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Old 20th April 2017, 22:56   #1
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Default Bikers in their forties?

I am a 1972 born and have always wanted to own a motorcycle, especially a royal enfield.

I owned a Honda Unicorn when it first came to India and it was a lovely bike, mostly reserved for commuting. Sold it when my first in a series of cars came in after I married and had a family to drive around for vacations when a bike wouldn't do.

I own three cars today but call it a long lost love, the desire to own a royal enfield for general short trips has bitten me again.

Question.. Any one here in my age bracket (or more) who owns a royal enfield and takes tours.

Would be interested to know. I am looking at either a Himalayan (new age hi-tech) bike or a custom royal enfield desert storm with some works done after market.

Listening and look forward to some interesting stories.

Cheers!

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Last edited by beyboo : 20th April 2017 at 23:15.
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Old 20th April 2017, 23:30   #2
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

I have been riding bikes since I was 16. Started with my sisters Sunny and Kinetic Honda. Then my brother's Kawasaki KB100. My first own bike was a RD 350 followed by a CBZ, RX100, Activa, Bullet 350, Duke 390 and a Fiero. The Bullet was bought before I turned 40 and sold after I turned 40. The Duke and Fiero were bought after I turned 40. I currently own the Activa and Fiero.
BTW I also own 2 bicycles, a Road Bike and a MTB, both purchased after I turned 40.
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Old 20th April 2017, 23:41   #3
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

I am pretty much in the same situation as OP. Been looking at the offerings from RE and was keen on the Tbird 500 but am leaning slightly towards the Dominar now. The ABS and slipper clutch are essential, IMO, for a reasonably powerful bike and I don't think RE is going to give us those in a hurry.
I have given myself till September to make a decision and its probably a no brainer but the heart says RE and the mind says Dominar.
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Old 20th April 2017, 23:50   #4
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Why consider age as a factor in the first place?
Unless the question is from health perspective like, will I be able to sit for long on the bike.
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Old 21st April 2017, 00:01   #5
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyboo View Post
Question.. Any one here in my age bracket (or more) who owns a royal enfield and takes tours.
Of course. See the below quote.

Quote:
While my wife and children were happy with the arrival of the Thunderbird amongst us, some known, well-known and unknown persons made the following comments:

'Does he require this huge bike at his age?'

'He should have bought a scooter so that he could control'

'Can he handle that bike?'

'He could have gone in for 350 cc at the most; not a 500 cc bike!'

I took all these comments with a pinch of salt. I could not make those people understand that I bought my TB500 after riding my son's Classic 500 for over an year!
For more, visit -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...e-diaries.html (Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 : My Motorcycle Diaries)
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Old 21st April 2017, 00:18   #6
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Why consider age as a factor in the first place?
Unless the question is from health perspective like, will I be able to sit for long on the bike.
I think it's more of a "am I doing the right thing by buying a bike that I don't really need" kind of situation for me. One wonders if it's an early midlife crisis. Feedback from riders in the same age group would ease some doubts.
But going back to your health perspective point, it would probably be prudent for people in their 40s to take up yoga before setting off on a long ride. Fifteen or so years of a desk job do have an impact.
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Old 21st April 2017, 01:36   #7
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Well, I bought and rode a fully restored 1978 Royal Enfield Bullet all over India. Did close to 15.000 km and when I left India in 2016 I was 57.

I never did do Leh / Ladakh though. But I did various trips up to 700 - 1000 km out of Delhi and back. Good fun. Whereas I was happy to day trip all by myself say 100-150km out of Delhi and back again, all my longer trips were with either The Royal Mavericks, the Delhi Breakfast Ride or others (e.g. Manzil Motors).

I have always been reasonable fit and I found my bullet quite comfortable to ride on. We rarely drove for more then 2 hours before we stopped for a comfort break, chai etc. So in all honesty I never suffered from any physical problems, other then it is just tiring being out all day on a bike in the dust, the noise, the vibration etc.

I had never ever ridden a bike before I came to India, so Iím really a novice. And I am probably one of the few, if not the only person in India ever to take the driving test theoretical exam in less then 10 seconds with no mistakes!

I must admit I always felts very vulnerable out on my bike, which also meant I was probably the most cautious driver out there. One thing about age though. As I grow older I am getting a little bit more cautious. I just donít want to fall anymore. At my age, bones donít heal so quickly and well anymore. Can you imagine breaking your wrist at my age?

Iím back in my home country the Netherlands, and all I do here is drive my cars or ride my bicycle. I bicycle about 4-500 km per week. During winter I just kept going. That is, until I fell on an icy patch. Luckily I did not break anything, bicycle was fine. My hip was black and blue for about a week!. I decided I will not ride my bicycle in wintery weather anymore. What if I break a hip? My mum did when she was 63 and it took her months to recover. Itís just not worth it. When you are in your 20-30ís you just fall and pick yourself and continue. Currently at 58, even though very fit, I just canít do that anymore, or at least chances are I canít/wonít. So time to get a bit more cautious. I still do plenty of other stuff which can hurt me. (Drive my cars too fast, fly little airplanes, do stupid DIY work around the house etc)

In those three years at least 7 or 8 good friends of mine, both Indian and expats met with various accidents. They were all much, much more experience riders then me. Even so, they ended up in hospital. Some for weeks, luckily none with any real permanent damage (at least not so much visible). Some of these accidents were in the news. Some of you might know Bobbee Singh (https://www.scoopwhoop.com/Bobbee-Si...rt/#.wi70nsui4). He met with a very nasty accident and almost lost an eye. It did make me wonder, should I continue. But then again, I did enjoy my bullet and my ride with my broís hugely! So just be careful out there!

Jeroen
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Old 21st April 2017, 07:12   #8
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

I am 71 born and started riding around the farm when I was 14. have owned various bikes over the years . To ride the motorcycle in UK I had to pass the motorcycle test , also did an advanced test later on and that was the best thing I did from a safety point of view. LIFESAVER ( looking over your shoulder ) is the one most important thing for a biker I think .
now I am back in India I ride a classic bullet, a 90 ZZR 600 and a Duke 390. my rides are mostly around the farm where the traffic is quite less and to the Kumaon hills.
As Jeroen said "Just be careful out there"
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Old 21st April 2017, 07:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Why consider age as a factor in the first place?
Unless the question is from health perspective like, will I be able to sit for long on the bike.
What some one said "does he require a bike now" its tough to convince a family at home that you'll buy a bike and also most probably remove the pillion seat
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:42   #10
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Seven years more for me to hit 40, sorry to barge in. The classic 500 dessert storm, though is one of the most beautiful motorcycle, won't be an ideal tourer (I had owned one) thanks to the hard seats. I would have recommended the Himalayan if it was not for the reliability issues. I feel the UCEs are more reliabile. Why don't you try the standard Bullet 500. The new ones are FI and have comfortable seats.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:58   #11
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rakesh_r View Post
Seven years more for me to hit 40, sorry to barge in. The classic 500............
..
Reports of issues on the Himalayan made me rule that out. How would you rate the Thunderbird for long distance touring? Would it be comfortable for two? And how well (or badly) do these bikes cope with emergency braking?
My last experience with riding bikes was in 2004 after which I sold my 10yr old Shogun.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:14   #12
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy.S View Post
Reports of issues on the Himalayan made me rule that out. How would you rate the Thunderbird for long distance touring? Would it be comfortable for two? And how well (or badly) do these bikes cope with emergency braking?
My last experience with riding bikes was in 2004 after which I sold my 10yr old Shogun.
Braking is not one of the strong points of RE. The Himalayan though has better ones. The tbird is comfortable for long rides and has better brakes than the classic/Standard since it has disc brakes on the front and rear. You can refer to JRavi's Tbird thread.He has toured almost the entire country on his Tbird 500. If you can wait for a bit there are good number of touring bikes (BMW 310 GS, KTM 390 ADV etc) which should be available in near point of time. I do not mind considering the Himalayan if RE makes the bike more reliable. However I feel a touring bike must have tubeless tyres with ABS which I am afraid none of the REs have. Why don't you check out the Dominor also?
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy.S View Post
Reports of issues on the Himalayan made me rule that out. How would you rate the Thunderbird for long distance touring? Would it be comfortable for two? And how well (or badly) do these bikes cope with emergency braking?
My last experience with riding bikes was in 2004 after which I sold my 10yr old Shogun.
I have been watching and reading a lot on the Himalayan here and on youtube. While there are issues, most of them are either proactively solved by RE during service visits or when complaints received by RE. I have come to accept one aspect that RE is unique and has a certain character to its bikes, quality and support. I guess a Honda or Bajaj would do much better than RE for the money we pay, but that's the nature of RE. I am leaning towards the Himalayan better due to the fact that its a purpose built bike.

I can also afford to look up a more expensive Duke, Triumph, BMW or a Harley but I am setting up shop in this department and want to evolve gradually rather than pampering myself with investments which might turn out to be sitting, resting, and rusting ducks in the long run!

I am expecting the new BSIV version to have solved most of these early learnings and also hopefully would come later with ABS.

What intrigues me about the RE is that the nature of its issues and quality lends itself naturally to my nature of being hands on to tools in building a bond between man and machine.

I want to thank all for contributing. I am indeed learning quite a bit and its setting off thoughts on how to go about doing this. Special thanks for all the long posts and the links to other threads on the topics.

I am very happy to be amidst such a friendly and warm community.

I would recommend all of you to read a book which isn't exactly about what it says in the title but conveys strongly what I mean to say here about why I prefer a Royal Enfield and yes it all starts by two couples touring on their motorcycles. Tourers here will get a "kick" of sorts just by reading the first chapter.

The book by Robert Pirsig - Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: 40th Anniversary Edition

Please pardon my transgres of posting the link pointing to the book on Amazon
http://amzn.to/2oWT8FE

Please keep those experiences flowing, appreciate each and everyone!
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:20   #14
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

I am 45 and my rides are Tiger 800 xcx, Hero Impulse and old beautiful CBZ.
Touch-wood never been to Bullet thing and my cousin helped me to staying away from Himalayan(he was part of new product development team).
Currently eyeing and waiting for GS310 as a lighter option, as I cant take tiger everywhere.
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Old 21st April 2017, 12:00   #15
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Default Re: Bikers in their forties?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyboo View Post
I am a 1972 born and have always wanted to own a motorcycle, especially a royal enfield.
That's enough of a reason. Go for it.

Am in your age bracket, I'll turn 38 this July. Celebrated my 28th and 37th birthdays at Khardung-La on my 2007 Thunderbird. IMHO RE makes decent bikes, but the company (again, IMHO) seems to have some really serious quality issues when it comes to new product launches. I'd suggest buying a bike model that's been in the market for 1-2 years with the niggles sorted out. And go in for new rims and tubeless tyres if you're touring. Worth it.

I ride a LOT more cautiously than I did 10 or 15 years ago. I cover less on a daily basis than I used to do and I take more rest days. Back then it was about bragging rights, 'how fast, my personal best in terms of distance covered in a day, how many states in one week', stuff like that. Now I enjoy the ride more. Still a lot of fun though. I still think a bike is the 'awesomest' way to see our big, beautiful country!

Addendum: Fitness plays a big part on how much you'll enjoy bike touring. I've seen buddies in their 20s who can't tour anymore because they've let their fitness slide thanks to a desk job, work stress, bad eating habits, and no physical activity. And I've seen my HMI instructor at 50 who used to sail past us (even fit army guys in their 20s) during our hikes. Stay moderately fit and touring will be easier.

Last edited by am1m : 21st April 2017 at 12:14.
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