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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Age taking its toll on me

I was late to motorcycling, not having my first bike until I was almost 40. But I've been riding for the last almost 35 years now and without a doubt it is a major factor in my life. I've given in to my age in that I now own a really luxurious bike, a new Goldwing, something that I used to call a Buick with two wheels. But I fear that age is still exerting its negative toll on me. Last weekend I went out for the day with my wife, taking about a 2 hour ride, stopping for a nice lunch, and then about 2 hours to get home. Weather was perfect, the bike worked perfectly, but by the time we got home I was really, really tired. I guess I can live with limiting myself to day rides, but it is discouraging to think that my days of taking a real road trip may be over. I plan to go to Americade in June, but that means three full days of riding each way, and suddenly I am having doubts about not so much being able to do it but whether or not I can enjoy such a trip. On the other hand I fear that if I cancel this planned solo trip (my wife has no interest in being on the bike for days on end) this year, I may truly not be up to doing this anytime in the future as age only moves in one direction.

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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 11:38 AM
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My aunt and uncle are about your age. They have enjoyed riding for years all my life anyway.
For several years after retirement they would travel with a few other couples for weeks on end.
They might be away on bikes for a month or more at a time. All over the US and Canada.

First they went to a trike. And that allowed them to continue for a couple more years.

Now they have a "toy hauler" that allows them to take a bike with them and have a very nice camper.
They still travel all over but the camper becomes home base for a few days.

They had to change some things but have been able to adapt and enjoy to their new limits.

Age gets us all, we stop, we die. Just got to figure out what your new limits are and live with-in them.

I'm not saying you should take your trip, that's up to you. Maybe not all of it needs to be on two wheels.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 12:24 PM
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Age wears on us all. I am impressed that your still rolling a Golding in your 70's. That is impressive. Enjoy that, not the limitations. I lost both my parents before they got to 75, just saying.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 02:02 PM
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I'm impressed. I can only hope to keep riding at that time in my life. I have been riding since a kid but I can tell the age is catching up. The wing does get a little heavy at times. (like 2 up with the wife) I have been thinking a bout a smaller adventure type bike for short runs to the mountains. For now though, I will keep the wing going.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 02:52 PM
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Vito I'm 71 and suffering the same limitations you describe. Just 10 years ago I rode 6-800 miles a day but now I'm limited, by fatigue, to 300 to 350. My advice is, if you're as passionate about this as I am, adjust your riding to what is comfortable. I assume you're retired meaning time shouldn't be an issue so slow down and enjoy the ride.

The goal is to live forever or die trying.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 02:57 PM
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There is one other thing for us septuagenarians; there are not a lot of us out riding motorcycles so we're usually alone.

The goal is to live forever or die trying.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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I know I was complaining, but in truth I must say that I know how lucky I am in so many ways. I'm almost 74 and still riding. I have a wife of 51 years (hard to believe it) that means the world to me. I am certainly not rich but I can live modestly but OK in retirement. And despite my many ailments, most of the time I feel pretty good (gout is my latest challenge, but with medication the attacks are getting milder and further apart). I waited a long time before getting the Goldwing, and the other bikes I considered were just as heavy (a HD Road Glide Ultra, a Victory Cross Country Tour, and a BMW K1600, although that last one was really expensive and I'm glad I didn't care for it that much). I've decided that when the Wing is too much for me I will go down to Florida and get the Leg Up landing gear added to my bike. Right now the only challenges I find are when I ride two up, sometimes coming to a stop is a little shaky, and as I started this thread with, long days in the saddle. I think if my wife decides that she is done riding with me before I decide to call it quits I might, as an alternative, just buy a smaller bike but it sure will be hard giving up all the goodies on the GW. I most likely will persevere and go to Americade, after all I have motel reservations already made, and I guess if worst come to worst, I take four days each way instead of three, and that would bring it down to about 240 a day. Someone awhile ago told me that the hardest mile is the first mile from the driveway. Its all too easy to find reasons not to go on a road trip, like the weather threatening, or family issues at home, or just the uncertainty of long travel solo on a motorcycle. Last fall I went down to the Dragon, and the Cherohala and the Blue Ridge Parkway and had a great trip, but it took a lot to just get going that first morning. Thanks to all for the encouraging words.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 04:18 PM
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I understand complete where you are vito. I'm just a little ways behind you but I feel my wreck robbed me of 10 years. I'm pretty tired all the time. I have a 2 day trip planned that I'm actually looking forward to but dreading at the same time. There was a time I'd think nothing of it. In fact I'd go 1,000 miles in 2 days and just be tired but ready for more. This trip is just 700 miles but I know how I'll feel when I get back home. But after arranging for a critter sitter I'm going. Provided my road doesn't get washed out. Yep, rain is predicted for the day before and when we ride. So far just dreading being tired. No bad vibes yet.

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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 04:33 PM
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Vito, riding 2 up on a wing @75 is impressive. You're doing what most guys at any age only wish they could. Keep it up!

At 70 I'm just a few years behind you. I too sometimes get bummed that I can no longer do the things that were once so easy.

I still ride my sport tourer nearly every day and hope to continue riding for years to come.

If there's any truth to there being an after life, then I'll upgrade to a faster bike when I get there!

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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe you all could indulge me telling a story that I have told before, so delete this post if you've read this from me before. But way back in about 1990 or 1991 I went to the Rider Magazine rally (yes, the same magazine that is still around and I have no idea why they stopped sponsoring rallies), and it was the first national rally I had ever been to. They were giving out "gag" type prizes for various categories, such as Oldest Rider, Rider Who Came the Furthest, Oldest Bike Ridden to the Rally, and some others, but one gentleman won all three of the prizes that I named. He was 85 and had ridden solo on a 30 year old BMW from San Diego (the rally was in Athens, Ohio) and was continuing on to Boston, I believe, for a grandchild's wedding. A lot of folks wanted to talk to him, maybe hoping whatever it was that kept him able to ride cross country at 85 might rub off on them. He said he hoped that one day, not to soon however, he would miss a stop sign and be taken out for good by a semi, doing what he loved. I never got his name, but he became my idol right then and there. If you would have asked me two or three years ago if I would still be riding at 85 I would said "of course", but honestly, I'm not so sure anymore. In fact, maybe I should just hope to still be on the green side of the grass when I reach 85, an age that so many make it to. And this past February at the motorcycle show in Chicago I ran into a guy who told me he was 80 and still riding his little Sportster (I refrained from asking him why wasn't he on a real motorcycle). Guys like that are what give me real hope for the future.

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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 05:27 PM
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That's a good story, Vito.

A couple of years ago I was talking with a rider who was 84. He was a regular at a local bike hangout at the Carolina Brewery. He had a big old BMW touring bike. We were talking and he was smoking a cigarette.

Just then a young guy rode in and parked near us. He noted we both had Beemers and he said "you know those BMW rear drives don't last long". Then he asked the old guy if he ever replaced the rear drive. Old guy said "nope." The young smart aleck asked "how many miles are on that rear drive?" The old guy said "184,000". The younger guy skulked away and the old guy and I shared a good laugh.

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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 10:22 PM
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 11:23 PM
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You are doing good Vito. I thought the very first Gold Wing was heavy, back in the seventies when I was a bit younger.
Pushing my 560 pound Yamaha around is work enough. That is the dry weight, and add the bags and other junk.
Fortunately for me, Shirley is 105 pounds, maybe 110 with a full tank. I was thinking of cutting an inch of foam out of the seat. That would get my feet closer to the ground, and Shirley would get one more inch of view. I will be 71 in July.

I just visited my brother in NZ. He will be 73 in August. His back is bothering him the most, and that limits his activities. He rides a 150 Honda.
He is also losing muscle tone. Arthritis stops him from banging nails. Yet the dopey bugger has more things on his plate than I do.

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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 12:00 AM
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My situation is exactly like yours except that my bike is broke and I fear that I may never ride again.
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 04:36 AM
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One of my best friends is 81 vito and is still riding. But his all day every day rides are now down to around 130 once or twice a week. Last year it was 225 a couple times a week. So he is slowing down. Proof of how much is this 700 mile trip is with the breakfast gang we have where he would normally go with us. He is not this year. He's the one that started the breakfast gang and once a year trips to some place none had been or wanted to go back to. It's really sad that he won't be going with us. We even talked about not going because we wanted him with us so much. One other dropped out 3 years ago. He was 82 at the time. Now he's in poorer health and has stopped riding completely about eight months ago. What I keep seeing is if you've been riding all your life, once you stop you go downhill fast. Not saying that's the cause but the 2 seem to go hand in hand. So keep riding as long as you can. I plan on it as well as I just don't like the signs of not riding. I'm pretty sure I won't make 80 though. 75 is the oldest anyone in my family tree seems to get. So my sign are all there. They are just a little lower now.

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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 10:34 PM
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Maybe your age is taking it's toll cause you're not wearing pants? At your age, do us all a favor and wear pants. j/k
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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I have wondered why my legs get so cold!

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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 02:04 PM
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Riding at 74 is awesome! I'm still many years away but I'm starting to feel it already. I hop I'm still riding when I reach my 70's.
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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 02:44 PM
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I am going on 70 and just bought my first bike in 25 years. Just changed the oil and have couple of things yet before I start her up. A used Suzuki 650 single....it is light and low powered. I don't plan on any double riding and just local adventures. Now if I can just get the courage to start it up and don the helmet.
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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 03:12 PM
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Wow. Just wow. I am 24 and already had to get rid of my Goldwing because it became too heavy for my knee.(My job is very strenuous being a truck drive in the marines) and I miss it every day. Just the fact that you are 74 and still going gives me so much motivation to never let this (hobby) way of life go, especially since I love it so much.


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post #21 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 12:29 AM
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--

Vito, here's the deal. About five years ago, or so, when I was in my early 70's, I had a GoldWing. Never liked that bugger. It was too top heavy, the pegs bent my artificial knees too much, and I was too far from the ground when I stopped. The power was great, the cornering was terrific, and the seat was comfortable. But I just never felt at home.

My current RoadStars are so different. They're both equipped the same with Ultimate seats and forward floorboards. They will corner (even with a car tire on the rear--LOL) with more lean than I have nerve to test. They have power enough to haul about 550# of rider/passenger with stability and still get over 50 mpg. In fact, I ride two-up often on daily rides of up to 300 miles with no more fatigue than going single. And I ride about 20,000 miles in a normal year.

My point is two fold. First, your bike has to be more comfortable than any chair you sit in at home. Second, you have to keep, or get, acclimated to riding by doing so to build up your tolerance. These days, if I don't get out at least once per week, my muscles really start to lose their conditioning.

What I hated doing (on many thousand mile trips) was the forced scheduled arriving at a town because I had a reservation there; eating at fast food stops; and loading/unloading my heavy packs on the bike each day. Anymore I'll be hauling the bike to a location, camping at an r.v. park, and riding out from there each day on more local scenic rides. For example, this coming June, one stop will be in the area of the 3 Sisters in south-central TX. The roads there are rated highly and each night I'll be back in my own abode.

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post #22 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 03:08 AM
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As someone (I believe) a few years older than you, I must say that for quite a while now I no longer ride with a passenger.

There is a number of reasons: prospects have mostly lost interest, I like to ride on the "sporty side" but dislike being responsible for the safety of another fellow human being, and - last but not least - I no longer feel I have the physical strength to handle the motorcycle comfortable enough for a passenger, and of sufficient power for two-up travel. I however see no immediate end for my multi-day solo sport touring on a 450 pound bike.

Perhaps this thread should be a morsel of wisdom to our young friends here: get your significant other her own bike. The sooner, the better! (Failing that, find a significant other that already has one .
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post #23 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 03:29 AM
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As someone (I believe) a few years older than you, I must say that for quite a while now I no longer ride with a passenger.

There is a number of reasons: prospects have mostly lost interest, I like to ride on the "sporty side" but dislike being responsible for the safety of another fellow human being, and - last but not least - I no longer feel I have the physical strength to handle the motorcycle comfortable enough for a passenger, and of sufficient power for two-up travel. I however see no immediate end for my multi-day solo sport touring on a 450 pound bike.

Perhaps this thread should be a morsel of wisdom to our young friends here: get your significant other her own bike. The sooner, the better! (Failing that, find a significant other that already has one .
So just how much older than 74 are you. Us older farts like to know so we can be inspired to keep going. Are you riding a sport bike too to do this sporty riding. I simply can't anymore so right there ya got me.

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post #24 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 06:58 AM
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I've got only 2 years on you; the difference is probably below the accuracy of measurement

No, I'm not riding a sports bike. I ride an old CB750, which is someting that used to be called a "road bike" then, and would probably be called "sport-tourer" today. The same as I can't handle something over 500 pounds, I cant get my spine and extremities into the knot required to ride a 600 R or RR for more than 15 minutes.

Why is Honda refusing to bring here any of their contemporary mid-displacement, liquid cooled in-line four "road bikes" that they sell in Europe and Japan (for instance CB650F) is beyond me. My bike is ready for replacement, and it appears I mellowed with age since I am quite prepared to ride a liquid-cooled motorcycle.
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post #25 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 07:32 AM
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Yesterday's "3 1/2 hour ride" (as posted in the chat box) SHOULDN'T have taken as much out of my shoulders, arms and hands, as it did.

Tried to figure out the reasons:

-I'm 60
-My wife was on the back
-It was all squirrly back roads
-about 50% of it was "stop-n-go"
-First extended ride of 2017
-First really HOT day of this year

My responses to these factors?

-"60" is not all THAT old!
-The wife is a GREAT "rider!"
-Highway would have been easier!
-Highway would have been easier!
-Conditioning is EVERYTHING!
-Hydrated and took breaks, but still.

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post #26 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 02:35 PM
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I don't know if I were you I would downgrade to a lighter motorcycle but comfortable and acceptably fast. Maybe a cruiser or naked/standard. Anything in between 700 CC to 949 CC will do fine. Wife must get used to the lack of back rest though. I'm sure she'll understand
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post #27 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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In recent years I've had a Triumph America (about 550 pounds but it felt very under-powered for two-up riding on the highway), and then a Triumph Thunderbird (750 pounds and plenty of power but just as uncomfortable for the passenger as was the America). I bought the Goldwing in part to make it more comfortable for my wife, who rides with me more often than not. Of the various bikes we took for demo rides which were the BMW K1600, the Victory Cross Country Tour, the HD Road Guide Ultra and the Goldwing, both of us preferred the Goldwing over the other bikes. And while I enjoy riding solo, we have found riding a few hours and stopping for a leisurely lunch, then riding a few hours to get home makes for a great day. It just isn't the same when I am by myself, so passenger comfort is critical. And she absolutely would not ride without a backrest for the sense of security it gives her.

But I agree that at some point in the possibly not too distant future the Goldwing will be just too big and heavy for me to still feel comfortable handling. That's when I have a few choices including converting it to a trike, adding the Landing Gear wheels, or downsizing to a smaller bike. If my wife continues to want to ride with me the Landing Gear is my clear choice. If she decides she's had enough motorcycling (she is 70) then I would seriously consider a smaller bike or possibly a Suzuki Burgman mega-scooter.

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post #28 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 04:58 PM
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Hmmmm. I hope you find your solution. If passenger's comfort is at its upmost importance a three wheelermight be your best bet. Very comfortable.
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post #29 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 06:22 PM
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Hmmmm. I hope you find your solution. If passenger's comfort is at its upmost importance a three wheelermight be your best bet. Very comfortable.
When considering the comfort of the Three Wheel Option, don't discount the fun of a sidecar. Very comfortable for the passenger and a new and unique challenge to the rider.
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post #30 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 07:26 PM
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Vito, get out and do a few day rides of 200 to 300 miles each. Like everything else, you will improve with practice. If I intend to do some 700 mile days I will ride 2 or 3 300 mile days first to get back to long distance riding readiness. Here I am at a mere 69 years old trying to give you advice.


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post #31 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 11:20 PM
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I love you "long riders" !!

Got 30+ in the saddle and at 50y.o. hope for another 30 if I can put down these cigs.

Recently sold off the KLR due to finances and shoulder surgery. Used the change to pick
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of my teenager kids. Highway pegs, vertical windshield, bucket seat. LOL Gotta be one of the stranger
looking rocket bikes around. I ain't sitting with my butt higher than my elbows at this age.

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post #32 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badlands-4-2 View Post
When considering the comfort of the Three Wheel Option, don't discount the fun of a sidecar. Very comfortable for the passenger and a new and unique challenge to the rider.
Let Vito have his woman's tight embrace okay.

Sidecar isn't very romantic or is it?
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post #33 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy Moi Ka Pek View Post
Let Vito have his woman's tight embrace okay.

Sidecar isn't very romantic or is it?
True you do not get that direct contact while riding, but the passenger seating is much more comfortable. So if the Mrs. is happy and comfortable that can lead to romance, later.
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post #34 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Badlands-4-2 View Post
True you do not get that direct contact while riding, but the passenger seating is much more comfortable. So if the Mrs. is happy and comfortable that can lead to romance, later.
LoL
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post #35 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 12:33 PM
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Will be 65 in December, I take 3 ibuprofen before going out on the longer rides. This will be my 5th trip to the Dragon in 4 years, and I love it. Hang tough Vito.

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post #36 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 01:13 PM
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Vito. I think you should consider getting The 2017 Harley And Davidson Tri Glide Ultra. Lastly maybe consider The 2017 Indian Scout Sixty With Their Optional Genuine Comfortable Pillion Seat and also Optional Genuine Comfortable Pillion BackRest And Optional Genuine Comfortable Rider BackRest. I would be happy with these two if I were you.
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post #37 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not giving up anytime soon. And a trike or sidecar is not a real option as they are just not motorcycles. That's why the Landing Gear option is appealing. But in honesty, I think my wife would probably like a sidecar. I don't plan on even mentioning it as an option!

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post #38 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 03:08 PM
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Mrs Snippets will not ride in the sidecar. So it is close contact for us.

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post #39 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 06:42 AM
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You guys are such hopeless romantics ;-)
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post #40 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 11:20 AM
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The matter of preference I guess. Landing Gears are like training wheels to me. Might as well get a trike.
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