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Important background. I was born in Townsend Montana back in 1955 but moved to Bismarck ND until I was 6yrs old. Then moved to Milwaukee WI. My dad had a 1973 350cc Harley Davidson Sprint which I drove from 14yrs old to 16yrs old. I also shared a 1973 Norton Commando 850cc with a high school friend. I bought a 350cc Honda CB in high school and rode that for a couple years until a car (that I had eye contact with) pulled from a stop sign on a side street and hit me broad side while I was on a highway. (3) breaks (3) fractures fibula and tibia and a crushed ankle along with a concussion and a sub-dural hematoma. Cast for 6 months and pins in the knee and ankle. I got married, had kids and then at age 60 I got Multiple Sclerosis. I lived with it for 4 years and then after 40 years of marriage my wife wanted to "do something else". So... She divorced me. My MS has now stabilized to the point I have occasional balance loss while walking. I have driven my jeep from Milw. to mid-North Dakota and back in a weekend (for a funeral) but I have given up scuba diving (certified open water), bungee jumping, rodeo clowning (certified American Bull-fighter), Karate (certified Purple belt in traditional Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate), Non-related bone marrow donor, blood donor. Now I am thinking of going back to motorcycle riding. I have a person interested in selling me his very nice 1964 Norton Atlas 750cc but I don't know if I want to work that hard to maintain a British bike. Another person wants to sell me his mint 1987 BMW K75S (52,000 miles). My questions are (with consideration to all of the above) A) should I even consider going back to motorcycling at all with the MS in mind. B) the BMW is very tempting and even if I bought it I could resell if it became a problem; but I am 6ft 1inch tall and when I sat on it (on the center stand) my toes touched the ground but I would want to ALWAYS have both feet firmly on the ground. My balance issues are only when I am exhausted by over-exertion. I hesitate to test drive someone elses bike but I am sure that I would be good if it was my own bike. AM I CRAZY for even thinking about biking again. My strength is excellent and I do not appear to be getting any worse. Looking for honest feed back. I am thanking you in advance.
 

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I have a good friend with MS, probably worse than what's afflicting you. She seems to have various motor control issues, and it seems to affect her reaction time, as well as balance. She's had several slow speed accidents in the past few years, as well as numerous falls. Your situation might be quite different. You have to dispassionately assess whether you will be able to maintain control under all conditions. If you can get a medical opinion, or have access to physical therapy counciling, those opinions might be very worthwhile to consider.

Once a motorcycle is up to speed, a loss of balance might not mean falling, but it could mean swerving, or having difficulty cornering. At stop sign speeds, or moving in and out of parking spots, balance really comes into play. Dropping a bike can mean an injury for the rider, as well as the bike.

That BMW is quite tall, and wouldn't be my first recommendation for a first bike, or a re-introduction bike. It might however, be a good investment to flip, if you can purchase at a friendly price. I'd recommend starting with something light and low so it can be more easily controlled at low speed, and inexpensive so you aren't tempted to "save the bike", if you get in an unfortunate situation. What style of riding are you thinking about? Highway? Around town? Off road?

Have you considered re-introducing yourself to riding with one of the three wheeled options? Harley and Honda trikes come up 2nd hand pretty often around here. Even safer are the reverse trikes, Can-Am, made by Polaris, Yamaha introduced a new 3 wheeler recently as well. Then, more traditional and stylish, in my opinion, are sidecar rigs. Ural rigs and aftermarket cars on various other machines come up 2nd hand fairly often. Any one of these will give you a generous portion of the fun of motorcycling without the low speed balance issues.

When my buddy dropped his V-Max and shattered his hip, the doc said one more fall might put him into a wheelchair. He sold all his bikes and used the money to buy a Porshe Boxster. There's more than one way to have fun!
 

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Seems to me, you're not the type of guy that's going to let anything stop him from doing what he wants to do.
I've never owned either of the bikes you listed, however it just might be easier to get parts for the newest one, if ever needed.
If balance is a real concern to you, the trike idea might be best.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your thoughtful insight. I am a pretty deliberate guy and I try to put some thought into what I do. I would be commuting the 20 minutes to work on the highway and mostly short 100 mile trip (at least at first). If I do really well I can always try longer rides. I am seeing a specialist who is monitoring my brain and spine and there are no new legions and have not been new ones for a couple years now. The K75S is mint and he want $2700.00 for it. with a single and a double seat all the paperwork so it would not "break the bank" even after the Ex took 60% of everything I worked for (she didn't work outside the house). I bought a Porsche 914 to work on, but it is constantly a work in progress and it is just not he same as a bike.
I guess I am not looking for anyone's "permission" but I value everyone's thoughts.
I won't judge you if your honest and I appreciate your opinions.

cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I never have been a "trike" kinda guy. Again no judgement, but I always felt that was like "cheating". They look fun and nice. I just would rather not.
 

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I feel the same as you about trikes. On the other hand, I'm definitely favorable to a sidecar rig, as a way to extend my riding season. It's also about the only way I'll be able to give the friend I mentioned a ride. I think that a lot of ladies who would never consider hopping on the back of a motorcycle, would be willing to park their assets in a nicely appointed sidecar.

I'm all for getting back into riding. I did it myself, after a LONG hiatus.

One thing I have noticed from reading forums is that a substantial percentage of accidents that take older riders out of the saddle, seem to occur at very low, or zero speed. Things like dropping the bike on yourself while pushing it up on a trailer, or after tripping on clutter while pushing it around the garage, that might be merely painful and embarrassing to a younger rider, can cause slow to heal fractures in an older rider. Or like my friend, slipping on a little gravel patch with a brand new and slippery tire, while coming out of his own driveway, and ending up slammed to the ground and pinned under a heavy bike. That tiny, mundane accident ended his riding career. These are things that can be mitigated, or avoided with a little forethought. Getting help when loading, keeping your storage area clear of tools and materials, taking a parking spot across the street that's a little easier to get into, and so on, can prevent most of those little accidents. I'm thankful that I installed the engine guard that is on my bike. When it went down in a fraction of a second, on black ice in my employer's parking lot last January, I wasn't pinned or even hurt. All I had to show for my adventure was a little paint scrape on the bar and a scuff mark on my jeans. That crash bar was $68 well spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
That was very helpful advise. I had kinda prepared myself for some abuse on this subject for being selfish and endangering others. I assure you that if I thought I would hurt someone I would be not even consider the idea of riding. I have always done things that I can do myself ie karate, scuba, even bull fighting, and never got into team sports like softball or football. I'm certified in CPR and first responder and life guard swimming and have used all three of those. I've helped people walk away from accident and had some die in front of me. I never walked away.
All of your advise will be carefully weighed and I will take the motorcycle driving course over as a refresher (I still have my license).
I hope to join some of on a ride soon or at least see you at one of the rallies Harley throws in Milwaukee.
Cheers!
 

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I assure you that if I thought I would hurt someone I would be not even consider the idea of riding... I'm certified in CPR and first responder and life guard swimming and have used all three of those...

If you are a first responder, then you already have enough knowledge to have a pretty fair notion of your capabilities… As far as I know I don’t have any underlying disease (MS or otherwise), but I did have about a year and a half of abject clumsiness (about the time I turned 70), which eventually left me on crutches for 6-8 months, and I sold my last bike, and mentally said go-bye to biking… well, never say never. About 10 month ago I began to realize my stride was much more confident – I wasn’t any younger, but most of my balance seem to be back and I decided to give it a whirl… bought a rather inexpensive bike, but one I’d been curious about for a couple of decades, and although I ride with caution and pick my times and locations, I’m thoroughly enjoying it – as well as the shop time… I’d suggest that if your level of balance is reliable (mine was/seems to be), then the next logical question is, is it sufficient – I’m guessing you are best positioned to answer that.

But, best of luck regardless of what you decide…

BTW, I was raised in Williston – Bismarck was the big city… if and when I retire, we’ll probably settle in Fullerton (south of Jamestown), population 68 – on a good day…

-- Larry
 

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If I don't get enough rest, I don't ride. Don't have MS, but a medical condition none the less. It bit me in the b*^^ a couple times in my younger years, but patience comes with age.

:)
 

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My recommendation is to start with something small just as a trial. If you find your MS doesn't hinder you much go straight for the big toys! You seem like a kind of person that knows their limits anyway. :) I say do it!!

Side note: Just looked up what a Norton Atlas is. *Drools*
 

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Getting that BMW at that price would be very attractive to me. you might do some checking and see if the seat could be lowered in some fashion if that is the one you want. perhaps the seat could be removed and lowered by just changing the padding to gel with no loss of comfort

No expert here, just spitballing an idea.
 

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WELCOME ABOARD, and...



Normally just a few more posts(count of 3) and the rest of the site
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that restriction.

We are friendly site here. Well, most of us:grin:

I have slight balance issues since my accident as well. Can't say it gets better. Concussions seem to leave us with some kind of issue even if we aren't aware of it and in my case I guess balance is it. I've been told, with constant practice you can improve it. I'm close enough to needing to go to a trike that I'm not going to work that hard. So yes, a trike might be a better option in the long run. I've also been told I'll love it and wonder why I didn't do it sooner. Ego I guess. But I'm about ready to just do it. A trike might ultimate be in your future as well so like me, why not just do it. Good luck no matter what.
 

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How do you do on a bicycle? if you can make relatively tight counter-balancing turns in both directions it might be a good indication you're good to go on a motorcycle.
 
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