When is it time? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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When is it time?

Every time I see posts from old timers such as myself, I wonder myself when I'm realistically ready to call myself unfit to ride. I don't want to get to be a danger to myself or others, but on the other hand, most of the time when I'm on my bike, it really seems to give me back my youth and has provided many of the best experiences of my entire life. I believe I'll dread turning over the keys to my bike more than my car keys!

My bad back and hip limit how far I ride these days, but my biggest concern is my re- occurring Vertigo. In 2017 I had so many Vertigo attacks that it kept me off the bike for the entire year. Now every time I ride, I'm concerned that it could hit me without warning. I'm always checking myself out and have definitely noticed my balance and depth perception are off.

I don't expect answers and hope I don't bum everyone out! Just need to vent to some others who know how I feel. I'm 71 and have been riding for 56 years so I have plenty of great memories!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:06 PM
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Hi Bob, I'm 72 and can emphasize with you. I think you'll know when. Make the decision not to ride, and then stick with it.
Maybe conferring with a MD would help.
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Ride while you can
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:31 PM
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Good luck man.

For all the aches and pains I have its nothing compared to a balance issue. That's something you just cant "deal with" and push through.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:20 PM
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...I don't expect answers and hope I don't bum everyone out! Just need to vent to some others who know how I feel. I'm 71 and have been riding for 56 years so I have plenty of great memories!
I firmly believe that riding is keeping me YOUNG, too! (76 and been riding 56 years ALSO!)

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...my biggest concern is my re- occurring Vertigo....
Yes - you can't "play-around" w/ THAT!


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:35 PM
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This will probably be my last year of long rides.......I plan on getting a putt around town and the local area type of bike. Looking for an 800 Drifter or a W650. Failure to find one of those would push me towards a Suzuki Savage/S40 (I have always liked thumpers).
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 05:27 PM
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At almost 75 and living with an artificial left hip and slow but inevitable loss of upper body strength I've made a few "accommodations" that I hope will extend my riding days. My charming wife is a few years younger and still quite healthy but thus far I can still keep up with her.

The Versys is now for errands and short trips wandering around in the local Texas countryside. For long trips - touring adventures - we added a pair of new-to-us Can Am Spyder RTs and quickly decided they're hard to beat for touring in comfort.

Two years ago in March we rode them 2200 miles to Tucson-Tombstone-Bisbee and return, and this April we rode them 1650 miles through the west Texas Big Bend country for a week or so. Tons of storage, semi-automatic transmissions, stability control, traction control, electronic cruise control, electrically adjustable windscreen and an excellent sound system are all greatly appreciated. Oh, and it's REALLY hard to fall over riding one. They stay at our winter home in Texas, and keep the Versys company.

We also keep two small bikes at our summer home in Maine - a BMW G310R and a Suzuki TU250X - that are perfect for the two lane woodland roads we ride. They're light and nimble and a hoot to ride. Whoever said it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bile slow was absolutely correct in our opinion.

We don't play golf and we don't have any interest in RVs so we find that we have a few spare $$$ now and then to add another bike. Life is good, and we can still ride for many more years - if we're careful.

Arion

"Plan? Plan! There ain't no plan."
Pig Killer, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 06:56 PM
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I think about these same things also. I have rare balance issues (usually just momentary), but I do struggle keeping enough muscle mass to feel comfortable moving the V around. My first idea when the time came was indeed to buy something with a lower center of gravity and maybe lighter. Actually like the Honda 700nx (not sure if those are the right letters). But I still think the best move will be to a CanAm. Don't give a damn what anybody thinks, I will do whatever it takes to extend the number of years I can still feel the wind in my face and look around everywhere without having to look through window posts on cars. Good Luck

Forty years away from 2 wheel fun. Sure is great to be back smelling the roses!!!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 08:23 PM
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My dad was still riding his big twin Harley up to 77 (started riding at 14). He had heart surgery and just hasn't recovered enough to ride. His concern was dropping it when stopped. His buddy road up until his early 80s, but he traded in his Harley's and had a Honda Rebel.

I don't care what you ride, just ride.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 08:25 PM
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Take care and be safe and if you have to call it a day, do so and count you blessing for been able to ride all this years.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:23 PM
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As I sit here recovering from spine surgery last week, I cannot wait to get back on the bike. Yes I will not rush it and will allow proper time for the back to heal up before riding.

Just gotta say that the only time I feel "Normal" these days is when I am on the bike. Riding my bike is the best kind of therapy around for maintaining sanity in our crazy world.

Hang in there Bob and adjust your riding style to match your physical limitations. I think in doing so you will be able to ride for years to come.

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 05:34 AM
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At 55 I can't offer first hand experience, but when my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinsons at 78 he traded his Shadow Sabre for a Harley Tri-Glide - You're not going to tip over on one of those!

I had an opportunity to test-ride a Can Am Spyder for two weeks - I'd chose one of those if I had to give up two wheels. Or maybe one of the "leaning" 3-wheelers like the Piaggio.

Good luck and ride safe!
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:39 AM
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I am fortunate that where I live there are many miles of tiny backroads where one can just cruise along at 35 mph and enjoy. I am about to add a used VanVan200 to the stable that will hopefully allow me to keep riding for the next 20 years although I am not looking forward to the day when I can't safely ride my Road Glide Special.

When I was in the American Voyager Association there was a guy in his 90s still riding to the annual rallies. He had to move down to a sportster from the Kawasaki Voyager XII, but he was still going.

Keeping active and doing balancing exercises can help prolong your riding enjoyment even if it is only 10 miles at a time.

I would like to try out a Ural one day.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:27 AM
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I'll give up driving vehicles before I quit riding motorcycles. Driving, I tend to lose focus, my mind wanders, but when I ride I feel so much more alert and sharp. My reflexes are still fine and that can be one serious problem to be aware of.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:14 PM
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Those 3 wheelers look like fun! Im 63 and could see a day where if I want to carry on motorcycling this would be a safer vehicle for senior touring. Not the same as a 2 wheeler with all the mastery involved but could fit the bill. I have an off road capable electric bicycle as well and for around town and into the woods its a lot of fun. Plus I can get on to trails that you cant on a motorcycle. Good for 50-60K on a charge and pedalling keeps the body working. You can still injure yourself but all the deciding factors are lowered. I guess getting old is a game of adjustments....
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:20 PM
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Bob only you can answer that question. I for one just turned 80, but do not feel it is time for me. I may not do the Dragon again, but there are still many roads I have yet to ride. Do what is right for you. Be safe.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:56 PM
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Those 3 wheelers look like fun!
The 2014 Can Am Spyder was actually a blast to ride...you just can't think of it as a motorcycle. Same clutch and transmission, very similar seating position but it doesn't counter steer. Nor does the vehicle lean into the corner. In fact, it didn't lean much at all - corners very flat. Here are a couple of (boring) videos on a winding mountain road (Rt 92 from Half Moon Bay to the Peninsula) that gives you a sense of it's dynamics:

At first it feels really foreign, like you're going to fall off the outside. Then you start hanging off the inside, pushing harder, and enjoying the ride

(also available as an automatic if you're not interested in shifting)
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 01:03 PM
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...I will do whatever it takes to extend the number of years I can still feel the wind in my face and look around everywhere without having to look through window posts on cars. Good Luck
Chuck - let's make PLANS to ride together again, come fall!




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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 07:22 AM
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If I have the money when the time comes I will convert my Road Glide with a tiltingmotorworks kit.

https://www.tiltingmotorworks.com/

Still get to lean the bike into the corners but don't have to worry about holding it up when stopped.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 09:51 AM
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I'm 67 and riding is what I live for. I really love cross country trips. All winter I have waited for warm weather so I can take a trip out west. About a week ago I was diagnosed as having lupus. I am now allergic to my own skin. I can't allow my skin to come in contact with sunlight. This came on suddenly, and I'm only concerned about riding and keeping my skin from being exposed to the sun. I refuse to give up riding. can someone give me advice on what I could wear that will protect me from the sun, and me not be burning up from the heat?
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 09:58 AM
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Sorry to hear! Perhaps a light colored mesh jacket for protection and sun screen, with a cooling vest underneath - this is what I wear commuting in Kansas City summers: https://www.homedepot.com/p/HyperKew...HV-L/205709794

...under a Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh jacket. It's good, not great. It cools by evaporation so it's better in dry heat (like Arizona), but it helps even in the humid midwest.

Good luck!
Rob in KC
'14 Versys 650 - 28K miles
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