56 Years Old - Motor-bike lessons - too old ?

#1
Not a mid-life crisis, but a new job which I know is going to be a longer commute-time due to traffic and limited parking spaces at work. By car it will take 40 mins max, but it's the parking that's going to be a real problem. (Searching round for space etc).

So, what do ARRSERS think ? Too old to enrol in MC lessons ? Will I be dead by summer - creamed into a tree / tractor / truck ? Too expensive ? Insurance is bound to be more expensive for a first time MC rider, I'm certain, but advice on that score would be appreciated.

Type of MC ? I'm thinking of the less powerful end of the market and, no , I do not want to grow a beard and ponce around with the psuedo Hell Angels (retired fund managers Chapter) on a huge Harley / Hog / Whatever.

No intention to buy a monster of a bike but would avoid a scooter or moped like the plague. 400 - 500 cc perhaps ? I like the idea of a Triumph Bonneville but please tell me if I'm weong. A BMW ?

Should I do this ? Funding agreed by 0A so that's no problem. Lessons ? Take a week-off and go for the intensive instruction ? Or take a few lessons and pootle around on "L" Plates for a good while before going in for a test ?

Sensible advice required....but I realise that this is ARRSE.

Cheers, Scabbers

p.s. I did have a lesson once. Army bike of course ( Bombardier ?). Opened the throttle too fast and did a wheelie down Exeter St in Salisbury before falling off in front of a bus load of Jap tourists. It had to be japs........oh the shame ! That was the last lesson, the DI f*cked me off the course after that.
 
#2
Not a mid-life crisis. Losh man, you're a guilty as a puppy sat next to a pile of poo. Don't make it worse by buying a Harley or that square headlighted demon, the Beemer!
 
#3
56? pah, get on a bike and give it a go.


Some training schools will give you a 'taster' session. A bit like a free fix from a dealer.
Take a week off for an intensive course, and welcome to the open(ish) road.
 
#4
FFS your old not effin dead, go for it and get "The Second Hand Lions" and" The Bucket list" out on DVD My doctor said if I keep jumping out of planes and off mountains he will have me sectioned under the mental health act. I think the wonker is just envious and i'm older than you

ps the MOD are doing a deal on cheap Harleys at the moment
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Go for it, enjoy it, and to choose a bike to lots of research. Magazines like RIDE are really helpful because they have bikes on long-term review.

(Be prepared for the appalling cost of helmet, leathers and gloves nowadays though!)

I think you'd soon become disappointed with a 400, but there's a wide range of 600s to suit all tastes and skill levels.
 
#6
Buy decent gloves and a one piece waterproof suit, essential for summer riding....
 
#7
Depends on how confident you are on 2 wheels,

get yourself a CBT and a 2nd hand 125 for a month or 2 (cheap shit you don’t mind dropping) and if the bikes life is for you do a week or 2 intensive,

I would go for another 2nd hand bike like an kawaker ER5 or something commuter friendly to start off with,
and learn as you go along,

but be warned you will drop a bike eventually and you will end up sliding down the road be it your fault or not
and it does hurt!

but the good side is no traffic and the summer time there's no better way to travel!
pompey in the cars takes 1.5 - 2hrs by car
by bike 1-1.5 hours depending if i take the country roads (which i do unless i'm late)
 
#8
one more thing

I was taught and always preach don’t buy a bike when your cant afford the leathers

Helmets £200+ for a good one,
Leather £600+ for cheap ones
or you can buy synthetics for around £200 but don’t fit as well and I just don’t trust them for a bigger spill,
Popping to the shops they would protect you but sliding down a A road I wouldn't trust them

RIDE and MCN are all good review places and look up any dealers you want to visit some are excellent (better than any car garage) and others are worse than a used car sales men!!
 
#9
theoriginalphantom said:
Buy decent gloves and a one piece waterproof suit, essential for summer riding....
And full leathers with the leather as thick as you can afford (if possible, the leather equivalent of Chobham armour).

And talking of thick did I mention car drivers? The fact you're more illuminated than Blackpool doesn't stop them from failing to spot you.
 
#10
The whole point in being old is you can afford all the toys that your parents could not afford when you were a kid, I have the lot I make "General Jumbo" from the Beano look sad , radio controlled everything, a Camper van, fast fishing boat, more diving kit than Coustou, guns, mountain bikes fishing rodsect and I love every second of it, my freind Eric base jumped the Angel Falls in his seventys

ps I am in the OA so my typing skills have gone tits up
 
R

Reversionary_Modes

Guest
#11
Try this guy: Ensign GB

It's a corporate driver training site, but he does bike training as well. I've known & worked with him for years now. He's pretty good.
 
#12
Go for it. I came back to biking when I was 50, having sacrificed all flies-in-teeth pleasure during the previous 25 years during which 2 previous Zulu c/s decided that I was complete kok though I was obliged to acknowledge our progeny (x 3).

I digress.

First, find a reputable instructor(s): if you know any bikers, they'll help you out with that one.

Talk to the instructor first: he/she will not be there to rip you off and will best advise on which route to take. (personally, I would suggest taking the route direct to full A licence: you will be regarded as more mature, have road savvy from driving cars, etc). The A licence for all bike powers, is in 3 distinct parts: Compulsory Bike Test (CBT), the theory test and, finally, the road test.

You don't need to go the crash course route (no pun intended), though they are available. By spreading it out over weekends (10 hours instruction is usually the average to bring you to test standard) you get to know the bike, love the bike - or not. It maybe that, after Lesson 1 or 2, you decide that this one is best left in the Things I'd Love To Do But Never Will, Along With Get Really Durty With Buffy The Vampire Slayer drawer.

..............Mmmmmmm-Buffy.............................

*cough*...........sorry about that.

During that learning period, you can then decide what will be the best bike for you. If you go the full A route, you'll learn on some type of 500cc machine: there are some right Nought to Brown Trousers machines even at that size, so maybe you'll decide that a BMW 1200 is maybe just a leeeetle too much muscle.

Anyway, good luck, safe riding - and, when you pass, don't forget The RBL Riders.
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Never too old to live.

As spad says, get a smaller bike to handle the issues of driving on two wheels. I learnt a hell of a lot on my Direct Access Course (1 week) about safety that made me wonder how I had ever stayed alive before. Then you can get a bigger bike and choose one that is comfortable rather than looks good.

I have had three accidents in six years - one without a full licence which I put down to complete naivety, one when some sausage stopped on a yellow box and I approached his bumper in a familiar fashion and one the other day when I just wanted to get home in the snow at 2.4 mph and came off with super bruised ego.

The other thing I found out was that I don't really enjoy motorway riding because it's draining and boring at the same time so I got a big scooter (T-Max 500) which is comfortable round town and can take long distance if I want.

I thought about joining a motorcycle club but they called me Susan.
 
#15
udipur said:
.................I thought about joining a motorcycle club but they called me Susan.
Your avatar is a sheep.

........a particularly well tooled-up sheep, but a sheep nonetheless.

Susan.

:D
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
FourZeroCharlie said:
udipur said:
.................I thought about joining a motorcycle club but they called me Susan.
Your avatar is a sheep.

........a particularly well tooled-up sheep, but a sheep nonetheless.

Susan.

:D
There's already too many dolly's around, though...

8O
 
#19
udipur said:
Never too old to live.

As spad says, get a smaller bike to handle the issues of driving on two wheels. I learnt a hell of a lot on my Direct Access Course (1 week) about safety that made me wonder how I had ever stayed alive before. Then you can get a bigger bike and choose one that is comfortable rather than looks good.

I have had three accidents in six years - one without a full licence which I put down to complete naivety, one when some sausage stopped on a yellow box and I approached his bumper in a familiar fashion and one the other day when I just wanted to get home in the snow at 2.4 mph and came off with super bruised ego.

The other thing I found out was that I don't really enjoy motorway riding because it's draining and boring at the same time so I got a big scooter (T-Max 500) which is comfortable round town and can take long distance if I want.

I thought about joining a motorcycle club but they called me Susan.
Agreed, start small 250-400cc, get your handling and confidence up.

A word of warning though, as above. Do it long enough and you will have spills, mostly minor. Ice and frost, wet tarmac banding, sand and grit, diesel (b*stards), the occasional suicidal single mum and buggy, and of course miopic car drivers.

17 years, one big accident, several minor (read-feeling like a right tw*t but Im in one piece).

It IS fun :eek:

edited to add-Im saving up for an `89 honda VFR 400, coz I coulndt afford one when I was nineteen.

Mid Life Crisis my ARRSE :oops:
 
#20
I concur with most of the above. Take a week off and do the zero-to-hero course, apart from anything else it's a great way to spend a week and work won't cross your mind while you are doing it.

Don't take any decisions or spend any money till you've done the course because all the breaks and downtime are spent chatting about bikes etc with the instructors who should really know their stuff.

Do a further days training after you get your bike and DON'T skimp on the leathers/safety kit.

Good luck, bikes are brilliant and anyway, as you get older the more fun you can have sitting down the better!
 

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