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Dec 29th 2018, 12:47 PM   #1
 JohnnyM's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Pullman, WA

  '73 CB350F, '86 VFR750F, '00 Aprilia RS250, '04 Aprilia RSV1000 R Factory(x2), '07 Star 1100 Classic
Returning to riding after years off.

I had an interesting message pop up on Palouse Riders Motorcycle Club, (a local motorcycle "Meetup" page I admin) from a nice lady named Lisa. I thought I would share it with you, as it could be helpful for other riders returning to the sport after a lengthy absence.

Hi, John-Mark

I am 62 years old and rode a 350 Honda all through college, spring, summer, winter, fall - that was when I was in my 20's. It was my only form of transportation back then and I rode it everywhere, anytime and loved it! So, a couple of years ago I decided to get another bike - a 600 VLX Honda.

I admit, I am a little rusty, my biggest fear is I will go off a curve into a farm field and not be found until they plow. I'm sure I can get it all back eventually. The desire is certainly there....Thank you much - waitin' for the spring thaw - Lisa
If you're like Lisa, or know someone in a similar situation, this might help:

I took several years off from riding before I got back in the saddle, so to speak. I found while it was easy to start riding the proverbial bike (duh)...there were things I could do to improve my riding skills, learn new techniques, and eliminate some bad habits.

On thing I think every returning rider should look into is some form of remedial instruction, be it taking an MSF approved safety course, spending some time on a closed-course at a non-timed instructional track-day (my personal favorite), or even retaking whatever course the DOL requires in your state.

If you prefer, asking to go out riding with someone who is more experienced and who is willing to lead/follow you and give a few pointers can be a wonderful way to get back in the game. The important thing is you ride with someone who understands your riding style. Don't assume the bike the rider owns speaks for their style. Even track-loving "crotch-rocket" sportbike riders like to go cruising, and the most hardcore heavy HD cruiser rider wants to do some "sick whoolies and powerslides"...

In the meantime, brushing up on your balance can help. Roller and ice skating, bike riding, skateboarding, and even something as simple as balancing on a curb or walking a painted line in a parking lot can help with that, weather permitting, of course. I'm guessing skating might be a poor match, but you can instead get yourself a "bongo board". (Google it!) I can always tell riders who do one of those activities from those who never did. It builds your balance, tones your muscles used in motorcycle riding, and as a bonus, helps keep you fit!
So, can you think of any other ideas that might help a returning rider?
Dec 30th 2018, 07:40 AM   #2
 Bald Guy's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  Versys 1000 SE LT+, Ural Patrol and a shit load of BN125
I too was a returning rider after a 25 year layoff.

Self taught when about 10. Rode the wheels of of my dad's Yamaguci 50, then graduated to a series of bikes ranging from a Suzuki 90 to the Yamaha XS 1100.

Got married and took a 25 year sabbatical. Turned 50, and my wife surprised me with a motorcycle for my birthday.

My advice for a returning rider?

1. Motorcycle skills are perishable. It is not like riding a bicycle.

2. You were probably not as good as you think you were when you stopped riding, therefore, you most likely are no better now. Be honest.

3. Take a class of some sort. You have forgotten a lot of good stuff you did know and don't know a lot of good stuff you should know! Then go out and learn some more.

4. Ride with others who are willing to help. Be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.


FidalgoRob and JohnnyM like this.

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