Is There Such a Thing as Being Too Old to Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle?

It’s surprising how many healthy, fit people assume that they’re too old to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Age is just a number, and deciding whether or not it will be safe to learn how to ride is a matter of evaluating personal fitness and balancing personal benefits and risks. People both young and old can be very successful at learning new skills, including how to safely ride a bike.

Riders of All Ages Must Develop the Same Skills

No one is born with the knowledge of how to ride a motorcycle, and there’s no reason to believe that younger riders can learn the ropes more easily than their older peers. While it’s true that it takes time to master complex maneuvers, getting the basics down to enjoy a fun ride with friends is feasible at almost any age. Older riders are just as capable of developing the skills required to ride safely, and many of them are more likely to take personal safety seriously.

It doesn’t matter if a new rider is 20 or 50. He or she will still need to start slow, learn the basics, and develop crucial physical and mental skills before moving on to tackle more complex maneuvers and potentially dangerous courses.

Making a Great Impression at Any Age

Some older novice riders assume that they’ll be judged for their age. In fact, most bikers are very accepting people who will be happy to have new friends, and there are plenty of bikers who have more experience to offer advice and encouragement.

Once novice riders have purchased the perfect bikes and established whether they really want to get into motorcycles, they can make a splash on the road no matter their age by customizing their bikes with the decals found over at They’ll have an easier time standing out from the crowd and attracting positive attention with a custom bike.

The Benefits of Learning to Ride at an Older Age

Experts agree that learning new skills is a great way to keep the mind sharp, and that’s just what novice riders get to do. New riders have to master both mental and physical skills, at the same time.

First, riders will develop their mental capacities. They’ll have to learn the basics of how motorcycles work, where the controls are located, and how to move through traffic successfully without causing themselves any problems.

At the same time as novice riders are developing their mental acuity, they’ll also be improving their physical capacities. Manipulating the throttle, clutch, and brakes takes coordination, and keeping the bike balanced helps riders develop more awareness of their bodies.

It takes time to develop the mental and physical capacities required to ride safely in traffic or on complex courses. Over time, though, it becomes like second nature. Older riders may find that it takes them a little longer to get into excellent physical shape or learn the ins and outs of how their bikes’ engines work, but it’s worth putting in the effort.

The Risks of Learning to Ride at an Older Age

While there’s no such thing as an age cutoff for learning how to ride a motorcycle, developing any kind of specialized physical skill at an older age does come with some risks. People who throw caution to the wind and attempt maneuvers that are beyond their abilities can wind up dropping their bikes. Older riders may be more severely injured if they have underlying conditions like osteoporosis, and even if they’re completely healthy, they can expect to face longer recovery times after accidents.

The best way to minimize risk when learning how to ride a motorcycle is always to take a new rider safety class. It’s not just older riders who should prioritize safety, either. Novice riders can get into serious injuries if they don’t learn the ropes before heading out on the road, no matter how young they are.

Are There People Who Shouldn’t Ride Motorcycles?

Some older adults also have complex underlying health conditions that can make it harder to safely ride a motorcycle. However, the same thing applies to younger people. Those who have underlying health conditions that could make them more prone to getting into accidents or incurring serious injuries should seriously evaluate the risk-reward benefit of learning how to ride, regardless of how old they are.

There are some people who shouldn’t be riding motorcycles because they suffer from underlying medical conditions. People who experience or are prone to the following problems should probably stay away from riding, regardless of whether they’re old or young.

  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Legal blindness
  • Amputated limbs
  • Abnormal heart rates
  • Poor balance control
  • Certain psychological disorders
  • Using certain types of medications

It’s usually quite clear when someone is not in good enough health to ride a motorcycle. In many cases, these aspiring riders won’t even be able to get M-class permits. Only physically and mentally fit riders can keep themselves and others safe while they’re on the road, so it’s important not to ignore underlying health problems and other limitations.

Some of the problems described above, such as vision issues, abnormal heart rates, and medication use, are typically associated with old age. Even experienced riders should consider putting their bikes in storage if they start to notice problems as they get older, but everyone is different. Some people start losing their eyesight when they’re young, and on the other side of the equation, it’s not uncommon to see 80-year-old riders out on the roads.

Age Is Just a Number and Any Healthy Person Can Learn to Ride

Figuring out whether it will be safe to learn how to ride a motorcycle isn’t a matter of punching a birthdate into a calculator somewhere. Age is just a number, and it’s not a very relevant one when it comes to determining motorcycle safety. Aspiring riders should instead take a look at their physical and mental fitness to see if it would be appropriate to buy a bike and hit the open roads. When in doubt, it’s always worth talking to a primary care doctor or another medical professional.

Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash

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