Tips for Returning Motorcycle Riders

Tips for Returning Motorcycle Riders - Motorcycle Magazine - Racext 1

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Tips for Returning Motorcycle Riders

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If you are looking for high quality products for your car or motorbike, look no further. We are sure you will find the perfect product for you at Racext. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or requests. We are here to help you make your vehicle perfect.I sold my last bike, a Honda VFR800, three years ago when my battered body made riding it more of an ordeal than a pleasure. But the passion for riding never left me.

Recently, the chance to buy a friend’s bike—a 15-year-old Kawasaki Ninja 650R with 35,000 miles—at an absurdly low price came up, and I jumped at it. By doing so, I joined the ranks of what the motorcycle industry calls “returning riders.”

After some preventive maintenance, I took my first ride on my new-to-me bike. Despite a few shaky starts and sore muscles, everything came back to me pretty quickly. However, I wasn’t away for as long as some other returning riders—people who went to college, got married, had kids, lived the American dream, and now, decades later, find themselves longing for every motorcycle that zooms by.

If you’re one of these dreamers, there are a few things you need to know. The sport you left isn’t necessarily the one you’re returning to. A lot has changed in the past 20 or 30 years, and you need to update your skills, gear, and mindset to avoid turning your comeback into a setback. Here are my tips for those getting back into riding after a long break.

Don’t Go Big

If you rode a used Japanese liter bike from the ’80s back in your college days, you’ll be in for a shock if you hop on a modern liter bike and twist the throttle. Those old air-cooled four-cylinder engines produced around 90 horsepower, and today you can buy a bike that makes twice that power. Even mid-sized bikes today have enough power to outpace the “fast” bikes of our youth, and hitting 150 mph is easily within reach for anyone with a decent credit score. Getting too much bike—too fast, too big, too heavy—is one of the quickest ways to add “ex-” to the motorcyclist you want to be again.

Besides the potential for unintentionally destroying yourself, buying too much bike can also cause financial damage. You might not stick with the sport. Some riders find that their memories are better than reality and end up making payments on an unused bike taking up space in the garage. Restart your riding life on something small and light, and you’re less likely to drop it a time or two while getting your chops back. If you buy a cheaper used bike, you’ll also suffer less financial damage when you do drop it.

Don’t Succumb to Peer Pressure

If your riding friends all have Harleys, BMW GSs, or Hayabusas, resist the temptation to follow the crowd. Get the bike that’s right for you, not for them. If your friends give you a hard time for riding a different brand, they’re probably not really your friends.

While manufacturers have started offering more do-it-all motorcycles in recent years, the market is still segmented. A sportbike, an adventure bike, a cruiser, or a heavy tourer focused on a narrow purpose might prevent you from discovering new types of riding you enjoy. Resist the pull of advertising, think realistically about the kind of riding you’ll actually do, and buy the right bike for the job. And realize that you might change your mind about the type of riding you prefer.

Depending on how long you’ve been away from riding, the type of bike you rode back in the day might not be so kind to your current body. There’s a reason you often see old guys like me on Honda Gold Wings and Harley-Davidson touring bikes. The spacious seating position is kind to old bones and creaky joints. I’m not as agile as I was in my misspent youth, and my knees especially protest being bent too much, too often. My Ninja 650R has a moderately sporty riding position, but I’ve modified it with lowered footpegs and handlebar risers to make it more comfortable. However, I don’t rule out swapping it one day for a standard bike with a more moderate seating position.

Bad News: You’re Older; Good News: The Gear is Better

The older you get, the longer it takes to heal, which puts the spotlight on your riding gear. Maybe you thought a helmet, denim jacket, jeans, and sneakers made you look cool back in the day, but they won’t do much more than that in a crash today.

Upgrade your protective gear, starting with a full-face or modular helmet with good ventilation. In most street-speed crashes, the impact with the pavement or other obstacles does more damage than the slide, so choose a jacket with good armor on the shoulders and elbows, and pants with armor on the knees. Don’t forget gloves with secure fastening straps. Wear all your gear every time you ride. “I was just going to the store, so I didn’t think I needed to wear all that stuff” is an excuse too often heard in the emergency room.

When I was younger, I could hop on a bike and do a hundred miles before breakfast and sit down at Denny’s feeling great. I’ve recently learned that all my motorcycle muscles atrophied during my layoff, and doing some stretches before I gear up is a good idea. Pain distracts and can slow your response to hazards on the road. Tune your body like you tune your bike.

A Refresher Course Makes Sense

Time has a way of dulling what were once finely-honed skills. My first ride on the Ninja was slow and cautious compared to how I used to throw my old VFR800 around the same roads, and sometimes it still felt too fast. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a Returning Rider course specifically for riders coming back after a layoff, and I’m considering taking it.

The road environment has probably changed too. Maybe the last time you rode, the highways weren’t populated with lifted trucks and drivers glued to their cell phones. There are good road training courses that teach not only riding techniques but also how to be more aware of risks and anticipate them so they don’t catch you by surprise.

A Returning Rider is Better Than an Ex-Rider

For now, I’m just happy to be back on two wheels. I had no idea how much I missed it. I expect to be the slowest in any group ride I take with friends for a while, but I’m in no rush.

Starting with my next birthday, my age will begin with a seven, but if I play it smart, wear the right gear, and respect my new limits, I don’t see why I can’t keep riding into my eighties, and maybe even beyond that.

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Tips for Returning Motorcycle Riders


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This return policy is valid for all countries.

Customers have the right to return merchandise within 14 days from the date of receipt. For chip tuning purchases, the return period is extended to 30 days.

Products must be returned in saleable condition. Products damaged with liquids inside or exhaust gases cannot be returned. Used merchandise cannot be returned unless expressly indicated by the seller.

Once we receive and inspect the merchandise, the refund will be processed using the payment method used by the customer within 5 business days from the date of receipt. This time allows us to inspect the merchandise and restock it.

How to Request a Return:

  1. Send a request by email to info@racext.com.
  2. Select “Return” as the subject and provide a reason for the return.
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For further information, you can contact us via email or WhatsApp. Our office will respond within 24 hours, providing the return instructions and the address to which the merchandise should be sent. When possible, we will indicate the warehouse closest to the customer’s address.


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