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Should I do it?

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lewist
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Should I do it?

#1 Post by lewist » June 25th, 2012, 9:58 pm

I went looking at motorcycles in Inverness today. I was very taken by the Royal Enfield which I finally saw in the flesh. It really is a very handsome machine and not intimidating in the least. I even met the guy who does the training. I would do training.

It's not so very expensive and I think it might be fun. But should I do it? That's the question. Should I do it?
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Dave B
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Re: Should I do it?

#2 Post by Dave B » June 25th, 2012, 10:08 pm

Ah, I remember my old Royal Enfield 250cc Crusader Sports with great pleasure. It was the last bike I had before buying my first car (three speed 1172cc side-valve ford Escort) the day before I took my test and three days before we planned to drive to Scotland!

I will admit that it had modified and tuned somewhat from the original spec and could challenge similar sized Hondas that were just coming on the market.

What was the model, Lewis? I know the Indians were making 350cc Bullets very close to the original spec. Is it the "old fashioned" styling and does that makes it look less intimidating?

Lewis, if you can afford it and if you only ride it on sunny Sundays it will probably be worth it. Trouble is most modern car drivers did not ride bikes first and have no idea what it is like and make allowances in terms of space.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan C.
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Re: Should I do it?

#3 Post by Alan C. » June 25th, 2012, 10:38 pm

Go for it Lewis! I'll see if I can get you an invite to next years SIMMER DIM RALLY - SHETLAND :wink:
This years culminated on Sunday and was the biggest yet with over 500 bikes.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

lewist
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Re: Should I do it?

#4 Post by lewist » June 25th, 2012, 10:44 pm

Everything RE make these days is a variation on the 500cc Bullet, 1957 model, except for a number of modifications such as the fact that the engine has been seriously modified to comply with EU emission regulations.

Take a look!
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Dave B
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Re: Should I do it?

#5 Post by Dave B » June 25th, 2012, 11:08 pm

Yeah, looked at the Wiki entry, they stopped making the 350cc model in 1995 - but it had a 40 year manufacturing life in India alone!

Looking at the picture it was just like my old Crusader, always an oil stain underneath it!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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getreal
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Re: Should I do it?

#6 Post by getreal » June 25th, 2012, 11:36 pm

What is there to think about? It looks absolutly beautiful! I'd love to get a bike, but my whole not-being-able-to-work predicament is a result of a meeting of a bike and a car a long time ago, so hubs is not at all keen (when he was phoned, by a bystander, to tell him about the accident, there was a bit of miscommunication and he thought I was dead). But never mind that! Go for it (but you must promise to let me have a go on the pillion!!)
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

thundril
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Re: Should I do it?

#7 Post by thundril » June 25th, 2012, 11:42 pm

I rode a Royal Enfield 350 a few years ago in India. Brought back so many memories!
Go for it!

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getreal
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Re: Should I do it?

#8 Post by getreal » June 25th, 2012, 11:45 pm

:laughter:
I read that as:
rode a Royal Enfield 350 years ago in India
I think I need to sleep.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Should I do it?

#9 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » June 26th, 2012, 11:18 am

Should you do it? Hmm. I wonder why you're asking. Is there a part of you that thinks you shouldn't? And if so, why? Is it anything to do with concerns about safety? About the fact that although motorcyclists represent only 1 per cent of traffic on British roads they account for almost 20 per cent of the deaths and serious injuries on those roads? And that motorcyclists involved in accidents are forty times more likely to be killed than car drivers? Is it anything to do with thoughts that you might be a bit long in the tooth for that sort of thing?

From the New York Times blog ("A New Risk of Middle Age: Dying on a Motorbike"):
Although the motorcycle has long been associated with youthful rebellion, a new analysis of federal accident data shows that dying on a motorcycle is becoming a middle-aged phenomenon.

In a sweeping analysis of federal accident reports, Gannett News Service reports a number of alarming trends related to motorcycles. Death rates from motorcycle crashes have risen steadily since states began weakening helmet laws about a decade ago, the news agency found.

Notably, nearly half of the riders killed in 2006 were age 40 and older, and nearly a quarter were older than 50. The average age of motorcyclists killed in accidents was about 38.

Transportation officials told the news service that the age trends reflect the growing popularity of motorcycles among older people with increasing incomes but decreasing physical dexterity and reaction times.
Apparently, they're called Bambis [---][/---] born again middle-aged bikers. (BBC Business News) It's happening in the UK, too, it seems, "The 'born again' bikers seem to be becoming somewhat of a public health problem as middle aged (and older) men take to the roads again on ever increasingly powerful vehicles but with possibly rusty riding skills." (BikeLawyer)

And for something closer to home, read "Risks and Motorcyclists in Scotland".

I'm not going to say "Go for it," Lewis. Or "No, please don't!" The decision is yours and yours alone. If you do do it, then, according to the Scottish Executive Transport Research Planning Group, the more conscious you are of the risks, the safer you'll be. And if you decide not to do it, I for one won't think any the less of you. :kiss:

Emma

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Alan H
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Re: Should I do it?

#10 Post by Alan H » June 26th, 2012, 11:36 am

What Emma said.

I've had a couple of bikes (the first in 1978) and passed my bike test in the early 80s, but gave up a few years later. Would I go back? It would be exhilarating, but, even though I'm an advanced driver and an IAM member, I don't think I would. For me, the risks aren't worth it. I may be a safe driver (and maybe a safe biker), but I'm not sure I would want to rely too heavily on others on the road.

As Emma said, the decision is yours, but I seriously suggest that you seek out your local IAM bikers' group and take their (free) assessment. If you feel it's for you, I also suggest going for the Advanced Riding Test. All the observers who will help you are volunteers and give their time for free (although it does cost you) and it will give you a set of skills that will make you a safer rider (and driver!).
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1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
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animist
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Re: Should I do it?

#11 Post by animist » June 26th, 2012, 11:50 am

when I started to read Emma's post, I was going to query whether the high rates for m/c deaths reflected the young age of the riders, but, no, this does not seem to be the case. I can vouch for the point about riders losing control, having almost driven over someone on the M25 who fell off at high speed; if he had not been wearing a helmet (and at least we in the UK have not been silly enough to allow what seems to be happening in the States) he might well have died. I never cease to be amazed at the confidence, misplaced or not, with which riders weave in and out of car traffic, and this must surely be one of the electrifying plus points of riding - the freedom from being stuck in slow queues.

Lewis, maybe you should go for it but pretend it is a car??

thundril
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Re: Should I do it?

#12 Post by thundril » June 26th, 2012, 1:05 pm

animist wrote:
Lewis, maybe you should go for it but pretend it is a car??
Wot, like 'don't lean into the bends? :supershock:

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animist
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Re: Should I do it?

#13 Post by animist » June 26th, 2012, 1:12 pm

thundril wrote:
animist wrote:
Lewis, maybe you should go for it but pretend it is a car??
Wot, like 'don't lean into the bends? :supershock:
dunno really, never been brave enough to try this mode of transport, and driving a car scares me enough. Seriously, the man I nearly killed maybe leaned a bit too much! I never fancied a bike, maybe a scooter, and even then I would go for one of those with a sort of canopy - perhaps I was born old :laughter:

lewist
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Re: Should I do it?

#14 Post by lewist » June 26th, 2012, 2:18 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments. It's a big help to have everything from the enthusiastic to the measured reason we always get from Emma.

Emma! I am very aware of the statistics and risks. I live in a part of the world that is a mecca for bikers of all ages on powerful machines, who have great fun on our quiet twisty roads. The police hate it because they have the job of being first responders when someone comes a cropper. Many of these people go home in a box.

One of the easiest ways for a sixty something to be made to feel like a nineteen year old again is to seek motorcycle insurance. Some companies quiz you about your licence and your recent biking experience then either turn you down or quote a huge premium.

I went to the motorcycle dealer in Inverness and was impressed by the fact that they made no effort to 'get a sale'. The man talked with me about my needs and agreed that the Royal Enfield was probably the best thing for me at present. He had three on the premises but the best one had been sold the previous day. It chanced that the local trainer was there at the time and I talked with him about the need for training and how I should go about it. I commented that I would like training before committing to a bike and both agreed that was the way to do it.

Bambi, eh? Can't make up my mind about that.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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animist
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Re: Should I do it?

#15 Post by animist » June 26th, 2012, 2:26 pm

lewist wrote:Thanks everyone for your comments. It's a big help to have everything from the enthusiastic to the measured reason we always get from Emma.
Bambi, eh? Can't make up my mind about that.
lewis, what is it that you are actually hoping to get out of the experience? I very much doubt that you are a Bambi, in fact :wink:

lewist
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Re: Should I do it?

#16 Post by lewist » June 26th, 2012, 2:36 pm

animist wrote:...lewis, what is it that you are actually hoping to get out of the experience?...
I love the machinery, especially the 1950s engineering of the Enfield where everything is on view. I like the 'knees in the breeze' feeling, the oneness with the air and the road, the need to read the road. I enjoyed motorcycling in past days. The last bike I had was a Honda C70 when Joanne was born so I could ride to work and leave Maureen the car, and even that little machine was fun, especially when I worked out a way to get there over the hills on the back roads.

Maybe I should have the new equivalent, the Honda Innova. It would be good for tootling around here and not at all expensive.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Tetenterre
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Re: Should I do it?

#17 Post by Tetenterre » June 26th, 2012, 2:42 pm

Another perspective: In my late '50s, I felt the near-uncontrollable urge to get a bike again; there was also the nagging memory that one of the reasons I stopped riding at around 35 was that my reactions were no longer "equivalent" to the way I liked to ride. I took a different route: I got a Smart Roadster. With the top down and the traction control turned off, it was almost as much fun as a bike, but it was so much lower to the road that the "fun" was there at lower (and legal!) speeds. The middle-aged "crisis" is now over and I'm back to driving a van. :smile:
Steve

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Nick
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Re: Should I do it?

#18 Post by Nick » June 26th, 2012, 2:52 pm

How about a trike, Lewis? Almost as much fun, and less falling off. :D

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animist
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Re: Should I do it?

#19 Post by animist » June 26th, 2012, 2:56 pm

Nick wrote:How about a trike, Lewis? Almost as much fun, and less falling off. :D
I always like the look of quad bikes too (tho' Rick Mayall had a bad accident in one IIRC). Actually the Honda Innova scooter looks very tempting - but is it actually a scooter? maybe not.

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Dave B
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Re: Should I do it?

#20 Post by Dave B » June 26th, 2012, 3:01 pm

In my late '50s, I felt the near-uncontrollable urge to get a bike again;
I have heard it said, "Oh, its an age thing with men!" Bikes, open sports cars, younger women . . .
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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