Friday, December 27, 2019

How old can you ride a Royal Enfield motorcycle?

Close up of a hand in a glove holding a handlebar.
Was a sore wrist all it would take to end my motorcycling days?
"I'm not going to be doing this when I'm 70," I said.

I was probably 52 years old when I said it.

I was explaining to my boss why, at that age, I had purchased a Royal Enfield motorcycle to ride to work.

"It's totally Mid-Life Crisis," I admitted. I figured that if I wanted to be a motorcyclist, I'd better start soon.

I'm glad I did, because 70 is coming up awfully fast now. How much longer will I be riding? And what will be the signal that it's time to quit?

This blog lists Royal Enfields I find for sale in the United States. Sellers often list the reasons they've decided to put their motorcycles on the market.

"I have had two full hip replacements and two full knee replacements," one eBay seller wrote. "There is no way that I can kick this massive motor over nowadays, much less ride her."

He was selling a 1964 Royal Enfield Interceptor, which has a motor more "massive" than the one in my 1999 Royal Enfield Bullet.

Plus, I still have my factory original hips and knees, still in riding condition. So kicking is not my problem, at least not yet.

But, working in the garden the other day, I used a shovel to attack some stubborn roots and ended up with a sore right wrist. I put on the wrist guard I'd used to curb carpal tunnel pain when I had a job that involved a lot of typing.

That reduced the pain, but no way could I ride my Royal Enfield with a wrist guard on my hand.

Imagine: being waylaid by something like gardening — or typing on a computer! Real men work in mines or set concrete blocks!

But pain is pain, and a motorcyclist can not do without being able to twist the throttle with the right wrist.

I'll be better soon — I hope. And I hope to make a liar out of my middle-aged self, and keep riding long past 70.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/28/2019

    As we age, we need to compensate for the inevitable frailties that go with the territory.If we don't have the stamina to kick start a vintage machine, then replace it with one that has an "electric foot". If we have trouble with balancing the weight, go with a trike conversion. My oldest brother is nearing 84 and he rode a Honda Goldwing trike conversion until he was around 80.
    He'd be on it still, if he didn't have to take care of his wife whose health has not kept up with his.
    Until your wrist is better, perhaps you could install a throttle paddle that you can push on rather than twist ?


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