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Curious to hear stories on how your riding buddies made the decision to hang it up and stop riding. Assuming most here are still riding.

Had one of the guys I rode with that had a couple close calls and decided it was enough for him. I can't argue or give someone a hard time regarding that, you have to trust your instincts.

Interested in what others think on the topic.

Been in a re-think myself. Wondering if overlanding (off-pavement) or a convertible (on-pavement) is the better path forward. Two broken bones and surgeries in 8 months will do that to you...
 

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Curious to hear stories on how your riding buddies made the decision to hang it up and stop riding. Assuming most here are still riding.

Had one of the guys I rode with that had a couple close calls and decided it was enough for him. I can't argue or give someone a hard time regarding that, you have to trust your instincts.

Interested in what others think on the topic.

Been in a re-think myself. Wondering if overlanding (off-pavement) or a convertible (on-pavement) is the better path forward. Two broken bones and surgeries in 8 months will do that to you...
For me it will be when it stops being fun or if it becomes physically not possible to continue. I have been riding since my early teens, I continued through two hip replacements at 50 and stopped off road riding at 62 due to bad shoulders. I started Adventure riding last year and I am having a blast. Ride on!
 

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My neighbor stopped riding his wing at 75 and his scooter at 80. A buddy of mine is 76 and has no problems riding his RT.
I know another guy who is 78 and is very fast but made a mistake and totaled his GS. Broke some ribs and leg bones. He says he's done.
I'm 68 and hope I know when to stop when the time comes.
 

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Good topic Krons. I'll keep street riding as long as I can. At 63, as long as I stay healthy, I've got a number of good years left. The trips I've been doing with a buddy the last 5 years have been amazing. Elements and all. I had a really bad accident years ago but got another bike as soon as I was able to ride again.

A couple of years ago I was stopped at a red light when a pickup coming the other way ran it. He swerved around the car coming into the intersection and headed right at me. Then was able to tuck back in as he passed by me on the left. It all happened in a few seconds. I had to pull over and gather myself. We're certainly vulnerable.....

I don't off road (except the occasional dirt road) on my GS. I bought it for the ergos.

I have a Yamaha TW200 that I've got the good fortune to be able to off road at an estate near me. I've got myself into a little trouble on it a few times, but my fear of falling keeps me on the easy trails. Perfect bike for my size and (lack,of) skill level. I can see giving up riding the TW before the GS.
 

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I had two serious accidents many years ago, neither of which were my fault and were unavoidable. First one cost me a broken femur only, but it was bad, and I wasted casted for months. Second one, car made a U turn in from of me at 40 MPH (didn't see me). I cost me a one month stay in the hospital with a 8 day coma.
The inherent danger of riding a motorcycle is always there. However, for some reason it didn't stop me from riding. I had a Harley for 12 years , and now I just bought a 2011 GS which I love. It;'s so nice (and safer) , to have a high seating position, and my eyes are always scanning the road for potential danger.
I completely understand why some folks call it quits. However, It's just too much fun & I figure I'd rather die doing what I love than to play it safe and be miserable.
 

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I would like to think my mind and body will allow me to ride for many more years. At 58 and retirement now in sight, I have many adventures planned in my head. I once read somewhere a quote that said ....If you ride long enough it's going to kill you, the hope is something else get you first.
 
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For me it will be when it stops being fun
Great answer that strongly resonates with me as well! "Stops being fun" could mean due to aches, mobility issues, slower response time or just simply you want to have a change. I'll admit that I absolutely wish for a GTI or Miata (or S2000) sometimes on 300+ miles days when the heat is intense or the rain is on/off/on/off and the sun is setting. My wife is with me 99% of the time and we like to communicate over an 8hr ride.....so, that would be easier in a car. Shorts & a t-shirt with a cold water taken freshly out of a cooler sounds gooooood! An old Jeep is cheap enough w/ great resale value to boot. So many great sportscars. You likely always find stuff to buy when you ride through small towns but never have room.

Fear of riding has never entered into my thoughts & I have stories to share to include a dump truck pulling right in front of me (at speed) one time that I barely evaded. My point is that I personally wouldn't choose to stop riding due to fear of death or injury as a consideration. I would stop if I find a more fun outlet like a Jeep/GTI in my estimation. Don S really nailed it. I still love to ride & did 310 miles yesterday w/ my wife. I got into riding for the performance and some sportscars today are just extreme performance machines that weren't nearly as potent/competent when I started riding street. Plate, screws, lingering ACL separation issue and broken bones + a gnarly concussion from a high-side. Doesn't enter my decision process. Just all-day comfort & performance of a car/Jeep seems more & more appealing....sad but true.

You have to decide what fun looks like for you today....not yesterday or a year ago. Good luck to you! Lots of stories of folks in the same boat, injuries or near-miss situations. I feel it's your time to hang it up if you're even considering it. Motorcycling is a passion sport. Nobody would judge you.

Perhaps stop riding for a month or two and see how you feel(?). I did that for ~2yrs and it rekindled the passion. Again - good luck & Godspeed!

I have a Yamaha TW200
Love it. I'm looking at two TW's for my wife & I both. Super portable, reliable, cheap.
 

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Me and my buddies often discuss this......
Fear of dying is never an issue
As we age the bikes will have to get lighter......thats for sure.....
So health will decide when we stop!
But the freedom of mind and soul on a motorcycle....hell thats unparalleled
 

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At the end of each ride I ask myself if I'm pleased with how it went. Sometimes the ride highlights some skill that I have to work on a bit more or some aspect of the bike that I was unfamiliar with. I think that active reflection is the best way of keeping track of diminishing skills. I also try to get a 1 day spring refresher course in each year or two and hopefully the instructors' feedback will make me more aware of issues that may be creeping in.
 

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I am 59, small guy. I have already planned. When I can't handle the weight of my GSA anymore, I will switch over Ural sidecar. I hope that I still have many more years before I have to retire my GSA.
 

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Good topic Krons. I'll keep street riding as long as I can. At 63, as long as I stay healthy, I've got a number of good years left. The trips I've been doing with a buddy the last 5 years have been amazing. Elements and all. I had a really bad accident years ago but got another bike as soon as I was able to ride again.

A couple of years ago I was stopped at a red light when a pickup coming the other way ran it. He swerved around the car coming into the intersection and headed right at me. Then was able to tuck back in as he passed by me on the left. It all happened in a few seconds. I had to pull over and gather myself. We're certainly vulnerable.....

I don't off road (except the occasional dirt road) on my GS. I bought it for the ergos.

I have a Yamaha TW200 that I've got the good fortune to be able to off road at an estate near me. I've got myself into a little trouble on it a few times, but my fear of falling keeps me on the easy trails. Perfect bike for my size and (lack,of) skill level. I can see giving up riding the TW before the GS.
[/
 

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I'm 63 in less than a month. Over the last decade, I've been endeavoring to do the things on motorcycles I did in my twenties. I raced in WERA in my late teens/early twenties so I bought an S1000RR and put myself through all four levels of the California Superbike School's camps and did a number of track days. One of the things I really enjoyed doing back then was taking my street legal race bike up into the N. Georgia/Western NC hills for 2 - 3 days of riding with 400 mile days being typical. I've now done rides on that bike out into the hillbilly twisties of W. Virginia for 350 - 400 mile days. I also grew up on dirt bikes - mainly trail riding and never really got in to MX. In the last several years I've done the full Trans America Trail on a KLR 650 and done similar to more gnarly rides on my 1200GS but lately have been sharing rides with my 16 year old daughter - me on my WR250R and her on her KLX140G.

What I've learned from all this is that, if I'm patient and take time to build my skills back, I can ride at a level now that's close to what I did back in my invincible youth. Maybe a lot of it is that the bikes are so much more capable now and maybe a little of it is that I keep myself in pretty decent shape. But the one thing I've also learned loud and clear is that I don't heal nearly as quickly or completely as I did back in my youth. And that's quite a big factor in what I'll be doing in my 60's and beyond. A sore shoulder resulting from an energetic dirt nap is still bothering me several months later. Busted ribs that didn't quite heal right sometimes wake me up at night when I roll over just so.

So, when I say that I've surrendered to my advancing years, to me that means that I manage risks much more closely and accept less risk on any kind of ride. I stopped doing track days because there are too many idiots out there that think it's a race day and don't understand that you can improve and still end the day putting your bike and yourself back in the truck with both of you whole and uninjured. That's the same reason my daughter and I don't ride MX now when all her friends are headed to the track. They've all been in the hospital almost always because of some other idiot taking them out and not their own fault so we do lazy rides through the woods.

I imagine I'll be doing trail rides with my grandkids in a few years. Where I used to do 600-800 mile days on road/ADV trips, I now feel like a 300 - 400 mile day is enough time in the saddle. But I still take off for week+ trips every year camping off the bike and have a very long bucket list of places I want to ride before my "use by" date arrives.

Keeping myself in shape, managing risks on the rides, and a very understanding wife and family means that I hope to be enjoying my two-wheel therapy for many years to come.
 

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Bobmanz
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I am 59, small guy. I have already planned. When I can't handle the weight of my GSA anymore, I will switch over Ural sidecar. I hope that I still have many more years before I have to retire my GSA.
I have a 2017 Gear Up I'll sell you!!! All jokes aside, I bought the Ural so I'd never have to stop riding to work here in MD throughout the winter, and what did I do this past January, rode my 2013 oil head instead of the Ural, and promptly totaled in when I hit a "frosty" patch on a turn going about 50. And while I've since replaced the 2013 with a gently used 2018 GSA, I'll be happy to see the Ural removed from my garage...through the roof fun factor, buried deep in a swamp frustration factor.
 

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Bobmanz
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I've been commuting to work here on the "unfriendly to two wheelers east coast" for quite a number of years, because of course I love to ride, but also because parking at my place of employment is so horrendous. And while I'm single digit years away from retirement, I'm curious myself what the future has in store when I no longer need to compete for parking. I've always said that once retired I'll be in a better position to retrace various cross country trips, Prudhoe Bay, Trans Labrador Hwy, etc., however, looking back on all of them, none were without some very close calls, and makes me ponder whether I'm getting closer to hanging up my helmet (a broken ankle 20 miles south of PB made for an uncomfortable 5k+ ride back to MD). And after totaling my 2013 GSA this past January (fortunately only another broken ankle, the other ankle), I began to think way more about calling it quits, that was up until I found a pristine 2018 GSA in FL! As much as I hate to say this, and hope I'm not jinxing myself, but I think it's gonna take another spill, hopefully not life threatening, to call it a day......that's until I find a replacement for the 2018 😬
 

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I’ve been pronounced expectant to die more than once from my multiple, motorcycle accidents. Got the last visit after losing 40% of my skin, told another time it would be six months before I learned to walk again, had emergency brain surgery, etc etc. all different incidents/accidents.

I’m 65 now and the youngest of a bunch of guys pushing 80 who can all outride me on their various Ducati’s, BMW’s, KTM’s, and yes even a Harley Davidson Pan America. Sheesh.

My most regular and favorite riding partner is 83. He lost his left arm and fingers off the right arm when they were blown off in a high tension, power line incident. He now has an artificial left arm, three fingers on the right hand and his right thumb is one of his former, big toes.

Five years later he fell off his roof and his right leg was amputated just below the knee. The first doc told him he needed to have a goal in rehabilitation. When he said to ride his motorcycle, the doc said, “No, it has to be a realistic goal.” So my buddy hobbled out and found another doc. Now he has an artificial, lower, right leg in addition to all of the above. He had a 1500 Suzuki with 135,000 miles on it but found an exactly, identical one with only 5,000 miles. So we changed all his accessories over, including the metal loop he gets his hook into on the clutch lever.

He’s got to have more than a million miles from his stories he tells. He is an inspiration to generations of riders in my small, SW Missouri hometown.

He ain’t quitin’. Never has and maybe never will. I spent my life as a Green Beret in Special Forces and this guy inspires me because he doesn’t need a beret or a tab. He just does what he has to to get the most enjoyment out of life he can.

I’ve written so much with my thumbs on my phone now, I done forgot . . . Why you thinkin’ ‘bout quittin’ riding again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I’ve been pronounced expectant to die more than once from my multiple, motorcycle accidents. Got the last visit after losing 40% of my skin, told another time it would be six months before I learned to walk again, had emergency brain surgery, etc etc. all different incidents/accidents.

I’m 65 now and the youngest of a bunch of guys pushing 80 who can all outride me on their various Ducati’s, BMW’s, KTM’s, and yes even a Harley Davidson Pan America. Sheesh.

My most regular and favorite riding partner is 83. He lost his left arm and fingers off the right arm when they were blown off in a high tension, power line incident. He now has an artificial left arm, three fingers on the right hand and his right thumb is one of his former, big toes.

Five years later he fell off his roof and his right leg was amputated just below the knee. The first doc told him he needed to have a goal in rehabilitation. When he said to ride his motorcycle, the doc said, “No, it has to be a realistic goal.” So my buddy hobbled out and found another doc. Now he has an artificial, lower, right leg in addition to all of the above. He had a 1500 Suzuki with 135,000 miles on it but found an exactly, identical one with only 5,000 miles. So we changed all his accessories over, including the metal loop he gets his hook into on the clutch lever.

He’s got to have more than a million miles from his stories he tells. He is an inspiration to generations of riders in my small, SW Missouri hometown.

He ain’t quitin’. Never has and maybe never will. I spent my life as a Green Beret in Special Forces and this guy inspires me because he doesn’t need a beret or a tab. He just does what he has to to get the most enjoyment out of life he can.

I’ve written so much with my thumbs on my phone now, I done forgot . . . Why you thinkin’ ‘bout quittin’ riding again?
@dannyleo if my question could draw post #2 out of you in 7 years being on this forum I suppose it deserves a response.
🙂

Unlike many of you I have a dozen or so years yet before retirement. Broke my fibula this past Fall in a 15 mph gravel road lowside on the GSA. July 5 was riding my DR650 with a group on a dirt road and picked a bad line, front wheel caught a rut and pitched me off at 10-15 mph landing on my shoulder breaking my collarbone. So two surgeries in 8 months, hence the rethink.

Unlike the first incident I'm not itching to get back on the bike. Not scared but not antsy to ride. My current plan is to stick to pavement for a period of time and re-evaluate getting back to gravel and dirt. Hence my ask to gather some wisdom and insight here, lots of great replies to this thread.
 

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I recommend getting some professional training. I’ve done a slew of courses trying to figure out what I did wrong when they found me unconscious and unresponsive in a ditch in Montana. I’ve got another at the BMW Performance Center already paid for and awaiting scheduling now. The training will not only improve your skills, but possibly even more importantly, improve your confidence and inspire you to keep riding. Thanks to you for your inspiration to me to finally post something. 🙂
 

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You don’t stop moving because you get old, rather you get old because you stop moving. Find passions that give you joy. If it’s motorcycling good, if it’s other things, also good. If you follow your passions to the fullest, the fullest is how life will be. Just beware of “someday”, make sure it’s today. I wish you well in your decision.
 

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Curious to hear stories on how your riding buddies made the decision to hang it up and stop riding. Assuming most here are still riding.

Had one of the guys I rode with that had a couple close calls and decided it was enough for him. I can't argue or give someone a hard time regarding that, you have to trust your instincts.

Interested in what others think on the topic.

Been in a re-think myself. Wondering if overlanding (off-pavement) or a convertible (on-pavement) is the better path forward. Two broken bones and surgeries in 8 months will do that to you...
I am a bit younger than most of the guys replying here by about 10 - 15 years. Most of my riding buddies stop when the wify decides its kiddies time and boom gone is the bike and pram duty starts. One or two other have been in serious accidents and decided it was enough. South African roads are not the safest for motorists let alone bikers

Me was in a accident, bike totaled luckily walked away with broken rib and a few road burns. Every time I stop at the traffic intersection it happened the accident flashes in my head.

Would like to ride till I hear the call of Valkyrie and go to Valhalla...
 

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I've got a few things on my bucket list like beekeeping, gardening, sailing, and having a proper wood shop for making sawdust. I'm relaxed about where these things are on the list. There will be time for those things as I hang up my riding boots - or not, and I'm OK with that.
 
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