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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sixty-four, in excellent physical condition but have never owned a motorcycle. My reaction times are still keen from decades of practicing judo. I have had a lifelong desire to own a small displacement classical bike. After seeing the retro Suzuki TU250X at a dealer I simply must have one. Freeways and major highways don't interest me in the least. The bike will be for the five mile trip to a small local town and back. I will be taking the MSF riding course but in the meantime my neighbor gave me a lesson on his Yamaha WR250 dual-purpose bike. I picked it up quickly and have been practicing stops and slow maneuvers on my four acres.

At least three times a day I look at the loving look in my wife's eyes and wonder if this is crazy. The rest of the time I'm excited and ready to proceed. The third day that I rode the bike I took it out on the country road in from of my house. I got going at what I thought was really (almost scary) but when I looked down at the speedometer it read only 28mph. I could hardly believe it. How does one ever get used to going faster than that? How long does it take?
 

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American Legion Rider
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Time in the saddle is all it takes. I felt exactly the same. And the first time you hit 40 or 45 it will seem like you are about to break the sound barrier. You'll get there and........
 

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Saddle time

Previous answer is right... just time. That fear that is keeping your speed down is the same fear that will keep you alive, and you sound like a great candidate to take up riding despite your age. I took up riding for first time when I was 38, and while doesn't seem so old looking back from 55, at the time i also wondered if I was starting too late in life. But quite frankly, if I had taken it up at 18 I'm not sure I would be here, as i had far less fear and more feeling of invincibility then. I am a relatively cautious rider, i keep a good eye on everyone around me and drive defensively rather than counting on the fast acceleration of the bike to speed me out of harms way.

The only problems I've had were my own doing, not taking that pause and going slow and thoughtfully when i did something at slow speed (resulting in tipping over on pea gravel, and that sort of thing), and one time I went off a curve before I had developed the ability to fight against the instinct that resists moving that wheel closer to the edge in order to turn into the curve.

It's time, listening to your feeling, staying in control. The speed will come on it's own.

One of the best things I ever done was get talked into going to a "racing school" for a day, and training on their rental bikes. I never intended to race but the skills they teach you are so helpful. They train you how to use your body, your feet as well as hands, how and where to look etc - and they black out your speedometer but time your laps. As I learned the skills my lap time dropped by 30-40% in one day of training, while at same time feeling much more secure and safe on the bike at the end of the day than the morning. They taught me never to push on the speed, rather listen to the level of comfort and control, and let the speed come with skill.

Hope this is helpfull.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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You live in a beautiful area. Enjoy your riding... it's just a matter of familiarity.

And...
 

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Visionary
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Go ahead, riding is great and you won't regret it, and your choosing a safe, very sane size and type of bike to learn on. That TU250X looks like a lot of fun, I took my MSF course on a GZ250, it was a blast to ride, so light and fun to play around on.

Just ride at whatever speed feels good, and as the miles roll under your tires the rest will come. I was shy about speed at first, now I commute on the interstate every nice day, it all comes with times, I learn every day and my comfort level improves all the time, so will yours.

Take the MSF course as soon as you can, I learned more in 2 days than I ever imagined, and just take it slow and easy and enjoy the ride!
:71baldboy:
 

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Female Rider
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Welcome to the Forum. I agree, you live in a beautiful riding area. Once you get enough miles in you will probably want to ride in Rocky Mountain Nat park. Good luck and have fun out there!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Today I did it! I now have a brand new 2016 Honda CRF150F. I feel very comfortable with it's power, progressive throttle and clutch. We have four hilly acres to play on for now so I can get the basics down before tackling easy trails up in the Rockies.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Foam earplugs and a helmet with a faceshield and suddenly 50mph is fine.

And welcome.
 

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Premium Member
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Speed.

After a while it is just a number.
Good that you are practicing in the dirt. That is where the real riding takes place.
Are you any relation to the Seldom Seen bluegrass group?

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Nope that's "Seldom Scene" and I can only wish I was as fine a musician as one of them. Seldom Seen was a character from Edward Abbey's novel: The Monkey Wrench Gang.

Now that I've had some opportunity to play with the dirt bike I'm starting to realize that my future street bike should be a dual purpose. I know it's a compromise in terms of street vs. dirt but I don't plan to do anything outrageous on dirt or the street at my age. Thank you all for your kind interest. Be safe.
 

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American Legion Rider
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If you aren't going to be doing anything any rougher than a fire trail, just about any bike you want will work. I've seen places most only see in pictures on a fully dressed Harley. Another rider, Rollin' here has done even more than I have. He's even put knobby tires on his Victory Vision. I haven't gone to that extreme but have wished I did a few times.:D
 

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Welcome! I echo much of the above. Find an MSF and get time in the seat. I also ride a TU and love it. I also have little need for highways so it works for me. Great bike, easy to maneuver and just tons of fun.
 
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