Follow these tips for riding safely as you get older and making the difficult decision when it’s time.
1. Be aware of your health issues.
Has your vision, hearing or reaction time been getting noticeably worse? Do you have trouble with depth or speed perception? Do you notice your hands shaking on a regular basis or have a hard time keeping your balance?
We’re not always aware of age-related health issues or honest with ourselves about how much they’ve started to affect our day-to-day activities, so it may be best to consult with trusted family members or friends on this one. It can be a difficult conversation for everyone involved, but it’s one that could save a life.
2. Consider downsizing.
You don’t need the biggest, baddest motorcycle on the market to enjoy the open road. As you age, you may realize you would be more comfortable on a bike with a lower seat height, or have better control over a less powerful model. You should also consider whether you would still be able to pick up your current bike if it fell over, or if you need something a little lighter.
You may not end up with the motorcycle of your dreams if you decide to make a switch, but your safety comes first. Stop by your local motorcycle dealership for personalized recommendations.
3. Keep your confidence in check.
If you’ve had a motorcycle since your glory days, it can be easy to go into autopilot while on the road. Take a riding course in your spare time to help you brush up on essential skills and maybe even learn some new ones. This is especially a good idea at the start of riding season and for those who have taken an extended break from riding.
Additionally, many of us begin to have trouble focusing or become more forgetful as we age. Regardless of how long you’ve been riding, you should always pay attention to your surroundings and be alert to other vehicles. If you notice yourself forgetting important riding practices or having a lot of close calls, these are major red flags that your skills aren’t what they used to be.
Feeling like it could be time to give up your motorcycle for good? Consider switching to an autocycle like the Polaris Slingshot or Campagna T-REX, or use it as an excuse to get that convertible you’ve always wanted.
Did you retire from riding for age-related reasons? How did you know it was time?