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Greetings from a new person to this forum.

I am a 51 year old guy who has admired HD's my whole life. I have ridden dirt bikes since I was a kid and can handle a motorcyce on a dirt trail, but have not ridden a street bike for 25 years.

I am considering getting a Softail Classic but have to wonder if my age and lack of street riding make this a potentially poor decision. In the Seattle area the traffic is heavy, drivers are inconsiderate and we have lots of hills.

Without starting a dangerous controversy, I would be interested in knowing other people's perspectives on a middle age guy "starting - over" on a street bike. Yes, this might be part of a mid-life crisis. But with the kids grown I finally have some money to get a Harley.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Kim Nicholas
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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31,321 Posts
Do it.

Street riding has no dirt mounds, ramps or weeds to tangle in the footpegs.

Trail riding has no cars, Busses, trucks or soccer moms yapping on cell phones.

HOW you ride is up to you.


You only have control over your own riding abilities. Take an MSF course and learn good basics and your state's laws. I'd never discourage a person from getting to know what it's like to feel what it's like to ride a motorcycle.

You can't do anything about the traffic around you, but with every mile you ride, your confidence grows and you become a better rider.

If you have the opportunity and the finances to get a bike, then do it.

You won't regret it.
 

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From an interview with GHW Bush, 84 or 85 years of age,
Talking about making another parachute jump.
"WALLACE: Well, I have to ask you the same question, though, finally, that I asked you a year ago. Why?

G.H.W. BUSH: Well, the same answer I gave you. One, just because you're an old guy, you don't need to sit around sucking your thumb drooling in the corner. Old guys can still do stuff, and that's — that's the main reason."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,475686,00.html


You are 51! You are nowhere near his age. Do it if you want.
 

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Do it - Take it easy, learn at your own pace, and take all the time necessary to get comfortable and confident. An MSF course or similar would probably be a good idea as well, alot of useful info regarding the do's and don'ts of street riding. Welcome and enjoy -
 

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I break stuff.
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It's only "too late" when they close the lid on your box.

Take it at your own pace... practice and remember that the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked. Take advantage of rider ed, be it through Rider's Edge, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or another venue.

I've never known a motorcycle to jump up off its' sidestand and hurt anybody... always ride defensively (assume that the world not only thinks you are invisible but also wants to kill you) and don't try to keep up with anybody beyond your comfort zone.

The best bike for anyone is the make/model they feel most comfortable and confident handling. It's the nut holding the controls that really matters :)

Welcome to the best lil' corner of the Inner'nets!
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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It's only "too late" when they close the lid on your box.
Yeah....but if you brought a flashlight with you, you can at least read till the oxygen runs out..............:thumb
 

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Curmudgeon
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To old!!!! I'm 63 bought my 1st harley this past July sportster 1200L, take everyones advice and wear bright colored clothing let them know you aren't to old. Hell I was planing on buying one before I died, even if I was in my 80's and could only polish the dam thing. 51 your just getin broken in. oh cheez almost forgit, Welcome!!
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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I would be interested in knowing other people's perspectives on a middle age guy "starting - over" on a street bike
Are you kiddin' ?
Why do you think Harley sold more units than Honda last year?

That's not from young guys.
That's from all of us old guys who have paid their dues and decided to start spending their kid's inheritance.

I went without a Harley for 25 years, went 30 years between purchases.

I went in 2005 and got 2 of 'em. I suggest you do the same.

Welcome back !

BTW, memorize this, it works very well with a little age mixed in..

Once you establish yourself as an eccentric,
you rarely have to explain your actions.
 

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Johnny Dangerously
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Yeah....but if you brought a flashlight with you, you can at least read till the oxygen runs out..............:thumb
:rofl::rofl::rofl:

Never too old as long as you can keep 'er on two wheels and pointed in the right direction...
 

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Your never too old - go get that bike your eyeing. Like KBOLsen said - it isn't too late till they close the box lid. So you go get that bike and then post some pictures. You will have a great Mid life crisis. Welcome to the forum.
 

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SNAFU organizer
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The skills will come back pretty fast. If you told me youd never even been on a bicycle then I'd be worried. Dirt riders ussually have a lot more respect for that front tire/ brake too. Which is still a healthy thing when your riding street. Oldr riders just break easier and dont mend as fast.
 

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Yeah...what they said.
Get a bike that feels right for you, take an MSF course...take the bike to some empty parking lots and ride it till you are comfortable with low speed maneuvers and gradually pick it up from there. Learn your braking thresholds (how much brake you can apply before locking the wheels) and your lean angles on both sides (get used to the sound and feel of scraping the boards/pegs in turns). Remember one thing...dirtbikes and streetbikes are different animals so don't put your foot down into the turns (MX style) and front brake, front brake, front brake. Also, I'd recommend some engine guards (and if you get a bagger, some bag guards) to protect your investment. Now, personally, for the first few hundred miles and the first couple of gravity checks, I recommend a cheap beater bike...an old metric bike that you don't care about (get it for a couple of hundred bucks) to learn on and lay down...but that's just my opinion.
You will not regret getting into street riding, at all. I love dirtbike riding, but there is something about the freedom of the open road that is indescribable. Ride safe and keep the rubber down and keep us posted (with pictures, too).

JD
 

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Fla Cajun
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I'm 55 and bought my first Harley about 6 months ago. Love every minute of it, Kids are grown and gone. Now it's time for dad to play. Go for it, you will love it,and if you don't, you'll allways kick yourself.
 

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I was buying some new chaps and met a lady of a mere 78 yrs who was taking the safety course to get her license. She had bought a Honda 250 Rebel and was getting ready to ride. No, you're not too old. I met this old biker named OLLIE (About 80 yo) last spring and he summed it all up. Ollie said, "A life without danger is like sex without a partner. You will probably get to the end of it alright, but it just ain't all that much fun."
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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"A life without danger is like sex without a partner. You will probably get to the end of it alright, but it just ain't all that much fun."
That's a classic.................
 

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Go for it......would take one of the classes and try a touring bike bef ore you buy...

68 and just got an 09 RK......
 

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Check out ridelikeapro.com for some "how to" riding tips and training if you're interested.
PS - This is a really excellent forum. You'll be glad you found it!
Cheers.
 

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Check out ridelikeapro.com for some "how to" riding tips and training if you're interested.
PS - This is a really excellent forum. You'll be glad you found it!
Cheers.
:thumb:thumb:thumb
 

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Go for it. Jethro Tull said in a great song - "you're never too old to Rock'n'Roll if you're too young to die." Same for riding. Just take a MSF course first - its well worth the investment. By the way, my wife started riding at age 45 and has her own HD. :USA:
 
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