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How old is too old to ride?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by smee, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. *warning if this thread strays into territory regarding rider down threads and speculation it will be removed post haste*

    In light of the death of a 73 year old rider this morning on the monash and a recent death of an 83 year old rider in England 2 weeks ago it got me thinking.
    How old is too old to ride:?
    We all go on about older car drivers but what about older motorcyclists?
    Is it fair that a 70+ rider be re-tested or restricted to specific bikes due to diminished reflexes?
    Is it fair that because of their diminished reflexes they be allowed to be at greater risk on the roads and hence any adverse outcome affects other parties be they their own relatives or the other parties?
    Yes younger riders do feature more in accidents but what of 70+ riders?
    Hornet is 60+ how is he going in a few years time?
    When is enough enough?
  2. Kind of hard to say when some 90 year olds are more coherent and healthy than some 70 year olds.
  3. Your too old if you can't get it up.
    or you can get it up, but need some "assistance".

    same goes to the oldies driving: most seem o.k drivers/riders until
    something unexpected happens. Riders however don't put others in danger (in comparison to a car). Still the effect/aftermath can be the same...

    As for hornet... well, this should explain it:
  4. Exactly! how do you tell????
    Are there any 90 year olds riding and if so what do they ride and how often?
  5. i forgot to say that i meant the bike...
  6. The problem Governments face with dealing with this sort of issue is that they are only capable of making blanket laws and regulations, and that fails to take into account the variations just mentioned.

    I know for sure that my reflexes aren't as good as they were when I was half this age (58 actually, thanks for the promotion to Seniors Status, smee :LOL:), and that I have to ride and drive with this in mind.

    Having said that, the idiotic idea of a "S" plate (for Senior driver) as floated by the NSW State Government is patently not fair, or feasible.

    Routine re-testing? Probably. But that's not al there is to it either; we have a lovely old gent in his 80s in our church, who passes his test each time, but whose driving is positively terrifying!!!
  7. Maybe you can, but i think most old-er people don't. They would be almost as bad as the young hoons (having uber-skills), but they won't be able to serve a full 20 years.
    IMO - individual testing as implemented with the drivers, should extend (if not already) to the more mature population who ride... at least we have some sort of individualised testing... rather than a ban or restriction on their licences...
  8. Serious question Paul, how old do you personally think you will get before you say enough!
    I remember you stacked and said "I've had it" then had a change of heart.
    Let's leave driving to one side I'm more concerned about riding.
  9. There could easily be a medical every two years (claimed back through medicare) that say someone over 70 needs to do. In that test they look at any faculties that could have diminished imparing a rider.

    This could be treated no different to a pilots licence.
  10. The practical test that oldies have to pass is easier than the one the young ones have to test - not joking, you can check the rta website; the requirements are less.
  11. jeez, I knew you'd ask that.

    I don't know, I really don't. I would hope that one day my wife or one of the children or a friend might tap me on the shoulder and say, "Don't you think you ought to pack it in?" and that I would be a sensible enough person to make the right response.

    The problem is that it's not just stopping riding; it's the message it sends, to yourself and those around you. Only today I was talking to a lady whose father had just died, and she said that when they told him he could no longer drive, he just dropped his bundle and said, in effect, "My life is over", and died less than a year later. I know that sounds extreme, but I don't think it's unique either.

    Even if my health and my eyesight is still good in ten year's time, I think I will probably still be having to consider packing it in, as you say.
  12. Apart from the issue of balance, this begs the question of "Is riding that different from driving?"

    Surely if you do not have the reflexes or situational awareness to ride a bike, wouldn't the same apply to driving a car?

    I'm not talking about statistics here, just general abilities, and being able to stay safe and not cause other issues/accidents.

    At the moment I am hoping to ride until my balance wont let me - age be damned!
  13. Yonks ago I used to work for an old bloke in his 70's. (ex WW2 flying instructor, a bit full on)
    There was no way, that at less than half his age, I could keep up with him on the Ag-bikes.
    Age is not really a numerical thing, and its an all round poor criteria to judge riding skill, at either end of the spectrum.
  14. Keep riding while you still enjoy it I say.

    If my eyesight and reflexes were far enough gone to be an insurmountable problem, I suspect I'd find riding too frightening to be any fun. Too many close calls that you might not notice in a car but which tend to demand your attention on a bike.

    The physical demands of riding ensure that many will give it away before a safety problem arises.

    A random selection of examples spring to mind.

    Burt Munro was competing well into his 70s. There was a famously mopedding nonagenarian nun at New Norcia until recently. Sonny Barger is 70 this year and still riding. Years ago, I watched an ancient member of the VMCC launch his fearsome, methanol burning, JAP V-twin powered outfit off the line at a hillclimb, with two wheels in the air and the third one spinning, to take FTD in the sidecar class against younger riders on younger machinery. Every serious bike event (not vintage club) I've ever been too has a good selection of over 60s present, with a fair smattering of over 70s.

    That's good enough for me. And if I turn out to be crap(per) when I'm old, I'm unlikely to take any innocent bystanders with me :grin: .
  15. Testing is a bit of a furphy in some cases. Most ancients among us cannot remember the rules as laid down but can drive, as per seat of pants stuff, better than the new greatly knowledgable P platers I see.

    Testing as in drive around where one normally goes including freeway is ok.

    How does someone say to an ancient 'Hey we are going to test you pop'. 'What do you do for a crust?'

    Pop answers ' I drive a bloody great big B double, why?'

    How would you test that bloke.

    I drive a 12 ton truck about 3-400 - 600 Ks a day. What sort of test do I get? Drive a falcon around the town? What does that prove?
    Ride my bike around town? What happens when I do the twisties on my own?

    Testing? Hmmm. Look, if someone is driving badly, someone needs to tlee cops or something and then they can be tested but routine for all ancient? Nah. Demeening to say the least.
  16. I met a dude, (and he is a dude) from the Ulysses club who is their oldest member, and is still riding at 78. We met him and the group he was with, when they were riding over to Sth Oz.
    He looked quite capable and well looked after with his riding buddies, and i'm under the impression that's the kind of riding he sticks to now-a-days.
    He said to us, "the best thing about riding at 78, is even 120 feels fast." Bless him.

    Today though a different story. A car came out of the side street next to me, and drove into the path of an oncoming truck. Everybody was o.k.
    The driver, who I'd say is around the 70 mark, said he doesn't know how he could of missed seeing the truck.
    The driver of the truck responded with, but i looked right at you, we made eye contact.
    If that's true, then that's a pretty big brain fart. How do you test for brain farts?
    I'd hate to see a law or condition put in place that took the Ulysses guys freedom to ride from him, in order to protect us from Mr B. Fart.

    There is easily a bare minimum requirement though. If they can't even do the speed limit, it's time to pack it in. Otherwise we'll have to drop the speed limits again.
  17. this is a beauty of a question smee.
    unfortunately, there is no answer....well no definitive answer.
    i think mandatory re-testing for ALL road users at "X" years intervals should be introduced. i know it would be a mighty pain in the rectum for us all to have to go through it, but if we really are competent out there doing what we do, then we should have nothing to worry about.
    something like, a practical test every 5 years, and then post retirement age (whatever that is these days) perhaps more frequent.
    however, the important thing about introducing such a rule, is to give a grace period to he/she who fails their practical test (depending on severity of failure of course) in which they can brush up on their skills and retest without having their licence suspended/removed etc.
    the other implication of course is the costs involved in doing the actual test. i havent done a practical test for over 10 years, but from what i hear its not exactly cheap...but then the question is, how serious are they about ensuring people can actually operate a vehicle safely?
    the other point, that would be a bonus with this kind of model, is that updated/changed road rules would have to be learnt periodically rather than the RTA (or similar) changing them and just expecting users to "work it out"

    we could just leave it as is, and let natural selection do its thing :?
  18. I suppose this is because of that monash incident this morning.
    Is it right for someone post 70 to be riding a motorcycle in peak hour traffic on one of the heaviest trucked roads in Australia regardless of whether they pass a test?
  19. if they are competent, then yes.
    however, when we begin talking heavy vehicles, there needs to be some research or something to try and remove them from these areas at these times....or something.
    big trucks + peak hour commuting = scary
  20. Tough one this, I'd hope that with our experience and wisdom gained over the years we would know when the time comes to give it away.

    Not me though, I'm going through the pearly gates in a shower of sparks
    and the biggest grin St. Peter ever saw.

    Adrenalin keeps me young and gives me a reason to live.

    I suppose I'm a wise old hoon. :grin: