Age is just but a number until it is not. Right?
Compared to people who have decades of motorcycling experience,
There are several challenges for someone who learns to ride a motorcycle later in their lifetime.
As we age, we become more experienced, but does this apply to motorcycling?
So, How Old is too Old to Start Riding a Motorcycle?
Someone asked me this question, and in my opinion, I believe there is no right or wrong answer to this question. There are a few things that we need to consider before we can conclude the question of how old is too old. We all have different capabilities and personalities, and we need to do what suits our circumstances. There is a big difference in the way a young person learns a new skill compared to an older person. The older we are, the more we have a decline in cognitive abilities.
Four Reasons It’s Harder To Learn How To Ride A Motorcycle As An Older Person
According to a study conducted between young people and older adults, the results revealed that the older adults were slow to learn a new skill.
The older adults demonstrated a lower accuracy and a slow reaction to time.
Here are a few reasons:
1. The Level Of Frustration
The way a young child handles frustrations is completely different from an adult.
Simple tasks like learning to tie a shoelace and being able to ride a bicycle make a child happy.
The reason is young children are more content.
They notice improvements, however small, and celebrate small wins.
By the time you become an adult, you have many accomplishments and will tend to be harder on yourself.
Learning a new skill requires the mindset of a child.
2. The Level Of Coordination
Learning to ride a motorcycle requires an aptitude level of multitasking.
Both hands and legs are required simultaneously to operate the motorcycle.
The left leg is for selecting the gear; both your clutch hand and throttle hand have to do different things simultaneously.
You also have to learn to handle and balance the brakes without knocking yourself on the handlebars.
No matter how good you are at riding a motorcycle, it is a skill that you keep learning.
3. Patience is Key!
The level of patience- as you age, you realize that you won’t be as quick as a young child to get back on your feet once you fall.
This is one of the potential risks that will affect your ability to become a good rider.
Statistics show experienced learners tend to be frustrated by the failure to master riding quickly.
They make a mistake because they carry their accomplishments and ability to learn things quickly to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
One piece of advice given to all learners is that patience is vital in learning how to ride a motorcycle.
Riding takes time and cannot be mastered in one session.
Any good rider who quickly figures the 8s is the parking space and can make perfect U-turns will tell you that it takes dedicated practice and many hours to become an excellent rider.
Every proficient rider was once a learner, and they developed their skills.
We can conclude that good riders are not born; they are made.
4. Mental Capacity and Physical Capacity
Becoming a good rider will depend on how quickly you learn to balance these two aspects.
The mental aspect deals with coordinating the control system.
A motorcycle has two brakes, the front, and the rear brakes. You need to grasp the concept behind having two brakes, whereas a car has only one brake.
The other thing has to do with balance. Many riders can perfectly maneuver through traffic without any accidents. So how are they able to do this?
The physical aspect is in understanding that your input directly impacts the performance of the motorcycle. You must master coordinating the brakes, clutch, throttle, and hand bars for control.
Six Things to Consider Before Starting to Ride a Motorcycle
As we have already mentioned, learning to ride a motorcycle is a skill that takes time and patience.
If you are lucky to have a riding mentor, they will tell you that the following tips are crucial in the initial stages of learning.
1. Take A Class
With all the excitement that comes with learning this new skill; you will need to take a motorcycle safety course class before you can be allowed to ride on your own.
The course takes about three days, depending on your learning ability.
2. Get Registration, Insurance, And License
Once you pass your motorcycle safety course, you will be issued a license.
Next, you will have to register your name as a certified rider then apply for insurance.
Insurance is important because, as a rider, you are very vulnerable on the road.
3. Beginner Motorcycle Research
Because you are still learning, you need to go slow on the type of motorcycle you purchase.
Avoid the temptation to buy the best ride in the market.
4. Purchase High-class Safety Gear
While riding a motorcycle, safety is everything. It is paramount, especially if you are a new rider.
Make sure the safety gear you purchase feels tough since that is one of the signs of good gear.
Get yourself a high-quality helmet.
You must also purchase a reflector coat, riding gloves, and knee cap.
5. Don’t Carry Any Passengers (until you have become a good rider)
Until you feel confident enough, it is advisable not to carry people on your motorcycle.
Carrying another person means extra weight, which requires a great skill to learn to maneuver and balance the motorcycle.
6. Stay Away From Highways
It is true practice makes perfect, but also, it’s good to be patient and take baby steps.
Try to stay away from highways and speedways until you become a pro where you can ride along with high speeding vehicles, and in case of traffic, it will be easy for you to maneuver around.
Once you have built your confidence, then you can start slowly experimenting.
So, how old is too old to begin your motorcycle journey?
Considering the above discussion, I think only you can answer that question.
I have been privileged to witness older learners rise to become exceptional riders.
They say; better late than never.
Remember to train, be patient by giving yourself time to learn and allow room for mistakes, Lastly, never stop learning.