Riding While Retired: Motorcycle Safety

So now that you’re retired and have all the time in the world to get out there on the open road, where will your motorcycle take you? The sky’s the limit, if you love traveling the highways, byways and backroads of America. Maybe you’re pulling your bike back out in your 60s after devoting yourself to a growing family for 30 years, or maybe you’ve never stopped cycling but it’s been tough to schedule in “me” time over the years.

Older bike enthusiasts are making a triumphant return to their hobby, which means more and more older riders are starting to hit the road.

Sadly, sometimes nostalgia comes with a price. Motorcycle fatalities can and do happen, and they don’t just happen to young people. Statistics show that those over 50 (particularly men) experience the most motorcycle fatalities, at 35 percent. 

Why Older = Riskier

You may wonder why there is an increase in motorcycle deaths for older adults. Here are some reasons. 

  • Baby Boomers: This age group comprises a large part of the population, with many fitting right into the biker demographic. It’s simple reasoning, then, that more people translates to more bikers on the road. 
  • Decreased skills: If you placed your bike under a tarp in the shed for your 30s and didn’t take up the hobby again till your 50s or 60s, you understandably won’t have the same skillset you used to. Not only are your reflexes slower, your balance is a bit off, too.  
  • Newer bikes: The bikes of today are bigger and faster, handling differently than older motorcycles did. They often require a big learning curve and are tougher to drive, particularly in hazardous conditions.
  • Slower reaction times: As you get older, your reflexes and reaction times are slowing down, which makes you more vulnerable to injuries and overheating, which in turn affects the thought process.

Seasoned Rider Safety

It’s always a good idea to refresh your safety skills every couple of years, despite how old you are. There are plenty of free and paid beginner, intermediate, and advanced motorcycle safety courses you can take in your area. Here are some tips every older rider should heed when hopping back on their bikes:

  • Ensure comfort. Even the simplest of handlebar or seat adjustments can make all the difference in comfort, saving you from experiencing stiffness after riding.
  • Understand and adjust your reaction times. Go on some practice runs, all while checking your braking and maneuvering times.
  • Avoid riding at night. It’s no secret that night vision worsens as we age. As a reminder, you should be keeping up with your regular eye exams every year. 
  • Review your medications to make sure it’s safe to take them while driving a motorcycle.

Ship your bike. If you’re going very long distances to reach your destination, you may consider shipping your motorcycle, at least for one or the other half of your journey. This way, you can still enjoy the destination but you won’t be on the roadway as long.

Contact AA Motorcycle

If you decide to ship your motorcycle, we have excellent rates and can even give you a free instant quote. Tell us a few things about your shipment and get a free quote now.

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